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Panel Discussions

Head of School 101
New to the head of school world? (Have you been in that role five years or less- or still feel like you are facing a steep learning curve?) In the spirit of the classical idea of apprenticing and learning from those who have gone before you, this panel of “seasoned veterans” will offer advice for many of the unique challenges and opportunities that new heads of schools face. What do you wish you had known in your first few years that you know now that would have made your life, and work, much easier?  What was your worst mistake…and how can others avoid it?  What is the nature of the head/board relationship that works and what should be addressed early on to ensure long-term success?  How do you keep yourself healthy and balanced with the relentless demands on a head of school? What best practices do you do to ensure that your professional skills are being developed and that you are caring for yourself, and your family, to go the distance?  Join us for this thought-provoking presentation and an opportunity for you to contribute your specific questions to the panel.

Board Leadership 101
Are you new to the board member role or serving as a head of the board for less than five years (or always ready to learn new best practices)? Then this panel-led workshop is for you.  A healthy board is the secret strength behind any successful head of school.  What are the most important roles a board plays in ensuring the health and vitality of a school? What are the common mistakes board leaders make? How can boards hold to standards (such as “preventing mission drift”) and not go so far as to undercut the head of school’s authority?  How can young boards move from inevitable operational oversight to a more mature governing role? What are the best practices of successful boards that can be put into practice? What are the advantages of certain board philosophies, like the Carver model, when compared to others? Join us for this thoughtful presentation and an opportunity for you to contribute your specific questions to the panel.

Fundraising for Dummies (or Really Smart People Who Want To Learn More)
We are experiencing the largest generational transfer of wealth at any other point in recent history. Combined with a generally consistent growth in the markets, this means there is no lack of resources. But how can your school best tell its story and connect, not only with the parent and grandparent base but with those outside your immediate school community who may want to give to a generation-shaping legacy vision? What practical strategies make the best annual fund and capital campaign? What is reasonable to “do on your own” and when is it best to engage a professional fundraising organization? Join us for this panel and be sure to bring your questions to ask these seasoned fundraisers.

Legal Issues Facing Schools Now and in the Near Future
What used to be unimaginable a few short years ago, such as offering more than two genders on an application for a sports team, is now expected. In the near future, if certain voices in our community have their way, these changes will be legally required. Additionally, many funding grants that were offered a few years ago to schools are no longer available without signing off on certain progressive hiring practices. Religious liberties are no longer guaranteed. What do schools need to do to protect their rights and to ensure their long-term survival as pressure continues to mount? What have the latest legal battles in Virginia taught us about how to love our neighbor yet hold to our principles? What practical changes are best for schools to consider (by-laws, legal documents) and what are common mistakes schools can avoid?

The Loudest Voices Wins: The battle for the affections with technology rapidly exceeding the hours of exposure our students get in school 
The school day is a fairly prescriptive environment. For the most part, we can create healthy environments where screen-based technology, and certainly smart phones, are kept at bay. That is, until the last hour of the school day when the bell rings and phones come out of the lockers. According to Pew Research, American teens average nine hours a day on their smartphones. Technology is crushing schools in the battle for the affections. While classical Christian students are not as likely to be in such unregulated environments, the time technology invades their lives can still go a long way toward shaping what our children love.

Chris McKenna speaks around the country on best practices that can and should be incorporated into homes, and even schools, and gives a look into the pervasive influence of screens and technology. How can we teach and guide our students in healthy use of technology during school hours? What resources are available to parents who are eager for support and guidance with technology in the home? Come find out!