NBOA Breakfast

Wednesday, 8:45 am - 10:00 am

  • At Ease: Untangling the Unique Pressures of Independent Schools

    Lisa Damour, Ph.D.

    Clinical psychologist and independent school expert Lisa Damour explores the rising tide of stress and anxiety in today’s students in her groundbreaking book, “Under Pressure.” In her talk, she will share how insights from her research also apply to adults in similar environments. Damour will define healthy stress and anxiety, and articulate how they differ from unhealthy varieties while offering guidance on managing the taxing interactions that inevitably come with working in a school setting. She will offer insights into the state of the independent school student today and how the work we do as educators, even outside the classroom, can promote positive mental health for the children and young adults we serve.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn the values of healthy stress and anxiety, as well as how to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy stress and anxiety. Participants will learn how they can promote positive mental health for their school’s students.

Deep Dive

Wednesday, 10:30 am - Noon

  • Comprehensive Financial Strategy for Independent Schools

    Just as school leaders think holistically about the students in our care, schools must adopt “whole-institution” thinking in developing financial strategy. Moving beyond budgeting, financial strategy asks, “Where do we need to go, and what must we do to get there?” In this session, we will identify 15 interconnected financial layers, including pricing, hiring, enrollment, board composition and fundraising, and highlight the gulf between the endowment-driven higher education model and the tuition-driven independent school model. Participants will understand how to strategically align these financial layers to grow their school’s full-pay market and secure the institution’s financial future.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn to recognize and scrutinize each interrelated element of their school’s financial structure. Participants will leave with the ability to develop a comprehensive and integrated financial plan to support their school’s enduring mission.

    Patrick Bassett, President (Retired), Heads Up Educational Consulting
    Robert Santry, Chief Financial Officer, Dedham Country Day School


Wednesday, 10:30 am - Noon

  • 18 to 80 Challenge: Leading in a Multi-Generational World

    Human Resources

    Many researchers believe that for the first time in the history of generational research, five generations will be living and working together throughout our communities. This has distinct implications for how teams interact with each other and the need for new leadership models to support these groups. Explore the life experiences that shape each generation and discuss their traits. Hear recommendations on how to help your intergenerational teams not only get along but also appreciate their differences. Discover ways to match strengths with weaknesses and achieve new levels of success. Participants will leave challenged to think differently about this topic.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn about current and future generational trends and enhance their ability to lead intergenerational teams.

    Joseph Sherrill, Risk Management Consultant, Marsh & McLennan Agency

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

    Business Operations

    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 more 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 a dedicated, multi-disciplined service team. Understand how to meet 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.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn how to gain full 403(b) plan compliance while reducing cost and time spent on plan management.

    Tyler Hindermann, Vice President, USI Consulting Group
    Chris Martin, Senior Vice President, USI Consulting

  • After School: Realizing the Value in an Underappreciated Asset

    Business Operations

    After-school programs can be so much more than a snack and homework help. They can offer a meaningful experience for students while supporting marketing, enrollment and financial goals. This idea-packed session will feature a discussion of five strategies independent schools can pursue to enhance the quality of their after-school programming. Examples from Germantown Friends School and other leading independent schools will highlight how a quality program is developed, as well as how it can enhance your admissions, marketing, academic and financial goals while simultaneously creating a stronger and more cohesive school community.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn five innovations that their after-school team can introduce to improve the overall quality of their extended-day program and tap into the potential value in the hours between dismissal and pick up.

    Betsy MacIver Neiva, Ph.D., Director of Auxiliary Programming, Germantown Friends School
    Page Fahrig-Pendse, Ed.D., Associate Head of School, Germantown Friends School

  • Clear the Clutter! Transforming to a Paperless Business Office

    Business Operations

    The session will explore the efficiencies to be gained by transitioning to a paperless business office. Learn more about utilizing a time-keeping payroll module and a digital credit card/expense management system as well as the benefits of a cloud -based storage environment and desktop scanner.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn the strategies and benefits of building efficiencies in their business office by moving to a paperless environment.

    David Barresi, Controller, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart

  • Closing the Gender Pay Gap

    Human Resources

    In this session, we will discuss hiring and pay practices that have unintentionally led to the current gender pay gap. The compounding effect of this pay gap over time is astounding and can account for over a million dollars in a lifetime. We will discuss what states are doing from a legislative standpoint, what your institution can do and what you can do personally to close the pay gap.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn what practices in hiring and pay have caused the pay gap, what federal and state legislators have changed to combat the pay gap and best practices for their institution, as well as what participants can do personally to advocate for themselves.

    Melissa Woodin, Interim Chief Financial Officer, The Hotchkiss School

  • Conducting an Investment Management RFP for an Independent School

    Business Operations

    Your board has decided to outsource the investment management of your endowment. Now what? While there are many choices of consultants and outsourced CIOs offering their services, what are the factors in making such an important decision? The presenters will offer a detailed analysis of their process from initial screening to RFP construction to final selection. Learn about such factors as asset allocation, manager selection and fee analysis, as well as risk profiling, analysis of potential conflict and other criteria that are pivotal to making informed decisions on outsourcing investment management services for your endowment.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn best practices for managing an endowment RFP process including effective board communications, selection criteria, interview techniques and decision factors for selecting an endowment manager for your school.

    Hung Bui, Associate Head of School and Chief Operating Officer, Poly Prep Country Day School
    Connor Carew, Investment Associate, Permanens Capital

  • Enrollment Dynamics Case Study: Leveraging Open Capacity

    Business Operations

    Kingsley Montessori School found itself at a crossroads after setting a strategic goal of growing the elementary program, but then seeing enrollment flatten and total applications decline. Learn how the leadership at Kingsley Montessori has worked creatively to address significant challenges regarding sustainability and affordability, with a specific look at targeted scholarships that attempt to fill the school to capacity and increase socio-economic diversity.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn how to maximize the enrollment capacity of an independent school within a context of existing physical and staffing capacity but limited financial resources and challenging market dynamics.

    James Bonsey, Associate Head of School / Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Kingsley Montessori School

  • Envisioning and Hiring the Leadership Team for the Future

    Human Resources

    As schools prepare to envision a new strategic future, they need a diverse and talented leadership team at the helm. Every senior role is critical, yet hiring for those positions is becoming harder and more competitive as talent pools shrink and demands of the job increase. Unfortunately, many schools struggle during these times of critical transition. In this session, participants will learn how to prepare for, execute and benefit from a more thoughtful, intentional and professional way of hiring senior leadership positions without the need for expensive third-party assistance. The end result: a better hiring process that yields exceptional talent.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn how to attract a more diverse talent pool of senior administrators, evaluate those candidates in multiple active dimensions and present their school in a more professional manner — with the overall goal of increasing the chances that they are able to land the absolute best senior administrator on their leadership team.

    Gabriel Lucas, Principal, Ed Tech Recruiting

  • Envisioning the Future of Auxiliary Programs

    Business Operations

    Auxiliary programs have the opportunity to amplify your school’s brand, attract prospective students and be a significant source of revenue. This session will focus on how auxiliary programs can become that “third” source of revenue adding to a school’s primary two, tuition and development. Learn how schools are envisioning the future of their auxiliary programs beyond the traditional summer programs, after-school programs and facility rentals. Hear about howSt. John’s Prep developed a separate brand, and how it focuses on developing auxiliary programs that will make a significant financial difference for the school.

    Learning Objective: Participants will walk away with an actionable plan to develop and enhance their auxiliary programs with clear strategic goals in mind.

    Ryan Bird, Director of Auxiliary Programming, St. John’s Prep
    Bill Rouse, Founding Member, AUXS

  • Event Management in Education: Using Your Facilities to Increase Enrollment

    Business Operations

    With everything educational institutions manage, events can often fall to the bottom of the list. However, proper event management can be highly beneficial for your institution. With well-run events and streamlined processes comes safer events, increased student involvement and community engagement. There are also huge benefits of increased student recruitment and retention, as well as recouped revenue. Join us as we discuss streamlining the event management process; engaging your community; collecting funds; mitigating risk and hosting safe events; and using data to drive future event-related decisions.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn how event management can benefit their institution, including how it impacts enrollment.

    Brandon Jordan, Sales Manager, Dude Solutions

  • Financial Planning Tools for School Leaders

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Accreditation and strategic planning are important processes that require schools to focus on their long-term future and financial equilibrium. Review sample tools you can implement in your school, including Cost Effectiveness by Division, NBOA’s Long-Range Financial Model, stats comparisons, faculty salary analysis and more. Identify questions school leaders should ask in relation to your school's financial health, its recent history and its future projections.

    Learning Objective: Participants will receive tools to assist in obtaining necessary data to make informed decisions, analyze and project future impact of decisions on their school's finances.

    Palmer Ball, President, Palmer Ball Consulting LLC

  • Fraud Risks Affecting Private Schools

    Risk Management

    This session will provide business officers with a framework for performing business office risk assessments, review examples of fraud and discuss controls that reduce fraud risk. Citing real occurrences of fraud, the speaker will share the controls that schools should have had in place. Discuss wide-ranging fraud examples, including payroll, billing and collections, parent associations, internet scams and other 21st-century crimes.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn about schools’ particular vulnerabilities to fraud. The session will focus on risks, schemes and compensating controls business managers can use to reduce their risks of fraud.

    Joseph Blatt, Partner, BKD

  • Hardwiring the Hiring Process from A to Z

    Human Resources

    Hiring decisions are ripe with both opportunity and liability. This session will review procedures to hardwire the hiring process to ensure that schools are thoroughly vetting their candidates and that hiring managers consider all information when making their ultimate decisions . The presenters will review the job application process, including evolving legal guidance regarding what information can and cannot be requested, and share tips to ensure that reference checks are conducted in a manner designed to gather useful information. Learn how to improve the interview process by developing meaningful questions that do not run afoul of the law. The session also covers strategies to ensure schools thoroughly vet applicants and conduct reference checks in a manner that will gather useful information.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn strategies for developing their own hiring protocols to ensure that every candidate is treated equally and fairly so that the school gathers all available, relevant and permissible information needed to make an informed decision.

    Grace Lee, NBOA Legal Counsel and Partner, Venable LLP
    Ashley Sykes, Associate, Venable LLP

  • Health Insurance Consortiums: a Better Way to Manage Your Plan

    Human Resources

    Employee benefits represent one of the largest cost line items in any independent school budget. Going it alone in a traditionally funded arrangement affords no opportunity to affect the cost of your health insurance plan. This session will offer ideas and strategies that enable schools to take control of their plans and manage the levers that impact cost without disrupting benefits to their employees and families.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn about insurance and healthcare marketplace trends and how they can be implemented and incorporated into their program.

    Kurt Meinberg, Senior Client Executive, Oswald Companies

  • Is Outsourcing IT in Your Future?

    Business Operations

    Independent schools are often faced with managing tighter budgets with fewer people. That can be a real challenge in our IT departments, where technology and compliance requirements are constantly changing, and it feels like we need even more staff to keep pace. Technology is such a broad field that no one person has expertise in every area. That is why two schools decided to outsource our IT services. Learn how they made the decision and transition to outsource IT and what they've learned so far.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn the benefits and considerations involved in outsourcing IT services, including financial impacts. Participants will learn contract terms and conditions, as well as how to merge existing IT staff with outsourced IT staff to form a cohesive department.

    Donna Strouse, Chief Financial Officer, Riverbend School
    Amy Fredericks, Chief Financial Officer, Concord Academy

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

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Financial data is everywhere. Survey fatigue is real. With so much data available to you and your team, how are you prioritizing what matters most to your school’s long-term financial stability? Armanio LLP has analyzed over 170 schools and identified which metrics showcase their operating efficiencies, strategic initiates and long-term stability. We will share the minimum level of performance for each of our identified metrics to help schools understand how to become best in class in each category.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn how to present digestible financial data to their key stakeholders.

    Matt Gard, Partner, Armanino LLC
    Bryan Vencil, Audit Senior, Armanino LLC

  • Mission Delivery: an Operations Perspective

    Executive Leadership

    Every school requires reliable and efficient behind-the-scenes operations. But is that enough? Today's schools demand these teams to be innovative leaders of strategy and prepared to step out of their comfort zones. This session will share the transitional steps that Crescent School's operations team is undertaking to not only ensure relevance but to stay one step ahead of the school’s needs. Through workshops and presentations, participants will review the team and lead standards that have been intentionally developed to create a team connected to Crescent School's mission.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn the need to transform operations teams into thought leaders and contribute to the delivery of their school's mission.

    Carolyn Smith-Green, Chief Financial and Administration Officer, The Crescent School

  • Navigating Board Relationships: Challenges and Opportunities

    Executive Leadership

    Working with board members is a critical part of every business officer’s role, but navigating those relationships is not always easy. Between board turnover, micromanaging styles and demanding personalities, there are plenty of challenges that come along with board collaboration. This goldmine session will focus on opportunities to effectively partner with board members and provide strategies to help navigate difficult board conversations.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn tactics, tips and tools to set them up for success when dealing with difficult board members.

    Brent Wiblin, Senior Managing Director, First Republic

  • Online Fundraising Do's & Don'ts

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    With today's marketplace full of online crowdfunding and donation platforms, how do you choose the best fundraising solution for your school? This Goldmine session will present basic considerations when selecting a fundraising solution, including internal policies, security and best practices.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn what to consider when selecting a fundraising solution.

    Jeff Olek, Regional Sales Manager, MySchoolBucks/Heartland School Solutions

  • Past Lessons Shape the Future of School Safety

    Risk Management

    Independent schools face the ever-changing landscape of natural, manmade and technological hazards. One of the best ways to stay current in risk mitigation is to mine the data-driven, research-based lessons learned in After Action Reports from past school incidents. These best practices can help shape the future of your school’s safety, security and emergency management plans. Join Campus Safety Director of the Year Finalist Kenna Powell for a discussion of past and current events, future trends, resources and tips for the practical application of 2020’s best practices.

    Learning Objective: Participants will review lessons learned from school incidents and apply those best practices to improve their school’s safety, security and emergency management plans.

    Kenna Powell, Director of Safety, Security and Emergency Management, Providence Day School

  • Spring Cleaning for Effective Facilities Stewardship


    Without periodic, deliberate re-evaluation of deferred maintenance, operations benchmarking and existing space, a school’s largest and most expensive asset will serve as its greatest burden. This program will detail how Shore Country Day School in Beverly, Massachusetts, partnered with The Stone House Group to analyze the effectiveness of facilities stewardship on its campus and effectively “clean out” its space and attend to deferred maintenance. Learn how to set a thorough evaluation of your facilities that will help set the stage for a comprehensive strategic plan.

    Learning Objective: Participants will be able to diagnose spatial and maintenance problems at their own institution.

    Larry Eighmy, Managing Principal, The Stone House Group
    Clair Ward, Head of School, Shore Country Day School
    Ann-Marie Flynn, Administration, Business Office, Shore Country Day School

  • The 1% Solution

    Executive Leadership

    How can changing 1% of your budget transform the future of your school? Through cost reductions and/or a modestly higher tuition increase, you can create a completely different faculty and student culture at your school. A 1% change can allow for the following: over three hours a week of professional development for all faculty; the addition of more than 25 new course offerings for students through strategic partnerships; a more contiguous school year; and less stress. Learn how a 1% change can completely turn around your school climate and better position you for the future.

    Learning Objective: By looking at long-range financial modeling from a new perspective, participants will learn the benefits of aligning change management procedures with their strategic plan. Participants will learn ways to overcome perceived financial limitations, how to implement change and move beyond objections to change.

    Peter Brown, CFO & Assistant Head of School, The Avery Coonley School
    Anu Mahajan, CEO, TinkRworks, LLC

  • The Benefits of a Behavioral Code of Conduct

    Human Resources

    The impact of a traditional compliance-based approach to risk management is limited by its focus on preventing and responding to rule breaking. This session will explore how a behavior-based code of conduct supplements and enhances compliance efforts at all stages of the employment process by enabling intervention before rules are broken and significant harm occurs. Participants will learn to create a behavioral code that promotes effective feedback, provides a common vocabulary and contributes to a healthy and safe school culture.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn why a behavioral code of conduct is an important tool to supplement traditional compliance-based risk management, as well as the steps involved to create a behavioral code of conduct.

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

  • The Value of a Facility Audit


    Facilities are the largest single asset on the balance sheet for most independent schools. The first step in managing this major asset is to conduct a physical audit of the campus and to forecast the needs for renewal and replacement of major components. There are different approaches to a facility audit: should it include a condition assessment? Deferred maintenance evaluation? Safety issues? Management practices? Compliance with regulations, such as handicap accessibility? What about education adequacy and function? Learn what is essential in an audit and how it can save the school money and ultimately enhance mission.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn how an empirically based approach to forecasts is more complete and reliable than using conventional rules of thumb and multipliers of replacement values.

    William Dillard, Director of Marketing, Building Solutions

  • Thinking Ahead: the Pros and Cons of Continuous Enrollment

    Business Operations

    Should your school switch from issuing annual re-enrollment contracts to implementing continuous enrollment? Before you consider making a change, join us to explore the pros and cons of continuous enrollment and the individual state requirements. Learn to identify potential downfalls so you can protect your school and avoid headaches.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn the benefits and pitfalls of continuous enrollment and whether continuous enrollment is right for their school.

    Scott Delleville, Sales Director, SchoolAdmin

  • To P3 or Not to P3: How’s That Good for Me?

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    The higher education industry is awash in alternative finance strategies, and independent schools are frequently encouraged to consider public-private partnerships (P3s). However, when schools do not fully understand how to evaluate them or the best time to consider using them, P3s can result in unfulfilled objectives and higher costs. This session will outline the how’s, when’s, where’s and why’s of P3 finance, at a time when independent schools must determine its relevance in funding expansion and/or capitalizing on opportunities.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn why public-private partnerships are a powerful delivery methodology used by nonprofit educational institutions, how to evaluate the risk-reward proposition of the various types of P3 relationships today and how to determine which is best for their situation.

    David Adams, Senior Vice President, George K. Baum & Company

  • Understanding Financial Compliance for K-12 Schools

    Risk Management

    Your school is considered a "merchant" by the major credit cards and an "originator" by the ACH network, even if you fully outsource your payment processing. This session will outline the major payment-industry rules and regulations affecting K-12 schools and provide you with information to navigate this complex regulatory framework. We will cover the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Know Your Customer (KYC) rules, the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), applicable National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) rules, card acceptance rules (PCI-DSS and credit card fee programs), as well as outline the more important consumer rights parents have when doing business with your school.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn to better understand their role in the payment process.

    Angela Nielsen, AAP, Director, FACTS
    Andy Slain, JD, Managing Director, FACTS

  • Using Projections and Forecasts to Make Financial Decisions

    Accounting, Finance and Tax

    Business officers must accurately account for revenue coming in and expenses going out, as well as create a plan to serve the best interests of their schools and students. If you struggle to forecast next year's enrollment, develop an accurate operating budget months in advance or control spending, however, you’re not alone. This session will cover proven financial strategies that help you understand your school's trend data so that you can make educated financial decisions. Discover how to calculate next year's enrollment and use the results to develop your three-tier operating budget forecast.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn how to use a proven historical data formula to create an enrollment projection for their upcoming school year, how to develop a three-tier operating budget forecast and how to create a cut/hold/spend list that supports the three-tier budget.

    Jerry Chambers, Consultant, Independent School Management