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Equipping Workshops

Do you want to grow in your role?

Why attend an Equipping Workshop? To gain new insight, knowledge, and skills around best practices in a short, intensive format. Designed for administrators, teachers, parents, leaders, department heads – anyone seeking to learn and grow in their role.

Do you desire to delve into a specific topic or skill? Are you helping your school grow into its next stage? Are you new to your position? Do you find yourself needing vital skills and best practices to develop a successful plan for your school, department, or team? Equipping workshops are designed to provide you fundamental best practices for your role.

Workshop leaders are seasoned professionals in their field. Based on years of experience, they will share professional standards, teach you common strategies, and equip you with the skills and resources you need for your next challenge.

Winter Workshop Offerings

Grammar School Teachers

Janice Stolle

Building Foundational Habits Early: PreK - 2

Description: A peaceful and well-run classroom takes thoughtful, intentional engagement on the part of the classical teacher. Our youngest students must be “primed,” or prepared to learn through purposeful training of stated expectations. Virtues such as attentiveness, obedience, self-control, and perseverance must be explicitly taught sooner, rather than later, for character formation and student success. This 3-week, two-hour workshop will equip the early childhood classical teacher with the tips, tricks, and practical framework to do just that. You will learn how to confidently assume the role of authority, setting loving, realistic expectations that lead to a cooperative, flourishing, and joyful classroom.

 

Bio:

Janice Stolle is the Coordinating Kindergarten Teacher at Trinity Classical School in Houston, Texas. Mrs. Stolle holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and a M.A.T. in Reading and Language Arts. Prior to her 12 years at TCS, she taught in public school, homeschooled her own children, and directed Classical Conversations in McKinney, TX. Coaching colleagues, collaborating with parents, and guiding the youngest of students is her lifelong passion. Other passions include fitness, travel, politics, entertaining guests, fashion, and singing in the church choir.

 

Syllabus:

Session One: The what, how, and why of habit training

  • Loving your students and families well
  • Hospitality in the classroom 
  • Friendship and trust  

Session Two: Obedience and Self-Control

  • Setting boundaries
  • Modeling and teaching respect for authority and respect for others
  • Teaching personal responsibility
  • Interacting with challenging students/parents in a Christ-like manner

Session Three: Attentiveness and Perseverance

    • Academic success through best practices
    • The Seven Laws of Teaching
    • Teaching and learning as unto the Lord

Meeting Dates and Times

January 18, 25, February 1 from 6-8pm CST.

Still accepting registrations!

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Dr. Mo Gaffney

Singapore Math Workshop

Description: 

Looking for a better way to teach math? Singapore Math has emerged as one of the leading elementary math programs in the world according to international studies, (TIMSS). With this approach, students will not only know how to solve problems, but they will also develop a deep understanding of how math works. This interactive and engaging workshop is ideal for newly hired teachers who will be teaching math using Singapore Strategies, for any math teacher who wants to further expand their teaching repertoire. Participants will be exposed to high-quality mathematical content, including videos, relevant readings, and effective learning tasks, and will have multiple opportunities to collaborate with other educators. 

Topics will include the following:

  • Introduction to Singapore Math in grades K-5
  • How to transform a school’s mathematical culture
  • Getting the parents on board
  • Math competencies that are the mathematical building blocks
  • Number sense in grades K-5
  • Problem-solving with bar models in Grades 1-5
  • The importance of Fact Fluency
  • Essential components of Effective lessons
  • Differentiation strategies so all learners are engaged and successful 
  • Assessments that guide instruction 

Bio:

Dr. Mo Gaffney is an accomplished educator with over twenty years of experience. She earned a B.A. in Early Childhood Education, an M.Ed. in Elementary Education, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, all from the University of Virginia. She has taught at the elementary level in both public and private schools and has been an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia teaching courses in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She served as Head of the Covenant Lower School in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she successfully implemented a Christian Liberal Arts and Sciences philosophy and curriculum. Her work in Christian education most notably includes reforming mathematics with the implementation of Singapore Math strategies in grades K-5. She serves as a consultant, leads professional development workshops at both classical and independent schools, and presents at national conferences, including SCL. Dr. Gaffney’s presentations include topics such as Singapore Mathematics, teacher evaluations, reading & writing connections, homework, and leadership.  

Meeting Dates and Times

January 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26 from 4-5pm ET.

Still accepting registrations!

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Daniel Payne

Imaginative Learning with C.S. Lewis

Description: The works of the Inklings, and similar authors, have long captured the imaginations of students in classical classrooms. Whether they are traveling to Narnia or Middle-earth, classical educators know the power that imaginative literature has on young minds. It’s through these God-given imaginations that many students first encounter the good, the true, and the beautiful. Despite this truth, many educators wonder how to engage their students’ imaginations holistically. How do we teach math or science imaginatively? How do we encourage imagination while still pointing students to objective truth? How can we retain imagination in students as they grow older? In this workshop, we will look to one of the greatest imaginative writers, C.S. Lewis, to help us answer these questions. This workshop, prepared for both teachers and administrators, will offer practical and meaningful ways to encourage the imagination of students. 

Homework: This workshop’s homework will simply require participants to ponder and reflect on the following week’s lesson in preparation for each session. 

 

Bio: Daniel Payne is an experienced educator with a passion for leadership and imagination in classical schools. He holds a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a master’s in Educational Leadership. He is currently a Lower School faculty member at Veritas School in Richmond. Daniel has previously served as an administrator and Middle School teacher. He has developed classical curriculum for multiple books in the Narnia series and has also taught Lewis in various professional and parochial settings. Outside of the classroom, Daniel hosts and produces The Lamp-post Listener, a podcast discussing imaginative works of children’s literature. Over the last few years, he has been able to learn alongside many wonderful Lewis scholars and enthusiasts, including Douglas Gresham: Lewis’s own stepson. Daniel lives in Virginia with his wife and two children. 

 

Syllabus:

What is Imaginative Learning?

  •  Lewis writes that imaginative stories can allow Christian truths to “appear in their real potency.” This reality makes imaginative learning uniquely important to the classical, Christian educator. This session will investigate Lewis’ claims about imagination and examine its role in developing the hearts and minds of students. 

 

Encouraging the Unknown 

  • In sharing “the unknown,” teachers and administrators are able to acknowledge the finite lengths of their own knowledge. Often a delicate tightrope of humility and authority, this is particularly formative in students beginning to learn that “grown-ups don’t know everything.” 

 

Welcoming Sehnsucht 

  • All students have desires; in our restless age, students’ desires are pulled in innumerable directions. Lewis’s protagonists, from Lucy to John to Orual to Ransom, display similar longings. Through conversation and lesson activities, educators can learn how to direct students’ desires in the classroom. 

 

Living Imaginatively 

  • Students are inspired to embrace their imaginations as they see adults around them doing the same; Lewis writes that “some day [we] will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” In this session, participants will learn how to model these practices for their students. 

 

Including Imagination Everywhere 

  • The fifth session of this workshop will discuss how administrators can develop a curriculum that encourages imagination in each hour of the day. Teachers and administrators alike will look to Lewis’s non-fiction and see how he includes imagination in the most unlikely of places. 

 

The Moral Imagination 

  • Participants will end the workshop considering the ultimate goals of imaginative learning. To what end should we encourage our students’ imaginations? Finally, there will be time to share and discuss examples for each person to take back to their own campus. 

Meeting Dates and Times

January 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27, and March 5 at 7 pm ET.

Still accepting registrations!

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Rhetoric School Teachers

Jason Merritt

The Senior Thesis: Considering Goals and Creating Structures

Description:

The senior thesis is a capstone course that allows students to demonstrate their competency in research, critical thinking, oral composition, and verbal presentation. Its adoption by classical Christian schools is nearly universal, but how closely have we considered the possible goals of this pedagogical tool and how we might best implement it in order to achieve those goals? In this workshop, we’ll take a closer look at those goals, ask which goals are primary and which are secondary, and consider the variety of ways we might structure a thesis program in order to meet the primary and secondary goals we articulate for our program. 

 

Bio:

Dr. Jason Merritt is instructor of classical Greek and senior thesis at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas. He has been an educator for nearly two decades, 16 of those being spent in classical Christian education. He has served as the headmaster of a classical Christian school, an instructor of Greek and religion at Texas Christian University, and as a translation consultant for Bible League International on translations of the Bible into Haitian Creole, Swahili, Japanese, Hindi, Telugu, and Croatian. He is the author of Devils and Deviants: The Rhetoric of Religious Schism in I and II John.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: Overview, goals of a thesis program

  • In this first session, we will introduce ourselves and get oriented to the overall structure of the workshop. We will then begin our discussion of senior thesis by talking through the goals of a senior thesis program and considering how those goals should shape the overall thesis program.

 

Session 2: Topics

  • What parameters might a school articulate to guide students in the selection of a worthy topic? In this session, we will look at possible parameters and institutional checks that a school can employ to keep topics in line with institutional values while also maintaining high standards of quality.

 

Session 3: Final Product

  • What should the final draft of the thesis paper look like, and what should a defense look like? There are a variety of factors that should be taken into account when planning both these aspects of the program. In this session, we’ll talk through issues that could impact both of these critical elements of the program as well as grading criteria for both elements.

 

Session 4: Research

  • How will your students go about researching their topic? Does your school have resources suitable for the task? If your school doesn’t have those resources, how will you resource your students? In this session, we’ll look at a variety of available resources.

 

Session 5: Advising

  • Students generally will not be able to research and write their theses without support from faculty. Who will those faculty be? What are their duties?

 

Session 6: Grading and Feedback

Meeting Dates and Times

January 18, 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22 from 7-8pm CT.

Still accepting registrations!

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Robbie Andreasen

Reconnecting Science with the Humanities

Description:

The goal of this workshop is to provide instruction and model lessons to help science teachers connect themselves and their curricula with the humanities. I remember starting to teach at my Christian classical school 17 years ago. I felt so ignorant and disconnected from everything else that was going on with my colleagues in the humanities department. I had not read the books they referred to nor did I understand the philosophical issues that they discussed. I read Lewis’ Abolition of Man but I had no idea what he was talking about. If this sounds like you or if you would like to explore ways of connecting your science class with the rest of the classical curriculum at your school, then join us for readings, lessons, and conversation to help you do that.

Bio:

Robbie Andreasen joined the Geneva faculty in 2007 and teaches Biology (ninth grade) and Anatomy & Physiology (twelfth grade). Robbie has a contagious passion to study the intersection of faith and science, and his students have come to expect a challenging, active classroom characterized by their teacher’s love and enthusiasm for learning. He has given multiple presentations at SCL for the last 10 years. Robbie is coauthor of New Natural Philosophy—Recovering a Natural Science and Christian Pedagogy published through Classical Academic Press.

Robbie received a BS in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami and an MA in Bioethics from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He was the upper school recipient of the 2013 and 2022 Paideia Award for Teaching, an award that recognizes excellence in teaching.

Robbie and his wife Janet (math specialist at Geneva) have two children—Zachary (TGS Class of 2021) and Sarah (TGS Class of 2023). In his spare time, he enjoys challenging himself through activities such as Spartan races.

Syllabus:

Week 1:  What does Lewis mean by needing a new natural philosophy?

Week 2:  Developing a theology of creation

Week 3:  Medieval to modern worldview shift via art history

Week 4:  What hath Plato to do with modern chemistry?

Week 5:  Tennyson’s In Memoriam and Psalm 104

Week 6:  Topics and issues from the group with a focus on implementation.

Meeting Dates and Times

January 18, 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22 from 7-8pm ET.

Still accepting registrations!

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Becky Priest & Deanna Ducher

Nuts and Bolts for Newer College Advisors

Description: The college advisors workshop will support, equip, and encourage College Advisors/Counselors at classical, Christian schools through training, collaboration, and fellowship.  It will cover the following topics: college fit, 4-year advising models, the testing landscape, essays and interviews, financial aid, letters of recommendation, the school profile, interacting with students, parents, colleges.

Bio:
Becky Priest is the College Counselor at The Cambridge School in suburban, hi-tech San Diego, where the last eight years she has seen the design and build-out of the college counseling program and the school’s first four graduating classes, with college acceptances that include some of the most highly selective in the country. She brings over two decades of college financial aid experience, having worked in the Financial Aid Office at Washington University in St. Louis, and in the San Diego area at college admissions firms and in private consulting. Becky was delighted to have received the blessing of collaboration and help from experienced counselors when transitioning to the high school side of the desk and loves opportunities to continue that collegiality, sharing the learned experiences of fellow counselors. She and her husband have one son in college (a member of Cambridge’s third class) and have provided leadership in their church in the areas of teaching, music, mentoring high school and college students, international student ministry, and missions. She is currently serving on the Classic Learning Test’s Board of Academic Advisors.

Deanna Ducher serves Hillsdale Academy in rural south-central Michigan as the College Counselor and teaches American history and civics. She joined the staff of Hillsdale Academy in August 1999 and initiated the College Counseling office that year when the original K-8 school began phasing in grades 9-12. The Academy graduated five students in 2001, and this June will graduate a class of 23, bringing the total number of graduates to 326. These students have attended a wide variety of selective colleges, state universities, trade schools, U.S. military academies, private Christian and non-denominational colleges, community colleges, and have served in all US military branches, including the Space Force. Deanna is a first-generation college graduate, so personally and through the Academy, she learned and built all aspects of the college application process from the ground up. Before joining the Academy, Deanna served Hillsdale College for two and a half years as an admissions counselor, recruiting from her native suburban Detroit. That experience gave her excellent perspective when she moved to the other side of the desk, managing the college search process for high school students. Off campus, she spends time in amateur photography, orchestral viola playing, travel, cycling, reading, and podcast listening.

Syllabus:
Session 1:  Introductions and Overview
The importance of college counseling, defining job duties
Developing an office philosophy or mission statement
The lens of classical, Christian education
College and university landscape and curriculum
Aptitude testing options (YouScience? Myers-Briggs, etc.)
Other post-high school options besides college: trades, military

Session 2:

Calendar and documents
4-year advising sequences/plans
College list-building wisdom; the 3 legs of college fit
School documents that support students
School Profile: must-have elements, communicating classical education
Transcript topics: grading scales, honors, dual enrollment
Other registrar issues

Session 3: 

Testing 101
PSAT/NMSQT, PLAN, SAT, ACT, CLT, AP – distinctives and differences
Calendar
School-based test prep sessions?
Thoughts on private prep
State testing requirements; school-day options
Rapidly changing national landscape/test-optional and surrounding issues
School testing philosophy – not teaching to the test

Session 4:  Developing relationships with colleges
Campus visits
High school visits
College fairs
How to “prove” your curriculum to colleges (sub-topic, the emphasis on GPA and weighted/unweighted/AP grades, etc. in test-optional world)

Session 5:  Applications
The 8 factors in holistic admission and the importance of each
Micro fall of senior year plan
LOR
Student/parent etiquette
Elements of and expectations for the counselor LOR
Teacher LORs – training, elements, expectations
Student resumes
College essays: tips, best practices
Interviews: tips, best practices

Session 6:  Financial Aid
Need-based aid – role of FAFSA and CSS Profile
Gift aid – academic merit, talent, tuition discounts
Cost factors over four years
GoingMerry, others
Local scholarships
Tuition-exchange

Meeting Dates and Times

January 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27, and March 5 from 6:30-8pm ET.

Deadline to register January 27, 2024.
**Workshop requires a minimum of 10 registered participants to be offered.

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All Faculty

Adrienne Freas

Narration Intensive: A Practical Immersion Course

Description:

Back by popular demand! Adrienne Freas presented a one hour workshop on Narration at the SCL Summer Conference 2023. This intensive is designed for both classroom teachers and home educators looking to cultivate their students’ ability to read, think, listen, and speak. 

This 4-week course is a deep dive into how narration is a classical art within the trivium. It begins naturally with young children and develops into the formal arts of thinking, speaking, and writing. Experience how narration is a grammatical, dialectical, and rhetorical art that lays the foundations for acquiring moral and intellectual habits. 

You will be equipped to understand how narration progresses as a skill from the beginner to the intermediate, and ultimately advanced skills. We will practice with various texts together in this interactive practicum. 

Participants will: 

  • learn the history and praxis of narration—how it is mimetic, logocentric, and poetic
  • discover how narration integrates all three arts of the Trivium 
  • experience the various modes (ie. oral, dramatic, written) of narration, and the various stages (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) of narration 
  • learn to discern the progression of each stage of narration; take away practical outcomes; acquire assessment ideas; and troubleshoot tips for kinder through highschool.
  • read & discuss several seminal texts that support the argument that narration is one of the most important arts to recover the tradition of memory and the arts of rhetoric.

 

Bio:

Adrienne is the founder and director of Beautiful Teaching, LLC which produces the Classical Education Podcast. Her expertise is in collaborating and guiding new and established schools in classical curriculum and professional development. She worked with Dr. Matthew Post as the lead developer of the K-12 Curriculum and Professional Development Project at the University of Dallas and served as the Director of Classical Methods for Responsive Education Solutions. In both roles, Adrienne has collaborated with districts, boards, school leaders, and thousands of teachers, helping nearly 30 schools transition to a classical model. She has led teams in creating classical professional development, has taught parent education workshops, and has written customized educational materials that promote a strong virtue-based humanities curriculum for K-12 schools. 

She specializes in the tradition of trivium-based instruction, coaching and transitioning religious and secular schools—both traditional and collaborative models—into the liberal arts tradition using classical curriculum design and development and  Charlotte Mason pedagogy. Adrienne has been married to Brian for 32 years. They homeschooled all four of their children for 15 years. They are the proud and active grandparents of seven. In her spare time, she runs the Classical Education podcast and enjoys reading with a special affinity for George MacDonald. 

 

Syllabus:

In every session we will work through samples of classic texts* through the many modes of narration giving practical experience to apply with your students. Experiencing the labor of thinking, speaking, and asking questions is a non-negotiable for a real classical experience. For this reason live attendance is strongly encouraged. In addition, some short readings on the theory and tradition of narration will be assigned as homework** and discussed in seminar style. The readings will all be provided. 

Session 1: The History and Praxis of Narration 

  • Experience beginner narration as a poetic experience in the art of attending & cultivating memory 
  • Discuss homework: short readings on medieval memory from from The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture by Carruthers 

Session 2: Narration Through the Trivium: Discover its Modes and Stages 

  • Experience the art of narration through various modes and its participation within the arts of the trivium 
  • Discuss homework: short readings from Quintilian’s Institutes of Oratoria & The Craft of Thought by Carruthers 

Session 3: The Art of Rhetoric: How Narration and Logic are two sides of the same coin 

  • Experience narration as a rhetorical art 
  • Discuss homework: O’Banion’s chapter “Quintilian: Narration as the Heart of Rhetorical Thought” 

Session 4: Bridging Gaps & Practical Applications: Outcomes, Assessments, Troubleshooting for all grades 

  • Bring questions and discuss rubrics and troubleshooting 
  • Discuss homework: a short reading from A Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason

*Classic texts: These will be provided by the instructor. Some texts will be literature for various ages, some will be texts for history, science, geography, and art. 

**Homework: a short reading packet will be provided (some short readings from Reorienting Rhetoric by O’Banion, The Craft of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture by Carruthers, The Craft of Thought by Carruthers, and The Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason)

Meeting Dates and Times

Postponed: Starting on February 20, 27, March 5 from 6-7:30pm CT.

Deadline to register February 17, 2024.

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Carrie Eben

Assessment for Human Flourishing

Description:

Assessment is necessary, but how can we assess students humanely and honor their unique soul? Join Carrie Eben in five 75 minute workshop sessions designed to equip both new and seasoned classical school teachers of all age levels with forms for teaching and assessing well (since teaching and assessing go hand-in-hand). Using Mortimer Adler’s Three Columns of Knowledge (Facts, Skills, and Ideas) as an overarching guide, teachers will practice formative teaching and assessment strategies that guide students toward both fact and skill mastery and virtuous affections. Participants will also be introduced to innovative assessment reports that go beyond percentages and letter grades.

 

Bio:

For over twenty-three years, Carrie Eben has championed classical education in both the private school classroom and homeschool arenas. She currently serves as founding board member at Sager Classical Academy in Siloam Springs, AR. Carrie passionately leads teachers and parents in the classical model of education. She develops and delivers customized workshops for administrators, teachers, and parents in both classical school and homeschool settings via Classical Eben Education Consulting (www.classicaleben.com). Carrie holds a BSE in Intermediate Education from John Brown University and a MSEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Oklahoma State University. She is currently a PhD student in the Humanities program at Faulkner University and a CiRCE Institute Master Teacher.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: The Purpose of Assessment

  • Aligning assessment with purpose of education

Session 2: Teaching and Assessing Facts

  • Recitation, Reincarnation, Repetition

Session 3: Teaching and Assessing Skills

  • Using the mimetic form to teach skills

Session 4: Teaching and Assessing Ideas

  • Conversation cultivation with narration and the Five Common Topics

Session 5: Towards Virtue: Reporting what Students Know

  • Virtue cultivation with narrative assessment reports

Meeting Dates and Times

February 7, 14, 21, 28, and March 6 from 6:15-7:30pm CT.

Deadline to register: February 4, 2024.

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Brent Stevens

Permission to Play: Discover the Tools Needed to Make a Successful Transition into Leadership

Description: 

Our schools flourish to the degree that they are led by competent and healthy leaders, yet many are hesitant to step into leadership or lack the training to make the transition successfully. In this workshop Brent Stevens will explore the necessary competencies and character traits required to lead effectively. Whether you are a teacher who hopes to shape faculty and school culture or a division head looking to move into a Head of School role, this workshop will provide valuable insights into the nature of leadership and your own leadership style.

 

Bio:

Brent Stevens is the Head of School at Grace Academy in Georgetown, Texas. Brent has been in education for 13 years, beginning as a Latin teacher in the Grammar school at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth. He has served in a number of leadership roles and has had the opportunity to teach a wide range of ages from 3rd to 11th grade. 

Brent earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the Texas Baptist College, a master’s degree in Classical Education from the University of Dallas and an Ed.S. from Gordon College. He and his wife, Stephanie, live in Georgetown with their three children. 

 

Syllabus:

WEEK 1 – Who is Called to Lead? 

WEEK 2 – The Leader as Chief Among Sinners 

WEEK 3 – Know thyself: Self-awareness is critical for healthy leadership.

WEEK 4 – Introduction to Leadership Literature: Peter Drucker and Patrick Lencioni

WEEK 5 – Getting Equipped: Preparation for the New Role Begins Now

WEEK 6 – Change: Navigating the thing everyone hates to foster trust and achieve organizational health.

Meeting Dates and Times

January 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13, 27 from 4-5pm CT.

Still accepting registrations!

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Administration / Board

Keith Nix

School Finance

Description:

Given that most school heads don’t come into the job with a strong financial background, it is not unusual for a board member or someone in the business office to know the numbers better than the Head of School (HOS). This puts the HOS in a weak position to lead and make the most prudent decisions. In this session we will cover why it’s crucial that the HOS is the financial leader, understanding the school’s finances better than anyone. We will discuss how the HOS works together with the board to ensure the financial health of the school.

Bio:  Keith Nix has served as the Head of School at Veritas since 2010. Mr. Nix has served as Chairman of the Board of Society for Classical Learning (SCL), Vice Chairman of the Board of Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS), and President of the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Test (CLT). He consults and coaches classical Christian school boards and leaders and currently teaches at Gordon College in their Graduate Leadership Program, equipping Classical Christian school leaders. Prior to moving to Veritas in 2010, Keith was a board member, and then later Head of School at The Westminster School in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a founding Arête Fellow and facilitated the Arete Fellowship for many years. Prior to working in classical Christian schools, Keith was President of Nixgroup, a boutique consulting firm working with start-up and early stage organizations and businesses. Mr. Nix enjoys tennis, golf, and great books. He is married to Kim, an accomplished artist; the Nixes have three grown children and two grandchildren.

 

Syllabus: 

1: The HoS as Financial Leader

Introduction, Definitions, and Roles

 2: The Role of the Board

One of the board’s four key responsibilities is to ensure long-term financial health and stability. But too often it is not clear what the board should be doing versus the HoS and his/her team. Complicating matters further is how start-up and young schools needs extra board support until it matures. We will discuss the challenges and offer principles and practices that will meet your school wherever it is.

 3: Cost-Based Tuition and Hard Income

What does it mean to operate your school with “hard income” and what does that mean for tuition? We will look at the “cost-based tuition” model compared to common financial models that depend on fund-raising to make ends meet. Then we will cover how to transition your school to a more sustainable, viable position.

 4: Strategic Financial Planning: Building a 5-7 Year Forecast That Works

Do you have a good idea of what your tuition rates will be in five years? What about your income and expenses? How much will you be able to grow your cash reserves in that time frame? If the answer is “I don’t know” or “I am not sure”, then this session it critical for you. Having at least a five-year detailed forecast is the most important tool for making good decisions today.

 5: Growing Your School and Your Bottom Line through Tuition Assistance

The true costs/benefits of a Tuition Assistance program are often not clearly understood. Many administrators and board member have a hard time understanding how a generous Tuition Assistance program can actually grow the school, and increase the bottom line annually. But done right, this can absolutely be the case – and the growth is more than just enrollment growth as your school begins to serve a broader demographic.

 6: Fund-Raising: How Does It All Work?

There is probably not an area of school leadership that causes as much fear and anxiety as fund-raising. Frequently, it is not clear who should be doing what, and what the best way to approach fund-raising. We will discuss all things development: roles, the annual fund, capital campaigns, relational donor stewardship and more.

Meeting Dates and Times

January 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13, 20 from 2-3pm ET.

Still accepting registrations!

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Bill Mott

Recognizing the Connection Between Healthy Boards and Successful Schools

Description:

The work of Classical Christian schools and their value to educating students reveals the critical nature of their mission. The challenge of thriving in the world of education today is on the shoulders of both the head of school and the board of trustees. This workshop’s goal is to examine the work of the board and the head, review roles, responsibilities, and the benefits of adhering to accepted best practices. Drawing on the content from Healthy Boards, Successful Schools, we will engage in presentations and discussion as well as review case studies and take away strategies, ideas, and action steps that will lead to flourishing governance and leadership for your school. Heads of schools, board members, and other school leaders will benefit from the content, ideas, and networking opportunities that will be available throughout this workshop.

 

Bio:

Dr. Mott’s experience includes being the head of school at three different independent schools and a member of the board of trustees of several independent schools as well as other nonprofit organizations. In addition, he has served as a consultant for over a decade and assisted numerous schools with a range of governance, fundraising, planning, and search issues.

In addition to the above experience, Dr. Mott is on the faculty of Vanderbilt University as an Adjunct Instructor. He teaches governance for the masters’ program in Independent School Leadership. He is also on the faculty for the Peabody Leadership Institute for Independent Schools – a week-long comprehensive institute that features practitioners working with independent school leaders from around the world.

Dr. Mott is the author of three books on the subject of independent and faith-based school governance and leadership. His latest book, Healthy Boards, Successful Schools: The Impact of Governance and Leadership on Independent and Faith-Based Schools is a valued resource utilized by hundreds of schools all across the country.

Dr. Mott received his Ph.D. in educational leadership from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. He also holds a B.A. from the University of Mississippi. He and his wife Courtney have been married for over thirty-eight years and they have two grown children.

 

Meeting Dates and Times

February 15, 22, 29 from 6-8pm CT.

Deadline to register February 12, 2024.

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Looking for Cohorts?

Christopher Perrin

What Virtue Is and Why It Matters

Description: 

It is now common to hear teachers and leaders speak of classical education as the cultivation of virtue. However, most of us in the classical renewal have not studied the virtue tradition in any depth. This cohort is a sampling of Dr. Perrin’s graduate course offered through the Gordon College Master of Arts in Classical Leadership program. Participants will take part in a sustained study of virtue beginning with the classical writers such as Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Aurelius, and Cicero and then moving on to study some of the great Christian writers on virtue such as Augustine, Basil, and Aquinas. Throughout our study, we will make regular applications to Christian school leadership and the ways in which classical teachers can grow as cultivators of virtue in their own classrooms.

During the 10 months of the cohort, Dr. Perrin will be available via email, and online where everyone in the cohort can correspond and discuss our readings.

 

Bio: 

Christopher Perrin, MDiv, PhD, is the CEO with Classical Academic Press, and a national leader, author, and speaker for the renewal of classical education. He is the author of An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents, Greek for Children Primer A, and co-author of the Latin for Children series. He serves as a consultant to classical Christian schools, schools converting to the classical model, and homeschool co-ops. He is the director of the Alcuin Fellowship, former co-chair of the Society for Classical Learning, and an adjunct professor with the honor’s program at Messiah College and with the Classical School Leadership master’s program at Gordon College. Chris previously served for ten years as a headmaster of a classical Christian school in Harrisburg, PA

 

Syllabus:

Outline of Authors and Readings

The Classical Tradition

  • Homer
  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Cicero
  • Seneca
  • Aurelius

The Christian Tradition

  • Augustine
  • Prudentius
  • Basil
  • Aquinas
  • Dante
  • Melancthon
  • Sertillanges
  • DeYoung
Jef Fowler

Building the Foundation: The Business of Getting Your School Off the Ground

Description:

Launching a new school can be overwhelming! Where to even begin? This cohort is for all who are somewhere in the process of launching a school from just the seeds of an idea to the opening year. The cohort will work through general principles of launching a school but will be tailored to the specific needs of the participants. Topics will include: ensuring that you have a clear vision and mission, corporate formation, writing bylaws, establishing school board policies and practices, budgeting, personnel, facilities, marketing/promotion, etc. In addition to monthly meetings, Jef will offer office hours during which participants can seek individual advice.

 

Bio:

Jef served as the Head of School of Veritas Academy in Austin, Texas for 18 years until retiring in the summer of 2023 (though he continues to serve on the Veritas school and trustee boards) and launching Quiddity Consulting LLC. His strengths are vision (seeing what doesn’t exist but could/should), discernment, persistent resolve and equanimity, adaptability, and relational leadership, qualities that are especially prominent in startups and in times of uncertainty and crisis when he thrives due to his high tolerance for ambiguity and risk.

Prior to co-founding Veritas Academy in 2004, Jef was an experienced business owner, operator, and consultant, having started and/or served as a senior executive officer (CFO/COO/CEO) at several high growth companies in Houston and Austin. He earned an MBA in Finance from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin and is a former CPA, possessing years of M&A, corporate finance, and strategic/financial consulting experience with Big Four accounting and consulting firms. Jef has even more years of entrepreneurial business and church administration/board experience, and has previously served the National Association for University-Model Schools (NAUMS) as an advisory board member and new school trainer.

Jef and his wife, Starrla, have three grown children (all graduates of Veritas Academy) and continue to serve the classical Christian school movement from their new home in Memphis, Tennessee where they recently relocated in order to spend life with their adult children and soon-to-appear grandchildren.

 

Topics:

  1. Prayer, Wisdom, & Guidance: understanding this is God’s work. Praying for this new venture, for the heart and vision for families and children, for the educational passion and entrepreneurial DNA, for the vision, acumen, and spiritual maturity needed, and for the fortitude and faith to see it through.   
  2. Mission & Vision: prayerfully crafting your vision and mission with the end in mind
  3. Legal Formation: filing for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, articles of incorporation, bylaws, bank accounts, board policies, employment law, etc. 
  4. Finance: raising funds, setting tuition, creating the budget, reporting financials, accounting, HR, etc.
  5. People: hiring mission-minded personnel, creating a launch team, identifying the best seats on the bus/organizational structure, developing constructive relationships between the board, head of school, and senior managers/executive team, etc.
  6. Facilities & Operations: identifying space options, understanding daily-use logistics, plant adjustments needed for schools, preparing for customer service, carpool, creating positive landlord relationships, etc 
  7. Marketing & Branding: creating a school name, logo, and branding package, building a marketing and promotion strategy and launch campaign, creating school communication, etc. 
SEE COHORT OFFERINGS

If you have any questions, contact workshops@societyforclassicallearning.org

In Each Workshop, Attendees Will:

Receive guidance, feedback, and dedicated time with your leader and workshop group

Problem solve and collaborate with like-minded individuals dealing with similar situations.

Participate in 60-90-minute weekly sessions for 6 weeks

Discover new tactics and strategies specific to your field, particular challenge, or topic

Receive specialized resources, shared documents, and training material

Benefit from specific skills development

Hear from experienced leaders and industry experts

Use each week for independent work, connecting with peers, and group learning

Regular Pricing

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$679

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$612

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$499

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Summer Conference 2024 - National Harbor, Maryland

Join us for a gathering of classical Christian educators from around the world as we consider what it means to build school communities and welcome the outside through biblical hospitality.

As a member, you receive access to all of the most recent summer conference content, including 80+ workshops, plenary speakers, etc., plus access to the full library of past content.

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