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Professional Development

See The Calendar Below for Information on Conferences and Workshops. Information on other professional development programs an be found here.

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Middle School Student Diversity (2 Day Event)

Date: Friday - February 09, 2018
Location: Oregon Episcopal School (Portland, OR)

Support the Development of Young Leaders in Your School

The NWAIS Diversity Task Force has developed another amazing program for students to come together, connect, and build both relationships and skills around communication and inclusiveness. This year’s conference will once again serve middle school leaders; while more experienced student leaders will step in help facilitate sessions, under the guidance of Faculty.  

The objectives of this conference are:

  • To ensure a continuity of student leadership by creating earlier exposure to diversity leadership training
  • To encourage dialogue between students of different schools, races, ethnicities, and cultures
  • To explore the issues of diversity and inclusion in an age-appropriate context
  • To dialogue about how to create more inclusive school cultures and the forms exclusion takes in our schools
  • To facilitate the networking of students and shared learning experiences


Who Should Attend?

The retreat is open to 6-8th grade students of all races, ethnicities, and cultures. Students must attend with a faculty member from their school. The planning committee encourages faculty to carefully consider the group that attends the conference. We are seeking attendees who have demonstrated interest in issues around diversity and equity and are looking to become leaders in these areas in their school communities. Some successful strategies for faculty selecting students have included:

  • Nomination by faculty or students
  • Participation in a similarly themed club or activity
  • Application
  • Interview
  • Brief essay that expresses personal interest
  • Participation in student government

The faculty manages the selection process for their school.  A sample application can be downloaded here.

Download a poster to publicize this event at your school here

Schools are requested to limit the size of your student group to 10 students.

Upper School Students (Facilitators In Training)

Selected Upper School students will be assigned a middle school family group to support and travel with throughout the retreat. Their role will be to mentor and facilitate the middle school students. Upper school participants should be experienced in topics and themes around Diversity and Equity. There is limit of 20 Upper School positions.  There is no cost for upper school students.



Chaperones are responsible for their students in the times outside of formal programming, including the overnight hours.  Students will sleep in gender-divided areas, including a third space for students who would like a non-gender labeled area. Schools are responsible for sending a chaperone for each sleeping area that their students will use. A chaperone must be an employee of the school that is sending the students. There is no registration fee for the first and second chaperone to attend from a school. If a school is sending additional chaperones, the registration fee is $55 per person.

Lead Adult Expectations

  • Ensure collection of registration materials from each student by January 22, 2018 including: behavior contracts, registration forms and payment

Adult Expectations

  • Be responsible for their students during the conference
  • Be on call at all times during the conference
  • Meet students at designated points and times
  • Support and enforce the Student Conduct Agreement including full student participation and adherence to curfew
  • Adults will be able to opt into serving as a group leader in their registration materials. Those assigned this role will facilitate portions of the student experience. If you do not opt into this role, your supervisory responsibility will be primarily during meals, free time and overnight.

Student Expectations

Students will be expected to participate fully in all activities. Student participants should have the maturity and independence to successfully work in small groups of other students from across the region and from a number of different schools. Students will be asked to sign and comply with the behavior agreement.

Program Agenda

Friday, February 9, 2018

3:30-4:00  Arrival and Registration   
4:00‐5:00  Ice‐breaker and Chaperone Meeting 
5:00‐6:00  Dinner  
6:00‐8:00  Evening Activity
8:00-9:30  Structured Free Time 
10:00  Lights out

Saturday, February 10, 2018

7:00  Wake Up and Pack Bags   
7:45‐8:15  Breakfast    
8:30‐12:00  Program and Workshops   
12:00-1:00  Lunch    
1:00-4:30  Program and Workshops   
4:30  Retreat Conclusion      

Prep and Packing

Schools Should Bring: Medical forms for each student in attendance

Students Should Bring: Sleeping pad, sleeping bag, journal, raincoat, clothing, flash light, students should dress comfortably (casual attire is fine). To help conserve resources, you are also encouraged to bring your own water bottle.

Students Should Not Bring: Valuables such as computers, tablets, i-pods, etc. Students may bring a phone, but will be asked to not use it during programming. Students will be asked to not use headphones, as they limit engagement with others at the retreat.

Sleeping and Showering: The students will be "camping out" inside school buildings. Students and chaperones will be sleeping on the floor. There will be gender-divided spaces.  

Family Groups: Please ensure that Students have an understanding of the topics and general format of the retreat, including that they will be in "Family Groups" throughout the experience. These groups will be comprised of 7th and 8th grade students from a variety of participating schools.


  • Early Bird (By Jan 8, 2018): $115
  • Regular (After Jan 8, 2018): $140

Limit of 10 Students Per School

There is a limited amount of spaces available for student participants.  The event will likely fill to capacity.  For this reason we ask schools to limit the number of students they enroll to 10 students.  Please submit paperwork early to secure your students spots.

No Registrations Will Be Accepted After The Registration Deadline (January 22, 2018).

Cancellation Policy

Substitutions may be made any time prior to February 2. Written cancellations received by February 2, 2018 are eligible for a refund after a $50 cancellation fee. Cancellations received after February 2, 2018 are ineligible for any refund.

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Northwest Association of Independent Schools
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