Sessions by Day: Wednesday

Business Officer Breakfast

Wednesday, 7:30 am - 10:00 am

  • Play@Work: Unleashing Growth through Creativity and Innovation

    Kevin Carroll

    As children, our days were filled with productive play. Games of tag were exercises in teamwork, strategy, decision-making, creativity, interpersonal communication and risk-taking. Play in our professional lives is also serious business, if we want to unleash the creative genius that spurs organizational growth and sustainable change. Geared toward this audience of managers and leaders, Carroll will explore how incorporating purposeful play into school and administrative culture can improve leadership, boost employee retention and attract new talent.

Concurrent Sessions G

Wednesday, 8:45 am - 10:00 am

  • A Collaborative Journey in Master Plan Implementation


    Implementing a master plan from start to finish requires a great deal of clear communication and collaboration among all parties involved, including the school and its board, architects and contractors. Beyond these obvious players, the collaborative effort extends to students, parents and other school constituencies as well as the community surrounding the school. Join us for this case study where the assistant head of school for The Center for Early Education, senior project manager from MATT Construction and principal from Johnson Favaro Architects present a deep dive into a successful master plan implementation.

    Mark Brooks, Head of School, The Center for Early Education
    Jim Favaro, Principal, Johnson Favaro Architecture + Urban Design
    Erika Johnson, Assistant Head of School, The Center for Early Education
    Jason Mosier, Senior Project Manager, MATT Construction

  • A Primer on Crisis Management and Business Continuity

    Risk Management

    Explore the various components of this complex subject: identifying and managing risk, governance, enterprise-wide risk analysis, business continuity planning, insurance and risk management considerations, and an example plan design that schools can look to when beginning their own analysis. This includes strategies for implementation, the recovery and resumption phase of the school's operations, and validation of the school's plan.

    Jamie Gershon, Executive Vice President, Bolton & Company
    Cheryl McDowell, Vice President, Educational Practice Group, Bolton & Company
    Ronald Wanglin, Chairman, Bolton & Company

  • Aligning Your Endowment Strategy with Your School's Operations

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    When developing your financial aid budget for next year, will you think about how much exposure your school's endowment has to stocks or bonds? In today's market environment, the alignment between these types of operating decisions and the investment profile of the endowment are more important than ever. Learn how enterprise considerations and investment strategies connect, and what types of levers you can control in finding balance between the two. An experienced business officer walks through an example affecting operations and debt management.

    Richard Grzymajlo, Managing Principal and Consultant, FEG Investment Advisors
    Ross Neltner, CAIA, Vice President, FEG Investment Advisors
    David Reynolds, Business Manager, St. Christopher’s School

  • Come Work for Us: Employment Contract or Offer Letter?

    Human Resources

    Many schools offer annual contracts or offer letters to faculty, staff and administrators. Examine the differences between offer letters and employment contracts, the pros and cons of each, and the important clauses that should (and should not) be included in any school agreement regarding employment. Discuss common issues that arise with regard to offer letters/employment agreements (i.e., claims of breach of contract, difficulty in terminating an employee, revocation of agreements, etc.) and strategies for schools in proactively structuring their agreements to manage such risks.

    Mark Brossman, Partner, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
    Donna Lazarus, Special Counsel, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

  • Leave Laws: A Case Study Workshop

    Human Resources

    The alphabet soup of leave laws can leave the most seasoned HR professional and legal counsel confused and intimidated. Join fellow HR colleagues in a hands-on workshop in which participants examine and resolve a variety of leave law situations. Explore how leave laws intersect, examine various solutions and learn the necessary steps to ensure compliance and fair treatment for all employees. The focus will be on federal leave laws; however, participants will be encouraged to team with colleagues from the same state in order to examine local and state leave laws.

    Diane Byrne, Assistant Director of Finance and Operations, Fay School
    Sarah Fay, Attorney, Schwartz Hannum PC
    Dawn Lewis, Head of Human Resources, The Episcopal School of Dallas
    Cindy Nichols, Human Resource Manager, Episcopal Academy

  • The Ripple Effect: Increase Auxiliary Revenue/Community Reach

    Business Operations

    Partnerships are a fantastic way to leverage resources, enhance program offerings, reach out to members of your community and even tackle important social issues. Join us in riding the waves of change as we present current partnerships with local schools, universities, businesses and nonprofits. Identify the goals and outcomes along with challenges faced. Learn how to evaluate potential partnerships, identify organizations to work with and understand different structures for these partnerships, including agreements, pricing and establishing roles.

    Karen McCann McClelland, Director of Auxiliary Programs, Sidwell Friends School
    Bill Rouse, Founding Member, AUXS and independent school trustee
    Nat Saltonstall, Director of Summer Programs, Beaver Country Day School


Wednesday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am

  • Accommodating Students and Applicants with Disabilities

    Business Operations

    Review a basic framework for interacting with students and applicants who may be disabled. Get an overview of The Americans with Disabilities Act, its application to independent schools, reasonable accommodations requirements of the ADA, and best practices for schools to ensure compliance with the ADA.

    Sarah Fay, Attorney, Education Group Practice, Schwartz Hannum PC

  • Achieving 403(b) Plan Compliance While Reducing Costs and Administrative Tasks

    Human Resources

    How does a school achieve full 403(b) compliance and deliver a critical benefit without adding to cost or management time requirements, and without having to abandon the investment funds familiar to faculty and staff? Learn about a solution that can improve the process, reduce school and employee costs, and mitigate risk to the school and the plan fiduciaries, all delivered through one dedicated, multi-disciplined service team for all plan needs, including account management, third-party investment advisory services, ERISA legal support, and education specialists who counsel employees, along with the completion of signature-ready Form 5500s and annual audit packages.

    Tyler Hindermann, Vice President, USI Consulting Group
    Chris Martin, Senior Vice President and Defined Contribution Practice Leader, USI Consulting Group

  • An Inclusive, Authentic and Comprehensive Approach to Library Design


    Following the Lycée Français de New York's adoption of digital, social-emotional and project-based learning, the school's 18-year old libraries seemed outdated. In order to imagine the possibilities, the Lycée engaged stakeholders at all levels: students, faculty, parents, administrators and trustees. This session details the process used to assure that the diverse voices of the Lycée's school community were represented in envisioning library spaces.

    Adena Dershowitz, Director of Curriculum Development & Professional Learning, Lycée Français de New York
    Thierry Pourchet, Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Lycée Français de New York

  • Are they Tenants? Mitigating Risk Associated With Employee Housing

    Risk Management

    Explore the legal underpinnings of on-campus employee housing, focusing on the legal relationship between the school and the employees it houses. Learn about the risks of unwittingly entering into a "landlord-tenant" relationship with employees and review real-life examples of schools forced into housing court when employees refused to vacate employee-provided housing. This session will arm attendees with practical tips for avoiding a "landlord-tenant" conflict, including offer letter language, a comprehensive housing agreement and detailed housing guidelines.

    Matthew Batastini, Partner, Schwartz Hannum PC

  • Auxiliary Programs as an Alternate Revenue Stream

    Business Operations

    Auxiliary programs have the potential to affect revenue, admissions and community relationships. Analyze methods, systems and programs that have resulted in alternate revenue for the annual budget. Find out how focusing on these outreach services can be a win-win for your school.

    Melissa Curtis, Director of Auxiliary Programs, The Hockaday School

  • Best Practices for Reducing Liability Risk in Independent Schools

    Risk Management

    Educational institutions collect various types of sensitive information from their students and employees. Collecting and storing students' personal identifiable information (PII) and health records means that schools need to take precautions in how they manage data and to whom they give access. One email that contains student PII can spell disaster for a school in the shape of a lawsuit. This session covers best practices for reducing liability risk at your school and looks at how K-12 schools keep private information safe with the help of a Student Health Record (SHR) solution.

    Dino Skerlos, Director of Sales, Magnus Health

  • Cash from Payables: Where to Start, What to Expect

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    The payables system is taking a modern operational step forward that introduces a new revenue stream for schools. Explore the basics of how a revenue-producing payable program works and get a framework for estimating the time needed, resources required and revenue expectations.

    Henry Jordan, Executive Director, Sprinkle Caldwell

  • Digital Accessibility 101 for Independent Schools

    Business Operations

    Website accessibility — we all know it's important, but what does it really mean? Finalsite teams up with AudioEye's certified accessibility specialist to share why schools need to shift their main priority to making their website compliant and accessible to all.

    Robert DiMartino, Director of Business, Finalsite

  • Drafting and Enforcing Enrollment Agreements: Tips and Traps

    Business Operations

    When did your school most recently review its enrollment agreement? Does the enrollment agreement address parental comportment and other hot topics? Explore the key elements for creating a legally enforceable enrollment agreement, address common traps to avoid when drafting and enforcing enrollment agreements, and identify internal policies for enforcement of enrollment agreements.

    Brian Garrett, Attorney, Labor and Employment and Education Practice Group, Schwartz Hannum PC

  • Education Technology Trends at Private Schools

    Business Operations

    K-12 schools in the United States face a rapidly changing technology environment for managing tuition, online giving, auxiliary programs and other school services. To better understand these trends, we have gathered information from schools across the United States to find out how schools are using new technology, how it is affecting schools, and what they are looking to improve.

    Pat McGlynn, Senior Vice President of Sales and Strategy, Community Brands

  • Engaging in Student Life as Business Officers or Support Staff

    Executive Leadership

    Business officers do not traditionally have ongoing, deliberate opportunities to participate in student life. However, moving outside of the office and into the student realm can provide new insights to student life that prove helpful when assessing business decisions. Business officers and other support staff have much to contribute to the student experience if encouraged to do so. Learn about one school's experiences in engaging support staff in student life — and the benefits to both staff and students.

    Jillian Lamothe, Assistant Head, Finance and Operations, St. John's-Ravenscourt School

  • Financial Aid Trends and Topics

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    With the cost of independent school tuition rising faster than the average family income, many schools are challenged with meeting financial need for more families. Some schools have explored indexed tuition, or flexible tuition. Some schools have gone to their boards asking for additional financial aid dollars, and a few schools have frozen tuition at different entry points. Has financial aid become an affordability tool rather than an accessibility tool? Join me (or us) for an open discussion of some of the challenges you're facing and ask questions from your peers.

    Kristen Power, National Director of Business Development, The Enrollment Management Association

  • Financial Literacy Education for Students

    Executive Leadership

    Teaching a financial literacy course to students is an opportunity for the CFO to engage in the classroom by taking part in a co-curricular program designed to teach students one of life's most essential skills. The financial literacy course provides students with a basic understanding of personal finance through an introduction to budgeting, accounting, spreadsheets, financial statements, insurance, investing and credit. Guest speakers and case studies expose students to the practical application of financial literacy concepts, and students complete a final group project summarizing their learning during the course. The course allows for cost-effective, innovative instructional programming to supplement academic offerings.

    Deana Paradis, Chief Financial Officer, Louisville Collegiate School

  • Finding the Right CTO: 10 Tips Every CFO Should Know

    Business Operations

    Finding the right chief technology officer (CTO) is one of the hardest hires an admin team will face. The job requires technical acumen and fluency that few people have and a change management leadership style that can effectively partner with senior administrators on complex and often expensive technology-based projects. The CFO is in a unique position to shape and influence the hiring process. Walk away from this session with 10 critical tips for better CTO hiring, including crafting job descriptions, screening candidates, designing performance tasks, vetting finalists and negotiating salaries.

    Gabriel Lucas, Co-Founder and Board Member, Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools

  • Form 990: What Does Your Filing Say About Your School?

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    If you've prepared or evaluated the Form 990, you know it's a complex filing used for reporting important information. We will focus on targeted areas of the Form 990 and schedules to inform the audience on issues and opportunities. Topics include functional expenses, grantmaking and how activities are reflected on Schedules F and I, related organization topics and their reporting on Schedule R, and corresponding components of the core form.

    Patty Mayer, Director, Moss Adams LLP
    Colleen Ramires, Tax Senior Manager, Moss Adams LLP

  • Give It a Shot: Tackling Immunization Policy and Exemption Requests

    Business Operations

    With each state having its own laws, each school having its own policies (or lack thereof), and each parent having his or her own philosophy, compliance with immunization laws can be a beastly task. Further, liability related to immunization exemption requests can land a school in court. Review the basic components of most immunization laws, hear recommendations for a solid immunization policy, and gain tips and strategies for minimizing liability in the face of requests.

    Megan Mann, Counsel, Venable LLP

  • How a Partnership with Law Enforcement Keeps Your School Safe

    Risk Management

    It takes a village to keep students safe in school. Internet threats, social media bullying and active shooters are just some of the dangers our schools face. This session vividly deconstructs an actual school shooting threat made on social media, from the real-time perspectives of the head of school and responding police officers, with discussion points at each step of the incident. The session addresses a campus safety plan, police interviews of students, impact on students, parent concerns, student discipline and key policies, with legal and business insight from school attorneys and a business officer.

    Patricia Merz, Head of School, Sage Hill School
    Brian Walter, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

  • Investing for Impact, Investing for Return

    Executive Leadership

    CFOs have a social responsibility with school investments and must broker this conversation with the head of school, investment manager and key board members. Schools that are socially conscious at the moment they make investment decisions add to the value proposition they convey to parents and stakeholders. Impact investing aligns school values with investments, without sacrificing returns. It makes thematic tilts toward planet, society and faith-based goals. It's an important secular trend, not a short-term fad, with solid and growing data allowing investors to better assess risk and return implications.

    Dario Bellot, Chief Financial Officer, The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
    Casey Clark, Director of Sustainable and Impact Investing, Glenmede

  • Is Your School Hitting It Out of the Financial Ballpark?

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Financial data is everywhere. With so much data available, how are you prioritizing what matters most to the long-term financial stability of your school? Based on an analysis of 170 schools, learn what metrics showcase operating efficiencies, strategic initiatives and long-term stability. Learn about the minimum level of performance for each identified metric and how schools have become best-in-class in each category.

    Matt Gard, Senior Manager, Armanino LLP
    Josh Nevarez, Partner-in-Charge, Client Education, Armanino LLP

  • Leading Your Employees to Financial Confidence

    Human Resources

    Workplace wellness programs typically focus on alleviating stress in the mind and body, but did you know financial concerns are actually the number one cause of workplace stress? Hear from schools who have used SunTrust's financial educational curriculum, "The 8 Pillars of Financial Greatness," to mitigate that stressor for school employees. The program was designed to provide employees with the inspiration, education and tools to manage their money based on what's most important to them. The highly engaging curriculum uses gamification, videos, activities, infographics, articles and calculators.

    Robert Riggar, Not-for-Profit & Government Banking Group, SunTrust Bank
    Teresa Standard, Director of Finance, University School of Nashville

  • Lessons Learned: Five Must-Follow Practices to Prepare for the (un)Expected

    Risk Management

    Explore best practices schools can use to protect themselves against legal claims – claims they may not expect but must be prepared to effectively defend. Discuss five key practices that are important core anchors to maintain operational excellence and manage risk and learn how those practices can be successfully integrated into the school's operating structure. Examine specific practices including effective documentation, investigating student and employee issues, reviewing policies and contracts, reviewing common wage and hour hot spots and must-follow hiring practices.

    Judith Islas, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

  • Live Fat or Die Thin: Preventing and Addressing Disordered Eating

    Risk Management

    Eighty-one percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. This pervasive and damaging fat stigma can promote the development of eating disorders, the deadliest mental illness. This session offers the information you need to construct a healthy environment for your students and keep an eye out for those especially at risk. Learn about helpful resources you can consult as you create a reporting policy for your school, so you can get your students the help they need before they decide that dying thin is better than living fat.

    Melissa Freestone, Registered Dietitian, SAGE Dining Services

  • Making and Keeping Your School a Safe Space

    Risk Management

    The unfortunate reality in today's world is that independent schools face an increasing risk that someone will attempt to threaten the school. Discuss Pine Crest School's safety/security program and get a better understanding for the various considerations in building a prepared security program; preparing for and responding to internal and external threats; managing internal and external communications; developing policies and training for all school constituents; assessing whether to arm security personnel; communicating with third parties about students or employees who are removed for making threats, and the legal liability and risk assessments surrounding each of these issues.

    Suzanne Bogdan, Regional Managing Partner, Chair Education Practice Group, Fisher Phillips
    Joe Markham, Executive Director of Security and Support Services, Pine Crest School

  • Mandatory Arbitration Provisions in Enrollment and Employment Agreements

    Risk Management

    Many independent schools struggle with the question of whether to include mandatory arbitration provisions in enrollment and employment agreements. This session offers an introduction to the pros and cons of providing for arbitration, with a particular focus on:

    • Legal challenges to enforcement of arbitration provisions, including (a) employee-specific challenges, and (b) consumer rights challenges in the enrollment agreement context
    • Potential benefits of arbitration, including prospects for enhanced confidentiality and avoidance of class action claims
    • Potential downsides of arbitration, including financial costs, lack of meaningful appellate review, and risk that arbitration will not prove speedier than court

    Drew Davis, Managing Partner, Folger Levin

  • Mastering Difficult Employee Conversations

    Human Resources

    Ever have difficult conversations with employees? Or maybe you avoid discussing a specific situation with an employee because you knew he or she didn't mean it? How about not addressing something with an employee because you aren't going to renew his or her contract at the end of the year? It's never easy, but with a few tips and best practices you can get through any difficult conversation smoothly. Review three to four peer school scenarios and a identify a list of best practices to take back to school.

    Hope DeRocha, Director of HR Consulting Services, Austin & Co., Inc.
    Stacey Lybrand, Senior Human Resource Consultant, Austin & Co., Inc.

  • Outsourcing Technology at Schools: Does It Work?

    Business Operations

    Are you ready to outsource your network or technology infrastructure? Can IT be streamlined? Do you need a more sustainable technology team? Gain an overview of all software systems and hardware required to run an independent school, get rough and scalable estimates for the cost associated for each component, and learn the benefits and pitfalls of outsourcing.

    Steve Netniss, Director of Technology and Educational Technology Department Chair, K-12, Bentley School

  • Preparing for a Stress-Free Audit

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Preparing for your annual audit does not have to be stressful and time consuming. Review a timeline of tasks and items to prepare in advance so that your audit can go smoothly and successfully. Tips include files to prepare in advance, spreadsheet samples for asset classifications and restriction releases as well as ongoing reconciliations and files to provide to your auditors.

    Diane Byrne, Assistant Director of Finance and Operations, Fay School

  • Protecting Children from Educator Sexual Misconduct

    Risk Management

    An analysis of UE independent school claims arising out of educator-on-student sexual misconduct reveals trends that all administrators should proactively address. Learn to maximize communication, enforce appropriate boundaries and encourage reporting in an effort to prevent educator sexual misconduct.

    Melanie Bennett, Risk Management Counsel, United Educators Insurance

  • Reducing Yearly Operating Costs Through Good Design


    Initial construction costs are only a small fraction of the total expenditures over the life cycle of a new school building. Design decisions about MEP systems, building envelope and site development can make a direct impact on your yearly operating budget. This session focuses on strategies for balancing construction and operating costs, identifying ways that thoughtful design can impact continuing costs over the life of the facility.

    Jacquelyn Block, Associate Principal, GFF Architects
    Jonathan Rollins, Principal, GFF Architects

  • Riding the Waves of Technology for HR and the Business Office

    Business Operations

    How do you keep your head above water and stay ahead of the wave of change? Hear how the business operations and human resources teams at Georgetown Day School made the decision to implement new technologies to manage employees, finances and student safety. Gain insights on important considerations when contemplating going green and/or introducing technology within your own school community.

    Ayoka Jack, Human Resources Manager, Georgetown Day School
    Crystal Lemon, Controller, Georgetown Day School

  • Riding Together: Risk and Liability in the Ride-Share Era

    Risk Management

    New and complex issues surround the use of ride-share companies by both students and schools. As ride-sharing technology spreads, schools question their role in determining whether students can take ride share cars to and from school, and whether schools might benefit from using ride shares instead of traditional transportation methods such as buses, vans or parent carpools. This session provides legal and insurance perspectives of the risks (and potential rewards) of using ride shares as well as offers input from a prominent ride-share company geared toward minors.

    Heather DeBlanc, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
    Darrow Milgrim, National Director, Independent Schools, K12 Education Practice, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services

  • Seven Layers of School Security

    Risk Management

    This presentation provides an overview of Brook Hill's security plan and how it can be used to help other schools in the crafting and building of their campus safety plan. The session covers the Five Layers of School Security:

    1. Staff Training (Proactive Situational Awareness & Reactive Active Shooter)
    2. Camera Systems and Video Surveillance
    3. Police SRO integration
    4. Controlled Access with student swipe key class entrance
    5. Visitor and maintenance / construction instant background check
    6. Cell phone emergency notification system
    7. Armed Responder Options and Training

    You'll walk away from this session with a strategy for developing a security plan.

    Robert Brasher, Dean of Students and Director, Campus Safety, The Brook Hill School

  • Smooth Sailing: How to Negotiate Vendor Contracts

    Business Operations

    Business managers are often responsible for negotiating and signing off on contracts with vendors. In many cases these contracts are for large projects and the terms can have significant implications. At the same time, many vendors present schools with standard contracts and insist on those terms. Learn how to negotiate these terms and find out which terms are worth negotiating. If there is limited ability to change the terms, where is the school best using its leverage, and how can it maximize the likelihood of obtaining the desired concessions?

    Susan Guerette, Partner, Fisher Phillips
    Cindy Nichols, Human Resource Manager, Episcopal Academy

  • Staying Out of the Department of Labor Crosshairs

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Employee benefit plans are fraught with danger due to the enormous fiduciary responsibilities for all with oversight. Those with oversight vary from payroll personnel all the way to the board of trustees. This session covers some of the often-overlooked responsibilities of plan administrators in carrying out their fiduciary duties.

    David Schriver, Director, Ellin & Tucker

  • Tax-Exempt Financings: A Borrower's Legal Perspective

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Schools that are undertaking capital projects often pay for a portion of the projects' costs using borrowed funds. Schools that are 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations may be able to take advantage of lower interest rates in an exempt financing, as compared to rates charged for commercial loans, which can substantially reduce the cost of the borrowing. Get an overview of exempt financings from the school's perspective, from the initial planning and steps to be taken in the capital campaigns to negotiating commitment letters with banks, basic legal documents, and closing the financing.

    Jonathan Saben, Partner and Chair, Corporate and Real Estate Department, Folger Levin LLP

  • Ten Key Performance Indicators to Measure School Success

    Executive Leadership

    Key performance indicators (KPIs), are uncommon to school leadership, but they provide a core of the information needed to explain a school's progress toward its tactical and strategic goals. When chosen well and integrated into the leadership culture, KPIs are one of the most important guideposts for the school. Explore 10 high-value KPIs for schools and address which KPIs provide a leading indicator of performance and results, what data sources should be integrated to provide accurate measurements, as well as how to use KPIs to drive decision making throughout the organization to maximize success.

    Scott Barron, Executive Director, School Growth Foundation
    Tammy Barron, President and Senior Partner, School Growth LLC

  • Ten Reasons Your Finance Function is Dysfunctional, and the Solutions

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Discuss the top causes that lead to dysfunction in a finance department and related solutions to bring cohesion and efficiency back to the department.

    Kelsey Vatsaasm, Manager, CLA Minneapolis, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

  • The ABCs and 123s of Facility Rental Programs


    A well run facility rental program offers a range of measurable benefits for any independent school including, but not limited to, revenue generation, marketing and enhanced community presence. Come hear the story of how the Bolles School leveraged its grounds and facilities on four different campuses to accomplish these goals and many more.

    Drew Upchurch, Director of Auxiliary Programs, The Bolles School

  • The APPA/ ANSI Total Cost of Ownership Project


    APPA, Leadership in Educational Facilities has completed the first phase of an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Total Cost of Ownership document that describes the principles associated with this practice. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is defined as a "transparent, holistic and efficient approach to asset management and resource allocation." The purpose of TCO is to optimize financial investments by evaluating the comprehensive life-cycle impact of a specific asset decision on the entire facility and infrastructure of an organization from inception onward.

    Tom Harkenrider, Chief of Operations, Soka University of America

  • The Challenge of Managing Teacher Texting

    Risk Management

    Teachers are responsible for maintaining professional roles with students and setting appropriate boundaries. Peer-like behavior by adults breaks down necessary limits and promotes personal connections, such as friendship and special bonds, that can contribute to unhealthy relationships. Texting is a peer-to-peer activity. It developed as a convenient way for friends and family to stay in touch. It involves informal language, nicknames, symbols and abbreviations. Prohibitions against texting with students have proven to be unpopular and unenforceable. Discuss how the inherent risk of teacher texting can be mitigated through a combination of technology, behavioral training and policies.

    David Wolowitz, Director and Co-Chair, Education Law Group, McLane Middleton Law Firm

  • The Dangers that Lurk Before and After the Bell Rings

    Risk Management

    Independent schools spend a great deal of time and money on risk management and attempting to minimize their risk of legal liability while school is in session. However, many times the biggest dangers and areas of potential liability occur before and after the school bell rings. Most independent schools cater to their community needs by offering before- and after-school care programs and various summer camp options. Many also allow community vendors on campus after hours and rent out their facilities. Unfortunately, if not managed well, the cost of these added functions is additional exposure and potential legal liability.

    Kristin Smith, Attorney, Fisher Phillips

  • The K-12 CEO: Transformation of a Head and Headship

    Executive Leadership

    School leadership is undergoing a transformation. Many heads of school, traditionally appointed through the programmatic ranks, are underprepared and under resourced for the job. Less the head teacher and more the school's chief executive officer, heads must focus on fiscal sustainability, advancement, risk mitigation, innovation and resource acquisition and allocation. Successful leaders understand the flow and integration of people, space, dollars and information and direct those to initiatives that maximize the mission. This session takes participants on the journey of one head of school's transformation from headmaster/teacher to school CEO without losing a connection to the school's mission.

    Nishant Mehta, Head of School, The Children's School

  • The New Meaning of Financial Wellness for Your Faculty

    Human Resources

    Student loan debt is a problem affecting more than 40 million professionals in the United States. Why does this matter to schools? Because educators are disproportionately burdened by student loans. The average graduate of a master's in education degree finishes with more than $50,000 in debt — $8,000 more than the debt of a typical MBA graduate. Explore how schools are uniquely impacted by this issue and look at opportunities to engage and empower your faculty through new benefits that promote financial wellness.

    Freda Gimpel, Chief Financial Officer, Town School
    Todd Rassiger, Acting President, Gradifi

  • The New Pay Equity Laws: What Schools Need to Know

    Human Resources

    Gender pay disparities have become a hot issue. Many states (and even a few cities) have passed laws addressing pay equity. Examine how federal and state laws are addressing gender pay disparity, including equal work versus comparable work, the permissible factors for pay differences, and pay transparency requirements. This session addresses state laws that prohibit requests for salary history in the hiring process and state laws that encourage employers to conduct pay equity audits. Find out how independent schools can navigate this complicated and emerging area of law.

    Suzanne King, Attorney, Pierce Atwood LLP

  • Trust and Civility in a Challenging World

    Executive Leadership

    Our workplace is filled with amazingly talented coworkers all striving to provide the best education for our students, so why is it sometimes so difficult to work together? Review a range of diverse perspectives within our schools, from generational to geographic, to gain a better understanding of school staff. Then, explore what science has to say about creating a culture of civility and trust that will improve your daily interactions and bottom line costs. Trust is the key to improving employee engagement and organizational culture.

    Courtney Peterson, Director of Human Resources, Sidwell Friends School
    Kristen Riley, Human Resource Director, Open Window School

  • Using Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSAs) as a Retirement Savings Vehicle

    Human Resources

    HSAs and their triple tax benefit are being underutilized when planning for retirement. Coupled with your school’s 403(b)/401(k) plan, HSAs can offer increased savings while reducing tax liabilities in retirement.

    Charles Merrick, IV, AIF, CRPS, Retirement Consultant, RCM&D

  • Using Your Voice to Close the Gender Pay Gap

    Human Resources

    It is a well-known fact that women, on average, earn less than men. One of the ways we can help to close the pay gap is by learning to negotiate for ourselves in the workplace. Women are more likely to accept the first salary offer and rarely negotiate their pay and benefits. Learn how to negotiate a salary offer, and how to ask for promotions and raises.

    Melissa Woodin, Controller, The Hotchkiss School

  • We're Sponsoring What? Steps to Take Before Approving Special Events

    Risk Management

    By their nature, special events — such as carnivals, parades, races and concerts — present unusual risks to the sponsor, including service interruption and litigation and reputation risk. This session examines:

    • Risk identification and assessment: What is the risk, and do we really want to sponsor it?
    • Capacity assessment: Do we have the infrastructure to handle the event?
    • Insurance coverage
    • Risk control: How can we improve safety?
    • Event management: Are we prepared to respond to an emergency?

    Robert Bambino, Executive Vice President, Wright Specialty Insurance
    Andrew Graham, Managing Director, Wright Specialty Insurance

  • Who Gives What? Philanthropic Practices of High-Net Worth Households

    Business Operations

    What are the most recent trends and practices in giving among high-net worth households, and how can your school benefit from them? Why do donors give, and what is the link between volunteering and financial donation? How do the giving practices of women and the millennial generation compare with those of the population as a whole? Join William Jarvis, Managing Director of U.S. Trust, in an interactive review and discussion of the just-published 2018 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy.

    William Jarvis, Managing Director, U.S. Trust