2020 Leadership Retreat
2020 Leadership Retreat
Westin Chattanooga | 801 Pine St
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Monday, April 20, 2020 -Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The 2020 SAIS Leadership Retreat will focus on the declining tenure of heads of school, the causes of head turnover, and how to solidify the relationship between the head and the board to avoid those challenges. The facilitators will offer insights from recent research, trends, and current issues in governance. This program is designed for those who interact with boards including heads, CFOs, assistant heads, division heads, advancement directors, and those considering headship.

Monday, April 20, 2020

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm    – {registration}


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm      – Insights and Implications from the NAIS-UPenn Research Collaborative on Head Turnover

Over the last 18 months, NAIS has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania to better understand the perceived increase in head of school turnover. In this session, we will share the findings of this multi-tiered study, as well as potential implications for SAIS independent school sustainability, governance, and leadership resources.


2:30 pm - 3:00 pm      – {break}


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm      – Leading Change in Uncertain Times – Considerations for Heads and Boards

Schools and their boards often believe change is necessary, especially during shifts in enrollment or financial stability. However, this does not mean stakeholders are ready to embrace change. In this session, we will explore research-proven leadership strategies associated with building leadership capacity to support school change and improvement.


4:30 pm - 5:00 pm      – {break}


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm      – Trends in Good Governance – Habits of Highly Effective Boards

In this session, we will examine trends in good governance, including the need for clearly articulated assessment plans for both the head and board, the differences between orientation and onboarding new members, and ways boards can restructure for maximum productivity.


6:00 pm - 7:00 pm      – {reception}


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

7:30 am - 8:30 am       – {breakfast}


8:30 am - 10:00 am      Fireproofing Your Tenure

A head’s tenure is always precarious, even in the best of times. In this session, we will identify ways heads can avoid common pitfalls that can lead to dismissal, as well as how to manage your headship when things start to go wrong. We will also discuss ways in which heads and boards can create systems and structures to support healthy relationships and open communication.


10:00 am - 10:30 am    {break}

10:30 am - 12:00 pm   Supporting Leadership Sustainability

In this final session, we will explore ways to support leadership sustainability, including how boards can assess the impact of potential head turnover, how heads can utilize the hiring process to better understand school context and board expectations, and the importance of succession planning.


12:00 pm - 12:30 pm   {adjourn + grab & go snack}