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ATLIS Virtual Town Hall: School Opening Update (9 September 2020)

Our September Virtual Town Hall gave a glimpse into the realities of what school reopening has looked like for technology leaders across the country. We asked participants to share what school looks like for them -- whether it is fully online, hybrid/hi-flex, or face-to-face. Much of our conversation focused on providing the right kind of devices to teachers who are delivering content to both in-person and online learners. We ended with a number of nagging questions that still keep tech leaders up at night and some practical advice about how to deal with help desk overload fueled by pandemic anxieties and the new technologies schools are adding into the mix. -- SD [10-minute read; 1-hour video] 

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ATLIS Reads: Positively Resilient by Doug Hensch

To launch our newest year-long book seminar for technology thought leaders later this month, Connie White, Director of Learning Design and Innovation at Woodward Academy, GA,  previews Positively Resilient: 5 1/2 Secrets to Beat Stress, Overcome Obstacles, and Defeat Anxiety by Doug Hensch in this post. You can learn more and register for ATLIS Reads here. Upcoming books for our ATLIS Reads conversations include SCRUM: The Art of Doing Half Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland and JJ Sutherland; Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick People, Probabilities, and Big Moves to Beat the Odds by Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, Sven Smit; and Radical Candor: Fully Revised & Updated Edition Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott. -- SD [10-minute read]


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ATLIS Summit: Technology-Fueled Health Solutions for Schools (Video Archive)

In this post we share the video archive from our latest Summit -- focusing on Technology-Fueled Health Solutions for Schools. Experts and practitioners responded to our essential question by sharing thought leadership on effective communication about health protocols and resources, designing health plans for returning to school, zone tracking of individuals on campus for contact tracing, and data-driven decision making. Thank you to Jin-Soo Huh of The Parabola Project; Valerie Bourbeau of Magnus Health; Daisy Steele of Catlin Gabel School (OR); and Justin Cullifer of WellEntry for providing their insights on this critical issue facing schools today. -- SD [5-minute read; 1-hour video] 

ATLIS Summit: Technology-Fueled Health Solutions for Schools
August 26, 2020
Video Archive

Our Essential Question: How can technology address health solutions for reopening school? 
Our Panel

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ATLIS Virtual Town Hall 12 August 2020: The Next Normal

The technology leaders who gathered for our August 12 Town Hall were in the final phases of preparing their schools for reopening. Their usual summer planning and projects have been compounded by the constantly changing landscape for opening schools amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yet technology leaders continue to meet these challenges and carry their schools forward into the future. In our latest Virtual Town Hall, we discussed "When Your Data Is Breached" with special guest Todd Doss of the Ankura Data Response Team, school reopening challenges and solutions, the emotional impact of the pandemic, and shifts in professional development strategies. -- SD [10-minute read; 1-hour video]


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PD Paradigm Shift Examined at July Summit

The transition to online learning this past spring opened the window for shifting schools towards new ways of engaging students in learning. We asked our community how their professional development programming was evolving in response. -- SD [1o-minute read; 1-hour video]

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ATLIS Reads: FREE BONUS Webinar: Teach Boldly

Our ATLIS Reads book series launches with this free webinar featuring Dr. Jennifer Williams sharing how her book Teach Boldly: Using Edtech for Social Good addresses "purposeful pedagogies for action" that provide a plan for teaching in in-person, fully online, or hybrid learning landscapes. In this post, Dr. Williams provides an overview to her book and a list of discussion questions to guide our conversation. -- SD [10-minute read]

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3 Things Every Boarding School Should Consider as Part of Their Reopening Plan

Boarding schools face a uniquely complex set of reopening challenges given the residential component of their model. The following is an excerpt taken from a Magnus Health webinar conducted last week. Contributing panelist, Susan Harrington, Chief Financial Officer at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, presents a valuable set of tactics and strategies specific to boarding schools.   The outline below describes the considerations and steps within each aspect of a reopening plan. Beyond governmental approval, Brewster Academy created a series of criteria to be met along with a Reopening Campus Strategy Team to help determine and evaluate their standing.  

I. Testing Strategy 
Each school should develop a testing strategy that can be implemented prior to students, faculty, and staff returning to campus. This plan should also provide testing for all once on campus, have an allowance for self isolation, and include an action plan should an outbreak occur. 

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Measuring Up: ATLIS Launches New Compensation Benchmark Report

ATLIS teamed up with Ed Tech Recruiting to launch a new benchmark report focusing on what technology leaders earn in the way of salaries and benefits in their roles at independent schools. The in-depth analysis looks at compensation through a wide variety of lenses, giving tech leaders ample opportunity to have meaningful conversations around compensation. [10-minute read]


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Faculty Readiness Considerations for Campus Reopening

As schools look at the many factors they must consider before reopening their campuses in the fall, teacher preparedness has moved center stage. ATLIS Think Tank members Dr. Jill Brown of Albuquerque Academy, NM, and Natalia Walchli of Gulliver Schools, FL, have compiled a checklist of concerns schools may wish to address. This crowdsourced list, presented here as an infographic, as well as a more detailed checklist, received feedback from the ATLIS Think Tank as a whole, is meant to create a starting point for conversation and planning.  [10-minute read] -- SD

Faculty Preparedness Infographic

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ATLIS Summit: Making Informed Decisions for the Journey Ahead

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For this  ATLIS Summit, we crowdsourced ways to access and leverage data to address the many decisions that are confronting schools as they plan to continue to meet the needs of students in the months ahead. Access the archived video for the complete Summit that is outlined in brief in this post. -- SD

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5 Reflection Protocols to Cement Learning and Iterate Innovations

In this post, we make the argument for building reflection into your end-of-year practices, especially after the major disruptions and changes we have encountered during COVID-19. Continued innovation and improvement needs this reinforcement to become sticky. Technology leaders can use the examples provided here for their own reflection to to guide the reflections at their schools. -- SD  [15-minute read]

Dewey on ReflectionAs we wrap up the school year drive-by graduation ceremonies and teleconferenced  awards celebrations, we need to take a deep breath and make time to reflect on the rapid changes and developments that have occurred in the past few weeks as schools responded to the global pandemic of COVID-19. 

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Technology Considerations for Campus Reopening

ATLIS reached out to the members of our Think Tank and others to learn what was on their minds as they look to the Fall. What do school leaders need to consider from a technology perspective as they consider options for reopening school. -- SD  [10-minute read]

Madeira School

Image Credit: Seanbrunett / CC BY-SA (

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ATLIS Virtual Town Hall, 29 April 2020

This archive continues to record and summarize the key ideas and questions shared by technology leaders in independent schools from around the world. On April 29, the group openly shared their contingency planning, questions on their minds for next year. They began to reflect on what they wished to hold onto for the future from their transitions during the coronavirus crisis, and they shared numerous ideas for reaching out to parents and maintaining school culture. -- SD [25 minute read; 1 hour video]

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ATLIS Virtual Town Hall , 15 April 2020

As we wrap up this extraordinary school year, technology leaders are being drafted to discuss end-of-year community rituals and how to address assessments in a virtual landscape. They also face planning for “after school” offerings, summer programs and projects and a very uncertain school year ahead. Participants also provided frank feedback on the ways vendors can best support technology leaders’ efforts to manage and deliver online the many components of their school communities. Finally, their thoughts turned to the leadership role they can play at their schools if they are included in the right conversations and if others understand better all that they do. -- SD

[15-minute read; 1-hour video]

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Partnering with Parents to Support E-Learning

During a recent ATLIS Virtual Town Hall, technology leaders discussed ways their schools are supporting distance learning for their students, in particular, by reaching out to parents. This post shares some of the insights from that gathering, along with some resources for the parent (and grand-parent or other caregiver) partners at home. -- SD

[10-minute read]

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ATLIS Announces 2020 Pillar Award Winners

Bigenho, Kallmeyer, White recognized with association’s top honor

March 30, 2020—The Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS), the only professional association for independent school technology directors, announced today the recognition of three highly accomplished professionals as 2020 ATLIS Pillar Award winners:

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ATLIS Virtual Town Hall, 18 March 2020


Things are changing quickly for independent schools, so we are gathering technology leaders every Wednesday at 1pm EST for a virtual town hall discussion. We’ll address your challenges and share lessons learned. Here we share our video archive from the ATLIS Town Hall on March 18, 2020. -- AC

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ATLIS Provides a Wealth of Resources for Technology Leaders Addressing COVID-19

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The ATLIS staff has been curating resources gleaned from technology leaders around the world for the ATLIS Clearinghouse: Coronavirus Resources for Technology Leaders. The web resource, which is updated frequently throughout each day, provides needed information, templates, instructional plans, and vendor materials in one centralized space for your convenience. If you have a resource you wish to share, please contact Susan Davis, Professional Development Director for ATLIS, at [email protected].
Collected below are the newest resources added to the Clearinghouse in the past week.


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Tech Leaders Rally Response to Coronavirus

ATLIS partnered with ISTE's IISN to launch a live chat of technology leaders from around the world to tell their stories and discuss strategies for school continuity in response to COVID-19. Among the many lessons learned was the need to create spaces for this group of forward-thinking technology educators, which is isolated from peers and colleagues even under "normal" circumstances, to create a space for connecting over the course of the coming weeks. To that end, ATLIS has created a weekly Virtual Town Hall tor the community to come together until further notice. Below we share the video from our first gathering, questions raised, and resources shared. -- SD

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Spotlight Speaker Devorah Heitner Designs the Future for Independent Schools

Welcome to the second in our series of interviews with our Spotlight Speakers for the ATLIS Annual Conference. Here we share insights from Dr. Devorah Heitner, founder of Raising Digital Natives and author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital WorldHer mission is to cultivate a culture of empathy in the digital age. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, TheWall Street Journal and Real Simple magazine. She has a Ph.D. in Media Studies from Northwestern University and she is delighted to be raising her own digital native. For Monday's Spotlight Speaker format at the Annual Conference, we ask the same question of three experts for them to address from different perspectives. This post provides a glimpse of Heitner's response to "How would you design the future for independent schools?" -- SD


How would you design the future for independent schools?

[10-minute read]

Devorah Heitner headshotSpotlight Topic (Opening Session, Monday, April 6): 
Empathy Is the App

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