Leading the Effective Middle School

Chase Center on the Riverfront • Wilmington, DE




Seats Left: 7

$4,589 Non-Member

Travel and accommodations not included

[$3,901.00 Gold Member]

Registration for workshop has closed

Overall, I enjoyed this experience very much, particularly the cohort and the change to get to know many other brand new division directors. I thought the week was more than worthwhile and will recommend it to others.

Jessica Flaxman, Assistant Head of Middle School
Nashoba Brooks School, MA
Workshop participant 2017

Middle School Heads and administrators must provide support for their students, as well as fair and thoughtful discipline leading to character development. Attend this workshop to create an experiential and practical roadmap to help support these goals and more. This workshop takes an active and reflective approach to learning based on research, group activities, and individual projects.

Workshop leaders will pay attention to your individual challenges, while facilitating a strong cohort among all participants. You’ll leave with an action plan on how to move your middle school community forward—and a group of peers to provide support and collegiality long after the workshop concludes.

Topics Include:

  • Delving into the latest research about effective leadership—and analyzing your personal leadership style with new understanding
  • Learning how to apply your school’s mission as a guide to decision-making and policy implementation
  • Discussing the unique characteristics of middle school-aged children, especially as it impacts curriculum, character development, and discipline
  • Exploring current theory on educational best practices in middle school curriculum, diversity, technology, and innovative learning
  • Learning how to facilitate effective teacher coaching, growth, and development
  • Developing an action plan for the coming year which incorporates your personal strengths while outlining specific job responsibilities through responsibility prioritization

Who Should Attend:

Both new and experienced Middle School Heads should attend. This workshop also benefits aspiring Middle School administrators.

staff photo kathy christoph

Kathy Christoph

ISM Summer Institute Faculty | Head of Middle School at Dwight-Englewood School


An ISM workshop instructor since 1995, Kathy provides leadership insight at the middle school level. Her special expertise is in change initiatives around issues pertaining to adolescents.

Current Role

As Head of Middle School at Dwight-Englewood School, NJ, Kathy oversees the middle school program. She’s been instrumental in creating teams for teachers and students, implementing flexible block scheduling, instituting daily advisory, and bringing the entire middle school community together every day for announcements. The curriculum is delivered in a variety of ways, from traditional to interdisciplinary to integrated. Different learning styles have been addressed, as have alternative assessment methods and multiple intelligences.

Prior Experience

Kathy formally served as the Head of Pen Ryn School, PA. She was also Head of the Middle School at Columbus School for Girls, OH, and The Tatnall School, DE. Under her direction, each school developed a mission and framework that reflects recommended strategies of exemplary middle schools.

Kathy also served as a teacher at Orchard Country Day School, IN, where she led the team that developed the school’s interdisciplinary approach to curriculum and the implementation of flexible block scheduling.

She has presented at the NMSA National Convention as well as the Nuts and Bolts Symposium in Boulder, CO.


Kathy has a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and has completed all coursework toward an Ed.D. degree from Indiana University.

staff photo mathew stuart

Matthew Stuart

ISM Summer Institute Faculty | Head of School at The Caedmon School


Matthew shares in expertise in overseeing middle school operations, including hiring and evaluating faculty, mentoring and professional development, and facilitating curriculums.

Current Role

Matthew has served as Head of School at The Caedmon School since 2012. He is responsible for ensuring all operations align with school’s mission and best serve its students.

Prior Experience

Matthew served as Head of Middle School at The Town School, NY, before joining Caedmon. He was also previously Director of the Middle School at the National Cathedral School, DC, and a Department Head at The Spence School, NY, directing a K–12 performing arts department. Prior to joining Spence, Matthew directed the middle school drama program at The Hewitt School, NY, and was a professional theatre director in New York City.

Selected as a Joseph Klingenstein Fellow in 1998–99 and a NAIS/E.E. Ford Fellow in 2004, Matthew has presented at a number of conferences, including NAIS, NYSAIS, AIMS, ACIS, and NAES, on curriculum and other topics.


Matthew holds a master’s degree in education administration from Columbia University, NY, and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, NY.


7:00–8:30 Registration and Breakfast

8:30–10:15 Session One

10:15–10:30 Break

10:30–12:15 Session Two

12:15-1:15 Lunch with ISM

1:15-3:00 Session Three

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-5:00 Session Four

5:00-5:30 General Session

5:30-6:00 Reception with ISM

6:00 Dinner with ISM


7:00–8:30 Continental Breakfast

8:30–10:15 Session Five

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:15 Session Six

12:15-1:15 Lunch with ISM

1:15-3:00 Session Seven

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-5:00 Session Eight

5:00–6:00 Reception with ISM


7:00–8:30 Continental Breakfast

8:30–10:15 Session Nine

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:15 Session Ten

12:15-1:15 Lunch with ISM

1:15-3:00 Session Eleven

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-5:00 Session Twelve

5:00–6:00 Reception with ISM


7:00–8:30 Continental Breakfast

8:30-10:15 Session Thirteen

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:15 Session Fourteen

12:15-1:15 Lunch with ISM

1:15-3:00 Session Fifteen

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-5:00 Session Sixteen

5:00–6:00 Reception with ISM


7:00–8:30 Continental Breakfast

8:30-10:15 Session Seventeen

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:00 Session Eighteen/Action Planning

Workshop Location
Chase Center on the Riverfront
815 Justison St.
Wilmington, DE 19801

Hotel Location
Westin Wilmington
818 Shipyard Dr.
Wilmington, DE 19801

Group hotel reservation rate of $169 is available until June 16, 2018. Subject to availability. Please wait until the workshop status is 'confirmed' before making your travel and hotel arrangements.

Make your hotel reservations by clicking on the RESERVE YOUR ROOM link above or calling 302-654-2900 and letting them know you are with ISM.

The riverfront has a lot to offer you to occupy your downtime after an intense day of professional development training. Follow the river walk for restaurants, the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge and the DuPont Environmental Education Center, the Delaware Children's Museum, and Stratosphere Trampoline Park, to name a few.

Take in a movie at the new Penn River Cinema, with not only comfortable stadium seating but also an IMAX theatre. At various times during Summer Institute, the Class A Wilmington Blue Rocks will take to the diamond at the next-door Frawley Stadium. For Planet Fitness members, there is a large facility across from the Westin.

The outstanding River Rock Kitchen is right inside the Westin, but you are also walking distance to the first-class Iron Hill Brewery, Delaware's Big Fish Grill, Timothy's on the Riverfront, Joe's Crab Shack, and Firestone; Udon Thai Cuisine and Del Pez for Mexican; Molly's Ice Cream (sandwiches too!), the Riverfront Market and Harry's Seafood Grill just a little further down the Riverwalk. If you need your fix, yes, there is a Starbucks too...and a Subway.

You can also hop one of the Dart First State Route 12 Riverfront buses ($2 cash) to go to LOMA, or Lower Market Street, for more excellent restaurants we well as the Queen Theatre.

Getting There

Please do not make any non-refundable travel arrangements until you receive an e-mail from ISM informing you the workshop is confirmed to run.

By plane and shuttle: Philadelphia International is the closest airport. A shared van shuttle to Wilmington —a 45–60 minute ride, depending on traffic and the number of riders—costs about $35 each way. Visit the del express.com reservation page (https://delexpress.hudsonltd.net/res) and select click on the Group Code button. Enter 207866 at the bottom in the GROUP ID box. You can reach Delaware Express at 800.648.5466.

You can also use UBER — rates will vary depending on time of day, etc. You can use the Fare Estimator on uber.com to determine the fair. Use UberX or UberPOOL for the lowest fares.

Flights to Baltimore (BWI) can be less expensive, but it is an 80-mile trip to Wilmington. A shuttle costs about $125 each way, or you can rent a car at the airport.

By train: There is an Amtrak station in downtown Wilmington. You can request the hotel shuttle for transportation.

By car: Click here for directions from the Philadelphia Airport to the Westin Wilmington.

How will ISM communicate workshop information with me?

It is essential that your school approves the following e-mail addresses from ISM:




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

What does my registration fee include?

All workshop materials, breakfasts, lunch or dinner daily, and social hours are included.

What is not included in my registration fee?

Hotel accommodations and travel expenses, other meals not noted.

What should I wear?

Meetings rooms are generally cold, as temperature control in meeting spaces and large convention centers is difficult. Please bring a sweater, jacket, or sweatshirt.

Summer temperatures average mid-80s to a low of 65. It can get quite hot—into the 90s—and humid. The classrooms and guest rooms are usually comfortable, but you may want to dress in layers in case the rooms are too warm or too cool for you. Dress is casual. Wear whatever is comfortable—jeans, sweat shirts, sweaters, etc. For current weather conditions, we recommend checking weather.com.

What should I bring?

You’ll receive a letter from your workshop instructor letting you know what to bring. However, please bring a laptop or tablet for online access.

Where can I work out?

The Westin has a state-of-the-art fitness room and an exercise pool. Planet Fitness members can walk across the hotel parking lot to the expansive Riverfront Planet Fitness facility. The Riverwalk provides an excellent running and walking path as well.

Can my special dietary requirements be met?

Absolutely. Just give the Workshops Department a call at 302-656-4944, and we'll make sure your needs are accommodated.

How much free time will I have?

There are periods before, between, and after workshop sessions for relaxation, recreation, and networking.

Should I need medical or dental attention, where should I go?

Should you need medical attention in a non-emergency, notify ISM staff and the hotel staff. The hotel can recommend what facilities are available, and may be able to supply transportation. In an emergency, call 911.

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.

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. Failure to appear does not constitute a cancellation.

*We DO NOT accept enrollments from consultants.

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