2017 Educating Girls Symposium                                                                   Rev. 2/16/17

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM         Breakout Session A: 90 Minute Workshops

A-1 Creating a Shared Leadership Group through Equity      Room 307

Khairah Klein, Educator (kklein@spenceschool.org); Eve Andrias, Lower School Director of Learning Resources

Spence School

Grades PK-4

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Admissions , Equity / Justice / Diversity


For the past three years our Lower School Division has established a shared space for leadership within our larger K-12 division. As a group we have strived for full representation across grade levels and within specialist departments. We now have a 15-member team which consists of administration, head and associate teachers and school specialists. Our Equity Team's goal is to facilitate discourse around issues of equity, inclusion and anti-bias curriculum. Our hope is that our meetings will help in the construction of lessons and conversations in classrooms within the lower school. During this workshop teachers and administrators will come to understand tools, protocols and rules for the ways in which we engage in order to create curriculum, "community time" assemblies, and public service opportunities. Generating community norms is a major part of our work which help guides us throughout the year. It is absolutely an example of many voices coming together to create dialogue.


A-2  You Have A Sex Abuse Allegation… Hope Is Not A Strategy     Room 302-4

Jane Hulbert, Founding Partner (jane@thejanegroup.biz) and Jim Hulbert, J.D., Partner, The Jane Group; Julie Freudenheim, J.D., Managing Director, T&M Protection Resources

The Jane Group; T & M Protection Resources

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Sexual misconduct , Teachers , Administrators , Students , Parents , Alumnae


Sexual abuse in independent schools is now part of a national conversation with increased scrutiny by media. When a school receives an allegation of sexual misconduct, be it student on student or adult on student, you must have a plan and protocols in place to manage this matter effectively. Schools today should have a “crisis ready culture,” which involves advance preparation, training and protocols. In this session, we will help you create a crisis ready culture for your school by sharing best practices including how to prepare in advance, knowing what are the first steps in a crisis, the procedures of handling an allegation of sexual misconduct, and understanding the “Five Duties.” Julie Freudenheim, J.D., Vice President of T & M Protection Resources and one of the top independent investigators in the country, will talk about the investigations done by schools and will guide us through case studies based on real situations involving various types of sexual misconduct matters. She will also speak to the importance of an investigation.


A-3 The Power of Alumnae Voices and Partnerships                 Room 105

Diana Skurka, Director of Alumnae Affairs & Development Initiatives (dskurka@marymountnyc.org); Khaliah Adams-Joseph, Diversity Coordinator and Kara Kutner, Dean of Students, Marymount School

Marymount School of New York

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Alumnae , Equity / Justice / Diversity


Marymount School will host a breakout session focused on the power of alumnae voices and partnerships in relation to our diversity initiative. The Global Relationships and Cultural Exchange (GRACE) Committee promotes multicultural awareness through diversity initiatives throughout the School and maintains strong and builds new partnerships with our alumnae. Our session will be framed with background on the work GRACE facilitates within our school community and the integral role our alumnae play in direct support of that work. The session will also include time for smaller group discussions focused on other schools' successes and challenges in relation to this work.


A-4 Can the Gender Diversity Challenge Become a Community-Building Opportunity? Tackling the Transgender

Conundrum at Girls' Schools      Room 306-8

Julie Mencher, Therapist/Consultant/Trainer (juliemencher@gmail.com); Julie Faulstich, Head, Westover School; Jemma Giddings, Assistant Head, Westridge School

Westover School; Westridge Schoo

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Parents , Alumnae , Admissions , Equity / Justice /

Diversity , Transgender


Many schools approach the issue of transgender students with tremendous trepidation about dividing their communities. Understandably, they fear that including transgender students may challenge the very mission of single-sex schools, disrupt school culture and traditions, and obscure the definition of what IS a girl. But can a school engage in a deliberate, inclusive gender diversity process that might actually bring their community together to update core values, mission, pedagogy, and practice? We'll examine an action plan for addressing this latest

diversity issue with attention to all stakeholders, and learn how two schools have fared in building community through tackling controversy.


A-5 Every Voice, Every Day   Room 301

Hope Blosser, English Faculty (hblosser@cshnyc.org); Emily Wierdsma, Dean of Students

Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Equity / Justice / Diversity


This dynamic, hands-on workshop will give participants the opportunity to learn about and take part in a series of daily rituals which facilitate quick and easy conversations among students and faculty. This workshop will equip participants to return to their own schools with the tools needed to foster authentic conversations that are the building blocks of a trusting community. This workshop can be adapted to any grade level and focuses on the following skills: open and honest communication, active listening, community building, conflict resolution and stress management.


A-6 Parents as Collaborators: Fostering a Growth Mindset at Home and in School                 Room 601

Katie Hallock, Kindergarten Head Teacher, Grade Level Coordinator (khallock@hewittschool.org); Lindsey Brown, Head Kindergarten Teacher, Lower School Service Learning Coordinator; Tim Clare, MS Coordinator of Environmental Studies, AP Environmental Science, Grade 6 Mathematics, Grade 6 Advisor; and Jaci Nelson, Head Kindergarten Teacher, Lower School Director of Diversity and Inclusivity

Hewitt School

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Students , Parents


Parents and educators are important collaborators when it comes to fostering a child's growth mindset. Some research shows that girls are more likely to have a fixed mindset than boys. As such, it is imperative for teachers of girls and young women to possess the appropriate tools and language for working alongside parents to encourage resilience, perseverance and a growth mindset in and out of the classroom. Session participants will explore strategies for communicating and collaborating with parents to foster classroom communities and homes that emphasize hard work, problem solving and learning through failure.


A-7 Institutional Commitment: Fostering a community in which underrepresented students and faculty of color

have the time, resources, and support to succeed   Room 606-8

Marquis Scott, Director of Information Technology (mscott@nightingale.org); Tiffany Taylor Smith, Founder, Culture Learning Partners

Nightingale Bamford School; Culture Learning Partners

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Equity / Justice / Diversity


To effectively support underrepresented students and faculty of color, there are a few questions we need to consider:

Š       How can we create a nurturing environment?

Š       How do we measure success?

Š       What is our role?

This session will explore how institutional commitment to equity and inclusion can provide the framework necessary to foster a community in which underrepresented students and faculty of color have the ongoing resources to succeed. Through collaborative discussions, shared experiences, and hands-on activities, participants walk away from this session prepared to develop frameworks that aim to provide a deeper understanding of how to effectively support underrepresented students and faculty of color.


A-8 Building a Culture of Philanthropy           Room 605-7

Diane Wortis, Director of Development & Alumnae Relations (dwortis@misshalls.org); Katie Grace Deane '05, Alumnae Council President & Member of the Board of Trustees; Lynelle Weaver, Manager of Alumnae Relations & Advancement Partnerships; Alison Basdekis, Director of Horizons

Miss Hall's School

Grades 9-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Alumnae , Board Development


Miss Hall's School will present a panel discussion with Director of Development & Alumnae Relations; Director of Horizons, the School's experiential learning program; Manager of Alumnae Relations & Advancement Partnerships; and Trustee & Alumnae Council President. They will share the ways Miss Hall's has developed a culture of philanthropy that is rooted in the School’s mission, nurtured on campus, and sustained through alumnae engagement.


A-9 Who Gets To Be An Expert?         Room 313-15

Kristjiana Gong, Director of Diversity and Community (kgong@gfacademy.org) Faith F., Student, Class of 2017; Kayla H.-G., Student, Class of 2017; Megan S., Student, Class of 2017; Laine C., Student, Class of 2018; Ililta P., Student, Class of 2018; Gracyn S., Student, Class of 2018

Greens Farms Academy

Grades 9-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Parents , Equity / Justice / Diversity


When an all-girls panel presented its research about effort grades and microaggressions at Greens Farms Academy to a mixed-gender audience, the audience found the findings controversial. That reaction raised several important questions about the research itself. But, for the researchers, it also raised another important question: how did the gender and racial make-up of the research team influence the community's response to the team's findings? These girls will explain how they used their qualitative analysis skills from their collaboration with UPenn to interpret the presentation, exploring how implicit gender bias can impact whether girls can be perceived as experts.


A-10 Making Change Happen      Room 610-12

Sarah Cunningham, Humanities Chair (scunningham@marymountnyc.org); Kate Carcaterra, Art History Teacher; Jenn Croson, Chair, Visual Arts; Kate Godwin, Technologist in Residence

Marymount School

Grades 9-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students


Make your mission come alive by merging traditional classrooms with maker ecologies. How does the maker ethos affect teaching and learning? Access to maker spaces and their learner-centered, constructivist, individualized approach is producing fluidity in teaching practices and an evolution in learning outcomes in line with the mission of girls’ schools to empower young women. A maker culture at Marymount School gives teachers increased freedom to make metaphors, and fresh energy to treat old topics in new ways. Experience how high school students’ learning evolves by entangling the teacher’s deep expertise with a playful engagement with his/her material.


A-11 Living Our Mission Through Faculty Mentoring                 Room 305

Sarah Odell, Advisor to the Penn Fellows/Instructor of English (sarah_odell@missporters.org); Lesley Skenderian, Instructor of Biology/Mentor to Penn Fellow

Miss Porter's School

Grades 9-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Equity / Justice / Diversity


Miss Porter's School mission states that our girls will become informed, bold, resourceful and ethical global citizens. How do we model this as a faculty? As members of the Penn Residency Masters in Teaching program, we have revamped our work with teaching fellows to engage them and their mentors in the process of reflective practice. Join us for a workshop where we will discuss new ways to mentor young teachers, excite and engage long time faculty, and re-think how we model curiosity for our students and in turn, ourselves.


A-12 A New Vision of Career Day: Reimagining the partnership between women in leadership and the next

generation       Room 201

Lauren Lek, Head of School (llek@aol.org); Jessica Hooper, Assistant Head of School

Academy of Our Lady of Peace

Grades 9-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Parents , Alumnae , Admissions


Mentorship is all abuzz in today's world, especially as it relates to helping provide our young women with access to the most sought after jobs and careers. Come learn about how the Academy of Our Lady of Peace reimagined the traditional career day into what is now the Women's Symposium. Partnering with some of the most successful women in business, politics, entrepreneurship, education, engineering, and more, the school is now being heralded as a place of synergy for the next generation of women leaders to learn from those currently in the workforce about what it takes to be successful.


1:15 PM - 2:05 PM     Breakout Session B:  50 Minute Workshops

B-13 What do the Girls See in IT?       Room 201

Sarah Hanawald, Executive Director (sarah@theatlis.org), ATLIS; Renee Hawkins, Technology Director, Garrison Forest School

ATLIS; Garrison Forest School

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Administrators , Students , Support Staff


Information Technology is a community within a school that can be staffed entirely by men, even when EdTech employees are women. Disturbingly, the percentage of computing occupations held by women has been declining since 1991, while women who do enter the profession quit at a rate double that for men. What can schools do to counter the message that IT jobs such as network and systems administration are nearly exclusively masculine? We'll discuss ways school can address this trend through hiring, training IT staff in building an inclusive culture, and sustaining student programs in and out of the classroom.


B-14 Counselors Creating Communities of Change     Room 610-12

Jennifer Peck-Nolte, Lower School Counselor (jpecknolte@stuartschool.org); Carolyn McGuire, Middle/Upper School Counselor

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Parents , Equity / Justice / Diversity , Counseling


How can counselors serve as allies and changemakers to advocate and create safe spaces for under-represented

voices to be heard in their community? In this session, counselors from Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred

Heart will share strategies, tools and activities for supporting the needs of a diverse school community. As an all-girls

school, we will share our journey of empowering students to be heard and to lead while engaging our parent

community in honest dialogue, and helping to facilitate thoughtful reflection within our faculty.


B-15 Full Circle: Engaging alumnae to add context to your past, create compassion in your present, and inspire

commitment to your future      Room 606-8

Elizabeth Zeigler, President, and Rachael Masturzo, Senior Consultant, Graham-Pelton, the philanthropic advisor to the Marymount School of New York; Lorraine Riley, Director of Annual Giving and Diana Skurka, Director of Alumnae Affairs, Marymount School of New York

Marymount School of New York; Graham-Pelton

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Parents , Alumnae , Admissions , Support Staff , Trustees

and Supporters


Every day, alumnae of your institutions use the tools and narratives derived from their student experience to make a difference in the world. Using a combination of data findings and inspirational case studies, we will demonstrate how you can harness your alumnae's talent, energy, and drive to: add context to your history; add empathy and compassion to your community; and add energy and enthusiasm to your goals and mission. This session will equip leaders from all areas with the concrete tools and messages that most inspire and engage alumnae, creating a culture of feedback, involvement, and support.


B-16 Confident and Connected: Embracing and energizing your community's values during a time of transition            Room 605-7

Julie Faulstich, Head of School (jfaulstich@westoverschool.org); Michele Levy, Consultant

Westover School

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Parents , Alumnae , Support Staff , Leadership Transition


Typically, new leaders inherit a set of core values. How can those leaders evaluate community values, find the relevance and power within, and be guided by those values as they create their own path forward? Join a new head of school and her marketing consultant for a lively discussion of how values can provide context and courage for the many decisions new leaders face.


B-17 Building Community at a Sacred Heart School    Room 307

David Olson, Head of Middle School (olsond@cshct.org); Lisa Weinman, Middle School Dean of Students

Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich

Grades PK-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Parents , Equity / Justice / Diversity


Sacred Heart schools around the world have a strong sense of mission as they are aligned around the Five Goals of a Sacred Heart education. Goal IV, the building of community as a Christian value, ensures that all members of the school understand and appreciate their role in creating an optimal environment for learning and growth. Members of the Sacred Heart Greenwich Middle School community will share their techniques, both big picture and granular, for creating a mission-centered environment where all feel safe to express themselves, take chances, and immerse themselves in the life of the School.


B-18 To Open or Close: Online Gradebook Access in All-Girls Schools      Room 301

Mariandl Hufford, Assistant Head of School and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Girls, Agnes Irwin School (mhufford@advancinggirls.org); Jess Hill, Director of the Upper School, The Harpeth Hall School

Agnes Irwin School; The Harpeth Hall School

Grades 9-12

Areas of Focus: Teacher , Administrators


In this world of 24/7 access to everything from our bank balance to the news cycle, should we add academic assessments and an “open gradebook” to the list? Is it good for our girls if their parents have real time access to their grades? How does an open gradebook demystify the grading process and how might it inhibit the healthy risk taking of our students? Please join us for a round table discussion in which we will ponder these questions and find ways to discern if an open gradebook is a fit for our individual schools‚ missions and values.


B-19 Navigating the Culture   Room 313-15

Cindy Pierce, Author and Speaker (cindypiercespeaker@gmail.com)

Grades 9-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Parents , Alumnae , Admissions , Support Staff , Equity /

Justice / Diversity


By identifying one's Healthy Crew and Inner Compass, a girl stands a better chance of finding her way through the tricky terrain of cultural and peer pressures. The stressors fueled by real and perceived pressures, rooted in girls' online social lives, are invisible to most adults. Micro-aggressions are often tolerated online and off because girls are socialized to avoid hurting feelings or disappointing peers and adults. With increased awareness of how social media, the normalization of hooking up and the barrage of messaging from porn culture impact the lives of girls, parents, educators and the girls themselves can have more effective conversations to help feel sexually and socially adequate on their own terms and at their own pace.


B-20 How Do We Teach About the 1% ... to the 1%?    Room 105

John Ball, Teacher (jball@emmawillard.org); Robert Naeher, History Department Chair

Emma Willard School

Grades 9-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Equity / Justice / Diversity


If you think the economic landscape challenges your school’s Board, imagine the problems it poses an 18-year old. Would your idealism survive the pressure of college loans and an uncertain job market? Who should speak to this issue in our communities‚ and who should listen? Join us for a candid conversation about how we help students balance doing good in the world with doing well in their lives, a question we all face, too.


B-21 Democratic Classroom  Room 305

Bill Ivey, Middle School Dean (bivey@sbschool.org)

Stoneleigh-Burnham School

Grades 5-8

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Students , Equity / Justice / Diversity


One way to enable student voice, choice, and agency is through democratic classroom practices. Mark Springer's "Soundings" model has been called the epitome of best middle school practice, and is the template for our Humanities 7 course. Come learn about our approach, and bring your own ideas to share as well.


B-22 Affinity Spaces   Room 306-8

Alexis Williams, Middle School Dean of Students (awilliams@hewittschool.org)

Hewitt School

Grades 5-8

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Students , Equity / Justice / Diversity


Educating girls of color in our independent schools has been a difficult topic of conversation for some time. Though independent schools are prioritizing diversity and inclusivity more than ever, they remain communities where many students of color are minorities. During this session, participants will hear from Alexis Williams, Middle School Dean of Students at the Hewitt School about her experiences developing an affinity group for black students, as well as a chance for others working with this age group to discuss the process and the challenges. In addition to discussing the guiding principles and rationale behind creating safe spaces for students of color, Williams will lead participants through her own process of establishing the very new "Dining with Dean Williams' program, her affinity group for black middle schoolers.


B-23 Head-Student Partnership to Transgender Policy Change        Room 302-4

Sue Groesbeck, Head of School, Interim (sgroesbeck@emmawillard.org); Parker (Eva) H., Student

Emma Willard School

Grades 5-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Administrators , Students , Parents , Admissions , Equity / Justice / Diversity


As the country moves toward acceptance of transgender people, independent schools struggle to adapt. At Emma Willard, the Interim Head and a transgender student worked together to implement a comprehensive transgender policy. This unlikely pair of Head and student explain their process of overcoming personal differences to create a Board approved policy. They demonstrate the possibility of embracing our changing society, accepting students for who they are, and continuing to respect a school's mission, values and unique culture.


B-24 Successful Advisories in a Block Schedule     Room 601

Kimberly Ditty, Middle School Spanish, Form VII Team Lead (kditty@columbusschoolforgirls.org); Vince Maite, Middle School Humanities, Form VIII Team Lead; Lynn Sweeney, Middle School Humanities, Form VI Team Lead

Columbus School for Girls

Grades 5-12

Areas of Focus: Teachers , Students


In this session, we will explore the success and the challenges we have faced in implementing a rich advisory program to inspire girls and empower them to take risks and assume leadership roles in the school community. The program encompasses four broad themes each year. In addition to the advisory program, we mix and assemble students of the three forms. Form VIII students propose clubs to younger students to join, cross-grade families are formed for special occasions, and regular assemblies bring the whole middle school together.