Concurrent Sessions G

Wednesday, 8:45 am - 10:00 am

  • Disaster Management: Lessons Learned

    There are no small fires. Hear the story of how one school's in-place disaster-management plan and fire-prevention system was able to contain the damage from a fire that destroyed a classroom wing. Find out how adequate coverage and prior engagement with a restoration expert enabled classes to resume within two days and reconstruction of the $1.3 million project to be completed in six weeks.

    Steve Harris, CFO, The de Paul School
    Tony Kemper, Head of School, The de Paul School
    Greg Vest, Project Manager, Paul Davis National

  • Human Resources: Getting a Seat at the Table

    Examine the strategic, compliance, risk management and legal benefits of elevating human resources into a leadership position. Discuss your ideas and questions with the panel: a head of school, chief financial officer and human resources administrator.

    Robert Buchholz, CFO, The Episcopal School of Dallas
    Meredyth Cole, Head of School, The Episcopal School of Dallas
    Dawn Lewis, Head of Human Resources, The Episcopal School of Dallas

  • Internal Controls and Fraud Risks

    Go back to the basics of understanding fraud risks. Review the fundamental concepts that build good internal controls and discover how to apply them to small-office environments.

    Sarah Reichling, Manager, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP
    Jennifer Tingley, Principal, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

  • Leveraging Technology Leadership Through Partner Relationships

    School administrators often struggle with the question of which IT functions should be kept in-house and which should be outsourced. With the right technology leadership, a balance can be achieved between outsourcing certain areas and developing partnerships that blend internal and external resources. Learn how one school balanced the outsourcing of its commodity IT while creating a partnership that leveraged external expertise and maintained a focus on educational technology and relationships.

    Marc Buonocore, President and Co-Founder, Eclipse Integrated Systems
    Alex Podchaski, Director of Technology, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child

  • The Evolving Campus Athletic Center

    As the use of functional training programs and the importance of wellness have proliferated, an obvious need for institutions to re-examine their athletic facilities has emerged. Functional training is a complete system of athletic development that focuses on training the body the way it will be used in competition; wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Discuss how the space and equipment needs for these processes are fundamentally different than that of the traditional "weight room" and "cardio room" environments.

    Nate Costa, CEO, FX Studios, Under Armour Performance Center
    Keith Crowley
    Mary Joy Hurlburt, President / CEO, St. Mary’s Ryken High School
    Casey Smith, Senior Associate, Hord Coplan Macht


Wednesday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am

  • 15 Ways The Board Can Increase Donations Without Asking

    Board leaders often are expected to seek financial gifts for their school, yet many dread this aspect of their job. Find out how to achieve higher engagement and results by giving trustees options that tap into their larger asset base. Get the tools needed to train your board on practical ways to produce greater net revenue for the school by drawing on their network of influence. Discover how you can foster a deeper connection with your head of school and development/advancement office by sharing these strategies with your leadership team.

    Tammy Barron, Senior Partner, School Growth
    Scott Barron, Executive Director, School Growth Foundation

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

    How does a school achieve full 403(b) plan compliance and deliver a 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 plan fiduciaries. Find out how to deliver this solution through one dedicated, multi-disciplined service team for all plan needs. Explore account management, third-party-investment advisory services and ERISA legal support. Discuss education specialists who counsel employees and completion of signature-ready 5500s and annual audit packages.

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

  • Are Your Admissions Processes Compliant With ADA and Similar Laws?

    Many independent schools are not in compliance with ADA Title III and similar laws that impact their institution, especially in the admissions processes. Schools ask questions about disabilities, impairments, special needs and accommodations. Students often are required to take tests to determine their IQ or learning challenges. Although the industry largely is out of compliance, don't let your school be the test case for a parental challenge over what may be viewed as exclusionary practices for elite schools. Learn where the lines are drawn, become aware of potential liability and find out how to ensure compliance with these complicated laws.

    Suzanne Bogdan, Chair Education Practice Group, Fisher Phillips
    Faye Ferguson, Director of Finance and Operations, National Cathedral School

  • Automating Your Operations: Work Smarter, Not Harder

    Do you want to improve your organization's performance, achieve a faster month-end close, provide better financial reporting, and reduce IT and operating costs? Get an overview of the benefits of cloud accounting and see a demonstration of a cloud-accounting system.

    Jocie Dye, Senior Consultant, CliftonLarsonAllen
    Keven Truhler, Manager, CliftonLarsonAllen

  • Benefits Boot Camp: What You Need to Know About Employee Benefits

    Employee benefits can make the difference in a school's ability to recruit and retain valued employees. Unfortunately, employee benefits grow more complicated every year. Examine the need-to-know aspects of nonretirement benefits. Discuss the principal benefits generally offered: medical, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability and life insurance. Review ancillary benefits: flexible spending accounts, employee assistance programs, transit benefits and tuition-remission programs. Understand the most common design issues, compliance problems, premium drivers and other benefit costs.

    Megan Mann, Counsel, Venable LLP
    Juliana Reno, Partner, Venable LLP

  • Best Practices to Coordinate Your Annual Audit

    Do you dread your annual audit? Would you like to learn some techniques to make it run more smoothly? Learn what to ask the auditors ahead of time. Discuss how to organize PBC (provided by client) request lists and prevent documents from getting lost during the audit. Understand audit terminology such as "lead schedules" and "roll forwards" and how to prepare them.

    Melissa Woodin, Controller, The Hotchkiss School

  • Can You Predict Employee Success?

    Get details on a behavioral-assessment tool that can change the way you evaluate candidates and manage employees. In conjunction with the interview process, find out how to create a job profile and determine which candidate best fits the position. Discover how your managers can use this tool to work with staff. Learn how to get the most out of each employee while creating a happier environment. Listen to a real-life scenario that illustrates how this system helped advance one school.

    David Lunken, Principal, Cedarcroft Advisors

  • Challenging and Changing the Status Quo

    Discover opportunities to reduce costs and grow your bottom line using an entrepreneurial mindset. Identify overhead cost drivers and business strategies to increase your savings and value. Dive into three initiatives one school implemented and learn how they created the business case to achieve long- and short-term value and savings, while increasing employee satisfaction and improving aesthetics and environmental footprint.

    Lynda Sailor, Co-Founder/Business and Operations Lead, Aspen Academy

  • Changes to FASB Reporting for Independent Schools

    Now is a good time for independent K-12 business officers and finance teams to take a look at how they're presenting their financials. Examine the proposed changes to the FASB reporting model for how schools report on net assets, cash flow and more. Discuss how private-education finance teams may need to adjust the presentation of their financials to the board and other key stakeholders.

    Jeff Owens, Partner, Armanino LLP

  • Compensating Independent School Executives

    Head-of-school compensation often is complicated by issues such as the validity of whether performance-based incentives support the school's mission, the disparity between program and administrator salaries, and the recruitment and retention of effective heads of school. Review a model that allows schools to qualify and quantify the value a head of school delivers and how to set compensation according to that value. Discuss how the model can be adjusted to benchmark the salaries of all non-instructional roles in your school.

    Robert Hogan, Controller, Atlanta Girls' School

  • Creating and Utilizing an Employee-Engagement Survey

    When resources are limited, how do you decide what your staff really wants and needs? Are you making decisions based on data or the vocal minority? Learn how to create an employee-engagement survey to give your staff a voice, identify areas of strength and opportunity and provide direction for decision making within your school. Find out how one school used its survey to make a positive impact in employee recruiting and retention.

    Kristen Riley, Human Resources Manager, Open Window School

  • Demystifying PCI Compliance

    PCI compliance is a constant concern for organizations of all sizes. Discover what PCI compliance means for your school and how to best approach requirements.

    Patricia Surin, Director of Operations, Diamond Mind

  • Developing a Successful Wellness Program

    Wellness programs promote the overall well-being of employees and create a culture of wellness while facilitating a strong sense of community. A successful wellness program also should be designed to benefit the employer. Several elements of well-being can be included in any program, including physical, emotional, spiritual, social, career and financial. However, determining goals and objectives, as well as practical implementation, can present challenges. Hear HR professionals from large and small schools discuss their wellness programs, challenges, successes and failures. Get guidance on how to create a wellness program for your school.

    Mamie Hodnett, Director of Human resources, Lovett School

  • Easing the Administrative Burden: Best Practices for Implementing Electronic Signatures

    Many school officials are stunned to learn that not only are electronic signatures generally accorded the same veracity and authenticity as paper signatures, but the legal framework supporting the use of electronic signatures has been in place for more than 15 years. For independent schools with families scattered across the country or globe, using an electronic system to distribute forms to parents can significantly ease the school's administrative burden. Get an overview of best practices for implementing electronic signatures. Examine how the use of electronic forms can enhance the enforceability of school contracts and other documents.

    Matthew Batastini, Of Counsel, Schwartz Hannum PC

  • Evolving Legal Trends and Best Practices for Employee and Student Handbooks

    The employee and student/family handbooks are critical documents in establishing expectations. All too often, in the press of daily work, handbooks collect dust and policies are overlooked, despite important legal developments. Review commonly accepted policies and language that must be revisited to avoid liability. Get specifics on policies related to accommodations, social media, confidentiality, leave and boundaries. Examine case studies highlighting policies that courts have struck down as invalid, inappropriate or overboard. Gain practical guidance and analyze whether your school's handbooks are current and robust.

    Megan Mann, Counsel, Venable LLP
    Lauren Stocks-Smith, Associate, Venable LLP

  • Faculty Contracts: To Be (At-Will), Or Not To Be (At-Will)?

    How does your school employ its faculty? An annual letter? A contract? An offer letter? A hybrid? Are you unsure? What do your school's policies say about at-will employment? Are these documents clear and consistent? Often school officials are surprised to learn that faculty members they consider to be at-will actually have a right to employment through their contract. Understand the differences between at-will employment and employment by contract, explore the spectrum of options and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each.

    Matthew Batastini, Of Counsel, Schwartz Hannum PC

  • Fiduciary Guidance for Employee Benefit-Plan Sponsors

    Employee retirement-plan sponsors take on substantial personal risks. As a decision maker you are a fiduciary, personally liable for the prudent management of someone else's money. Continually changing regulations for employee benefit plans have made compliance increasingly complex, with significant risks for penalties and other associated liabilities. Get a better understanding of regulations and common risk areas to better manage your fiduciary responsibilities.

    Thomas Muldoon, Partner, AAFCPAs

  • Five Generations Working Together

    For the first time in the history of generational research, five generations will be working together in the work force. This has distinct implications on 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 inter-generational teams not only get along but also appreciate each other's differences. Discover ways to match strengths with weaknesses and achieve new levels of success.

    J Sherrill, Consultant-Private Education and Tuition Insurance, Marsh & McLennan Agency

  • Governance and the Investment Advisory Decision

    Get an overview of the importance of governance and how it ties into the investment advisory model for school endowments. Delve into the similarities and differences between various investment models, including outsourced CIO, consulting and investment-only. Explore the role of the investment committee, committee charter and investment-policy statement. Learn best practices for the construction and on-going maintenance of each. Discuss the key qualities to look for in an investment adviser and review best practices in serving as a fiduciary.

    Donald Bird
    Bikram Chadha, Senior Managing Consultant, PFM Asset Management LLC

  • How California Wage and Hour Law Sets National Trends

    California wage and hour law has developed in ways that may foreshadow national trends. By being aware of these developments, school leaders can be more proactive in identifying and responding to significant wage and hour issues. They can consider overarching issues, such as who is appropriately classified as exempt, and ponder more detailed points like appropriate pay schedules. Identify the risks schools face and get creative solutions that are within the boundaries of the law and your school's culture.

    Brian P. Walter, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

  • How To Conduct a Quick Debt-Affordability Analysis

    Using information from one school's financial statements, discuss a basic methodology and toolset for assessing your institution's overall debt capacity. Learn how to quickly calculate cash flow available for debt service and the key financial ratios that lenders will look at when considering providing financing to a school. Examine sensitivity analysis of a school's debt capacity, taking into account changes in interest rates and targeted minimum levels of debt service coverage.

    Christopher Wienk, Senior Vice President, Wye River Group

  • Innovative Auxiliary Programming Designed to Augment Nontuition Revenue

    Auxiliary programs offer a unique opportunity to promote brand awareness while generating valuable nontuition revenue for independent schools. Hear the story of how two independent schools in vastly different geographic regions used creativity and innovation to design nonacademic day programming. Leveraging faculty, facilities and resources, officials at both schools created robust programs that provide students, and the surrounding community, distinctive opportunities for learning. Hear about their successes and challenges as they developed new programs that capitalized on the existing needs in their respective markets.

    Mark Nestor, Director of Auxiliary Programs, Hawken School
    Drew Upchurch, Director of Enrichment and Extracurricular Programming, The Bolles School

  • Intersecting Worlds: Engaging Your Students Where They Are

    In their many roles, business managers often have little time to engage with students beyond traditional interactions. When given opportunities to work with students on their turf, a business manager's ability to better appreciate the school's mission is achieved. A natural place for this to occur is where the students' and the business managers' worlds intersect, such as facilities projects. Hear about numerous campus-improvement projects that engaged students in true project-based learning. Discover how one business manager achieved greater understanding and appreciation for students through this intersection.

    Deborah Anderson, Business Manager, Foxcroft School
    Peter Winebrenner, Principal, Hord Coplan Macht

  • Is the Transportation of Students Driving You Crazy?

    Field trips, team travel, conferences, coaches and volunteers all represent significant driving exposures to schools. Learn some easy ways to control these risks and reduce the potential for negligent entrustment. If you have employees with commercial driver licenses, are you compliant with department of transportation requirements? Delve into these concerns and find out how to lower your school's risks.

    Rustin Godfrey, Area Vice President, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
    Darrow Milgrim, Senior Vice President, National Director, Independent School Practice & Camp Programs, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
    Robert Rule, Director of Risk Management and Transportation, Chadwick School

  • Leveraging Technology to Support Your Greatest Asset

    Have you ever wondered whether technology can help manage your employees? Gain insight from the experiences of several administrators who are using people-management technologies at their schools. Discuss solutions such as automating employment agreements, goal-setting, evaluation, benefits enrollment, leave tracking, substitute management and school safety.

    Kelly Rambo, Director, Human Resources, Woodward Academy
    Genie Tanner, Human Resources Director, University School of Nashville

  • Marketing and Retention for Diverse Audiences: Inclusion Frameworks in Schools

    Attracting diverse families to your school requires new ways of thinking about marketing, enrollment, support and retention. Explore ways to foster and support inclusion in your school and look at tools and methodologies that help relationship- and community-building with diverse audiences. Discuss essential framework needs in the marketing and enrollment process, including deep dives on inquiry, financial aid and application/admissions. Get insight on concrete diversity awareness efforts that span pre-enrollment to retention. Understand how to promote inclusion at a school-wide and classroom level and discover how to foster sustainable relationships and greater community collaboration.

    Jaclyn Day, Marketing Manager, FACTS | RenWeb

  • Marketing and Technology Efficiencies to Increase Community Engagement

    School marketing and communication budgets are tight. How can school administrators communicate and market their schools cost effectively and efficiently? Learn how one school increased parent engagement by reviewing marketing strategies and employing technology. Review opportunities to improve community relations and discover the specific ways software and technology have helped make marketing and communications efficient and effective.

    John Linton, Vice President of Sales and Operations, Blackbaud
    Rachel Welsh, Director of Data Operations and Digital Strategy, The Shipley School

  • Mitigating Your School's Digital Risk

    For independent schools and their finance teams, reputation is everything. However, more and more schools are facing cyber security threats due to the absences of clear internal-controls policies, as well as the implementation of open-source software and the use of insecure online payment processors. The risk is high, yet many school administrators don't know where to start when it comes to reducing their risk and ensuring the security of their information and that of their donors. Examine the cyber security landscape facing private education and review practical steps you can take to mitigate digital threats to your donor information, financial records and reputation.

    Dean Quiambao, Partner, Armanino LLP

  • Parental Comportment: Options When Parents Misbehave

    Instances of parental misbehavior are among the most challenging situations for independent schools to navigate. Often the misbehaving parents are prominent community members or distinguished professionals (or worse, lawyers), and responding in a firm, yet lawful, manner can feel like walking through a minefield. Examine several examples of misbehaving parents, review applicable legal considerations and obtain strategies and tips for avoiding legal entanglements.

    Sarah Fay, Attorney, Schwartz Hannum PC

  • PUH-LEASE Tell Me What's Happening to My Operating Leases

    The financial world expended a tremendous amount of energy leveraging operating leases; now most of that will change. In FY19, ASU 2016-02 will cause many of your operating leases to become financing leases (versus capital leases), resulting in changes not only to your financial statements, but also to your financial covenants. Explore the changes that FASB has in store for independent schools in its most recent releases, particularly on how financing leases will affect your liabilities. Discuss the steps to take to ensure a smooth transition vis-à-vis your outstanding debt.

    David Adams, Senior Vice President, George K. Baum & Company
    Matthew Socca, Partner, Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, CPA

  • Retirement-Plan Fee Leveling: Pie in the Sky?

    The retirement industry is ever-changing, and plan sponsors are always searching for the most efficient way to run their participants' plans. Revenue sharing has worked in the past, but many participants essentially were turning a blind eye to the fees involved. With new disclosure regulations, participants are more aware of the charges to their accounts. As additional transparency reveals plan fees, uncover a unique opportunity to shape future methods of fee allocations for participants.

    Marcie Carroll, Principal, Carroll Consultants, Ltd.
    Thomas Giedgowd, Chief Investment Advisor, Carroll Consultants, Ltd.

  • Reverse-Engineering Your Residential Experience

    Balancing the needs of residential life and campus-planning efforts can be a challenge. Boarding programs must account for the economic implications of size, capacity and facility management. Finding the right ratio between boarding and day students, identifying the critical mass of boarding students, and providing the necessary facilities to ensure a high-quality residential experience can lead to costly solutions and over-scaled residences that don't fit within the campus context. Explore the economics of boarding programs for independent schools and examine how a holistic and tempered approach to residential planning can result in campus-appropriate, cost-effective solutions.

    Matthew Crozier, Chief Operating Officer, Middlesex School
    Paul Viccica, Principal, CBT

  • Self-Insured Benefits: A Budget Victory

    Learn whether self-insuring medical and dental benefits are right for your school. Examine such key elements as ACA fees, benefits advisers, third-party administrators, electronic enrollment and re-insurance. Hear from administrators of one school that has been self-insured for three years and find out how they sold this option to their board. Estimate the cost of implementing a self-insured benefits plan at your school.

    Carolyne Lehr, Director, Financial Services, The Barstow School

  • Social Media and Communication: How to Promote Your School with Limited Resources

    Relying on search engines and social media to promote your school can be an expensive endeavor. Hear how administrators developed a plan to promote their school using in-house staff and a variety of low-cost and innovative tools.

    Paul Kane, Chief Administrative Officer, The International Preschools
    Nikki Rosso, Technology Instructor and Social Media Coordinator, The International Preschools
    Eira Toral Sukhra, Database and Auxillary Program Coordinator, The International Preschools

  • Student Discipline: Top Tips for Independent Schools

    Student discipline is an area where the laws favor the schools, if done correctly. The fundamental fairness standard contains certain steps that all schools must follow. Review a checklist of the factors needed for the process to be fair and legal, and to follow best practices. These steps will apply to all levels of student discipline and ensure that your school has a fair process and a strong defense when challenged by parents and students. Get details on the investigative process, as well as student-handbook and enrollment-agreement language. Understand the levels of administrative review required for fundamental fairness.

    Donna Williamson, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

  • The 10 Questions Your Board Should Ask the Auditors

    Financial auditors, with years of school experience, were asked, "If you were on the school board, what questions would you be asking the auditor?" Discuss the top 10 questions the survey revealed and assess the tool created to help business officers mentor board members—especially those with a limited financial background. Discover how this knowledge can help your board gain more confidence in the business office and in their own leadership.

    Tammy Barron, Senior Partner, School Growth

  • The Value of a Facility Audit

    In schools, the accepted best practice is to first conduct a physical audit of the facility and then forecast financial needs, based on the actual condition and expected remaining lives of major components. Discover what's essential in a useful audit report and how software tools can save you time and effort. Learn the value of the audit and why it may be the most important strategic document in guiding how you maintain and maximize the use of your largest single asset.

    William Dillard, EFP, Marketing Leader, Building Solutions

  • Tips on Making Your Financial-Statement Audit a Breeze

    Does the thought of the annual financial-statement audit send shivers down your spine and cause you to break out in cold sweats? Gain insight into the auditor's mind and calm those nerves by getting solid advice on managing the audit process. Understand how to work collaboratively with the auditors to close out the audit effectively and efficiently.

    David Schriver, Director, Education Services Group Chair, Ellin & Tucker

  • Top Five Tips for Vendor Contracts

    A vendor-provided contract may save your school time and money. However, schools that sign vendor contracts without reading the fine print may agree to problematic terms that create liability or increased costs. Walk through the typical provisions in vendor contracts and find the potential pitfalls. Hear options for dealing with vendors who refuse to negotiate the contract. Take away sample language and a checklist of critical provisions. Gain insight on how to protect your school in ways that work within its culture.

    Heather DeBlanc, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

  • Total Compensation Statements

    Salary is just a small part of the total compensation that schools provide employees. Get an overview of what administrators at two schools are doing to let their staff know the value of their many employee benefits. Learn how they developed their total compensation statements and how the statements are produced each year. Discuss the impact to school culture and staff perception of total compensation.

    Kristen Riley, Human Resources Manager, Open Window School

  • Tutoring: Risk Management and Best Practices

    Discover risk management tips and best practices to navigate through the exposures associated with tutoring. Discuss tutoring both on and off school grounds and assess hiring private tutors versus using staff. Examine boundaries and disclaimers. Gain practical advice on whether staff tutors should be considered employees if tutoring outside of school.

    Michael Brooks, Executive Vice President, Austin & Co., Inc.

  • Unique Nontuition Revenue Drivers

    Nontuition revenue is becoming more and more important in the independent school landscape. Discover how administrators at two schools found unique ways to use their facilities, programming and marketing to generate more nontuition revenue while living up to their school's mission and public purpose. Take away ideas and strategies that you can apply at your school.

    Alyssa Finneyfrock, Director of Student Life, Jackson Prep
    Kevin Lewis, Associate Head and CFO, St. Andrew's Episcopal School

  • Using Blackbaud Technology to Help Automate the Business Office

    Hear technology tips and tricks to help automate the business office including a standardized process to load journal entries from Excel into Blackbaud FE.


  • When Employees Can't Work: Managing FMLA Leave and ADA Accommodations

    Federal and state laws provide significant protection for employees who can't come to work or who need job modifications for medical reasons. However, these laws are complicated and can be challenging to apply in the real world. Explore best practices for dealing with thorny leave and accommodation issues, such as the overlap of FMLA and state leaves. Discuss the challenges of intermittent and long-term leave, as well as providing reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and dealing with employees returning from leave with work restrictions.

    Suzanne King, Attorney, Pierce Atwood LLP

  • Zip-Lines, Camping Trips and Ubers, Oh My! Developing Liability Waivers

    Liability is everywhere, and school- and non-school-sponsored events are no exception. In all types of activities—walking trips to the local museum, camping trips, international trips, even the dismissal of students from school—officials should consider whether a liability waiver is appropriate and, if so, the scope and extent of the waiver to be used. Address common issues school leaders face and the considerations they should assess in developing a liability waiver.

    Janice Gregerson, Associate, Venable LLP
    Megan Mann, Counsel, Venable LLP