23rd Annual Heads Retreat

Seagate Hotel and Spa • Delray Beach, FL





$3,669 Non-Member

Travel and accommodations not included

[$3,119.00 Gold Member]

As always, the excellence in preparation and delivery of all presentations, materials, and the research therein, is unparalleled.

Mark Davis, Head of School
Covenant Day School, NC

Ahead of the Curve

As a School Head with a full plate, it can be difficult to find time to reflect on the latest research. However, it’s imperative that you focus on new educational trends and consider whether they hold promise for your school.

ISM’s Annual Heads Retreat gathers School Heads to hear the latest research concerning private-independent schools, engage in deep conversation, and network with their peers to discover new perspectives.

Dr. Bryan Smyth, ISM’s Director of Research, and Dr. Andrew Taylor, ISM Consultant, will present a firsthand look at fresh research and explore educational trends, approaches, and ideas just over the horizon.

Attendees will share their experiences to invite new conversations. Attendees will also have plenty of time to relax and reflect after half-day sessions, enjoy meals and receptions, and explore beautiful Delray Beach.

With a limit of 24 attendees, this Retreat is a consistent sell-out. Register today!

staff photo bryan smyth

Bryan Smyth, Ph.D.

ISM Consultant | Director of Research


Bryan’s central purpose is to help students flourish. He believes that the enhancement of school environments and cultures is the best way to facilitate growth in children and adults.

Current Role

As a Consultant and ISM’s Director of Research, Bryan:

  • Oversees ISM’s research initiatives
  • Provides on-site scheduling consultations, having had extensive experience creating and implementing unique daily schedules and annual calendars for both boarding and day schools.
  • Leads scheduling-focused workshops and webinars

Bryan joined ISM as a Consultant in 2013, following 13 years in independent school administration.

Prior Experience

Bryan came to ISM from Mount Pisgah Christian School, GA, where he served as the Vice President, Head of the Upper School, Guidance and College Advisement Director, varsity head coach, and psychology teacher over the course of his tenure. Prior to that, he was the Associate Head of School at Brandon Hall, GA.

He is also a licensed clinical psychologist whose practice specialized in the psychological assessment and treatment of adolescents and their families. This varied background and set of experiences affords him the ability to view a school’s form and function from multiple viewpoints, leading to solutions that take into account all perspectives.


Bryan holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marquette University, WI, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois. He also earned an MBA from Reinhardt University, GA, that focused on the application of business principles to the management of independent schools.

staff photo andrew taylor

Andrew Taylor, Ph.D.

ISM Consultant


Andrew believes in a global perspective for educating children. He brings a wealth of knowledge in independent school administration and teaching, as well as a spirit of innovation and collaboration.

Current Role

As an ISM Consultant, Andrew shares his expertise in school management, curriculum development, project-based learning, faculty evaluation, fundraising, enrollment, and more. He worked in private-independent schools for 22 years before joining ISM in 2017.

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.

Conference presentations include co-presentation of Developing an Effective Faculty Evaluation at 2004 CAIS Annual Conference in North Hollywood, CA and Developing and Using Faculty Standards at the 2005 NAIS National Conference in San Diego, CA.


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.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

5-9 p.m. Reception, dinner (your guest is welcome) and opening session

Thursday, November 8, 2018

7:30-8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast (your guest is welcome)
8:30-10 a.m. Morning session
10-10:15 a.m. Morning Break
10:15 a.m.-11:45 p.m. Morning session
Noon-1:15 p.m. Lunch (your guest is welcome)
1:30-3 p.m. Afternoon session
3–5 p.m Free time
5-6 p.m. Evening reception (your guest is welcome)

Friday, November 9, 2018

7:30-8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast (your guest is welcome)
8:30-10 a.m. Morning session
10:15 a.m.–noon Morning session
Noon-5 p.m. Free time

Saturday, November 10, 2018

7:30-8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast (your guest is welcome)
8:30-Noon Potpourri—topics of interest

Your spouse or guest is welcome at all meals and receptions.

Workshop Location
Seagate Hotel and Spa
1000 E. Atlantic Ave.
Delray Beach, FL 33483

Group hotel reservation rate of $229 is available until October 10, 2018. Subject to availability. Please wait until the workshop status is 'confirmed' before making your travel and hotel arrangements.

The Seagate Hotel & Spa
1000 East Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33483

Heads Retreat attendees can take advantage of a special $229 nightly rate plus taxes. To make your reservations, click on the link above or call 877-577-3242 and say you are with the ISM Heads Retreat.

Stay calm. Stay cool. Stay comfortable. That’s the essence of your stay at The Seagate Hotel & Spa, the premier and preferred beachfront getaway in Delray Beach, Florida.

Born from the distinguished Seagate heritage of hospitality, experience the luxury of a resort with the intimacy of a retreat, where island ease meets urban chic, and the ocean soothes you as the city stirs you.

Beyond the charming, beach-chic façade, relax in contemporary comfort surrounded by 7,000-gallon aquariums, a 2,500-gallon shark tank, and sea-inspired fixtures evoking tropical tranquility.

Enjoy luxuriously appointed guest rooms with the finest features, our full-service spa and fitness center, a poolside paradise, six distinctive dining venues, and endless amenities that capture the tranquility of the sea—all in Seagate style.You will enjoy:

  • Private beach access at the Seagate Beach Club with pool, restaurants, and transfers including towels, umbrellas, and beach chairs
  • Transportation anywhere within a 3-mile radius of the hotel
  • Access to the Seagate Country Club featuring an 18-hole private golf course and tennis
  • 24-hour fitness center access
  • Complimentary newspaper delivered daily to your room
  • Complimentary WIFI
  • In-room coffee & tea
  • Discounted parking of $10 per night

BY PLANE: The Seagate is easily accessible from three airports—Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL), and Miami International Airport (MIA). For ground transportation, consult the website of their airport you wish to use. SuperShuttle.com services both Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports. If you chose SuperShuttle, use the discount code SFUN2 when you book.

BY CAR: For information and directions, visit https://www.theseagatehotel.com/about-the-seagate/location-directions/

Confirmation Policy

We will correspond with you through e-mail as soon as your workshop is confirmed, no later than two weeks prior to its beginning. Occasionally, we may be forced to cancel an unconfirmed, scheduled workshop due to insufficient registration. So we ask that you do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until you receive notice that your workshop is confirmed. (ISM will not be responsible for any change/cancellation charges assessed by your airline or travel agent.)

Cancellation Policy

If circumstances change and you cannot attend the workshop, you must confirm your cancellation in writing via fax (302-656-0647) or email (workshops@isminc.com). If you do so at least 10 business days prior to the start of the workshop, you can request a full refund of monies paid. Thereafter, but prior to the first day of the course, we will refund you all but $600. If you do not cancel in writing prior to the start date of the course, you will forfeit the entire workshop fee. You also have the option of applying your monies paid to another workshop within a year of the cancelled one. If you want to exercise this option, you must inform us in writing with your request to cancel. If you do not so, we will automatically keep the $600 cancellation fee.

If you enroll using Consortium Credits, and cancel your attendance in writing at least 10 days prior to the start date of the workshop, all Credits will be returned to your school. Thereafter, but prior to the first day of the course, if you cancel, all but two of the Credits will be returned to your school. (You have the option of buying back those two Credits for $600.)

If you do not cancel in writing prior to the start date of the course, your school loses all the Consortium Credits used for payment.

Please note that non-payment of tuition does not constitute a cancellation. *We DO NOT accept enrollments from consultants.

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