Category: School Leadership

Things that Matter

We had just evacuated all the students to the playground, lined them up and done a head count. It wasn’t a fire drill but a bomb threat. We didn’t take it very seriously although bombs were regularly going off all […] 

New Head of School Installed at Robert C. Parker School

It was Robert C. Parker Day at Robert C. Parker School in Rensselaer County, NY – just across the Hudson from downtown Albany. If you don’t know Parker, it’s one of those schools that legendary educator Tom Little lauded in his […] 

The Failure Toy: Coming Soon

Looks like The Failure Toy is coming soon from the good folks at 21Toys. The Empathy Toy worked and the The Failure Toy has lots of promise. This should be fun. And this is what they say about it: The Failure […] 

The Reason Why: Digging into Cause and Effect

When it comes to school improvement – or the fine art of problem finding and solution seeking – it’s always best to try and get everyone involved in the process. It’s a way to develop co-ownership of the culture and […] 

The Golf Links

The Manumit School was an experimental Christian socialist boarding school in Pawling, NY. and later Bristol, Pennsylvania. Manumit means freedom slavery and this was a school with a clear mission. It was racially integrated, religiously tolerant and worked “toward a world order […] 

A Guide to the Agony and Opportunity of School Right-sizing

Those of us who were heads of school in 2008-9 probably remember all too well the pain of school downsizing and some may still bear the scars to show for it. It was a tough time all round. And that’s […] 

Dare to be Different: Teach C17th Skills not C21st Fads

It’s becoming harder and harder for independent schools to stand out from the crowd. Unless a school is truly a place that is clearly defined by a unique mission – and has the program and lived values to bolster the […] 

Where’s Your School On This Spectrum? Where Do You Want It To Be?

If you’re thinking about branding and how to market your school (and who isn’t these days?) then it’s good to have a strong agreed upon sense of who you are, how you show who you are and what people actually […] 

Those School Brochures: How to stand out from the crowd

If you’re in the market for an independent school – or a college for that matter – you will have seen your fill of those wonderful shiny brochures aka viewbooks that now primarily reside on websites. And as you read, […] 

Time to Make it Happen

I did not attend the NAIS Annual Conference this year – first time for many years – so I don’t have any takeaways to report like Grant Lichtman. But I was in Baltimore for an ICG (Independent Curriculum Group) board […] 

Two Cheers for Diversity and the Unfinished Work of America: Stronger Together

The NAIS Annual People Of Color Conference opens this week in Atlanta. It will draw independent educators from across the country. They will gather in groups small and large; renew friendships and make new connections; listen to speakers and attend, participate in, […] 

The future happens very slowly and then all at once

My title line is from Kevin Kelly whose new book The Inevitable is about the deep trends in the next 20 years that will shape our lives. And a little reflection helps us understand that truth. The future happens very slowly and […] 

The Headship: History Matters

Ok – so you wanted to be a head of school and you applied for a job and then you got it. Congratulations. Among all the things that you now have to make a priority is becoming the expert on […] 

Teaching the Election: Clinton v. Trump: What are the Plans at Your School?

As we head into Back-To-School season, what are your school’s plans for teaching the 2016 presidential election? Seems to me that the some tried-and-true routines of the past are not going to work in any valuable and instructive way this […] 

“So you want to be a head of school ….” Communication

I’ve been asked on occasion to add my two cents on a panel at the NYSAIS conference for assistant heads and division directors in a session they call “So, you want to be a head.” My participation has more to […] 

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