Professional Development for Independent School Leaders

Bring your leadership team and join us this summer at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT for a two day workshop focused on school change.

From Vision to Reality: What it Takes to Implement Bold Changes in Independent Schools

Dates: Wednesday, July 24 – Thursday, July 25, 2024

This workshop is designed for educational leaders who believe that traditional educational models no longer suffice in preparing students for the complexities of the modern world and who genuinely want to make bold changes to their schools.  School leaders who powerfully articulate a vision for a more progressive, student-centered, authentic, and engaging educational experience remain faced with tremendous obstacles standing in the way of the substantive and lasting changes needed to make that vision a reality.  Thus, this workshop is designed to give school leaders insight into the on-the-ground challenges posed by bold and progressive school change.

In this workshop, we will examine challenges faced in implementing school change and learn how to get around, past, over, or through them.  We’ll focus on change in the following three areas: 

      • Flexible scheduling to accommodate more engaging learning experiences, prioritizing depth over breadth. 

      • Interdisciplinary and project-based curriculum that is relevant to students and focuses on real-world issues.

      • Authentic assessment methods that emphasize mastery over memorization and growth over grades. 

    We’ll delve into challenges posed by each of the following constituencies: faculty, students, families, and alumni, while also acknowledging the important partnerships needed with your communications, admissions, and college offices.  

    You’ll hear from educational thought leader and consultant Grant Lichtman, learn from the stories of leaders engaged in this transformative work, and hear from consultants and organizations championing educational change. This workshop will also present an opportunity for coalition building that will provide valuable support networks for school leaders looking to pioneer educational innovation. Ultimately, you will be inspired and more prepared to do the hard work of making your school a dynamic hub of forward-thinking educational practices that will prepare students to live socially productive and fulfilling lives. We encourage you to bring a small team from your school so that you can work collaboratively on your roadmap to making change.

    Dr. Timothy Quinn, the Chief Academic Officer and Dean of Faculty at Miss Porter’s, will lead the workshop.  Tim has worked in independent schools for almost twenty-five years,  both in the U.S. and abroad, and has led change initiatives at multiple boarding and day schools. He is the author of On Grades and Grading: Supporting Student Learning through a More Transparent and Purposeful Use of Grades, as well as numerous other articles in educational journals and periodicals, including one to be published this summer by Independent School Magazine (co-authored with Amy Rogers) on how changing schools to center what is best for student learning pays off in the classroom, in life, and even in the college process. Recently earning his educational and organizational leadership doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, he completed a dissertation entitled Equitable Elites and Exclusive Inclusivity: Examining the Pursuit of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice at Well-Resourced, Elite Private Boarding Schools. 

    Workshop Fee: $550

    Location: Miss Porter’s School, Farmington, CT

    Lodging: Must book your own lodging; suggested hotels are the Farmington Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and the Marriott Courtyard Farmington.

    Registration is closed. We have a few spots left, if interested, please email Leahanne Fenton at

    Schedule of Events

    8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.Registration and Coffee/Tea
    9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.Welcome, Introduction, Overview of Program, and Goals
    9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    Keynote: Grant Lichtman, Educational Thought-Leader and Consultant

    Workshop and Discussion: Finding your North Star

    12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.Lunch on Campus
    1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.Workshops: Areas of Change and Goal Setting
    4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Free Time
    6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.Reception on the Farmington River
    7:00 p.m.Dinner at Fork & Fire Restaurant
    8:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.Breakfast on Campus
    8:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    The Obstacles You Will Face and the Allies You Will Need

    Panel of School Leaders

    Discussion: Building Faculty Buy-In and Partnering with College Counseling

    12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.Lunch on Campus
    1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.Workshop: Action Planning
    2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.Sharing of Action Plans Feedback, and Closing Remarks


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