2019 FCIS Convention


Welcome from Convention Co-Chairs

Dear FCIS Member Schools and Colleagues, 

As your 2019 FCIS Convention Chairs, we are looking forward to welcoming you to Orlando for the FCIS Annual Convention, November 6-8, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport.  We are sure that all will agree that coming together as a community of Florida educators will generate great value to all of our institutions.

This year’s Convention theme challenges us all to Learn Today, Learn Tomorrow. Maintaining our focus on the needs of today’s leaners, while looking forward to what the next version of independent school will resemble, is critical to our individual and collective success as school leaders and educators. We have been working hard to meet the goals of the conference-goers while provided a wonderful venue for learning (and playing).

Our Convention Steering Committee has compiled a program that will offer an engaging, informative, and meaningful professional development experience for individuals in any role at our institutions. We will be featuring Pre-Conference Workshops for heads of schools, administrators, advancement professionals, and business officers on November 6. Administrator Day is Thursday, November 7, and Faculty Day is Friday, November 8.

Pre-Conference ISM (Independent School Management) Workshop
Terry L. Moore, BCP-E, Executive Consultant, ISM
Session I • Strategic Financial Planning
Session II • Financial Aid – Understanding Need 

Pre-Conference Business Officers' Workshop
Gigi Chinisci, Retired Assistant Director of Admission, Albuquerque Academy
Bringing Disney’s Philosophy to Your School 

Nationally-Recognized Keynote Speakers
Click here for the bios and more information about each of the keynote speakers featured during the Convention.

  • Richard Weissbourd, Ed.D., Senior Lecturer & Director of Making Caring Common, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Denise Pope, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Education; Co-Founder, Challenge Success

Luncheon Speakers:

  • Mike McCulley, Astronaut
  • Jeff Duke, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Central Florida

For more information on the broad range of sessions and speakers planned for the Convention, please explore the FCIS website, which will be updated over the next months. As we get closer to November, we will convey the most updated information in our Annual Convention mobile app.

We are both looking forward to seeing you for an inspiring three days at the 2019 Convention.

Cynthia Lane, Head of School, Sweetwater Episcopal Academy
Byron Lawson, Jr., Head of School, Trinity Preparatory School
2019 FCIS Convention Co-Chairs

Registration Information


It may be helpful to appoint a Convention Coordinator from your school to complete the online registration form.

Please refer your faculty and staff to the Thursday and Friday programs online. Advise everyone who will be attending that there will be no printed program distributed at the Convention. They will be able to access the program with mobile devices by using a QR code or by downloading the Convention app.

Your school should submit ONE registration that includes ALL attendees from your school. When registering, please include an email address for every attendee. Important information will be sent out closer to the Convention.

Member Schools Registration:
1 registrant = $425
2-26 registrants = $100 for each registrant
27 registrants and up = $10 for each registrant

(This does not include tickets for special events.)

Non-Member Schools Registration:
1 registrant = $595
Each additional registrant = $100

(This does not include tickets for special events.)

Special Events: Sign up on the registration form.

Business Officers' Dinner: $55 Administrators' Dinner: $45
Admission Directors' Dinner: $55 Episcopal Breakfast: $38
Technology Directors' Dinner: $55 Faculty Luncheon: $45
Administrators' Luncheon: $45  

Payment Options:

1) Register by Credit Card:
Visa and MasterCard are accepted, not American Express.
2) Register by Check: Once registration has been completed online, please mail check to:

FCIS — Convention ’19
1211 North Westshore Blvd., Suite 612
Tampa, FL 33607

Note: Check must be received in FCIS Office by October 4 or a late fee will apply.


Registration is complete once FCIS receives payment.

Registration Deadline: Friday, October 4, 2019. There will be a $150 late fee for all registrants not received or entered online by October 4.

Cancellations, Refunds & Changes: Requests for changes of name or participation in special events cannot be honored after October 23, 2019. Convention refund requests must be made in writing and emailed to: kdanger@fcis.org. There is a $50 processing fee through September 27, 2019, with no refunds after this date.


• If you are registering more than 10 people, click on the "+" button until you have enough spaces for the number of people you are registering. Then, enter the name and email address for each person.
• If you are registering more than 20 people, before you start the registration process, call Alison Carlson in the FCIS office at 813-287-2820.
• If you register your school and later need to make changes to your registration, contact Alison Carlson in the FCIS office by email at acarlson@fcis.org.

Keynote Speakers


Senior Lecturer and
Director of Making Caring Common,
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Read More

RICHARD WEISSBOURD, Ed.D., is a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he co-directs the Human Development and Psychology Program, and the Kennedy School of Government. His work focuses on moral development, vulnerability and resilience in childhood and effective schools and services for children. He directs the Making Caring Common Project, a national effort to make moral and social development priorities in child-raising and to provide strategies to schools and parents for promoting in children caring, a commitment to justice and other key moral and social capacities. He is currently working with numerous college admissions offices to elevate and more effectively assess ethical character, to reduce excessive achievement pressure and to increase equity and access in the college admissions process. He is also conducting research on how older adults can better mentor young adults and teenagers in developing caring, ethical, mature romantic relationships.  

He is a founder of several interventions for at-risk children, including ReadBoston and WriteBoston, city-wide literacy initiatives led by Mayor Menino. He is also a founder of a pilot school in Boston, the Lee Academy, that begins with children at 3 years old. He has advised on the city, state and federal levels on family policy and school reform and has written for numerous scholarly and popular publications and blogs, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and NPR.  He is the author of The Vulnerable Child: What Really Hurts America’s Children and What We Can Do About It (Addison-Wesley, 1996), named by the American School Board Journal as one of the top 10 education books of all time.  His most recent book, The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Moral and Emotional Development (Houghton Mifflin 2009), was named by The New Yorker as one of the top 24 books of 2009.



Senior Lecturer
Stanford Graduate School of Education;
Co-Founder, Challenge Success

Read More

DENISE POPE, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, where she specializes in student engagement, curriculum studies, qualitative research methods, and service learning. She is co-founder of Challenge Success, a research and intervention project that provides schools and families the tools they need to raise healthy, motivated students. Challenge Success is an expanded version of the SOS: Stressed-Out Students project that Dr. Pope founded and directed from 2003-2008. 

She is the author of, "Doing School": How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (Yale University Press, 2001), which was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001, and lead author of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids (Jossey-Bass, 2015). She also co-hosts the Stanford University SiriusXM radio show called “School’s In.” 

Dr. Pope lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, engagement with learning, and integrity. She is a 3-time recipient of the Stanford University School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award and was honored with the 2012 Education Professor of the Year "Educators' Voice Award" from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Prior to teaching at Stanford, Dr. Pope taught high school English in Fremont, CA and college composition and rhetoric courses at Santa Clara University. 

Hotel Information

Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
9300 Jeff Fuqua Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827


All guest room reservations should be made directly with the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. Room rate is $189, single or double, plus applicable taxes. The easiest way to make your reservation is to use this weblink:
HYATT RESERVATIONS. This weblink was designed especially for FCIS attendees and includes the Convention rate of $189, plus applicable taxes.

You may also call the hotel and make your reservations by phone. The hotel reservation number is: 407-825-1234. You will need to identify yourself as an FCIS member and ask for the special rate. 

The deadline for the guaranteed Convention rate is Friday, October 4, 2019, based on availability. Once the room block is sold out, there may not be rooms available at the group rate.

Check in time: 4:00 PM
Check out time: 12:00 PM

Please note that FCIS is not using a housing bureau for hotel reservations. You will not receive a call from FCIS or the hotel asking you to make reservations over the phone. If you receive this type of phone call, it is likely a scam. Please make your reservations online or by calling the hotel directly.


Self-parking day rate = $4 | Valet parking day rate = $7
Self-parking overnight rate = $12 | Valet parking overnight rate = $16

Bus Drop-off: It is strongly suggested that schools arrange for carpools or bus drop-off. For bus drop-off, follow these directions:
• Go to TERMINAL B at Orlando Int’l Airport and stay to the RIGHT side of the road.
• Follow the BROWN sign to the Hyatt Valet Parking.
• The entrance is on the LEFT side, IMMEDIATELY past the large fountain. 


On the ninth floor of the hotel, Clipper is a private space for nursing mothers. Click here for a map.
Please note: All guests going up to the 9th floor need a key for elevator access. Keys will be available at the Convention registration desk and at the hotel's front desk. 

Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
9300 Jeff Fuqua Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827

Overall Schedule

*Please note: This schedule is subject to change. See APP for detailed and most up-to-date information.*
The app will be available to download in August.

Wednesday, November 6

Continental Ballroom
5 & 6

    Pre-Conference Workshop with ISM
Continental Ballroom
7 & 8

Pre-Conference Business Officers' Workshop

Regency D

FCIS Board of Directors' Meeting

Lobby North - Upper Level

  Registration Open

Continental Ballroom
1 & 3

  Welcome Reception

Thursday, November 7

Lobby North -Upper Level

    Registration Open


Vendors/Exhibits Open




Welcome & Keynote Address


Coffee by the Exhibitors

Breakout Rooms



Session I

Breakout Rooms



Session II




Luncheon & Speaker


Visit the Exhibitors

Breakout Rooms



Session III

Breakout Rooms



Session IV
Briefing Room


FCIS Annual Business Meeting
All schools should have a representative.

Pool Deck

President's Reception for Heads


Friday, November 8

Regency EF


Episcopal Schools’ Eucharist & Breakfast

Lobby North - Upper Level



Registration Open


Vendors/Exhibits Open




Welcome & Keynote Address


Coffee by the Exhibitors




Session I




Session II


  Session III


  Luncheon & Speaker


Pre-Conference Workshop with ISM


SESSION I: Strategic Financial Planning

One of the most critical functions for Board and leadership teams is the creation and utilization of a Strategic Plan.  In this session, we will explore the two types of Strategic Planning and help you choose the best model for your school.  Further, we will teach the basic sustainability variables that must be considered by every independent school when creating their Strategic Plan.  Moreover, the strategic plan is never complete without a financial plan, and tuition impact estimates.  We will also fully explore tuition setting policies so that your Strategic Plan can be fully implemented.  Make sure to bring your computer, as Mr. Moore will walk us through how to create a basic financial planning model using Excel, which you will be able to take back to your school.
Please note: A computer is highly recommended for full participation in this session.

Who should attend?
Heads, Board Members, CFO’s,
and anyone interested in learning about independent school strategic planning

SESSION II: Financial Aid – Understanding Need

Effective Financial Aid Programs begin with a school understanding what financial aid is––and what it is not.  In this fast-paced workshop we will begin by defining NEED at your school.  This will involve consideration of Financial Aid Policies, Awarding Strategies, and Need Assessment Protocols necessary for effective program management.  The goal of this workshop is to demystify need, and to provide effective strategies so that you can be confident in your financial aid decisions. 

Who should attend?
Heads, CFO’s, Admission Directors, Board Members,
and anyone interested in understanding the complex world of Financial Aid

Workshop Facilitator: Terry L. Moore, BCP-E, Executive Consultant, ISM

Click here for more information.

Pre-Conference Business Officers' Workshop


Bringing Disney’s Philosophy to Your School

Independent schools are facing more competition than ever before. Our energies are divided between not only our current families, but also our co-workers, alumni and even our potential families. By looking at Walt Disney’s business philosophy and exploring the science of positive psychology, this workshop will show simple practices that will help set your school apart from the crowded field.  

• How can your school deliver exceptional service to its families?
• When does your disposition maximize your potential? 
• What are the proven strategies in handling negative people?

This interactive workshop will answer these questions and many more.  Walt Disney developed a basic business credo that has carried the Disney Corporation to the top of the Forbes 500 list consistently year after year. 

This four-hour workshop will be divided into three sessions:
> Be Our Guest; Disney’s Philosophy of Customer Service
> Disney’s Leadership Techniques Can Work for You
> Attitudes have Outcomes

These techniques and principles can easily be incorporated at your school, in your career and
in other aspects of your life.

Who should attend? Heads of School, Trustees, and Business Officers

Workshop Facilitator: Gigi Chinisci, Retired Assistant Director of Admission, Albuquerque Academy

Click here for more information.

Administrator Day Sessions | Thursday, November 7

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Sessions are subject to change.
Download the full program and/or the app closer to the Convention for the most updated information.

Click here to download the app.

Richard Weissbourd, Ed.D.  |  Senior Lecturer and Director of Making Caring Common, Harvard Graduate School of Education

How Can Schools Develop Caring, Community-Minded and Thriving Students?

Today’s culture as well as parents and schools tend to be intensely focused on children’s happiness and achievements. But the preoccupation with these two factors—and the constant praising of kids that goes with it—can undermine children’s capacity to care for others and their investment in the common good. Focusing so much on achievement and happiness also risks making kids not only less caring, but ironically, less happy and less likely to achieve at high levels. In the current socio-economic climate, where decency and empathy seem to be in short supply, it’s more important than ever to help children develop concern for others and our collective fate. This talk will explore these current trends and provide concrete strategies that schools can utilize to develop empathic, caring, justice-minded children who are also happy and able to pursue meaningful achievement. 

SESSION I • 10:00-10:55AM
Click here to download the app.

  • Opening Doors: Creating a Community Focused Center for Excellence
  • Is Your Retirement Plan Best in Class?   *earn CPE credits
  • You've Admitted Me. Now Help Me Stay: Creating a Transition Program for Non-Traditional Students and Families 
  • Financial Implications of Security at Private Schools  *earn CPE credits
  • Annual Fund Panel Discussion
  • Creating a Volunteer Service Culture
  • Driving K-12 Innovation: Accelerators, Hurdles & Enablers  
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work of an Independent School in Florida
  • Learn to Start: A Solution for 21st Century Learning
  • Cultural Development of an Athletic Department 
  • Reasonable Accommodations
  • How Can I Help? Supporting Recruited Athletes through the College Process 
  • Your Board’s Role in a Successful Campaign 
  • Peace and Justice Principles: Leading the Way
  • Leading Innovation:  The Mastery Transcript
  • Cultivating Experimental Learning through Immersion and Interest-Based Experiences 
  • New Administrators: Cultivate Their Leadership Capacity, and Support Their Transition
  • Transitioning to College: Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies 
  • Checking in with Prospective, New and Nearly New Heads

SESSION II • 11:05AM-12:00PM
Click here to download the app.

  • Key Planning Considerations for Developing New Campus Facilities   *earn CPE credits
  • The Convergence of Health and Wealth in Benefits Plans   *earn CPE credits
  • Pressures and Fears of Gen Z’s; How Educators and Parents Can Help Gen Z’s Cope and Build Resilience
  • The 2019 Admission Toolbox 
  • Getting the Board on Board: Motivating Board Members to both Give and Get During Annual and Capital Campaigns
  • Global Fluency: The Essential Playbook for Global Citizens
  • Empowering the Next GenHERation
  • Emerging Trends in Global Education
  • Maximizing Our Impact: School and Technology Leaders’ United
  • NCAA Initial Eligibility and College Admissions Process
  • Coaches Corner: Hazing and Sexual Assault Prevention in the Post #metoo World
  • Application Trends in College Admissions
  • Education Megatrends: Purpose in Learning
  • Students Helping Students Create Balanced Lives
  • Seven Vital Tactics to Energize Employees and Improve Performance and Retention
  • Transforming the Antiquated, Cultivating the Contemporary 
  • BIG RESULTS on a Small School Budget: How to Translate Your Brand into an Effective Online Presence
  • Students with Anxiety in the Classroom
  • When Incremental Change Isn’t Enough: Disrupting the Status Quo by Thinking Like a Start-up
  • Diversity: Opening the Door for Meaningful Dialog 

LUNCHEON • 12:10-1:40PM
Click here to download the app.

Michael J. McCulley   |  Astronaut


SESSION III • 2:00-2:55PM
Click here to download the app.

  • How to Shift the Needle toward a More Philanthropic Culture in Your School Community
  • Gifts That Keep Giving:  Make the Tax Code Work for Your School   *earn CPE credits
  • Leveraging Your Planning Study for Campaign Success 
  • Continuous Enrollment from a Practical Point of View 
  • The State of the Independent School Admission Industry 
  • How To Create the Right Strategic Mindset for Your School and Plan that Gets off the Shelf and into Action
  • "Making the Case" with Assessment-based Analytics
  • Diverse Communication for All
  • Cybersecurity Workshop for Independent School Administrators
  • G Suite Best Practices Panel: Let our powers combine! 
  • Round Table/FHSAA Updates
  • The Big Four: State University “Florida Flagships” Dean’s Panel  
  • Learning and the Brain: What Administrators and Counselors Need to Know!
  • The Value-Add of a Semester Away 
  • Crafting a Strategy With Your (External) Financial Team
  • Bold Moves: Co-teaching Is Not Just for Special Ed. 
  • Data is Not a Four Letter Word! 
  • Disrupting School, Making Connections, and Transforming Cities
  • Implementing a School-wide Enrichment Program: One's School's Story 
  • How to Grow a Green School Culture 

SESSION IV • 3:05-4:00PM
Click here to download the app.

  • Blended and Online Teaching and Collaboration
  • Effective Management for A Smaller Business Office   *earn CPE credits
  • Foundation Grants
  • How to Turn Your Website into an Enrollment Engine
  • Jill of All Trades: Strategies for Small MarComm Shops 
  • Inspiring Growth through Goal Setting and E-portfolios
  • FCIS: The State of the Association
  • Cultivate Diversity and Inclusivity: Creating Mirrors and Bridges for ALL
  • Preparing for the School of 2024: AI, Machine Learning, VR and AR
  • Administration is NOT for the Faint of Heart! 
  • How to Develop, Grow, and Sustain an Athletic Program that Is Right for Your School
  • Memoirs, Memes and Memories: Writing Personal Narratives for College Applications
  • Mission Statement Revision Committees 
  • The Minds of Boys and Girls 
  • Converting the Reluctant Solicitor into a Dynamic Fundraiser 
  • Parents Get Fit at Social Media Bootcamp
  • Marketing to Millennials... and Gen Z! 
  • 2019-20 Changes to AP: A Path to Success for All Students
  • Building a Student Life Program: Lessons from Ground Zero
  • International School Connection (ISC) and You! 

Annual Business Meeting • 4:10-5:10PM


Faculty Day Sessions | Friday, November 8

Friday, November 8, 2019

Sessions are subject to change.
Download the full program and/or the app closer to the Convention for the most updated information.

Click here to download the app.

Teaching for Healthy, Engaged Students in a Fast-paced World
In a high-stakes, high-pressure culture, parent and school expectations may have unintentional but damaging effects on student well-being and engagement with learning. This presentation examines the latest research on academic pressure and the tension that parents, students, and teachers often experience over issues such as homework, grades, college admissions, and the culture of competition. Dr. Pope will offer concrete strategies and tools for creating a healthier and more productive school environment without sacrificing achievement.

Speaker: Denise Pope, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Education;Co-Founder, Challenge Success

SESSION I • 10:00-10:50AM
Click here to download the app.

  • Authentic Audiences In, Out, and Beyond the Classroom 
  • LAUNCHing a Design Thinking Cycle in Your Classroom
  • Won't Anyone Help? Success for Struggling Learners
  • Please Help Me Organize My Life 
  • Building Effective Social-Emotional Learning Strategies into Your Classroom! 
  • Journalism: The New Civics
  • Adolescence and Mental Health 
  • Engagement Strategies 
  • Learning and the Brain: Why Teachers are Actually “Neuro-sculptors”
  • Technical Research Samples Create an Intrinsic Studio Experience 
  • Growing the Student Mindset through Gardening 
  • Make Magic Happen   
  • STEM Activities for the Pre-K Student  
  • Buncee: A Terrific Transdisciplinary Tool
  • Rediscover Your Passion for Teaching through Reflective Practices
  • Practical Ways to Globalize Your Classroom 
  • Curating Character  
  • Past to Present: Using Technology to Make the History Relevant 
  • Empowering Students as Discussion Leaders in the World Language Classroom

SESSION II • 11:00-11:50AM
Click here to download the app.

  • 2019-20 Changes to AP: A Path to Success for All Students
  • Teaching Kids About Their Brains
  • Student Focused, Flexible, Adaptable
  • Escape ARTist: Learn the Keys to Creating Effective Educational Escapes
  • Real-World Tools: Reframing World Language Education
  • How to Create, Manage, and Utilize an Outdoor Classroom
  • Creating Internship Opportunities for Your Students
  • Tools Cool for School 
  • Broadcasting that Is Affordable  
  • Inter-School Collaboration on Equity and Inclusion 
  • Clothing the Next Generation of Actors 
  • Ideas, Ideas, and More Ideas: How to Integrate Technology Into Your Pre-k - Grade 2 Readiness Curriculum 
  • Embedding eMpathy in Students Using Community Outreach through the Arts 
  • Using Rubrics to Help Students Internalize Quality Standards
  • The Nuts and Bolts of MakerEd 
  • VR Gaming in the Science Classroom
  • Curriculum Design and Instruction: Deepening Assessment by Making Thinking Visible 
  • Listen to Me 
  • SAMR: Building Blocks to Big Ideas 
  • Rediscover the Magic of Nursery Rhymes

SESSION III • 12:00-12:50PM
Click here to download the app.

  • Creating Classroom Culture  
  • Conferring with Writers in a Digital Age   
  • Creating a Mock Interview Program for High School Students
  • Leveraging Formative-Assessment to Reduce Grading Workload and Improve Knowledge Retention
  • Engaged & Enthused: Creative Classroom Constructed with Students in Mind 
  • Engage Your Students with Augmented & Virtual Reality 
  • Physical Computing: Promoting Movement with Virtual Technologies and Scratch 
  • Student-Paced or Teach-Led: NearPod to the Rescue!
  • Playing with a Full Tech: Intentional Integration of Edtech Toys 
  • PE and Recess Games that Keep Kids Moving and Having Fun! 
  • Food Waste Sustainability Project 
  • Inclusion: Serving Children with Learning Differences and Developmental Disabilities 
  • Movin’ and Groovin’ – Getting MS/US Students to MOVE! 
  • Meeting the Needs of Introverts in the Collaborative Classroom 
  • Beyond Gamification: Immersive Roleplaying in the Classroom 
  • Finding Your Squad: The REAL Personal Learning Network
  • Standard-Based Grading in the World Language Classroom 
  • How to Reimagine Your Library Space and Transform Student Learning
  • Let’s Talk: A Discussion About Diversity

LUNCHEON • 1:00-2:30PM
Click here to download the app.

Speaker: Dr. Jeff Duke, Associate Professor, University of Central Florida

Capturing the Heart of the 21st Century Student
In today’s culture of data collection & analytics how do you get the student to ‘measure up’? It begins with the strategy to capture their ‘heart’.