Leading the Effective Lower School

Leading the Effective Lower School
Leading the Effective Lower School

Time: 11:00am ET -

Learn how to turn your lower school division into an exceptional environment that provides stable, student-centered learning for all families. Discover how to lead your school with integrity and best serve your mission and your community.

This workshop is now virtual! What that means for you:

We're all in this together. 
Our professional development events offer guidance, support, and insight to help you lead from a position of strength during this unprecedented time. Let's work together to ensure you're equipped to enter the 2020–21 school year with the research and strategies you need to take on any challenge.

deposit iconLimited Time Offer: Deposit and Defer Option 
Attend any Summer Institute workshop with a $250 deposit paid by June 1, 2020. The remaining balance for your workshop is due by December 31, 2020. Email clientsuccess@isminc.com to get started.

team iconTeam savings have been expanded for our summer workshops!
Would more than one of your school leaders like to attend Summer Institute? After your school registers your first workshop participant at the General price, all other attendees qualify for Second Person Pricing for any workshop. Call to register: 302-656-4944.

Turn your lower school division into an exceptional environment that provides a stable, student-centered learning community through ISM’s research-based strategies.

Discover ways to build and sustain a healthy staff of administrators and faculty that allows your school to deliver its mission with excellence. Start your school year well-equipped to lead your division to greater heights with a self-designed action plan ready to implement on day one.


  • Outline the first 100 days of your school year in your personalized action plan.
  • Understand the importance of your overall faculty culture, and how important predictability and support are to teachers’ morale and effectiveness.
  • Develop your management and leadership skills, including time management and conflict conversations.
  • Understand the conditions need to create an effective student-centered learning environment.
  • Recognize the need for self-care and intentional focus on wellness.
  • Understand the importance of communication and how to identify your “key communicators.”
  • Understand the critical importance of managing change and how to calmly respond to crisis.

Who Should Attend:

Lower School Division Directors (and their assistants), Elementary Principals, and Lower School Admission Directors (coming with their Lower School Division Director) should attend.

Andrew Taylor, Ed.D.

Andrew Taylor, Ed.D.

ISM Consultant


Andrew shares his expertise in school management, professional growth and development, project-based learning, faculty evaluation, and more. He worked in private-independent schools for 22 years before joining ISM in 2017.

Current Role

As an ISM Consultant, Andrew:

  • Writes for ISM’s advisory letter Ideas & Perspectives, distributed to school leaders in almost 1,000 schools
  • Leads and co-leads of ISM workshops in student-centered scheduling, leading effective lower schools, executive leadership, and summer program development
  • Co-facilitates ISM’s annual Heads Retreat
  • Hosts webinars in the areas of leadership, change management, and learning theory
  • Presents at association conferences
  • Conducts national and international on-site consultations
  • Facilitates Board and school leadership retreats.

Prior Experience

Andrew previously served as Head of Tower School, MA, where he was charged with rationalizing the operating budget, right-sizing the staffing model, and reconfiguring the school schedule to facilitate interdisciplinary instruction and project-based learning.

Before that, he was Head of Lower School at St. Paul’s, MD, where he oversaw the school’s adoption of the International Primary Curriculum. He also facilitated the creation of a project-based learning initiative, implemented a re-defined teacher observation process, and supported asynchronous, online professional development.

Andrew began his career as an undergraduate instructor in Human Genetics, Human Social Biology, and Anatomy & Physiology at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. He also taught Biology at the high school level.

After immigrating to the United States, he taught science at Brentwood School, CA, where he developed its Lower School Summer Program. Later, he was Director of Admission and Assistant Head of School at St. James’ School, CA, with significant involvement in fundraising and growing enrollment. Andrew was also the Assistant Headmaster and Director of Summer Programs at the John Thomas Dye School, CA.

Andrew has presented at CAIS, SAIS and NAIS Conferences.


Andrew earned his Doctorate of Education at UCLA, and his master’s degree in Educational Administration from California State University, Northridge. Andrew’s two bachelor’s degrees are in Human Biology and Science Education.


Josie Bahedry

Josie Bahedry

ISM Summer Institute Faculty


Josie is an expert in all aspects of the elementary division of independent schools.

Current Role

Josie most recently served as the Director of the Village at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, CA. In this role, Josie:

  • Handled all hiring of faculty and managed their professional development initiatives
  • Developed and communicated all school policies
  • Oversaw the K-6 curriculum
  • Directed parent education and worked with the Parent Association
  • Assisted with admission and development
  • Mentored a leadership team

Prior Experience

Prior to working at Chadwick School, Josie worked at The John Thomas Dye School in Bel Air, CA, for eighteen years. Beginning her career as a classroom teacher, Josie moved into administration, first as a Dean of Faculty and then as the Assistant Head of School. She has also worked in the elementary divisions in independent schools in Virginia Beach and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Josie was on the faculty of the CAIS Retreat for Experienced Teachers for three years. She has presented at NAIS and CAIS on faculty evaluations, and at CAIS on developing a culture of mentoring new teachers in independent schools.

Josie has served on a number of committees and is part of a local network of elementary leaders. She has served on eight accreditation teams as well as co-chairing an accreditation at the John Thomas Dye School.


Josie received her bachelor’s degree in education from St. Andrew’s College of Education, Craiglockhart, Edinburgh, Scotland.

As a self-professed lifelong learner, Josie has taken a number of courses on curriculum, leadership and SEL. These include courses from the Intensive Practice Program from UCLA, the Institute for Greater Good from Berkeley, the CATDC Leadership Fellowship program, and The Head Network Women in Leadership.

Summer Institute will be held as a distance learning event.

How it works:

Summer Institute will be open from 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT through 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT for the duration of the workshop dates posted.

During that time, you can expect:

  • Two live sessions with your instructor every day, each up to 90 minutes long
  • Flexible time for independent work, connecting with peers, and group learning

This workshop will deliver the same high-quality learning and takeaways you expect from an ISM workshop. Below you’ll find an overview of the topics covered.


Virtual Workshop Schedule (subject to adjustment)



  • Welcome and Introductions
  • How We Will Work Together Online – Setting Expectations
  • What is your Why? Delivering your Mission with Excellence.

Topic #1: Building Your Action Plan

  • What is Achievable?
  • Faculty Culture
  • Building a culture of Predictability and Support

Topic #2: The First Hundred Days 

  • The importance of Communication

Topic #3: ISM Circle

  • Responsibilities of a Lower School Division Head

Topic #4: Managing Up

  • Being part of the “B” Ring

Topic #5: Wellness and Balance

  • Strategies for managing the challenges of leadership

Topic #6: Focus: Equity & Inclusion 

Topic: #7: Fierce Conversations

  • Characteristics of Good Communication & Difficult Conversations 

Topic #8: Case Studies

  • A structured approach to problem solving and challenging dilemmas – 6 Hats.
  • How Should We Plan for School Considering COVID-19?

Topic #9: Managing Change and Responding to Crisis 

  • Lessons learned

Topic #10: Conditions that Facilitate Student Centered Learning

  • Impact of Stress

Topic #11: Independent Work

  • First Address, First Letter, First Meeting

Topic #12: Budget 101

  • Terminology and Timing
  • Managing the Lower School Budget 

Topic #13: Reflections on The Workshop 

  • Gallery Walk of Action Plans
  • How Will We Stay Connected and Continue to Learn From Each Other?

This workshop will be held virtually. You'll receive information after you register. 

How will ISM communicate workshop information with me?

It is essential that your school approves the following email addresses from ISM:

  • workshops@isminc.com
  • marie@isminc.com

You will be receiving all communication—including your confirmation email and access to your workshop's Google Drive account—from these e-mails.

What does my registration fee include?

All workshop materials are included.


Event Confirmation and Cancellation Policy

We take the health and safety of our school leaders seriously.

In an abundance of caution and to protect the health of all participants, ISM will hold its 2020 Summer Institute and Advancement Academy as distance learning events.

Should ISM cancel an event, we ensure a 100% money-back guarantee for all registrants—so you can buy with confidence. You can feel free to direct any questions to workshops@isminc.com.

Confirmation and Cancellation Policy

Tuition Payment and Cancellation Policy for ISM’s Professional Development Events

Tuition must be paid in full 10 business days prior to the start date of the event. An attendee with a balance due on the start date will be denied entrance to the program until the balance is paid in full.

Cancellation requests must be made in writing by emailing workshops@isminc.com, faxing to 302-656-0647, or mailing to: Event Experience Manager, ISM, 1316 N. Union St., Wilmington, DE, 19806.

  • Cancellations received more than 15 business days prior to the start date of the program will be fully refunded. Gold Dollars will also be fully refunded.
  • Cancellations received less than 15 business days prior to the start date of the program will not be refunded.
  • Non-payment of tuition or no-show to the event does not constitute a cancellation. Full tuition will be due and payable.

The Substitution Option and Wallet Option

If a member of your team can no longer attend a workshop for which they have registered and it is past the cancellation window, your school has two options to avoid penalty. Schools may also exercise these options at any time for cancellations. 

  1. The school may substitute another employee.
  2. The school may bank the funds for a future ISM registration. These funds must be applied to a professional development event within one year from the start date of the original workshop. After one year, the funds will be forfeited. To use banked funds, please call the Event Experience Manager at 302-656-4944 x152.

*We DO NOT accept enrollments from consultants.


Our Guarantee

ISM believes in providing quality and excellence in all of our events and in ensuring the satisfaction of everyone who attends. Nearly 100% of our participants say they would recommend our events to their colleagues. If you are not satisfied with your event for any reason, ISM will credit the fee you paid toward another similarly priced workshop or will refund it.

If you have any questions, click below to send us an email. 

Workshop Registration

Register for your workshop online by filling out the form below. If you'd prefer to register by PDF, download our registration form. It can be returned via email to workshops@isminc.com or faxed to 302-656-0647.


If two or more team members from your school are registering for this workshop, fill out the form below for the first registrant. Click "add to cart" and select Add Another Attendee from the cart menu.


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