About the Conference
Since the 18th century, private independent education in the United States has been extraordinarily successful. Unhindered by government requirements and free to build programming that fits the mission and vision of our respective schools' founders, the number of NAIS member schools has grown nearly 20 percent in the last decade. More than 584,000 students and their parents currently appreciate our added values and benefits; indeed independent schools have served as an example to other educational systems and our model has been adopted by many public charter schools in this country.
But times (and markets) have changed – requiring our community to collectively unite in ongoing dialogue about what it takes to be K-12 leaders – both now and in the future. These times require breakthrough thinking and creativity, and the 2011 NAIS Annual Conference intends to "disrupt" traditional notions about education and "switch" to more resilient and adaptive models by asking questions such as:
- What does it mean to be a private independent school in the 21st century? What are our public obligations?
- How has our calling changed, as the world has moved into a dynamic, interconnected, global paradigm?
- What capital ideas will unite independent schools to adapt to new exigencies and how will we take our educational model to new heights?
Together, we will explore these questions and take advantage of nearby educational resources in our nation's capital, as we seek new ways to serve students and schools. Former Chancellor of Washington, DC's public schools (an independent school graduate herself!) Michelle Rhee issued a call to arms at the 2009 NAIS Annual Conference, asking our audience, "Do we, as a nation, have what it takes to ensure that every child in America gets a quality education?"
Join more than 4,000 independent school leaders to address her challenge and more February 23-25, at the 2011 NAIS Annual Conference at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, MD (just outside Washington, DC). Join us to embrace the MONUMENTAL OPPORTUNITIES before us and reshape our educational model(s) for these times. This conference will break new ground in interaction, engagement, and networking with provoking thought-leaders at more than 125 workshops. In the words of former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (an independent school parent), "Never let a serious crisis go to waste." We certainly don't intend to!