October 2010 Archive      
Dear ESHA Members,

This issue of our bi-monthly e-newsletter offers a number of items in preparation for the 2010 Annual Conference. If you'd like to attend the conference but have not yet registered, contact us directly at info@elementaryschoolheads.org by Monday, October 4 to arrange for late registration.

Unable to attend? You'll find a number of other activities and points of interest below!

With best wishes for these autumn months at school,

Claudia Daggett
ESHA Executive Director
Discovering and wayfinding in rough seas and unpredictable currents


"Discovering and Wayfinding in Rough Seas and Unpredictable Currents" will be Nainoa Thompson's topic and metaphor for school leadership in his presentation on October 17 at the 2010 ESHA Conference in Monterey. Board Chair of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and an independent school graduate (Punahou School) and trustee (Kamehameha Schools), Thompson is the first Hawaiian since the 14th century to have navigated a double-hulled canoe to other islands in Polynesia without the aid of instruments. Check out this eight-minute video (above, posted on YouTube by hokuleaoutreach), in which Nainoa Thompson gives some background on the cultural and educational significance of his work.
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Open mindsets: Optimal renewal and the psychology of success
Conference registrants have received a copy of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Random House, 2006) by Carol Dweck, who will speak on the topic "Open Mindsets: Optimal Renewal and the Psychology of Success" on Monday, October 18. Suggestions for related reading: Even geniuses work hard, by Carol Dweck, in Educational Leadership, September 2010 (ASCD, Volume 68, No. 1, pp.16-20); and How not to talk to your kids: The inverse power of praise, by Po Bronson, in blog form in New York Magazine, February 2007, with commentary.

Dweck's Mindset website contains a number of other resources, including a list of links to recent publications and interviews.
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Seeing the world from a new perspective
An additional session has been added to the Tuesday program of the 2010 Annual Conference:

Muddy Waters, Pike School (MA), will offer highlights from the summer 2010 ESHA travel group's experience, including lessons learned that he has been able to share with his school community and ways ESHA-member schools might build on those lessons. The session will be held from 8:00-8:45 a.m. on October 19.

Curious? Unable to attend the conference session? Reflections with accompanying photos are posted weekly on the travel group's blog, ESHA's Kenya Experience.
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Changing demographica and trends: Panel and audience discussion
We've organized a panel and audience discussion to immediately follow Jim McManus's presentation at the ESHA conference, "Changing Demographics and Elementary School Trends in America." Initiating a discussion with the audience on reactions to Jim's remarks and thoughts about collegial and ESHA support on these issues will be panelists Chuck Baldecchi, The Lexington School (KY); Karan Merry, St. Paul's Episcopal School (CA); and Stuart Johnson, St. Bernard's School (NY); with Claudia Daggett, ESHA Executive Director, as moderator.
Applause for our conference underwriters
This year, for the first time, our annual conference has several underwriters, all businesses focused on serving independent schools. With the support of these sponsors in addition to your conference registration fees, we have produced a self-sustaining event. Thank you to:
  • Bolton & Co
  • CalWest
  • Carney, Sandoe & Associates
  • Educational Directions
  • Nestle
Thanks, also, to conference planner Doreen Oleson, who organized this initiative. You'll find sponsors listed with area of specialty and contact information in the downloads section of this newsletter.
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Include your data in ESHA's comparative stats!
As we announced in August, ESHA will once again offer comparative statistics this year, a service through NAIS StatsOnline launched in fall 2009. This service is available for all ESHA-member schools as a membership benefit, regardless of whether or not a school belongs to NAIS. There is no charge for participation. This program allows all ESHA members to compare one’s school to national and regional averages for comparable schools on such variables as financial operations, personnel, compensation, admissions, enrollment and attrition, and development. To be included in ESHA's 2010 statistics report, data must be submitted to NAIS StatsOnline by November 12. For more information, see the August issue of ESHA News.
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Advocating for the elementary school model
Whatever your school's grade configuration and disposition toward standardized testing as a measure of student success, you may want to be aware of research results recently published by Columbia University comparing New York City middle schools to their K-8 counterparts. The work was highlighted by Shelly Banjo in the September 1, 2010 issue of the Wall Street Journal in an article entitled Middle schools fail kids, study says. The details of this work are reported in Columbia study finds students in standalone middle schools lag behind K-8 peers in Research: Breakthroughs in Knowledge and Ideas at Columbia, September 2, 2010.
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Discussion & luncheon for heads of independent elementary schools, Houston region
A gathering of ESHA members and prospective members will be hosted by Mark Carleton at Presbyterian School in Houston on November 17 from 12:00-1:30 p.m. In addition to the opportunity to meet colleagues over lunch, the program includes discussion facilitated by Claudia Daggett on the topic of advocacy for independent elementary schools.

If you're in the area, join us and bring a colleague! RSVP by November 3 to info@elementaryschoolheads.org.
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The evolving role of the head of school: November member video-conference discussion
In what ways has the role of the head of school changed in the last ten to twenty years? What are the forces at work? What resources do heads need today that were not so necessary a decade or two ago?

Join facilitators Chad Small, Rumson Country Day School (NJ), and Clay Stites, ESHA associate member and independent school consultant, for a video-conference discussion of this topic on Thursday, November 18, at 2 p.m. ET. RSVP to info@elementaryschoolheads.org by November 4.
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Integrating math, science, and robotics: September member video-conference discussion
Six ESHA members gathered by video conference on September 17 to discuss integrating math, science, and robotics in the independent elementary school. Diane Rosenberg, Nueva School (CA), was kind enough to facilitate the discussion. Diane had faculty members close at hand to contribute to the conversation, as did one other participant. While we experienced some technical difficulties with our conferencing connection, useful information was shared by all.
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ESHA members presenting at NAES
ESHA will be presenting a panel discussion geared for aspiring heads entitled "The Road Not (Yet) Taken: The Decision to Head an Elementary School" at the 2010 National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) Biennial Conference in November. Panelists include: George Davison, Grace Church School (NY);  Burns Jones, Canterbury School (NC); and Doreen Oleson, Saint Mark's School (CA); with Claudia Daggett, ESHA Executive Director, as moderator.
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Life after Headship: From E. John White

I have had a wonderful 12 years since leaving Grosse Point Academy in 1998! One adventure after another has given me so many more opportunities to experience life and meet interesting people. In a strange way I feel 1998 was my graduation which allowed me to finally "commence" a life I had only dreamed of (especially on Friday afternoons at 6:00 p.m. in my office in an empty school building).

Big thanks, once again, to sustaining members!
Twenty-one ESHA members have committed to stepping up to the "sustaining member" category to provide support for ESHA's expanded member services. We are grateful to these charter sustaining members from schools, small and large, throughout the country:
Member transitions
Maria Barber has departed from Unity School (FL).
Stephen Bowers has departed from St. James Episcopal School (CA).
John Cissel has departed from Dutchess Day School (NY).
Fred Scott has retired from The Bolles School at Ponte Vedra Beach (FL).
Camille Wright has departed from Fox Chapel Country Day School (PA).
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Welcome new ESHA members
Please welcome these new members to ESHA: Stephen Bloodworth, Hollywood Schoolhouse (CA); Margo Cohen, Unity School (FL); Michael Eanes, Phillips Brooks School (CA); Maggie Granados, Montclair Cooperative School (NJ); Nancy Hathaway, Dutchess Day School (NY); and Sharon Lauer, The Unquowa School (CT).

You will find photos of these folks at left and contact information in the latest edition of the ESHA Member Directory, posted -- as always -- in the downloads section of the newsletter.
Other member news
Grace Church School (NY) has announced the addition of a high school program beginning in fall 2012. (ESHA member George Davison)

"Safe at School," an article by Nick Thacher, Dedham Country Day School (MA), was published in the October 2010 issue of The Head's Letter (Volume XXXIX, No. 1, Educational Directions, Inc.).

Recent launches of new websites or website designs: Charles River School (MA); Elisabeth Morrow School (NJ); The Peck School (NJ); St. Andrew's Episcopal School (CA); The Town School (NY)  (ESHA members Cathy Gately, David Lowry, John Kowalik, Harry McKay, and Chris Marblo, respectively).
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Elementary reading
ESHA member Lee Burns, Presbyterian Day School (TN) published a book in September.  An ESHA colleague offers his endorsement here:

Flight Plan (PDS Publishing, 2010) is a godsend to those of us working on the front lines with middle school boys, particularly in the present day culture where temptations and risks are presented to our boys at Internet speed. Lee Burns' work (with his Presbyterian Day School Chaplain, Brady Braxton) is insightful yet practical. It challenges our thinking and preconceptions but offers simple, concrete lessons to experience and from which to learn. Creative organization and graphics will help keep the boys' attention as it provides them, their parents, and their teachers with a common sense, spiritual blue print for noble living. I enthusiastically recommend Flight Plan for all elementary and middle school parents and educators! -- David Beecher, Hillside School (MA)
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