We are committed to...
  • encouraging diverse points of view.
  • continuous reflection and on-going improvement.
  • collegial relationships and ethical leadership.
  • independent education options for families.
  • promoting the independence of our schools.
  • quality standards without standardization.
  • assisting schools in fulfilling their missions.

Spring Heads Meeting

Date: Sunday - June 28, 2020
Time: All Day
Location: Alderbrook Resort (Union, WA)
This Event Has Been Cancelled.


Spring Heads Meeting

New Date: June 28-30, 2020

Alderbrook Resort (Union, WA)

 Join Heads of School from across the Association and share experience, best practices and explore trending themes in independent school leadership.


This Event Has Been Cancelled


Important Update Regarding Coronavirus

Unfortunately we are unable to hold the Spring Heads Meeting in person this year. Based on the latest governmental recommendations we do not feel that it would be safe to gathering in large numbers.

Here are the key points:

  • NWAIS will cancel all previous registrations for the May and June meetings.
  • Alderbrook will cancel all hotel reservations and refund all deposits. You may want to call and confirm that your reservation is refunded.
  • Typically all accredited and candidate schools are charged for a portion of the meeting regardless of attendance. We are suspending this policy. School's will not be billed for any meeting expenses this spring.


Featured Session:

Both/And for Resilient Communities

As leaders and heads of independent schools, should we focus on the bottom line or mission of our school? Should we focus on immediate, short term needs to get us through pressing issues of the day OR focus on strategic, long term planning for the future? Should we focus on direction of our boards or the interests of the parents? Should we focus on minimizing costs for running our school OR focus on improving quality of school? Given the speed of change, should we bother with stability or just go all out for change and innovation?

As individuals, should we focus on ourselves or others? On getting things done or rest? On our contributions or personal development.

The answer to these questions, of course, is, “YES.”

These questions are a few of the issues with which we struggle every day. They are called polarities. They are composed of two important demands BOTH of which require attention for individuals, communities and organizations to thrive.  Since the demands of both poles (e.g. Stability AND Change) are interdependent, choosing one of them and neglecting the other is unsustainable, a waste of time, money, and energy.  

In this interactive session, Lindsay Burr, CEO of the Yarbrough Group and graduate of a Colorado Independent School, will lead us through an overview of polarities and personal and professional applications that will help us all navigate the unusual times we currently face and build resilience for the future.


Led by:

Lindsay Burr, Chief Executive Officer of the Yarbrough Group

The Yarbrough Group focuses on organizational development and interpersonal communication.

Learn More About Lindsay Here



Tentative Meeting Agenda


Sunday, May 3, 2020






Reception and Dinner


Monday, May 4, 2020








Free Time






Tuesday, May 5, 2020




Conference Conclusion




No payment is required to NWAIS at the time of registration. Your school will be billed after the event. Please register as soon as you know that you will be attending.


Updated Accommodation & Travel Information

A convenient two hours from Seattle, Washington, the Alderbrook Resort takes you worlds away. Surrounded by the Olympic Mountains, the Resort & Spa rests on the shores of the Hood Canal, a glacier-carved fjord home to eagles and osprey, salmon and seals. Learn more about the Alderbrook Resort here: http://www.alderbrookresort.com/about/

The Alderbrook Resort will be housing us in a combination of hotel rooms and cottages, all offered at a rate of $149/night. Reservations are now open. Call 360-898-2145 to make your reservation and mention that you are a part of “NWAIS Spring Heads Meeting”. They are not answering phones directly. Leave a message and they will get back in touch. The cutoff date for reservations at the special rate is May 28, 2020. Room reservations made after that date are subject to availability.

Note: All room rates are subject to a State, Local, and Occupancy Tax in effect at the time of meeting. Currently such taxes total 10.4% per room, per night. Tax rates are subject to change.



NWAIS Heads Meeting Policies


Annual Fall and Spring Heads Meetings are open only to schools affiliated with NWAIS.
Typically, NWAIS Accredited and Candidate member schools are billed for a portion of the Heads Conference expenses whether or not the School Head attends. This policy has been suspended for the 2020 Spring Heads Meeting.

Travel expenses to and from the meeting are reimbursed, added to the meeting expenses, and shared among all accredited and candidate member schools. Hotel expenses are not covered by the Travel Share Policy. If the Head of School of an Accredited and Candidate member school cannot attend, they may send a representative in their place.


Heads from Affiliate Members and Subscriber Schools will only be charged for the Heads Conference if they attend. They will be billed for a full share of the meeting expenses. They are however, responsible for their own travel expenses, and not responsible for any portion of the pooled travel expenses.


Heads Meeting Guests are asked to register in advance. Guests that are attending the program sessions will be billed after the event for the cost of the meals only. They are not responsible for the shared travel costs or program expenses. Spouses or other guests who do not attend programming will be billed after the conference and will only be charged for the meals, which they register to attend. Only one attendee from each Accredited and Candidate member school is eligible for any reimbursement of travel costs through the Travel Share program.


In the case that a guest of a Head of School is unable to attend, there is no cancellation fee until 4 days prior to the start of the meeting. After that point, all registrations are final, and guests will be billed regardless of attendance.


NWAIS is Going Paperless.
All program materials will be provided electronically.

If there are pre-conference materials, they will be sent to you via email about a week prior to the event as a .pdf attachment. Please "BYOD" (bring your own device) to access them at the workshop or if you prefer, print out the digital materials and bring them with you. We will not have hard-copy packets for attendees on-site.



<< Back

Explore Cohort Programs

Instructional Growth Cohort

is our newest cohort for our newest educators. In this cohort educators in their first five years of independent school teaching will meet regularly over the course of 6 months, to discuss ideas of pedagogy, planning, and professionalism.

Registration to Open Fall 2019

Emerging Leaders Cohort

is a two-year program to develop independent school leaders in taking the next step in their career.

Applications for Next Cohort Due May 2020

Pathways to Leadership Cohort

is a two year program to develop women who are interested in becoming a Head of School in the next 3-5 years.

Applications for Next Cohort Due May 2020

  • Guiding
  • Inspiring
  • Advancing
Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW, Suite 112
Seattle, Washington 98136
T: 206.323.6137 • info@nwais.org
powered by finalsite