National Small Schools Conference

We are finally into the summer months, getting ready for the upcoming school year. The rising seniors are working diligently on their exhibitions, the capstone experience at Crefeld. Additionally, Crefeld just hosted the National Small Schools Conference for the second year in a row. 

The National Small Schools Conference is a three day event that started on June 26. Participants came from all over the country. While the majority traveled from the mid-atlantic and the northeast, we had people from South Carolina, Las Vegas, Santa Barbara, and the farthest from Seattle! On the first day, we opened the conference with Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg as our opening keynote. He gave an amazing talk about fostering resiliency in children. The featured speaker on day two was the chief legal counsel for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Debra Wilson. She spoke about risk management in small schools, specifically traveling with students. I think I can speak for everyone in the room by saying that it was information that we will all benefit from, very important and topical. The final keynote speaker was Ali Michael, PhD who introduced us to her new book, The White Women’s Guide to Teaching Black Boys. Dr. Michael was provocative and challenged us all to reflect on our own beliefs.

Weaved throughout these amazing keynotes were workshops facilitated by consultants and school leaders from all over the country. Topics included (to name a few): The Power of School Culture, Cultivating Teacher Leadership in Small Schools, The Power and Perils of Parent Volunteers, The Rewards and Challenges of Advising an Independent School Online Student Newspaper, and our own Nica Fleming facilitating a workshop on In2Out: Holding Space For Students & Ourselves to Explore Social Responsibility, Intelligence, Justice & Culture, and Sara Narva presenting her Power/Play curriculum.

It was a powerful three days of decompression and rejuvenation. I, personally, am very excited about the upcoming school year! I have so many ideas flowing through my head.