Breakout Sessions 1

Bringing real data to the development of well-being interventions in high achieving schools


Presenter: Suniya S. Luthar, Ph.D.


Current research suggests that students’ well-being may be most effectively supported through nurturance of their perceived emotional connectedness to the school community. In this workshop, Dr. Luthar will discuss the critical importance of grounding such efforts in deep understanding of the specific challenges faced by individual schools. Dr. Luthar will introduce participants to innovative school-based programs created in response to state-of-the-art data collection efforts. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and offer feedback on programs and will leave with knowledge and tools to create first steps for collecting actionable data toward prioritizing health and wellness strategies at their schools.


How to Approach the College Admissions Process in a Developmental Way


Moderator: Virginia (Ginny) Garrison Maddux, Director of College Counseling, Montgomery Bell Academy



  • Jean Wall, Director of College Counseling, The Brentwood School 
  • Gail Berson, Director of College Counseling, Lycée Français de New York
  • Zholl Tablante, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions, Dartmouth College 
  • Robert S. Lay, Special Assistant to the Provost and Former Dean for Enrollment Management, Boston College


Each student comes to school as an individual with different needs and at different stages of growth. High school educators see tremendous growth and try to plan programming that is appropriate for a wide range of students, and it is through the relationships our students form with educators in our communities that they grow and develop into their best person. In this session we hope to provide information that will be helpful to everyone on making this process less stressful and more of a journey of discovery- to help young people learn about who they are and what they need in their next educational chapter.This session will focus on programs, policies and philosophies that promote a healthy college admission process culture. The high school counselors will share programs that work well in their school environment and our college admissions officer will share his perspective on the evidence he sees in applications of the impact of high school educators.


Facilitating inclusive communities for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students


Presenter: Emma Staffaroni | Instructor in English, Phillips Academy Andover


How familiar are you with the gender unicorn? In this session, educators at all different levels of knowledge and experience can come together to think about how to make their schools, classrooms, playing fields, dormitories, hallways, and community centers more inclusive, caring, and supportive spaces for students with diverse gender identities and expressions. We all have students who are not cisgender at our schools, whether we know it or not. Are we ready for them? Are we going to be able to support them with resources, spaces, and an informed community?


Emma Staffaroni from Phillips Academy Andover has worked with a team of colleagues at their New England boarding school to found an all-gender dormitory. The idea started with a student, and after careful thinking, flexibility, and student-driven policy change, Andover opened its all-gender dorm in the fall of 2017. Emma will talk through some conceptual and logistical ways to tailor gender inclusivity policies and practices to your specific institution. There will be time for brainstorming and reflecting on your own school’s most immediate areas for growth in gender inclusion.

July 16 @ 19:32
19:32 — 00:45 (45′)