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  • assisting schools in fulfilling their missions.

NWAIS Conferences, Workshops and Events

Sorrow and Joy in the New Year: Reaching for Wellness

Date: Thursday - February 11, 2021
Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Location: Zoom Workshop
2:00-4:00PM PST - Virtual Workshop


Sorrow and Joy in the New Year:

Reaching for Wellness


A Virtual Workshop

February 11, 2021 – 2:00-4:00PM PACIFIC




Who Should Attend

For ALL EDUCATORS including teachers, staff members, and administrators

This workshop, developed in collaboration with Taslim Tharani of Thriving Together, is designed to address white educators who want to work against racism, although all are welcome.


Workshop Description

A new year. A new federal government. Promising vaccines. Yet it is still just February, and almost a full year of adapting, pivoting, planning, re-setting, innovating, scrapping, persevering, and grieving has affected all of us deeply. One way for school communities to contend with the emotional intensity and fatigue of this time is to create space for the stories of sorrow and joy that sustain us. Working with our losses is a new and necessary dimension of achieving wellness and, fostering a sense of belonging in our schools.


In this workshop we will use the framework of ambiguous loss (Pauline Boss) to understand our responses to so much uncertainty and ambiguity. While some fear that “giving in” to our sadness will lead to collapse, sharing experiences in a structured, intentional way, provides relief and builds community. With most of our recognized rituals (e.g. religious services, memorials, funerals, chapel, singing together) off limits at the moment, schools have an opportunity to meet essential human needs by bringing people together in this way. 


An essential part of contending with ambiguous loss is celebrating what remains, and, when the time is right, creating something new. Learn ways to use this framework with students too, as a way to support them in this extended period of contending with competing, complex feelings.


Join psychologist and long-time educational consultant, Jennifer Bryan, (Team Finch Consultants; Re-Set School) and Ricco Siasoco (Urban School of S.F.) for stories, strategies and community. Just bring yourself, some paper and a pen.






Facilitator Biography


Jennifer Bryan, Ph.D.

Jennifer Bryan, PhD, is a psychologist, consultant, coach, speaker and author with over 35 years of experience working in educational and clinical settings. She earned her masters and doctorate in counseling psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, a BA in creative writing from Princeton University and studied for a year at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As founder and principal of Team Finch Consultants. she specializes in helping schools and organizations create inclusive communities by understanding and addressing gender and sexuality diversity. She is the author of From the Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in PreK-12 Schools (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2012)

She is also the founder of Re-Set School, a new consulting entity created by a diverse team of experienced educators in the Spring of 2020 with the goal of helping school leaders make their communities stronger, more equitable, and more adaptive during the Covid-19 pandemic. Re-Set School sees the massive disruption of PreK-12 education caused by pandemic as a challenge, but also as an opportunity to reconsider legacy practices in schools that are no longer aligned with school mission and values.

Jennifer is a life-long educator and because she deeply understands the dynamics of PreK-12 school life, she is at home working with all constituents (Administrators, Teachers, Staff, Trustees, Parents, Students). She conducts workshops that focus on (a) leadership development, (b) effective communication skills, and (c) working with groups. Jennifer also coaches individuals and groups who want to develop their leadership capacities, improve performance and deepen satisfaction in work well done.

In all aspects of her work, Jennifer uses psychological and pedagogical frameworks, skilled group facilitation, and a lively sense of humor to help participants and community members learn and grow. This is work she loves and feels honored to do.



NWAIS Attendees: $55


Non-NWAIS Attendees: $85



TO RECEIVE THE REGISTRATION DISCOUNT: Your registration must be complete by the appropriate deadline.

• For online registrations with payment by check, payment must be postmarked by deadline date.

• Online registrations paid by credit card must be completed by 11:59pm on the deadline date.


Cancellation Policy
Substitutions may be made any time prior to the conference. Written cancellations received by February 4, 2021 are eligible for a refund after a $25 cancellation fee. Cancellations received after February 4, 2021 are ineligible for any refund.



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