Workshops for School Leaders
The workshops below are designed for school leaders and leadership teams (varying depending on the topic). In most cases, these workshops are ideal for veteran administrators, faculty, and staff of key influencers and decision-makers. Some of the workshops could be adapted for an entire faculty or staff depending upon the size of the school and how long it has been in operation.
Mission and Vision
Building a Vibrant School Culture (4 Sessions)
A school's culture is its heart and soul. An excellent curriculum, strategic plan, and funding strategy will all amount to little if the school does not have a healthy and vibrant school centered on the ideals of truth, beauty, and goodness. These sessions will help school leaders focus their efforts on creating a culture and become inspiring agents of culture care. The model is rooted in mission, community, and partnership with faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni.
Building a Vibrant Faculty Culture (2 Sessions)
These sessions are a subset of the above with an expanded emphasis on the faculty culture as well as additional material and practical guidance. Its intended participants are the school leaders and a small faculty leadership team. These two sections take the place of one session in the overview.
Building a Vibrant Student Culture (2 Sessions)
These sessions are a subset of the above with an expanded emphasis on the student culture and additional practical guidance. Its intended participants are the school leaders, deans, and/or a small faculty leadership team. These two sections take the place of one session in the overview.
Building a Vibrant Parent Culture (2 Sessions)
These sessions are a subset of the above with an expanded emphasis on the parent culture and additional practical guidance. Its intended participants are the school leaders, a small faculty leadership team and/or a small, dedicated parent committee (whether formal or informal). These two sections take the place of one session in the overview.
Deschooling School (2 Sessions)
"No more pencils! No more books! No more teachers' dirty looks!"
This old ditty too often really is the cry of the child's heart in response to "school." But it doesn't have to be. In the classical tradition, our schools should be less like schools and more like centers for learning, think tanks, or the wide world itself. These sessions will tackle important questions school leaders should ask with respect to curriculum, culture, and pedagogy if they want to create a whole school culture that is as little like "school" in the negative sense as possible. Topics include fostering student participation in shaping the culture, how to manage rules and regulations, the disciplinary system, and fundamental respect for the student's freedom and responsibility.
Nuts and Bolts
A Model for a "Faculty Run School" (2 Sessions)
The heart of an educational institution is its faculty. However, when the business and institutional advancement needs of the school are front and center with clear financial implications, faculty can get lost in the shuffle. These sessions will present a model for a "faculty-run school." This does not mean that faculty have the final say in every decision or there is no authentic leadership. However, it does mean centering the school's decision-making on the needs and concerns of those on the front line of the educational mission. Presentations will cover the importance of the school leader as a faculty member; different ways to structure authority, seek input, and make decisions; managing faculty-staff interaction; keeping faculty engaged with institutional advancement; and ensuring faculty are well cared for.
A Model for Curriculum Review and Development (2 Sessions)
Do you have occasional eruptions or grumbling about curriculum content from faculty? Concerns from parents about execution? Difficulty choosing programs or deciding whether to “buy or build?” These sessions will help you navigate the challenges of curriculum development by providing a model that works from the mission of your school, to overarching course goals, and only then to specific content, pacing, scope and sequence, etc. Faculty will feel that their expertise has been heard, department chairs will be given a pattern for ongoing curriculum decisions, and your entire faculty and school leadership team will be better informed regarding the connection between mission and curriculum. Optional sessions of on-site guidance or full curriculum development assistance are also available by arrangement.
A Model for Integrating Athletics and Extracurricular Activities (2 Sessions)
The football coach wants the players to have a team meal the night before a big game. Soccer matches are scheduled such that students will miss all their afternoon classes two times in one week. The extracurricular choir members sit together every day at lunch and are rumored not to let anyone else at the table. Athletics and extracurricular activities are great for a school culture ... until they become the tail that wags the dog. These sessions will present a clear, coherent philosophical approach to integrating athletics and other extracurricular activities into a classical school environment without sacrificing the primary academic mission of the school.