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Workshops and Seminars

Do you want to grow in your role?

Why attend an Equipping Seminar or 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 seminars and workshops are designed to provide you fundamental best practices for your role.

Seminars are two hours in length and designed to provide a high-level overview. These are an ideal way for busy leaders to gain a broad understanding of a topic. Seminars also serve as a great introduction to a topic before committing to a six-hour workshop or year-long cohort.

Workshops dive a little deeper into a topic and are six hours in length stretched over either 3, 4, or 6 days.

Summer Workshops and Seminars

Seminars for Leaders

Tami Peterson

Vocational Discipleship: An Integrated Approach for K-12 Classical Christian Education

Description:

Our classical Christian communities are rightly focused on life-long learning, but translating learning into behavior is true discipleship. Vocational discipleship is more than a conversation about how students will eventually make a living; it is the true integration of being and doing. In this two-hour seminar, Tami will explore student fragmentation, distraction, and lack of direction and will provide examples of how integrated vocational discipleship can support young adult flourishing.

 

Bio: 

Tami has decades of experience in the field of education serving as a teacher, counselor, and administrator. For twelve years she served as Director of College Advising at Covenant Christian Academy, a classical, Christian PK-12 school, in Colleyville, Texas.   

In 2012, Tami founded Life Architects Coaching, where she, as a college and career coach, serves clients  in discovering their calling through vocational discipleship. She supports churches and schools by providing professional staff development and program consultation. In 2015, she was one of three designers of the curriculum for the NACCAP College Counselor Certification Program and was an instructor and the project manager for the first five cohorts. 

Tami has numerous certifications in teaching and coaching and has recently earned an M.A. in Leadership, Theology, and Society from Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 

She and her husband David live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and have two adult children.

Meeting Date and Time

July 23rd from 1:00 – 3:00 pm CT.

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John Evans

Habit and Heart: An Introduction to Our Morning Assembly Liturgies

Description: 

If you were to walk into our school in the morning, you would hear something beautiful; it’s the sound of our pre-K through 4th graders reciting 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. The hundreds of students chant it to a rhythm we practice, and by the end of the quarter, they’ve mastered it. John 1? We hid it in their hearts last year, and my boys still chant it with the right prompting. Morning Assembly is the time Trinity Classical School takes to open the day; a time in which we sing a hymn, recite a certain passage of scripture, and set our minds on God’s Word. Let me show you behind the scenes of our Morning Assembly; learn of the richness that’s taken over a decade to refine in order to place God’s Word and worship of the true King at center stage. 

This seminar will provide a high-level overview of a powerful and intentional chapel program. Check it out, then consider taking a deeper dive into this content through our six-hour fall workshop to help you build/refine your own chapel/assembly.

 

Bio:

John Evans is a part of Trinity Classical School as a parent, teacher, and Logic School Dean of Students. He has been in Christian education for the past ten years and genuinely seeks to disciple students’ hearts towards loving the Father in Christ. After graduating from Texas Tech University, John completed his Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction. He is passionate about Wendell Berry, semicolons, painted buntings, watercolors, and the drums … in no particular order. Finally, John would like everyone reading this to know that he was tricked into running two marathons. And no, nothing was chasing him.

Meeting Date and Time

July 25th from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm CT. 

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Leslie Collins

Offering Accommodations in a CCE School - A Leader's Guide

Description:

Many schools are seeking to provide adequate and appropriate support for students with learning challenges. This seminar will provide high level guidance—with  principles and best practices—for developing and operating a student support program. This seminar is ideal for school leaders who are looking to launch such a program, or refine their current program. For a deeper dive in how to best support students with learning challenges, school leaders and faculty may consider the six-hour workshop offered by Leslie on this topic.

 

Bio:

Leslie and her husband, Dave, have been working together in the disability community since 1987 when they married. Their focus provides relief for exhausted parents through childcare and friendship. When she graduated in 1991, Leslie focused on starting programs of inclusion in her classroom and in the local church. In 1995, Leslie became the founding headmistress of Rockbridge Academy in Millersville, Maryland, where she was also an inclusive kindergarten teacher for a student with communication and physical impairments. She was privileged to briefly serve in Kailua, Hawaii, as Trinity Christian School transitioned to a classical model. In both classical Christian education (CCE) schools, Leslie taught autistic students in the typical CCE classroom, either as the support teacher or the inclusive teacher. She is currently the Head of School at Covenant Academy in northwest Houston. As a school that values every student being brought to the apex of their ability, Covenant Academy has devoted attention and resources to developing and sustaining a thriving Student Support program. 

 

Leslie and Dave have four children and four grandbabies with one more on the way! Leslie holds a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s University, a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from the University of Maryland, and an Ed.S. in Leadership in Classical Christian Education from Gordon College. Gardening, reading, and being with her grandchildren are her favorite activities. 

Meeting Date and Time

July 29th from 1:00 – 3:00 pm CT.

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Askala Harris Calhoun

Taking Donors Seriously Fundraising Framework

Description:

In this two-hour seminar, you will learn the basic principles of how to effectively fundraise with the Taking Donors Seriously® Framework: Case for Support, Leadership, Prospects, Strategy & Plan. Participants will learn the six principles of effective fundraising, how to build a volunteer fundraising team, how to segment and prioritize prospects, and how to make a plan of action to be implemented right away.

 

Bio:

Askala Harris Calhoun, Director of Fundraising Training & Consultant, is a life-long learner whose passion is applying new and innovative concepts to her wealth of expertise in order to help organizations thrive. With a career in philanthropy spanning more than twelve years, she leads with warmth, humor, vision, and strategy. As a leader in major donor development and nonprofit management, she has held the titles of Executive Director, Executive Director of Development, Senior Director of Major Gifts, and Director of Development in small ministries and large organizations, including for the University of Texas at Austin and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation (USA). She has also planned and executed outstanding corporate social responsibility programs for Fortune 500 companies. Askala has demonstrated excellence in nonprofit consulting, including building fundraising and major gift programs, donor engagement and development, strategic planning, and leadership and board development. Having served in executive leadership positions, on boards of directors, and in volunteer roles with various organizations, Askala brings a unique and holistic perspective to the nonprofit sector and has used those experiences to help clients enhance their financial sustainability and organizational infrastructure. Askala resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex with her husband and their two dogs. Askala is a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church and is active in lay leadership at the local, regional, and national levels.

Meeting Date and Time

July 29th from 12:00 – 2:00 pm CT.

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Leslie Moeller

Developing Your Committee on Trustees

Description: 

There is nothing that a board can do that a future board cannot undo. Selecting, equipping and evaluating board members are therefore among the most important board responsibilities, and all of these are in the job description of the Committee on Trustees. In this seminar, we will discuss the committee’s key functions and how to layer them in realistically as you develop or reinforce this key board committee.

 

Bio:

Leslie Moeller has recently been named Head of School for the Geneva School of Boerne, Texas. She also serves on the boards of the Society for Classical Learning; Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia; New Covenant Schools in Lynchburg, Virginia; and the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Test. She teaches a class on law and governance for the Gordon College Masters in Educational Leadership program and consults with heads and boards of classical, Christian schools around the country. Leslie received her J.D. from Boston College and her B.A. in Economics and English Literature from the University of Virginia. She and her husband Eric have three children who have all graduated from classical, Christian schools.

Meeting Date and Time

August 6th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm CT.

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Seminars for Teachers

Brooke Ramsey

Integrating the Arts in the Classroom

Description:

The arts move us. They play a vital role in educating students’ emotions, teaching them to feel in ways that contribute to their moral imaginations and form them as contemplative and embodied persons. This two-hour seminar will introduce participants to the importance of this poetic, or sensory-experiential, mode of knowing as well as provide practical ways to masterfully weave picture studies, music appreciation, and poetry recitation into every discipline. Participants will learn how to curate weekly pieces of classical music or art, how to conduct a short Charlotte-Mason-style picture study or composer listening session, and how to spark the connection of living ideas in the classroom through the recitation and discussion of poetry. Whether you are a Lower or Upper School teacher looking to enrich the study of a specific subject through the arts or you are an administrator hoping to design and implement more encounters with beauty for students school-wide, this session will both inspire and equip you.

 

Bio:

Brooke Ramsey began teaching at Valor Preparatory Academy in Waco, Texas, in 2017 and became the Head of the Grammar School in 2020. She graduated as a University Scholar from Baylor University and is a member of The Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society. She completed her MAT in Classical Education from the Templeton Honors College and is currently enrolled in the University of St.Thomas’ new MFA program in Creative Writing. Before coming to Valor, she homeschooled her children while living and working in India and Pakistan for 17 years. She has five children spanning from 22 years old to a third-grader at Valor. She loves inspiring teachers and families, reading and writing on her porch, and homeschooling her own two youngest on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Charlotte Mason method of education at Valor.

Meeting Date and Time

July 22nd from 9:00 – 11:00 am CT.

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Brian Polk

Understanding Science as Natural Philosophy

Description: 

My first introduction to classical education was at a conference shortly after I was hired to teach chemistry at a classical Christin school. I was immediately hooked and felt like I had discovered the educational model I had always thought was possible but had never seen. At the end of the conference, though, I spoke up during a Q&A and asked where chemistry fit into the classical model. The winsome rhetorician replied rather bluntly, “It doesn’t.” It’s not hyperbole for me to say that I have spent the last 18 years trying to prove him wrong. With that said, chemistry (and other modern sciences)—with the way they are typically imagined at most schools—might not actually belong in a classical Christian curriculum; modern science must be reimagined. Science must be set into a historical and Christian context, and it must be redeemed from its enmeshment with secular humanism. This seminar will explore how we as science educators in classical schools can set about that arduous task of reclaiming science as a gift from our Creator, clearly on display throughout the rich intellectual tradition we have inherited. Participants will gain a renewed perspective on “why” we teach science, and they will acquire some resources to advance them on their own journey to understand science in a classical Christian context. 

 

Bio:

Trained as a chemist (B.S. and M.S.), Brian started his teaching career as a lecturer at Rollins College in 1999. In 2004, he found his true calling when he switched to teaching high school science at The Geneva School in Orlando, Florida. Over the last 18 years, he has sought to determine where chemistry fits in a classical curriculum oriented towards the cultivation of wisdom and virtue. Since 2014-2016, he has worked with The Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning to develop resources oriented towards the cultivation of Christian faith in science classrooms. In 2015, Brian returned to school and earned a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University. He currently serves as the Director of School Improvement for the Society for Classical Learning. In addition to his work with SCL accreditation, Brian most recently worked as an associate professor of Natural Philosophy at the College of the Ozarks (assigned to the Christian Classical School of the Ozarks on campus) teaching integrated humanities and natural philosophy. Making the transition from scientist to philosopher is something he is very proud of and loves to talk about. 

Meeting Date and Time

July 23rd from  1:00 – 3:00 pm CT.

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Carrie Eben

Cultivating Intellectual Virtues across K-12 Classical Classrooms

Description:

Education for virtue is a central component of classical education. Traditionally, moral virtues such as Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance—with the additional spiritual virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love—are included in the classical tradition of education. In his book Deep in Thought: A Practical Guide for Teaching Intellectual Virtues, Dr. Jason Baehr highlights nine specific intellectual virtues for students to cultivate learning habits. This session will define and discuss these nine intellectual virtues (in addition to the traditional moral and spiritual variety) which include: Curiosity, Humility, Autonomy, Attentiveness, Carefulness, Thoroughness, Open-mindedness, Courage and Tenacity. Participants will hear of examples and engage in exercises that cultivate these virtues in the K-12 classroom.

 

Bio:

For over twenty-four years, Carrie Eben has championed classical education in both the private school classroom and homeschool arena. She currently serves as founding board member at Sager Classical Academy in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. 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.

Meeting Date and Time

July 30th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm CT.

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Athena Oden

PreK-2nd grade: Introduction to Embodied Cognition in Classical Classrooms

Description:

In this two-hour seminar, the participants will be introduced to the concept of embodied cognition. Over the past 25 years, science has shifted its focus from viewing humans as a brain carried within a body to studying them as whole, embodied organisms. This exciting research has given us a better understanding of how our brain truly functions, how we form memories, and how language is developed. These new insights should prompt us to reconsider how we understand and teach our students. 

 

This seminar is a brief introduction to the idea of embodied learning and serves as a launching point for a deeper dive through Athena’s year-long cohort on this same topic.

 

Bio:

Athena is the owner of Ready Bodies, Learning Minds and works as an Early Childhood Intervention consultant with public and private schools and non-profit organizations for children. Athena has created and implemented successful motor programs for schools throughout the United States, led Assistive Technology teams, designed accessible playgrounds, and served as an expert jury member in the validation of three assessments for students with developmental delays. Additionally, she has presented at the local, state, national and international level on topics dealing with the neurological and physiological development of the child in the classroom. As author of the book/curriculum Ready Bodies, Learning Minds: Cultivating the Whole Child (3rd edition), Athena hopes to help children and schools perform at their peak. 

Athena earned her degree in physical therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch and has spent the past 40 years in pediatrics. She was privileged to participate in the creation of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) white paper for “The Role of School-Based Physical Therapy: Successful Participation for All Students” in 2012 and again in 2023. She also served for six years as a Regional Representative for the South Central US states for the School Based SIG of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Additionally, Athena has written screening tools for typical and atypical children. 

She and her husband, David, classically trained their three children and were founding members of Gloria Deo Academy in Texas. Athena currently serves on the GDA board. She has a passion for classical education, old musty books, and a good cup of tea.

Meeting Date and Time

August 1st from 6:30 – 8:30 pm CT.

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Workshops for Leaders

Eric Cook

10 Mistakes Small Schools Make

Description:

Several hundred schools in the classical Christian school movement are less than 10 years old. Schools in this stage of the institutional lifecycle are still in the turbulent, formative years. Young schools often struggle during this time because focus must be given to a myriad of issues. Slowing down to think about the process may feel important, but not urgent. After leading a school through all of the institutional stages of development, visiting schools all over the United States, and consulting with dozens of schools, Eric will explore with school leaders ten often overlooked areas that can help small schools thrive. 

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: Operational Excellence 

In this session, we will examine three of the ten mistakes small schools make. The focus will be on ensuring that growing schools develop sound policies that position the school for operational success.

 

Session 2: Cultural Maturity

The focus for our second session will be on ensuring that your school is building the culture it envisions while understanding and facing the inevitable realities that come with acquiring more students.

 

Session 3: Leadership 

Session three will focus on head and board leadership, examining the need to adapt practices to align the school infrastructure to support the increasing growth of the school.

 

Session 4: Building for the Future

Finally, we will examine development for the future of your school. Every small school will reach a point at which it will need to acquire a substantial amount of funding that is beyond tuition. This session will focus on how to do that while developing a leadership team that is built for the future.

 

Bio:

Eric Cook is the President of the Society for Classical Learning (SCL). Eric has been formally associated with SCL for over a decade, serving in multiple roles including Executive Director and Board Chair. He was the Head of School at Covenant Classical in Fort Worth, Texas, for 13 years before joining SCL full time. Prior to Covenant, Eric was the Head of Upper School at Faith Christian School in Roanoke, Virginia. Eric also taught and served in leadership at several public schools.

Eric earned a bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University, a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from Northern Kentucky University, and an EdS in Classical School Leadership from Gordon College.

Eric has taught a myriad of subjects from philosophy to thesis. He consults with schools and coaches leaders in a variety of contexts. He speaks and presents at conferences around the country. Eric and his wife, Liz, have six children. They live in Richmond, Virginia, home of the SCL headquarters.

Meeting Dates and Times

Aug 8, 15, 22, 29 (Thursday) from 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET.

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Jenni Meadows

Building Your College Counseling Program

Description:

his workshop—designed for those in their first few years in the college counseling role—details the foundational, practical elements of college counseling. We will cover the how-to’s of the topics listed below while maintaining the high view of God’s calling and His glory to be seen through each of your students. As most of us are an ‘office-of-one’ on our campuses, we will also begin to build your network of college counseling colleagues for the questions and new developments that are inherent to the process. Participants will gain practical tools and resources for the topics listed below as well as develop a philosophy of college counseling that can be woven into discussions with students and families.

 

Topics covered include:

  • Coaching students through building a college list, building a resume, completing the Common App, and composing admissions essays 
  • Writing a solid Counselor Letter
  • Coaching faculty through Letters of Recommendation 
  • Educating students and parents on financial aid 
  • Effectively communicating with admissions offices 
  • Supporting the unique admissions elements for student-athletes and students applying to fine arts programs
  • Creating your school profile
  • Coaching students and parents concerning standardized testing. 

 

Syllabus:

Building Your College Counseling Program

This Workshop covers the basic tools and resources to build and support your campus’ college counseling program through the lens of God’s lifelong calling on our students’ lives. Practical tools and a variety of resources will be included.

 

Bio:

Jenni has served in a wide variety of roles in K-12 schools during her seventeen years in education and is encouraged greatly by how God is choosing to move in and grow students and families through the Christian classical school movement. She currently supports the students and families of Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth as their College Counselor. When not on campus, she enjoys digging in the dirt in her backyard and reading. She has three adult children: son, Jacob; daughter-in-law, Liz; and daughter Emily. This year she celebrates her 30th wedding anniversary with husband, Shawn.

Meeting Dates and Times

Jul 22, 29, Aug 5, 12 from 12:00 – 1:30 pm CT.

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Workshops for Teachers (Lower School)

Colleen Dong

A Formative Education: Teaching Virtue in Grammar School

Description:

In this workshop, teachers will learn about virtues and virtue education for children, an implicit value of classical schools. We will discuss the benefits of explicitly teaching virtues and examine an example model to use for incorporating virtues into Grammar School. Teachers will also be equipped with strategies, tactics, and ideas for how to integrate virtues into current lesson plans and curriculum. In a society that seems to deemphasize virtue, our students and families are hungrier than ever to develop these crucial skills and sensitivities.  

This workshop is scheduled to meet twice in the summer to allow participants to better prepare for the launch of the school year, and then sessions resume once school has begun so that participants have the opportunity to apply what is being learned.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: An Introduction to Virtue Education, understanding virtues’ critical role in education

Session 2: How Can We Teach Virtue in Grammar School?

Session 3: Habits of Mind and Soul: Intellectual Virtues and Moral Virtues 

Session 4: Two Models for Teaching Virtue

Session 5: Thinking Routines and How to Incorporate Virtue into your Lessons

Session 6: Using Great Books to Teach Virtue 

 

Bio:

Mrs. Colleen Dong has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Azusa Pacific University and an M.A. in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from San Diego State University. She has been part of The Cambridge School’s faculty since 2011. Colleen has taught kindergarten, as well as 7th and 8th grade Speech and Debate; additionally, she has served as the Upper School writing tutor and as Grammar School faculty coach and mentor. She is currently the Assistant Grammar School Principal and has two children attending Cambridge. 

Meeting Dates and Times

Jul 23, 24 from 9:00 – 10:00 am PT. Sep 11, 18, 25, Oct 2 (Wednesday) from 4:00 – 5:00 pm PT.

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Janice Stoll

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 six-week workshop will help the early childhood classical teacher with the tips, tricks, and a practical framework to form foundational habits in the youngest of students. You will learn how to confidently assume the role of authority while setting loving, realistic expectations that lead to a cooperative, flourishing, and joyful classroom.

This workshop is scheduled to meet twice in the summer to allow participants to better prepare for the launch of the school year, and then sessions resume once school has begun so that participants have the opportunity to apply what is being learned. 

 

Syllabus:

​​Session 1:  What is habit training? Loving your students and families well, hospitality in the classroom 

Session 2:  How to form habits toward virtue? Friendship and trust, obedience, self-control, setting boundaries

Session 3:  Modeling and teaching respect for authority and respect for others, teaching personal responsibility

Session 4: Attentiveness and perseverance … passion is contagious  

Session 5: Academic success through best practices with the Seven Laws of Teaching

Session 6: Interacting with challenging students/parents in a Christ-like manner … teaching and learning as unto the Lord

 

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, Texas. Coaching colleagues, collaborating with parents, and guiding the youngest of students are her lifelong passion. Other passions include fitness, travel, politics, entertaining guests, fashion, and singing in the church choir.

Meeting Dates and Times

Jul 25, Aug 1, Sep 5, Sep 12, Sep 19, Sep 26 (Thursday) from 7:00 – 8:00 pm CT.

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Daniel Payne

Imaginative Learning with CS Lewis: A Gateway to Classical Education

Description:

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. While offering practical and meaningful ways to encourage the imagination of students, the four sessions will present teachers—particularly those newer to classical education—with opportunities to learn how to both think and act like a classical educator. Participants in this course will leave with practical ways to encourage their students’ imaginations. The workshop will share three steps for pursuing this in a classical classroom: sharing “the unknown,” welcoming sehnsucht, and living an imaginative life publicly. While the workshop will be applicable for all teachers, it will feature an emphasis on “how” classical educators think. This will be particularly beneficial for teachers new to classical education.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: 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.

Session 2: Encouraging the Unknown

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

Session 3: 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.

Session 4: 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.

 

Bio:

Daniel Payne is an experienced classical educator with a passion for leadership and imagination. 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 Narniad and has also taught on C. S. 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 scholars and enthusiasts, including Douglas Gresham—C. S. Lewis’s own stepson. Daniel lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

Meeting Dates and Times

Jul 29, 30, 31, Aug 1 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm ET.

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Jessica Gombert

The How of Reading Instruction

Description:

This workshop will focus on the subject matter that occupies a significant place in the Grammar School curriculum: reading.  To teach reading well, you must have a good deal of knowledge about how reading “works” so that you can analyze students’ needs, successes, struggles, and progress. Teacher preparation and knowledge are fundamental to reading achievement.  While being knowledgeable of best practices is important, an understanding of how the brain functions during the reading process is equally necessary for effective reading instruction.  Together, we will discuss these best practices, as well as why a systematic phonetic approach to reading instruction is classical, brain-based, and effective.  We will address the obstacles that get in the way of the reading process and how to come alongside struggling readers. Practical strategies for providing this necessary support in the Grammar School classroom will be shared.  We will also discuss the importance of reading throughout the Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric stages. Participants will leave knowing how to apply their knowledge of reading development into effective instructional practices. It is critical for our schools to implement effective programs and encourage life-long readers who delight in the process. Join me in this important conversation as we address the following essential questions and many more:

  • How can we establish a strong reading environment and measure its effectiveness in the Grammar School? 
  • How do we train administrators, teachers, and parents in the science of reading?
  • How can we assess students’ reading progress and act on that information in our teaching?
  • What types of instructional and intervention strategies help students reach those goals? 

Our learning will include both what reading is about as well as how to assess and teach it. Throughout our inquiry together, we will develop defensible reasons to support why we teach reading in particular ways. You will benefit from reading the required text, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf, and recommended reading, Equipped for Reading Success: A Comprehensive, Step-by-Step Program for Developing Phonemic Awareness and Fluent Word Recognition.

 

Bio:

Jessica Gombert is in her 19th year as the Grammar School Headmaster at Geneva School of Boerne. She holds an MA in Education and has been involved in many aspects of education for over 30 years. Teaching experiences include special education, kindergarten, adult classes for Region 20 Alternative Certification Program, and university student teacher supervision. She delights in teaching students to become life-long learners as well as encouraging and leading teachers. She is dedicated to Christian and classical education. Jessica has led The Society for Classical Learning’s Grammar School Head cohort for four years and has presented at numerous conferences. She is passionate about reading instruction and is currently writing student readers to supplement the phonics curriculum. She also has a love for serving and teaching children in Africa and has taught and trained teachers in Zambia, Uganda, and Rwanda.

Meeting Dates and Times

July 23, 25, 30 (Tuesday) from 1:00 – 3:00 pm CT.

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Workshops for Teachers (Upper School)

Allison Jackson

Equipping Your Classical Toolkit

Description:

 Are you passionate about the ideals of classical Christian education (CCE) but not sure how to implement them? Are you an experienced CCE leader or teacher who needs to refresh your educational toolkit for yourself and for your team? Join Allison Jackson for a six-session course that will inspire you and equip you with practical tools for your classroom. Ms. Jackson will draw from decades of classroom experience to explain and illustrate principles of classical pedagogy in action, as well as examine the necessity of cultivating classroom relationships. Furthermore, you will gain valuable real-time feedback as you incorporate new ideas into your classroom and then return each session to dialogue with the group. What worked? What didn’t?? And what can we learn from crowdsourcing ideas?

This workshop is scheduled to meet twice in the summer to allow participants to better prepare for the launch of the school year, and then sessions resume once school has begun so that participants have the opportunity to apply what is being learned.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: Why do we need to refresh our toolkit? Avoid ruts and set goals.

Session 2: Am I fruity? Cultivating classroom relationships. 

Session 3: Am I giving my students academic indigestion? Festina Lente; Multum, non Multa;  and Schole.

Session 4: Why can’t they just sit still? Enjoying embodied learners. 

Session 5: Am I disintegrating ? Weaving a tapestry of connections through subject integration.

Session 6: Am I failing forward? FAQs, stories, and keeping our eyes on the prize.

 

Bio:

For over 20  years, Allison Jackson has been investing in the lives of students of all ages. She earned a pre-med biology degree from the University of North Texas and worked in research and industrial labs. Since then, she has taught public high school, nature study camps for little ones, and all the ages and stages between. Highlights of her work include teaching weekly classes for classical Christian homeschoolers, founding a classical, Christian school with several other families, establishing a school garden, and leading professional development workshops at SCL, ACCS, and the Regents Institute for Classical Education in Austin, Texas. A lifelong learner, Ms. Jackson is working toward a Masters in Classical Leadership through Gordon College. You can find Ms. Jackson in her happy place at Regents School of Austin teaching Logic-level science and serving as the School of Logic Dean or kayaking with her adult sons any chance she gets. She is ever so grateful for the discipleship-centered approach of classical Christian education where she can lead her students to weave together a tapestry of integrated subjects with faith at the center.

Meeting Dates and Times

Jul 29, 31, Sep 9, 23, Oct 7, 21 (Monday) from 4:30 – 5:30 pm CT.

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Elizabeth Sallie & Luke Salazar

Harkness Discussions to Form Hospitable People

Description:

Harkness discussions are uniquely able to shape students as whole people—socially, emotionally, and spiritually, as well as academically. In this workshop, learn how to intentionally build a classroom culture where regular Harkness discussions are a joyful part of learning and form students as whole people.

Together, we will explore how teachers can lower barriers to make the discussion table truly welcoming for every student, regardless of personality or grade-level. We will experience Harkness discussions firsthand and then discuss specific strategies to make discussions a place where every student voice matters and each student is formed. Teachers will be guided step-by-step through the process of Harkness from setting expectations, to implementing the discussion, to giving feedback. Best practices for differentiation and adaptation will also be taught. Teachers will be provided with practical tools and models to implement in their own classrooms. Plenty of time will also be devoted to discussing and troubleshooting. 

This workshop is scheduled to meet twice in the summer to allow participants to better prepare for the launch of the school year, and then sessions resume once school has begun so that participants have the opportunity to apply what is being learned.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: Harkness is a critical tool. In this introduction to Harkness discussions, survey an overview of what Harkness is and how it uniquely forms your students to better love learning and one another.

Session 2: Harkness is intentional. Workshop practical tools to lead a Harkness discussion in your classroom, including best practices for preparing your own and students’ reading, crafting objectives, and developing good discussion questions. 

Session 3: Harkness is formative. Discuss how to best assess student output, knowledge, and habits. Practice how to both provide feedback to students to shape future discussions and learning.

Session 4: Harkness is responsive. On this troubleshooting-focused day, bring your questions from how your implementation of Harkness so far and receive practical tips for upcoming discussions.

Session 5: Harkness is accessible and adaptable. Learn strategies for differentiation and accommodating for all learners. 

Session 6: Harkness is joyful! Learn how to build a culture of joy around discussion and avoid discussions becoming rote or stale.

 

Bio:

Elizabeth Sallie is the Academic Dean at Cornerstone Schools of Washington, DC. With ten years of classical education experience and twelve total years in urban education, she brings a love of learning and joyful practicality to the classroom. When she isn’t reading books, Elizabeth can be found kayaking the Anacostia River or hosting friends for bonfires.

Luke Salazar is the High School Director and lead Humanities teacher at Cornerstone Schools of Washington, DC. Over the last seven years, Luke has worked to build the high school culture at Cornerstone and co-develop a humanities curriculum that scaffolds for a variety of students and incorporates diverse texts. When not teaching, Luke enjoys coaching volleyball, writing poetry, and backpacking the North Cascades.

Meeting Dates and Times

Jul 23, 25, Sep 10, 17, 24, and Oct 1 (Tuesday) from 7:30 – 8:30 pm ET.

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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 my early days of teaching 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 referenced, nor did I understand the philosophical issues that they discussed. I picked up a copy of C.S. 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 this year, then join us for readings, lessons, and conversation to help you do just that.   

This workshop is scheduled to meet twice in the summer to allow participants to better prepare for the launch of the school year, and then sessions resume once school has begun so that participants have the opportunity to apply what is being learned.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: Lewis’ Abolition of Man and a new natural philosophy: In one of the foundational texts of Classical education, what does Lewis mean by needing a new natural philosophy?  We will explore what he means and what this means for us as science educators. 

Session 2: Developing a theology of creation and plan for the school year:  We will walk through a theology of creation catechism that was created at Geneva for my 9th grade science class.  This is the last session in July, so we will spend time crafting plans for implementing ideas for this coming school year.  

Session 3: Medieval to modern worldview via art:  This is a lesson I do with my biology class that uses art over four centuries to explore how the medieval worldview shifted into our modern one. 

Session 4: What hath Plato to do with modern chemistry?  Chemistry is a modern science discipline, but alongside its development came the metaphysical belief that material is all that exists.  Plato brought such a worldview to an end in ancient Greece.  We will explore his argumentation and its potential for today.

Session 5: Tennyson’s In Memoriam and Psalm 104:  We will contrast the worldview of Charles Darwin as portrayed in Tennyson’s famous poem alongside Psalm 104. 

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

 

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. This is also true when he teaches Sunday School at his church.

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 is co-author of A New Natural Philosophy:  Recovering a Natural Science and Christian Pedagogy.

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.

Meeting Dates and Times

Jul 23, 25, Sep 5, 12, 19, 26 (Tuesday) from 7:00 – 8:00 pm ET.

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Ann St. John

Unlocking the Secrets to Harkness Discussions: Logic Literature Circles

Description:

How can we prepare students who are still in Logic School to confidently and actively participate in Socratic Seminars and Harkness Discussions once they are in Rhetoric School? The solution lies in implementing Literature Circles within grades 5-8. By introducing Literature Circles in Logic (and later Grammar grades), we prepare students to develop fundamental skills and cultivate critical thinking, while boosting their confidence in a discussion. 

 

This workshop is designed to prepare and inspire you to guide your students toward engaging, fruitful, and analytic conversations. Whether you’re a seasoned educator or just starting out, this workshop will take you through a comprehensive program. You will gain access to resources and tools that can be seamlessly integrated into your classroom’s curriculum.

 

Syllabus:

Preparing Students and Developing Skills

As you prepare your students for Literature Circles, it’s important to identify and cultivate the necessary skills. How can you accomplish this while also focusing on your existing curriculum? 

Selecting the Right Literature to Support Literature Circles

Choosing the right literature is crucial for successful discussions, particularly when introducing students to the concept. Furthermore, how can this approach be adapted for future works or academic discussions in other subjects? 

Administering Literature Circles

When administering Literature Circles, it is essential to create effective discussion groups and teach students specific roles within the circle. This includes providing practice opportunities. 

Ensuring Student Engagement

He who does the most work learns the most. Therefore, we must develop buy-in and engagement from our students. What are proven strategies for this?

Managing Challenging Situations

Managing challenging situations is an inevitable aspect of any group discussion, and Literature Circles are no exception. How can you handle difficult group dynamics and steer the conversation toward productive territory? 

Evaluating and Providing Feedback to Students 

Finally, evaluating and providing feedback to students is essential for their growth. This can be achieved through discussion rubrics, self-evaluations, and goal setting.

 

Bio:

Ann St. John has been involved in classical education for more than 18 years. She started her teaching career at a small classical school in Keller, Texas. Since then, she has spent over a decade at one of the largest classical schools in the country, Regents School of Austin. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to teach and learn from hundreds of students. She loves to find new ways to engage students and foster learning. At Regents, Ann has taught English to 6th-grade students. She enjoys developing creative and engaging lessons that provide students with foundational skills and knowledge while empowering them to take ownership and control over their own learning.

Meeting Dates and Times

Jul 29, 30, 31 (Monday) from 3:30 – 5:30 pm CT.

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Will Killmer

Classroom Management for the Classical Classroom

Description:

Classical educators, myself included, often enter their classrooms armed with a rich knowledge and vibrant enthusiasm for their subject, but with minimal, if any, training in how to run their classrooms. In fact, some recent evidence suggests that only 40% of teacher training programs at the university level provide comprehensive preparation in classroom management! This workshop seeks to provide teachers with a structured framework for managing their classrooms that is consistent with the classical tradition of education and complemented by evidence arising from behavioral psychology and cognitive science. Teachers will acquire a preventative system of running their rooms, as well as tactics to use in situ. In particular, we will discuss such topics as: establishing norms, rules, and routines; issuing consequences; setting the narrative with students; and interacting with parents.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: “O Captain! My Captain!”

This session will first consider what classroom management is, what it is not, and the all-important role of the teacher at the helm of the classroom. Secondly, we will look at the role of norms in the classroom and discuss how the teacher can design, establish, and maintain those norms in order to create a caring, charitable, and courageous culture in the classroom. 

Session 2: One Ring to Rule Them All

Flowing from the previous session, the second session will discuss how to build and utilize rules and routines in your classroom through the lens of habit formation.

Session 3: In the Beginning Was the Word

This session will examine how to communicate well with students and their parents alike. On the students’ side, special focus will be given to the power of scripted responses for maintaining consistency and keeping one’s cool in the heat of the moment. On the parental side, we will look at ways to frame conversations about difficulties in the classroom so that the teacher and parents can work together toward the same goal of helping their students grow. 

Session 4: “Tough Taters, Tooter!”

This final session will delineate how to give meaningful consequences for poor behavior while maintaining the crucial role of charitably restoring a student after misbehavior. Moreover, some time will be dedicated to additional and lingering questions.

 

Bio:

A Virginia native, Will has taught a wide range of Latin students from 3rd graders just beginning their Latin journey to high-school seniors in AP Latin. He holds a B. A. in Classics from the University of Virginia; while at UVA, he spent a semester abroad in Rome. Will also holds two M.A. ‘s from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. After seminary, Will taught Latin in Peabody, Massachusetts, and since 2017, he has been teaching at the Veritas School in Richmond. In the classroom, Will likes to use active and communicative methods of Latin instruction that utilize the best practices from the rich 2000-year tradition of Latin teaching and learning; additionally, he incorporates insights from the fields of second language acquisition, cognitive science, and behavioral psychology. Will and his wife enjoy raising their three daughters (Amelia, 8, Lucy, 7, and Rosemary, 3), reading fantasy, smoking meat, and playing games. 

Meeting Dates and Times

Jul 22, 24, 29, 31 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm ET.

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Fall Workshops and Seminars

Workshops for Leaders

Michael Attaway

Building a Thriving Fine Arts Division

Description:

In a classical Christian school, a well-developed fine arts program is a critical component of the school, but how does one know if the program is operating as it should? A thriving fine arts program is founded upon a solid philosophy of the arts. From this philosophy, schools can form high level visual arts, music, and theatre arts programs. Additionally, the philosophy guides the hiring and evaluating of highly specialized teachers. Assessment of a school’s fine arts program from its philosophy to its implementation is important for the maintaining of high standards. This workshop will serve as a guide for heads of schools, division heads, fine arts directors, and fine arts teachers.

 

Syllabus:

Developing a Fine Arts Philosophy

Together we will examine the necessary parts of a fine arts philosophy and will explore how to craft a “portrait of an artist” similar to a “portrait of a graduate.”

Visual Arts

Starting first with visual arts, we will discuss best practices in classical art programs and will look at curriculum considerations.

Music

This session will discuss best practices in classical music programs and will look at curriculum considerations.

Theatre Arts

This session will discuss best practices in classical theatre programs and will look at curriculum considerations.

Fine Arts Teacher Evaluations & Hiring Techniques in Fine Arts

Using the newly crafted/revised department philosophy, learn how to hire and evaluate mission-aligned teachers.

Looking at Programs from Other Schools & Indicators to Assess the Program

We will review programs from several schools in the classical movement that have well-developed fine arts divisions, and participants will get a chance to share details from their schools, as well.

 

Bio:

Michael Attaway began his journey in music by joining the church choir at the age of six, and at the age of eleven, he began his studies on the trumpet. Michael continued his trumpet studies throughout middle school and high school, and he received a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music. While at BW, Michael had the opportunity to study with two trumpet players from the world renowned Cleveland Orchestra (James Darling and Jack Sutte), and he continued his studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music earning a Master of Music in Performance. While at CIM, Michael met and studied with one of his musical heroes, Michael Sachs (principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra).

Currently, Michael Attaway is the Director of Fine Arts at the Covenant School in Dallas, Texas. He has held teaching positions at Tarrant County College and Collin College and has taught trumpet privately around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Michael has presented clinics at the Texas Music Educators Association conference and for the Society for Classical Learning. As a performer, Michael has shared the stage with ensembles like the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Dallas Pops Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony, and the Akron Symphony, and recently, he has held the position of Second Trumpet with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra. In addition to these groups, Michael has performed with some of the world’s finest musicians like Doc Severinson, Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, Kenny G, Mannheim Steamroller, and many others.

Meeting Dates and Times

Sep 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 21, 28 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm CT.

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Brad Layland & Janet Stump

Taking Donors Seriously®: The Essentials of Fundraising for Flourishing School

Description:

From setting and maintaining tuition, to marketing to your school, to developing or enhancing your philanthropy program and culture of generosity, Brad and Jan will help you adopt a biblical and relational approach to fundraising as a way to secure a sustainable system of revenue and resources for your school, care for the school’s financial partners, and fund the strategic organizational efforts of your school. All of these activities can be achieved in ways that advance your compelling mission, year over year.

 

Syllabus:

Session One – Principles and Framework for Thriving Schools

Each participant will learn time-tested principles and practical applications to partner with donors over a lifetime. These practical applications are uniquely contextualized for classical Christian schools based on the Taking Donors Seriously® principles and framework. Additionally, each participant will learn basics on how to market the school and how to create a compelling Case for Support to discuss the school’s mission, vision, and funding needs with churches, community partners, and individual donors. 

Session Two – The Case for Support and Leadership  

Each participant will learn how to use their Case for Support effectively and how to identify, invite, and engage a volunteer fundraising team to help with fundraising strategically. Woven throughout this discussion will be principles of strategic thinking and planning that will move your school increasingly toward excellence, while cultivating relationships with partners.

Session Three – Prospects | 90-Minute Group Coaching Call

Participants will create a prioritized and segmented donor list to save them time and energy so they can more seamlessly integrate fundraising into their ministry, enabling them to spend more time focusing on the mission. Each participant will learn The Four Stages of the Ask, role play using their Case for Support, and develop their core strategies with top donors.

Session Four – Strategic Annual Fundraising Plan

Participants will create and learn how to implement a strategic, effective annual fundraising plan and how to integrate fundraising and marketing best practices. A mission-driven fundraising plan will accomplish much more than raising funds. Learn how to integrate key functions of your school–admissions, reenrollment, special events, volunteerism–in ways that will build a singular focus toward preparing the next generation of Christ followers.

 

Bio:

Brad first learned the principles and practices of Taking Donors Seriously® as a college student in 1993 while seeking to raise personal support as a part-time staff member for Young Life. Over the course of 20 years at Young Life, he developed his passion for and expertise in relational fundraising to the point of being asked to train other area directors around the country; Brad eventually became the Chief Development Officer for the entire organization. Brad’s expertise in providing high level fundraising counsel to nonprofit organizations incorporates major donor strategies, training workshops, planned gift marketing, and capital campaign counsel. In recent years he has led capital campaigns for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship ($81 million), Union Rescue Mission ($83 million), The Bowery Mission ($27 million) and Veritas School ($5.3 million). Brad has also served on the board of the Society for Classical Learning. Brad received his B.A. in Communications from the University of Florida and his M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Wendy reside in St. Augustine, Florida, and have four children. Brad enjoys running marathons, skiing, investing in real estate, entrepreneurship, and traveling with his family. Over the past 20 years, he has completed 50 marathons and recently completed his second Ironman Triathlon.

Jan brings over 35 years of fundraising and nonprofit leadership experience, guiding organizations and teams to fulfill their missions through strategic thinking and relational fundraising success. Her experience ranges from local Christian/charter schools, to international associations and foundations, to world missions. Most recently, Jan was Executive Director at Association of Christian Schools International Education Foundation and Executive Director for Global Resources—The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM).

Jan holds an MA in literature from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Since 2001, she has continuously held the Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) designation. Jan and her husband, Don, reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and enjoy tent camping, hiking, and their six amazing grandchildren. She always welcomes conversation on theology, philosophy, or a current novel.

Meeting Dates and Times

Sep 17, 24, Oct 1, 8 (Tuesday) from 2:00 – 3:30 pm PT.

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Brent Stevens

Tools for a Successful Transition into Leadership: Permission to Play

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 competencies and character traits necessary 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. 

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: What is Leadership?  

Session 2: Know thyself: Self-awareness is critical for healthy leadership

Session 3: The Leader as Chief Among Sinners: Vulnerability-based trust is the cornerstone of for healthy leadership

Session 4: Introduction to Leadership Literature: Become familiar with two authorities in the area of leadership—Peter Drucker and Patrick Lencioni

Session 5: Change: Foster trust and achieve organizational health by effectively navigating the thing everyone hates … change

Session 6: The First 90 Days: Secure early wins, earn trust, and set a healthy trajectory for your new role

 

Bio:

Brent Stevens is the Head of School at Grace Academy in Georgetown, Texas. Brent has been in education for 14 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.

Meeting Dates and Times

Sep 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22 (Tuesday) from 4:00 – 5:00 pm CT.

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Ralph Janikowsky

Keeping Your Head: The Critical Role of the Head Support and Evaluation Committee

Description:

The relationship between the board and the Head of School is the most important relationship in a school. How do boards ensure that they have a healthy, thriving relationship with their Head? Many independent schools now utilize what is called the Head Support and Evaluation Committee (HSEC). It is a standing board committee that provides a formal structure to maintain a healthy relationship with the Head of School. SCL highly recommends that each school board retain a HSEC in order to:

  • ensure a healthy, high-trust relationship with their Head
  • extend the Head’s longevity and job satisfaction
  • provide ongoing counsel and support
  • oversee the Head’s employment contract
  • conduct a formal evaluation of the Head
  • ensure the Head’s overall personal well-being
  • provide a reporting mechanism to the board
  • ensure the Head has clear performance goals and professional development resources
  • provide clarity about the Head’s roles and responsibilities

In this workshop, we will examine what HSEC is, how it works, why it exists, and how to use it to support the board’s one employee and fulfill the board’s primary responsibility. There will be time for each participant to ask questions and acquire a wide range of practical tools to establish and/or refine their own HSEC.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: The Vital Importance of the Head Support and Evaluation Committee

Session 2: The Structure and Logistics of HSEC

Session 3: Supporting the Head of School

Session 4: Evaluating the Head of School

Session 5: Securing the Head of School: Contracts, Compensation, and Benefits

Session 6: Tools and Resources for HSEC

 

Bio:

After serving for 28 years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Navy, Ralph has served on the Board at Rockbridge Academy, as Upper School Principal at Rockbridge Academy, and, for the last 8 years, as Head of School at Westminster Academy.

Meeting Dates and Times

Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov 5 from 10:00 – 11:00 am CT.

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John Evans

Habit and Heart: Our Morning Assembly Liturgies

Description:

If you were to walk into our school in the morning, you would hear something beautiful; it’s the sound of our pre-K through 4th graders reciting 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. The hundreds of students chant it to a rhythm we practice, and by the end of the quarter, they’ve mastered it! John 1? We hid it in their hearts last year, and my boys still chant it with the right prompting. Morning Assembly is the time Trinity Classical School takes to open the day. This is a time in which we sing a hymn, recite a certain passage of scripture, and set our minds on God’s Word. 

 

In this workshop, let me show you behind the scenes of our Morning Assembly; learn of the richness that’s taken over a decade to refine in order to place God’s Word and worship of the true King at center stage. Take a peek into our Morning Assembly through video clips; practice, yourself, the catchy cadence of reciting scripture to a rhythm. Explore ways in which you may create a meaningful assembly/chapel for your school! 

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: Heart Matters—Why?

Jesus focused on the heart, and so should we. Let’s look at why God’s Word and traditional hymns fan the flame in young learners and veteran teachers.

Session 2: Sticky Habits—What?

Let’s stick with one verse and one hymn for a quarter before moving on, slow and steady, my friends.

Session 3: Simple Levels—How?

Can this look different between Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric Schools? Let’s consider the options given the call to shepherd at various ages.

Session 4: Flexibility and Home Applications—To What End?

How can your school practically launch and then apply these patterns? How can chapel liturgies be extended to the home to better cement worshipful habits into the child and family? How will this practice affect home life? 

 

Bio:

John Evans is a part of Trinity Classical School as a parent, teacher, and Logic School Dean of Students. He has been in Christian education for the past ten years and genuinely seeks to disciple students’ hearts towards loving the Father in Christ. After graduating from Texas Tech University, John completed his Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction. He is passionate about Wendell Berry, semicolons, painted buntings, watercolors, and the drums … in no particular order. Finally, John would like everyone reading this to know that he was tricked into running two marathons. And no, nothing was chasing him.

Meeting Dates and Times

Oct 8, 15, 22, 29 (Tuesday) from 2:00 – 3:30 pm CT.

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Workshops for Teachers (All)

David Diener

An Intro to Classical Christian Education: The History and Philosophy of CCE

Description:

Contemporary interest in classical Christian education is growing rapidly, but understanding exactly what defines this approach to education can be difficult. This six-week workshop will help participants develop an understanding of classical Christian education through the study of key aspects of its history and philosophy. Designed in particular for those relatively new to the movement, the presentations and discussions will be intellectually robust and instructive for all—newbies and seasoned practitioners alike. Whether you are new to classical Christian education or have been in the movement for years, this workshop will help you to deepen your own understanding of classical Christian education and prepare you to more effectively communicate its distinctive characteristics to others.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: The Nature and Vision of Classical Christian Education: Foundational Assumptions and Goals

Session 2: The Nature and Vision of Classical Christian Education: Curriculum and Pedagogy

Session 3: The Cultivation of Virtue and the Formation of Loves

Session 4: Pagan Texts and Classical Christian Education

Session 5: The Role of Knowledge and the “Usefulness” of Classical Christian Education

Session 6: The History of the Classical Christian Education Renewal

 

Bio:

Dr. David Diener works at Hillsdale College where he is an Assistant Professor of Education.  Previously he spent fifteen years in K-12 private education with eleven of those in administration and eight as headmaster of classical Christian schools. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Society for Classical Learning and the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Test. Dr. Diener is the Executive Director of the Alcuin Fellowship, a member of the National Council of Classical Educators, and a consultant and teacher trainer for several classical schools. He is the author of Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator and has published articles on Plato, Kierkegaard, and various topics in philosophy of education. Dr. Diener also serves as the series editor for Classical Academic Press’ series Giants in the History of Education and is an associate editor for the journal Principia: a Journal of Classical Education.  He holds a BA in Philosophy and Ancient Languages from Wheaton College as well as an MA in Philosophy, an MS in History and Philosophy of Education, and a dual PhD in Philosophy and Philosophy of Education from Indiana University.  

Meeting Dates and Times

Sep 4, 11, 18, 25, Oct 2, 9 (Wednesday) from 7:00 – 8:00 pm ET.

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Leslie Collins

Student Support Services

Description:

This six-week intensive is designed to support those who support students. Starting with the premise that classical Christian education can benefit all students who want to learn, we will explore topics such as: identification of students with needs, “classroom canaries”, early intervention, unified vision among faculty, parent education, individualized plans, teacher support, embodied learning, and the overall impact of a student support program on classical and Christian schools.

Participants will share resources, solve problems, and develop strategic goals for their student support program. Please come prepared to share your unique experiences and use this time to “workshop” solutions for your students. 

 

Bio:

Leslie and her husband, Dave, have been working together in the disability community since 1987 when they married. Their focus provides relief for exhausted parents through childcare and friendship. When she graduated in 1991, Leslie focused on starting programs of inclusion in her classroom and in the local church. In 1995, Leslie became the founding headmistress of Rockbridge Academy in Millersville, Maryland, where she was also an inclusive kindergarten teacher for a student with communication and physical impairments. She was privileged to briefly serve in Kailua, Hawaii, as Trinity Christian School transitioned to a classical model. In both classical Christian education (CCE) schools, Leslie taught autistic students in the typical CCE classroom, either as the support teacher or the inclusive teacher. She is currently the Head of School at Covenant Academy in northwest Houston. As a school that values every student being brought to the apex of their ability, Covenant Academy has devoted attention and resources to developing and sustaining a thriving Student Support program. 

 

Leslie and Dave have four children and four grandbabies with one more on the way! Leslie holds a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s University, a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from the University of Maryland, and an Ed.S. in Leadership in Classical Christian Education from Gordon College. Gardening, reading, and being with her grandchildren are her favorite activities. 

Meeting Dates and Times

Sep 4, 11, 18, 25, Oct 2, 9 (Wednesday) from 5:00 – 6:00 pm CT.

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Adrienne Freas

Narration … A Classical Art for K-12 Classrooms

Description:

This intensive is designed for classroom teachers seeking to cultivate their students’ ability to read, think, listen, and speak. This four-week course is a deep dive into learning how narration is a classical art within the trivium. This classical art 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 then, ultimately, to those with advanced skills. We will practice with various texts together in this interactive practicum. 

Topics Covered

  • 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 (i.e. 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

 

Syllabus:

In every session we will work through samples of classic texts* through the many modes of narration, providing practical examples 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 consistent 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. 

*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)

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

 

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 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. 

Adrienne specializes in trivium-based instruction, the coaching and transitioning of religious and secular schools—both traditional and collaborative models—into the liberal arts tradition, and the 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, possessing a special affinity for George MacDonald. 

Meeting Dates and Times

Oct 7, 21, 28, Nov 4 from 7:00 – 8:45 pm CT.

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Workshops for Teachers (Lower School)

Ben Schellack

Practical Guide to Teaching Latin in the Grammar Years

Description:

We will learn, discuss, and apply principles and their in-class applications for effective Latin pedagogy in grammar-age classrooms. Each session will introduce a principle and model how to apply it in the classroom. Afterwards, in breakout groups, we will practice and reflect together on how it went. This is a highly interactive workshop. We will also dedicate time to discuss how prior week’s topics were implemented in our actual classrooms.

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: Vocabulary in the Humanist Style

Session 2: The Three I’s of Vocabulary Acquisition

Session 3: Latin: Learning not just the True, but also the Beautiful

Session 4: Making Grammar Intuitive, Part I

Session 5: Making Grammar Intuitive, Part II

Session 6: Habit and Routine: Language Learning’s Best Friends.

 

Bio:

Ben Schellack grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He earned his B.A. in Classics from Vanderbilt University after which he taught ESL and Public Speaking at Phillips Academy–Andover’s Summer Session. He spent the next year in Italy studying Second Temple Judaism and Interreligious Dialogue at the Pontifical Gregorian University. While in Rome, Ben had the opportunity to study Latin with Father Reginald Foster, the Pope’s chief Latinist. Ben moved to New Jersey where he began an MDiv at Princeton Seminary, met his wife, and founded Penstock Coffee. Ben began teaching Latin and Humanities at The Wilberforce School in 2010.

Meeting Dates and Times

Sep 10, 17, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22 (Thursday) from 8:00 – 9:00 pm ET.

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Katie Earman

The Philosophy and Practice of Nature Study

Description:

“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.” These words were written by author George Eliot in the late 1800’s, and they ring true today. Playing outside and interacting with nature as children deeply shapes who we become and what we love. This is the very heart of Nature Study, and it has an essential role in the lives of our young students. We will learn about what nature study is, why it is important in the lives of our students, and ideas for how to begin. 

 

Syllabus:

The Philosophy of Nature Study: We will examine a sacramental view of engaging with creation and how this impacts our understanding of nature study. 

The Necessity of Nature Study: We will study the research from The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv and discover the impact of a nature-deficient life. 

The Practice of Nature Study, The Core Elements: We will learn from Charlotte Mason about how to do nature walks, use nature journals, and bring nature into the classrooms. 

The Practice of Nature Study, Additional Elements: We will explore how to lead scavenger hunts, incorporate student projects, and integrate nature study with science and poetry.  

 

Bio:

Before entering the field of education, Katie worked in college ministry in Virginia and in China. Katie has been in the classroom for twelve years at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, where she has taught preschool, second grade, and fourth grade. Additionally, she has written curriculum and is currently mentoring new grammar school teachers. 

Katie began teaching at a Charlotte Mason school in Saint Louis. She has integrated many of Charlotte Mason’s methods into her own teaching and has introduced Mason’s methods to the entire Veritas Grammar School. Katie has led faculty workshops about narration, poetic learning, artist study, and nature study. She has a passion for helping lower school teachers discover how to use Mason’s philosophy and pedagogy within their own classical classrooms.  

Katie and her husband have four children (three daughters and one son).

Meeting Dates and Times

Oct 7, 21, 28, Nov 4 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm ET.

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Brooke Ramsey

The Method of a Lesson: How to Train the Habit of Attention and Curate Life-giving Learning Across Disciplines

Description:

Most Classical educators agree with Plato that all education is self-education, but many lack any practical method which consistently honors students’ natural capacities to digest knowledge and nourish themselves on living Ideas. Too often, teachers burn themselves out with grading or the designing of lessons which “wow” instead of remaining the “philosopher, guide, and friend” who trains students to attend and who keeps the text. or learning, at the center of the classroom. Taking the book When Children Love to Learn as our guide, this workshop will introduce Charlotte Mason’s simple, four-part method as a path through the pedagogical confusion to a place of more restful, joyful teaching. Participants will learn how to design lessons for any age group or discipline which follows Mason’s four parts: Remember, Read, Retell, and Reflect. 

 

Syllabus:

​​The Child as Person and the Four Pillars of Education:  Given that the child is an embodied person with a God-imprinted soul and an individual will, Charlotte Mason believed that education should be nothing more than an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life. This session will provide an overview of many of the ideas foundational to Mason’s practical methods.

The Humanities Classroom and the Method of a Lesson: This session will describe the four parts of a lesson and provide deeper insight into a “living book” education. Participants wishing to implement Mason’s methods will learn how to structure classroom time when teaching literature, spelling/composition, poetry, Shakespeare, and history.

Math, Nature Studies, Science: Studies in math and science put students into direct contact with the limitations of natural law as well as train the powers of reason and observation. Participants will deepen their understanding both of Mason’s four parts of a lesson and of how this method might enhance nature journaling, mathematical study, and scientific exploration.

Studies in Language, Beauty, and the Body: This session will include a discussion of how to incorporate picture studies, music appreciation, or movement into any classroom. Application of Mason’s methods will also be made to the study of Bible, Handicrafts, and foreign languages across the disciplines.

 

Bio:

Brooke Ramsey began teaching at Valor Preparatory Academy in Waco, Texas, in 2017 and became the Head of the Grammar School in 2020. She graduated as a University Scholar from Baylor University and is a member of The Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society. She completed her MAT in Classical Education from the Templeton Honors College and is currently enrolled in the University of St.Thomas’ new MFA program in Creative Writing. Before coming to Valor, she homeschooled her children while living and working in India and Pakistan for 17 years. She has five children spanning from 22 years old to a third-grader at Valor. She loves inspiring teachers and families, reading and writing on her porch, and homeschooling her own two youngest on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Charlotte Mason method of education at Valor.

Meeting Dates and Times

Oct 8, 15, 22, 29 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm CT.

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Ellen Schuknecht

Partners: Collaborating Effectively with Parents of Grammar School Students

Description:

This engaging workshop is designed to equip Grammar School teachers in collaborative (hybrid/University-Model®) schools to more effectively communicate and support parents. We will explore strategies and techniques for partnering together towards common goals. These strategies include effective communication methods, ways to motivate parents as they educate and disciple their children, and practical tools that lead to meaningful collaboration between educators and parents.

 

Syllabus:

Fostering Collaboration with Parents

In this session participants will explore strategies for maintaining effective collaboration and shared vision between the grammar school teacher and parents. Participants will gain applicable insights as we consider the distinctive challenges and opportunities in a collaborative model, a model in which parents are active partners in their child’s education and spiritual journey.  

Understanding & Communicating with Today’s Parents

In this session, we will consider the needs, desires, and concerns of parents who choose collaborative schools. We will examine ways to effectively communicate with and support them in educating and discipling their children. In particular, we will discuss the unique challenges of families with multiple kids in the model and those in which both parents work. Participants will explore ways to navigate sensitive conversations, address concerns proactively and work through conflict in Christ-honoring ways.   

Recognizing the Dynamics of School@Home Days

In this session we will explore how success on the school@home days is crucial to the overall success of a collaborative school model. We will focus on the unique dynamics and the common challenges which can overwhelm parents as they teach their children at home. Participants will consider strategies and solutions that allow every family to thrive in this model. 

Cultivating Virtuous Habits in the Family

In this session, participants will explore strategies for guiding families to embrace virtue as a family journey. We will delve into why virtue is essential in thriving families because virtue is significant in shaping Christlike character, forming identity, and guiding behavior. Participants will consider steps they can take that will encourage grammar school parents to cultivate virtuous habits that are transformative for their families. 

Equipping Parents to Thrive in Their Role

While one of life’s greatest journeys, many parents find themselves navigating the complexities of raising children without a clear grasp of the fundamental principles that can guide them along the way. In this session we will explore underlying principles that support the school’s vision and equip families to thrive. Participants will be challenged to determine the foundational teachings they consider to be essential and to develop a plan by which to teach these principles to their grammar school parents. 

Engaging Parents Through an Effective Plan 

In this final session, we will delve into key components of a comprehensive plan by which to support and equip grammar school parents during this developmental stage. We will examine how to motivate parents, care for them, and equip them to thrive. Whether participants represent a new or established school, they will gain strategies for determining “next steps” for how they will engage parents within their unique community. 

 

Bio:

In 2005, Ellen Schuknecht was hired as the first administrator at Veritas Academy, a classical Christian, collaborative school. Since then she has served in various roles but has always been strategically involved in supporting and equipping parents. For the past 11 years, she has participated weekly in the school days at home with her own grandkids who are longtime Veritas Academy students. She has also authored several books including A Spiritual Heritage: Connecting Kids and Grandkids to God and Family, published by Kregel in 2017, and Every Parent’s Calling: to educate and disciple their child, published by Riverstone Group Publishing, a book designed to equip parents in the collaborative school model. 

Meeting Dates and Times

Sep 18, 25, Oct 2, 9, 16, 23 (Wednesday) from 6:30 – 7:30 pm CT.

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Workshops for Teachers (Upper School)

Sarah Abbott

Five Common Topics: The Power of Questions

Description:

Leading fulfilling conversations is the aspiration of every teacher, but drawing students into discussion is not always easy. The “Five Common Topics” are simple, effective tools designed to engage students more intentionally with the content they are learning, to encourage God’s people in a deeper understanding of Scripture, and to guide all those with whom we interact to discover new ideas through enriching conversations. Using questions inspired by the Five Common Topics, these workshops will equip attendees with effective tools to help students explore content, texts, and ideas through enriching discussion. This four-week workshop is designed to give attendees time to learn the questions associated with the Five Common Topics, to practice using them in our discussions, and to try them out with their own students. Because we will take our time learning how to use these, teachers will have the opportunity to receive feedback and work through scenarios with the instructor and one another. 

 

Syllabus:

Session 1: Defining our Terms

What are the Five Common Topics and how can we employ them well? This introduction of the Five Topics will include practice time before teachers try them out in individual classrooms. 

Session 2: Refining our Knowledge

Equipped, now, with the basics and having had an opportunity to implement them, let’s reflect on what went well and where refinement is needed by working through scenarios in various content areas. 

Session 3: Deepening our Understanding

Now we are ready for more! With a growing understanding of the questions associated with each of these categories, let’s add on to what we have learned before practicing again. 

Session 4: Assessing our Learning

Let’s reflect on what we have learned in this workshop and establish next steps so that we can continue to be hospitable lead learners. 

 

Bio:

Sarah Abbott lives on an oddly named road, across from a very old cemetery, in the backwoods of Massachusetts. She is a classical educator and student with over twenty-five years of experience teaching, training, coaching, and administrating. Sarah serves as the Head of Outreach and Teacher Training for the New England Consortium of Classical Educators, which allows her to do exciting things like lead a one-of-a-kind book club in her home and conduct training in classical pedagogy. In addition to a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education and Bible, she also earned a Masters degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since graduating her homeschooled son, Sarah now devotes her time to learning about literature, the arts, and culture, and ultimately to uncovering what it means to be human.

Meeting Dates and Times

Oct 1,15, 29, Nov 12 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm ET.

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Winter Workshops and Seminars

Seminars for Leaders

Leslie Moeller

Board Basics

Description:

This seminar will introduce new board members to, and give experienced board members a refresher in, the fundamentals of governance for classical, Christian schools. We will cover the three levels of board duties, the relationship between the board and the Head of School, and the function of the three key board committees.

 

Bio:

Leslie Moeller has recently been named Head of School for the Geneva School of Boerne, Texas. She also serves on the boards of the Society for Classical Learning; Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia; New Covenant Schools in Lynchburg, Virginia; and the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Test. She teaches a class on law and governance for the Gordon College Masters in Educational Leadership program and consults with heads and boards of classical, Christian schools around the country. Leslie received her J.D. from Boston College and her B.A. in Economics and English Literature from the University of Virginia. She and her husband Eric have three children who have all graduated from classical, Christian schools.

Meeting Date and Time

May 7th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm CT.

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Seminars for Teachers

Tiffni Blake

Dyscalculia Awareness and Strategies

Description:

I love watching a student experience an “a-ha” moment after working through a challenging math problem. What happens, though, when a student appears to not care, continues to struggle, or seems to remember and then forget everything the very next day? This two-hour seminar focuses on building dyscalculia awareness in the mathematics classroom and introducing foundational pedagogy for helping students increase number literacy and concrete understanding of abstract concepts. My hope is that attendees will gain a better understanding of dyscalculia, recognize the needs of a struggling math student, and learn a few strategies that can be used in the classroom and in one-on-one or small group settings.

 

Bio:

Tiffini is a lifelong lover of teaching and has taught students in the preschool, grammar, logic, and rhetoric years in a mixture of public, private, and home settings over the last 30+ years. Tiffini discovered the classical model while researching the curriculum and fell in love with its methodology and integrated approach to teaching the whole child and to sparking a love of learning. Tiffini has a passion for classical Christian education that instills a pursuit of wisdom and virtue, ultimately found in pursuing the Lord. In 2009, she joined the faculty of Covenant Academy, primarily teaching math and science over the years; she currently serves as the Upper School Principal. She and her husband, Matt, have three grown children—all graduates of Covenant Academy—and are expecting their first grandchild in June!

Meeting Date and Time

February 6th from  6:00 – 8:00 pm CT.

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Workshops for Leaders

Keith Nix

Building Financial Stability

Description:

Given that most school heads don’t begin 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. This puts the head in a weak position to lead and make the most prudent decisions. In this session we will cover why it’s crucial that the head is the financial leader, understanding the school’s finances better than anyone. We will discuss how the head works together with the board to ensure the financial health of the school.

 

Syllabus:

The HoS as Financial Leader

Introduction, Definitions, and Roles

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 head of school and his/her team. Complicating matters further is how start-up and young schools need extra board support until the school matures. We will discuss the challenges and offer principles and practices that will meet your school wherever it is.

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 examine how to transition your school to a more sustainable, viable position.

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 is critical for you. Having at least a five-year detailed forecast is the most important tool for making good decisions today.

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 members have a hard time understanding how a generous Tuition Assistance program can actually grow the school, and increase the bottom line annually. Done right, this can absolutely be the case; the growth is more than just enrollment growth as your school begins to serve a broader demographic.

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, the roles, responsibilities, and processes for fundraising are unclear. We will discuss all things development: roles, the annual fund, capital campaigns, relational donor stewardship and more.

 

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 he 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.

Meeting Dates and Times

Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, Mar 4,11 (Tuesday) from 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET.

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Ron Hoch & Josh McCroskey

Promoting Student Flourishing through the Common Arts

Description:

The common arts are frequently forgotten in classical Christian education. We feel that this is a significant oversight, both in terms of what our schools should be providing students and in the scope of the classical tradition. The common arts are able to convey wisdom and virtue to students in profound ways while also providing them with practical skills. Moreover, they are avenues for experiencing truth, goodness, and beauty as objective realities that cannot be shaped by our whims or replaced with our preferences. As such, we feel it’s crucial for classical Christian schools to consider how to incorporate the common arts into their curriculum. Participants will gain a definition of the common arts, a historical survey of the common arts in education, an understanding of how the common arts both relate to and enhance the liberal arts, a framework for integrating the common arts into a school’s PK-12th curriculum, next steps for either starting or refining a common arts program. 

 

Bio:

Ron Hoch is the Head of Redeemer Classical School in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The son of a general contractor, he grew up immersed in the common arts and has come to appreciate the way in which they can convey wisdom and virtue to students in a unique way, while also providing students with practical skills that will serve them well throughout their lifetime.

Meeting Dates and Times

Feb 5, 12, 19, 26 (Wednesday) from 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET.

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Jef Fowler

Heads & Boards — What Each Side Wishes The Other Knew

Description:

If Heads of School and School Boards were to truly commit themselves to the success of the other, imagine the kind of positive, thriving communities our schools could become with such selfless leadership…and how that could be sustained from generation to generation of leadership.

This workshop—an expansion of the SCL Summer Conference 2024 breakout session Principles & Tips from a Longtime HOS & Board Member—will help attendees better understand, appreciate, respect, and effectively support their fellow school leader(s) from the “other side” of the school, be it executive or governance.

Starting with an exploration of the real responsibilities of the School Board and the Head of School (along with his/her executive team), we’ll explore ways that the HOS can inform and support the Board in its duty to set the vision, to oversee the HOS in his/her execution of the mission, and to resource and guard the institution from all threats. Likewise, we’ll help Board members to better understand the all-encompassing job of the HOS and how best to assist him/her in achieving success, both immediately and over the long haul. 

Other senior—and prospective—leaders of schools are also invited to attend; and all experienced attendees are expected to share freely of Board/HOS lessons learned and/or applied well at their schools.

Key takeaways include, first, understanding the primary role and responsibilities of your direct reports (up and down). Heads will learn strategies for leading the Board in generative thinking of strategic initiatives, for fully informing the board without inviting them into operational decision making, and for creating a deep bench of emerging leaders. Board takeaways include how to act visionary—and vision cast—with a focus beyond the horizon, how to be a source of community information for the HOS (without seeking a particular outcome), and how to help diffuse drama within the “small town” that each school is. Other senior leaders of the school will gain visibility into the real responsibilities of the HOS and Board and ways to help each be successful. These are valuable insights for emerging leaders as they are being “apprenticed,” either formally or informally.

 

Bio:

Jef Fowler founded Quiddity Consulting LLC after serving as the Head of School of Veritas Academy in Austin, Texas for 18 years. Though retiring from that role in the summer of 2023, he continues as a member of the School and Trustee Boards. 

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, &/or 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 also served the National Association for University-Model Schools (NAUMS) as an advisory board member and new school trainer.

Jef and his wife, Starrla (Director of Leadership Development & Collaborative School Initiatives at the Society for Classical Learning), have three adult children—all graduates of Veritas Academy—and continue to serve the classical Christian school movement from their home in Memphis, Tennessee where they recently relocated to enjoy life with their kids and new granddaughter.

Meeting Dates and Times

Feb 6, 13, 20, 27 (Thursday) from 10:00 – 11:30 am CT.

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Tami Peterson

Integrating Vocational Discipleship into College Advising

Description:

What keeps you up at night as a college advisor? Is it partnering with parents or conversations with students? Are you struggling to find your next steps in a broader culture that says education is about getting into the “best” schools as a hallmark of a job well done? Are rising college tuition fees creating more conversations about the common arts and how to guide students to know their place in the world of work? We tackle these questions, and more, in this six-week workshop where we explore the current cultural moment in the workforce and higher education and its impact on the vocational discipleship of the next generation. Participants will join a discussion about the need for vocational discipleship at their institution and learn some practical ways to deepen the conversations they are already having to include it.

 

Syllabus:

God’s Call on Your Life and What to Do About It 

Every vocational discipleship relationship begins with God. How do you think about your relationship with your students? Are you a guide? A Mentor? In this session, we get clear about the call of God on our lives and how we integrate our own calling with our classical mindset. 

The Next Generation of Parents 

Do you stay awake at night thinking about parent conversations? Are some parents just more than you can handle? In this session we look at the available data to discover what is going on in parenting and create a plan to serve our parents well because we are called to do so. 

The Next Generation of Students 

It makes sense that students are stressed; just look at the world around them! But is that the real story? Previous generations lived through war and famine, rising divorce rates, and nuclear threats; and yet, they made it through. What is different today? In this session we will explore achievement culture, technology, and anxiety. 

Trends in Higher Education and Trades 

More and more parents are asking about trade school, particularly for young men. In this session we will explore liberal arts and common arts and how to support students in creating cohesive adult lives through an integration of both. 

Vocational Discipleship: Learn the Basics 

Have you wondered how you might integrate vocational discipleship into your institution’s current offerings? In this session, we explore options for shifting the conversation and the impact it might have in your community. 

Assessments: How to Use Assessments to Promote Reflection 

Are you thinking about using assessments to aid in your college and career conversations? In this session, we will discuss how to use the assessments you currently have and how to deepen your discussions with families about pathways into adulthood. 

 

Bio:

Tami has decades of experience in the field of education, serving as a teacher, counselor, and administrator. For twelve years she served as Director of College Advising at Covenant Christian Academy, a classical, Christian PK-12 school, in Colleyville, Texas.   

In 2012, Tami founded Life Architects Coaching where she serves clients in discovering their calling through vocational discipleship as a college and career coach. She supports churches and schools by providing professional staff development and program consultation. In 2015 she was one of three designers of the curriculum for the NACCAP College Counselor Certification Program and was an instructor and the project manager for the first five cohorts. 

Tami has numerous certifications in teaching and coaching, and has recently earned an M.A. in leadership, Theology, and Society from Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 

She and her husband David live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and have two adult children. 

Meeting Dates and Times

Feb 6, 13, 20, 27, Mar 6, 13 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm CT.

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Workshops for Teachers (All)

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.

 

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

 

Bio:

For over twenty-four years, Carrie Eben has championed classical education in both the private school classroom and homeschool arena. She currently serves as founding board member at Sager Classical Academy in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. 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.

Meeting Dates and Times

Jan 28, Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 (Tuesday) from 6:00 – 7:15 pm CT.

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Rachel Welch

Building Student Support in Collaborative Schools

Description:

The ‘Building Student Support in Collaborative Schools’ workshop will provide ideas, groundwork, and insight for the various aspects of supporting students at classical Christian schools in the collaborative model (hybrid/University-Model®) through a sharing of ideas, encouragement, wisdom and experiences. Having a kingdom mindset, we want our schools to be available to all students. Still, we face so many challenges in logistics of how to support these students in the collaborative classroom. During our time together, we will have guest speakers share their personal accounts of challenges and successes. The equipping workshop will cover the topics of admissions and policies, terminology, staff training, different needs of upper vs lower schools, funding and staffing, and the unique needs of students. This workshop dovetails nicely with the fall workshop, Student Support Services, taught by Leslie Collins. 

 

Syllabus:

Admissions and Policies: In the collaborative model, the admission process takes on increased challenges as it is important to assure that families are willing to intentionally partner with the school by stepping into an appropriate instructional support role. Working case-by-case and developing valuable policies at the same time as an administrative team is a necessary task. 

Terminology: Modifications and Accommodations vs Best Practices: The terminology used by public schools may not be the terminology that our schools need. We will review the uses of some of the terms against best practices and the beauty and usefulness of a classical Christian education. 

Staff Training: In a school model that largely employs part-time faculty, a significant challenge is to find experienced and mission-aligned staff. We will talk through the various types of staff training necessary for teaching those with learning needs, what is of high importance, how to efficiently work with their unique teaching styles while also supporting individual students.

Differing Support in Lower and Upper Schools: Not only are the needs of grammar school students significantly different from those of logic and rhetoric students, but in a collaborative model the faculty’s time with grammar school students is significantly reduced as grammar school students often attend class even fewer days per week than older students. This limited time with students provides a challenge in meeting their needs, but it also presents unique opportunities for support and training of co-teachers/parents as they are often more heavily involved in the grammar years.  

Funding and Staffing: From tiered payment systems to volunteer aides, finding the funding and staffing for these needs is a challenge. Yet, this challenge should not be the reason we cannot serve our students.  

Students with Unique Needs: Students will come to the school with a wide variety of needs such as physical, intellectual, developmental and behavioral. Addressing each of these needs will be a collaborative effort with the family.

 

Bio:

Rachel Welch is the Learning and Support Services Coordinator at Austin Classical School in Austin, Texas, where over the last 4 years she has helped to develop systems, policies, and structures for supporting their students with different learning needs. She has a background as a pediatric occupational therapist and has been practicing in a variety of settings for over 19 years. Her combined experience as an occupational therapist and as a mom of daughters with learning needs equips her with a unique perspective of the needs of students in the collaborative model (hybrid/University-Model®). She has enjoyed stepping into the role of working alongside teachers, families and administrators as they learn best practices for supporting students on campus in K-12 and developing a kingdom mindset for loving all students. She and her husband have lived in Austin for over 20 years and have 3 daughters who all attend Austin Classical School. They are actively involved at their church and over the past 3 years have been serving their community as a foster family. After fostering in their home, they have gained an additional perspective on students who have experienced trauma and other unique needs. Rachel and Athena Oden (leader of Embodied Learning cohort) met several years ago after Rachel took one of Athena’s courses and helped to add a motor lab to the ACS campus. 

Meeting Dates and Times

Jan 28, Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, Mar 4 (Tuesday) from 6:00 – 7:00 pm CT.

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Workshops for Teachers (Lower School)

Mo Gaffney

Singapore Math Strategies That Improve Student Learning

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. It is also designed for math teachers who desire to further expand their teaching repertoire. Participants will be exposed to high-quality mathematical content, including videos, relevant readings, and effective learning tasks. Participants will also have multiple opportunities to collaborate with other educators. 

 

Syllabus:

Session 1—Singapore Math Introduction: Changing a School and Math Classroom Culture

Session 2—Mathematical Thinking: Developing Habits of Mind and a Growth Mindset for Math and Beyond

Session 3—Number Sense: “The Key to Mathematical Success in all grades.”

Session 4—Daily Lesson Structure: “How to fit it all in?”

Session 5—Mathematical Literacy including Fact Fluency

Session 6—Singapore Essentials: Differentiation for all types of Learners, Parent Education, New Students, Professional Learning and Singapore Math Impact on the K12 Curriculum

 

Bio:

Dr. Mo Gaffney is an accomplished leader and 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. Dr. Gaffney 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.  She is known as a transformational, creative leader and a strategic thinker with humility and a sense of humor.

Meeting Dates and Times

Jan 20, 27, Feb 3, 10, 17, 24 (Monday) from 4:00 – 5:00 pm ET.

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Katie Earman

The Joyful Classroom: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life, and a Science of Relationships

Description:

In this four-session workshop, we will explore Charlotte Mason’s pillars of education and learn how to apply them in our classical classrooms as grammar school teachers. Participants will gain a stronger vision for how to teach classically in a grammar school setting as we understand how Mason’s views connect with the liberal arts tradition. Additionally, participants will learn practical ideas for implementation.

 

Syllabus:

Education is an Atmosphere: 

The Atmosphere of the Teacher as Shepherd and Muse

The Atmosphere of the Classroom Culture as Cultivating Piety

The Atmosphere of Learning as Awakening Wonder

The Atmosphere of the Classroom as a Place of Beauty and Peace

Education is a Discipline: 

Cultivating Habits of Relationship: Interacting with God and others 

Habits of Learning: Attention, Organization, Responsibility and Excellence

Habits of the Classroom: Classroom Routines, Peace Time Conversations,

Education is a Life:

Ideas are Primary

Using Worthy Books

The Arts of Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric

The Skill of Narration 

Education is a Science of Relationships: 

Nurturing Poetic Learning

Liturgies of Lessons

 

Bio:

Before entering the field of education, Katie worked in college ministry in Virginia and in China. Katie has been in the classroom for twelve years at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, where she has taught preschool, second grade, and fourth grade. Additionally, she has written curriculum and is currently mentoring new grammar school teachers. 

Katie began teaching at a Charlotte Mason school in Saint Louis. She has integrated many of Charlotte Mason’s methods into her own teaching and has introduced Mason’s methods to the entire Veritas Grammar School. Katie has led faculty workshops about narration, poetic learning, artist study, and nature study. She has a passion for helping lower school teachers discover how to use Mason’s philosophy and pedagogy within their own classical classrooms.  

Katie and her husband have four children (three daughters and one son). 

Meeting Dates and Times

Feb 3, 10, 17, 24 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm ET.

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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 120-minute seminars or 60-90 minute weekly sessions for workshops.

Receive specialized resources, shared documents, and training material

Benefit from specific skills development

Hear from experienced leaders and industry experts

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

Seminar Summer Kick-Off Pricing

Ends on June 28, 2024

Non-Member Price

$150

 

SCL Member Price

$135

 

Group (3+) Discount

Member: $108

Non-Member: $120

Workshop Summer Kick-Off Pricing

Ends on June 28, 2024

Non-Member Price

$488

 

SCL Member Price

$439

 

Group (3+) Discount

Member: $351

Non-Member: $390

Here’s What Our Members Are Saying

It was fantastic to be able to speak with other teachers both new and seasoned in Singapore Math and gain knowledge or help with ideas for new people. I LOVED that it was all from a classical Christian background! THE BEST!!!
– Workshop Attendee

The instructors were knowledgeable, present, and available. The platform was easy to use. The content was exactly what I needed as a first year counselor building a program. Each class was appropriate to what I needed to learn about the program, timely, and relevant
– College Advisor

The community was fantastic and eager to share and help each other. The leaders were a wealth of information and very personable and accessible.
– SCL Attendee

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