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All cancellations and requests for refunds MUST be submitted via email no later than 10 days prior to the day of the conference. Telephone requests WILL NOT be honored. An email to diana@nysais.org should be received no later than 10 days prior to conference. Request for refunds received after this deadline will not be considered.”

Conferences & Workshops

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Annual Conference for Heads of School

Date: Wednesday - November 07, 2012
Time: All Day
Location: Mohonk Mountain House

Wednesday, November 7 - Friday November 9, 2012
Speakers: John Hunter & Will Richardson

Mohonk Mountain House
New Paltz, NY
Phone 845-255-1000


Tentative Schedule

Wednesday 11/7
4:00 - 5:00 PM Registration and tea in Lake Lounge
5:00 - 6:30 PM Opening, Welcome by the Conference Committee
Session 1 - Inspired Teaching: the past the the future
Speaker: John Hunter
  • Setting the stage, and the context for exploring what our students need to be able to do and know in a cosmopolitan world
  • Exploring and honoring the historical legacy of teachers
  • Highlighting Innovation and what it means to be a “bold” teacher
6:45 PM

Cocktails and Dinner
Welcome: Lois Bailey, Associate Director for Evaluation and Accreditation
Introduction of Heads new to NYSAIS
Wine at dinner compliments of CCS FundraisingCCS Fundraising

Thursday 11/8
8:00 - 9:00 AM


9:30 - 11:00 AM Session 2 - Film “World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements”
  • What can we learn from the game itself: what does it really teach students? Independence, innovation, problem solving, engagement, cooperation and collaboration, critical thinking.
  • What elements or properties of the game can be brought into each of our schools?
11:00 - 11:15 AM Break
11:15  AM - 12:30 Session 3 - Unconference
Leader: Barbara Swanson
A structured protocol for discussion, problem-solving, and sharing ideas and successes.
12:30 PM Lunch followed by free time
4:00 PM Tea in Lake Lounge
4:30 - 6:00 PM Session 4 - From "Old School" to "Bold School": Making the Jump from Traditional to Modern Learning
Speaker: Will Richardson

The main premise upon which schools were founded, that content and knowledge and teachers are scarce, has literally been turned on its head by the Web. Today, we carry the sum of human knowledge and access to millions of potential teachers in the phones in our pockets. And in a host of other ways, the idea of a "traditional" school is fading in it's relevance to the new ways we and our students can learn. Given that reality, what changes? How do we rethink our roles as schools, classrooms and educators at a moment when our students have a growing number of options to cobble together an "education?" We'll look at the paths that a number of "bold schools" are taking to fundamentally redefine their value as places of learning, not of content and teachers. We'll discuss the challenges of remaining an "old" school, define the main characteristics of "bold" schools, look at schools that are already bridging the gap, and suggest ways to begin relevant, "bold" conversations around real change in our own schools and communities.
6:30 PM

Cocktails and Dinner
Celebrating and Honoring Lois Bailey
Wine at dinner compliments of Austin & Co.

Friday 11/9
7:30 - 9:00 AM

Breakfast and Annual Meeting

Stephen Watters, Green Vale School, Presiding
9:00 - 10:30 AM Session 5 - Creating “Bold Schools” in a time of tremendous change
Speakers: John Hunter and Will Richardson
  • What do we want students to know and be able to do when they leave us?
  • School missions can be the driver for change and also for stagnation.
10:30 - 10:45 AM Break
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM Session 6 - Challenges for Independent School Leaders
Leaders: Will Richardson and John Hunter
This culmination of the conference ties everything together. It moves from the theoretical to the practical, from thinking and planning to doing. Participants will be challenged to examine their school’s mission and culture, long range plan, and their individual leadership responsibilities in the light of what we have explored.
  • What actions should be taken upon returning to school?
  • What important questions should the board and the faculty consider as we face a more global future?
12:30 PM Lunch and Departure

A native Virginian and graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, John Hunter is an award-winning gifted teacher and educational consultant who has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential. Employing his background as a musician composer and filmmaker during a three-decade career as a teacher, Hunter has combined his gifted teaching and artistic talents to develop unique teaching programs using multimedia software programs in creative writing and film courses.

During his university years, he traveled and studied comparative religions and philosophy throughout Japan, India and China. It was while in India, the cradle of Ghandian thought, Hunter, intrigued by the principles of non-violence, began to think of how his profession might contribute to peace in the world.

Knowing that ignoring violence would not make it go away, how could he teach peace in an often-violent world? Accepting the reality of violence, he would seek to incorporate ways to explore harmony in various situations. This exploration would take form in the framework of a game – something that students would enjoy. Within the game data space, they would be challenged, while enhancing collaborative and communication skills.

In 1978, at the Richmond Community High School, Hunter led the first sessions of his World Peace Game. Over time, in a synchronous unfolding with the growing global focus on increasingly complex social and political conditions, the game has gained new impetus. As Hunter succinctly explains, “The World Peace Game is about learning to live and work comfortably in the unknown.”


A parent of two middle school aged children, Will Richardson has been thinking and writing about the intersection of social online learning networks and education for the past 10 years at Weblogg-ed.com, in numerous journals and magazines such as Ed Leadership, Education Week and English Journal, and most recently at willrichardson.com. He is an outspoken advocate for change in schools and classrooms in the context of the diverse new learning opportunities that the Web and other technologies now offer.

A former public school educator for 22 years, Richardson is a co-founder of Powerful Learning Practice (plpnetwork.com), a unique professional development program that has mentored over 5,000 teachers worldwide in the last five years. His first book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (Corwin Press, 3rd Edition 2010) has sold over 80,000 copies and has impacted classroom practice around the world. His second book, Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education, (Solution Tree) was released in May, 2011. And his third book, a collection of blog posts titled Learning on the Blog, was published in August of 2011 by Corwin Press.

Over the past six years, Richardson has had the opportunity to speak and work with to tens of thousands of educators in over a dozen countries about the merits of online learning networks for personal and professional growth. He is a national advisory board member of the George Lucas Education Foundation, and a regular columnist for District Administration Magazine.

Registration is a 2-step process. Be sure to do both.

1. Reserve your room with Mohonk.

Click here: Mohonk Residential Reservation Form (Room and Board)
Click here: Mohonk Day Guest Reservation Form (Meals Only)
Or reserve by phone: 845-255-1000

2. Register for the Conference
- Register Here

Conference Fee:

  • Before September 1 - $300.00
  • September 1 - October 15 - $325.00
  • After October 15 - $375.00

Questions about the program? Email barbara@nysais.org
Questions about registration? Email maria@nysais.org


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