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Annual Conference for Trustees
 
8:30CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST AND REGISTRATION
9:00WELCOME
Doug Lyons, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Independent Schools

 9:30 - 10:30
 
MORNING KEYNOTE ADDRESS
HOW DO SCHOOLS AND BOARDS GET BETTER WHEN EVERYBODY IS SO BUSY?
David Grant, former President and CEO, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; founding co-Director of The Mountain School
How are Boards and Heads of independent schools thinking about Change as they plan for the future?  Is it desirable? Inevitable? Over-rated?  Insidious?  Is it more difficult to manage Change than it used to be, or is that just our imaginations?  David Grant will draw on experiences working with (and serving on) Boards of schools, nonprofits, and foundations to suggest helpful approaches to school leadership in the age of iPhones.
10:45 - 12:15
MORNING BREAKOUT SESSIONS (Choose One)

A.1  THE IDEAL BOARD-HEAD RELATIONSHIP
Douglas Lyons, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Independent Schools
The relationship between a board and its head of school is often identified as the factor most critical in determining the success of a school in meeting its goals and serving its students. An essential element in that relationship is mutual understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the head and board. This session will explore the factors that contribute to an ideal Board-Head relationship.

A.2  ENDOWMENTS 101: INTRODUCTION TO ENDOWMENTS
Robert R. Sedivy, Ph.D., Retired School CFO
What is an endowment? What are the types of endowments? How are they created? What is a quasi-endowment? How much of an endowment gift can be used to support a school's program? Why should my school have endowments when there are so many current needs to be met? This session will provide answers to these and other basic questions about endowments, and review a school’s obligations under recent laws and accounting standards.  This session is especially recommended for trustees new to the Finance Committee of their Board, and for trustees at schools just starting to establish endowments.

A.3  TOP TEN LEGAL RISKS FOR TRUSTEES
William E. Hannum III, Managing Partner, Schwartz Hannum PC
This interactive session will provide trustees with an overview of this year’s top ten legal issues facing independent schools and trustees, including real life solutions for preventing and resolving those claims.  For example, the session will discuss ways to prevent and respond to educational malpractice claims, donor lawsuits, employment claims, and claims of inappropriate conduct by school employees, students or parents.  Comprehensive checklists for minimizing legal risks will be provided to attendees.
Maura Ciccarelli
Jennifer Settle  
A.4  DIGITAL MARKETING MADE EASY
Maura Ciccarelli, Marketing Strategist and Jennifer Settle, Social Media Manager and Business Development Coordinator, Magic Hour Communications
All schools, big or small, can benefit from a digital marketing plan that works for them and their team. Learn how your school staff can craft an easy-to-follow plan that meets your marketing goals and works with your available resources and team members’ strengths.

A.5  DEVELOPMENT - WHAT EVERY TRUSTEE SHOULD KNOW AND DO
Andy Hamlin, Assistant Headmaster for Institutional Advancement, The Hun School of Princeton
Supporting development programs and goals is an essential trustee role.  This popular and lively session, led by a 35-year independent school development officer, will focus on the key elements of a successful development program and the practical ways trustees can and should participate in supporting institution objectives this critical area.  What must each trustee know and do to fulfill her/his responsibility for development?  This seminar-type session is for trustees who serve on Development committees and all others who would like to learn more about how they can govern and lead effectively in this area.

A.6  WHY BAD DECISIONS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE: AN INTRODUCTION TO BEHAVIORAL FINANCE
G. Scott Clemons, Chief Investment Strategist, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
Most of modern economics is predicated on the assumption that people are rational. Yet studies in the field of behavioral psychology demonstrate repeatedly that people actually aren't rational – they're normal, and normal people make irrational decisions all the time. This is particularly true in the areas of economics and finance, where decision making is hampered further by lack of complete information and the presence of time constraints. In the context of a fiduciary overseeing an endowment portfolio, bad decisions can have costly and long-lasting ramifications. The bad news is that we routinely make mistakes, but the good news is that these mistakes are generally predictable, and therefore addressable. Learn about several common cognitive traps in decision making, illustrate how they are expressed in the world of finance, and present ways to identify and adjust to them, thereby improving the quality of your own decisions

A.7  UNDERSTANDING YOUR SCHOOL'S FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
John Toscano, Partner, CohnReznick, LLP
As a trustee, a key fiduciary responsibility is the maintenance of the School’s financial well-being.  To do so a trustee must have a basic understanding of the School’s financial statements. A trustee should also be aware of the information reported in its IRS Form 990.  This session provide trustees with a general understanding of the major components of a typical independent school’s financial statements and highlight areas of the Form 990 on which a trustee should focus special attention.

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