—Comments from 2016 Summer Institute attendees
“Great mix of experiential and listening.”
“You were amazingly professional, organized, timely.  I felt you always had our needs in mind.  I never felt that you were wasting my time.  Excellent and I will HIGHLY recommend it."
“Fantastic execution!  My colleagues and I have been so impressed by this Institute.  Thank you!”
“I loved the variety of instructors."
“Thank you for your depth, guidance, expert knowledge, length of sessions, good food and excellent resources.”
“The improvisation activities were great!  I will use them with both students and faculty!”
“So many non-competitive ways to have fun while building trust, teamwork and self-knowledge.”
“I am excited to plan for the year with this experience in mind.”
“THE BINDER—the exercises and ‘how to’ guidance is priceless."

Testimonials

What have participants at our Institutes and Workshops said about their experience?

Institute Reflections
2017 Institute Participant
2017 Institute Participant
2017 Institute Participant
2017 Institute Participant
2017 Institute Participant

Wendy Jo Reiter

Our Middle division program has grown exponentially over the time we've collaborated. To witness the activity at the faculty meeting where our faculty responded to your statements along the continuum, strongly indicated, in the most graphic ways, the degree to which they have positively responded to our work together. Clearly the majority of our faculty feel overwhelmingly more confident and positive in their advisory role and in the classroom.

Michelle Dowling

There has been a transformational change in our Lower School in just this past year as we implemented the SEL program... and I am eager to continue its growth! Particularly as we look to engage our Middle School faculty as well.... simultaneously striving to train every single Lower School faculty member. Please let me know if this would be a possibility... and what the next steps would entail.

Dena Scott

[Thank] you and your fabulous team of [IFSEL] colleagues for hosting such an inspirational institute! I wanted to take the opportunity to be a learner and I truly was able to soak up such incredible insight and knowledge from all of those that were there… Transitioning from community mental health to a school I have really felt so privileged to have the ability to spend so much time with educators who can share such complex perspectives on working with children. The IFSEL was such an awesome bridge for me and grounding place… Thank you again!

Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids

In ‘Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids’, Denise Pope, Maureen Brown and Sarah Miles share best practices for supporting students from their work with schools at Challenge Success.

The Institute for SEL and Janice’s work at the Nueva School feature as a case study of how Social and Emotional Learning can play an integral role changing schools to be caring and inclusive communities. Read more on Pages 148-152.

Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids

In ‘Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids’, Denise Pope, Maureen Brown and Sarah Miles share best practices for supporting students from their work with schools at Challenge Success.

The Institute for SEL and Janice’s work at the Nueva School feature as a case study of how Social and Emotional Learning can play an integral role changing schools to be caring and inclusive communities. Read more on Pages 148-152.

Aaron Hollingshead

We had a great experience with the IFSEL Team during our day of professional development for our middle and high school teachers! In fact, today I tried the Open Session in a career course that I'm teaching at the moment and it was tremendous!

Larry Purcell

Finally, a 5th grader, who has never spoken up in our assemblies before said, "I think it's like learning a really tough piece in piano. Sometimes it's so hard you have to decide, 'Do I stick with it or do I quit?' I'm dealing with something in my life right now where I have to make that decision. It's hard, but I'm learning what that feels like and how to be honest with myself about it." The reason I share this with you is that I attribute our SEL work to helping our students continue to find their voices. There are so many layers in the comments above. Our students are synthesizing ideas and feelings. They are seeking out examples of family and friends and allowing others to be an influence in their lives. And finally, our students are taking risks, real risks, and navigating their lives with confidence...all while not being afraid to be without answers in the process. Things like Check-ins, Open Session, and themed advisory activities are helping our already healthy community find new depths. Thank you to you and your team for your guidance, support and mentoring.

Krista M. Promnitz

As a mental health professional and school administrator, it is difficult to find professional development opportunities that are thought-provoking, fresh, and applicable while remaining anchored in research and best practices. Our time spent together exceeded all of those points for me. When I registered for the institute, I hoped to gather some ideas to revamp our Advisory program in the Upper School. We are struggling to get it up and running, which has left many feeling that the program does not add value and that it takes away teaching time. I left my time with you full of ideas and excitement to implement programming that will help our students reconnect with their emotionality and thoughts.

The activities and sessions were intentional and I appreciated the threaded concepts that linked each session together. Every activity had a purpose and helped me better understand the concept of social emotional learning as an everyday instructional strategy. Much of what I hear from my teachers involves reluctance to "add" to their responsibilities and we are working toward integration, rather than addition, and simple techniques such as a Check In and the emotional thermometer are both effective and non-threatening for the reluctant educator. We will certainly put these (and other techniques) in place this fall and are looking forward to watching our faculty and students grow!

Thank you for the time and thought that your team puts into these events. I left excited, energized, and ready to start the new school year in a positive and mindful manner.

Maya Kelly, PhD.

Three years ago, I was the first attendee from [St. Matthew’s] to attend the IFSEL in Chicago at North Shore Country Day, where I left so inspired and chomping at the bit to bring information to our school. Since then, we have had six more people attend IFSEL, including two administrators, and we recently sent five others to [a one-day] workshop.  I can't tell you how wonderful it has been each summer since I went to touch base with the attendees and see their wheels start to turn and their faces light up.  It has made a big difference in our faculty and their commitment to supporting students wholly.  This is all because of the work you are doing, and I am so thankful that you all are continuing to inspire and encourage schools to do this important work.

Since 2009, IFSEL has worked with more than 6,000 educators
from 600 schools across the US and internationally.

Our client list includes:

African Leadership Academy
Alabama City Schools, AL
American School of Doha Dakar
American School in Japan
The Athenian School, CA
Athena Academy, CA
Averroes Academy, CA
Bacich Elementary School, CA
Bertschi School, WA
The Brandeis School of San Francisco, CA
The Branson School, CA
Brawerman Elementary School, CA
The Bush School, WA
The Carey School, CA
Castilleja School, CA
Colorado Academy, CO
Cupertino School District, CA
Dalton School, NY
Eastside Preparatory School, WA
Evergreen School, WA
Fremont School District, CA
San Francisco Friends School, CA
Frontiers Academy, CA
École Maternelle, CA
Galloway School, GA
Gideon Hausner School, CA
Girls Alliance, CA
GirlVentures, CA
Gunn High School, CA
The Hamlin School, CA
Helios School, CA
Horace Mann School,  NY
Imagineerz Camp, CA
International School of the Peninsula 
John Dorr Nature Laboratory, NY
Frank Greene Jr. Middle School,  CA
Keys School, CA
Lake Forest Country Day School, IL
Maret School, DC
Mark Day School, CA
Marin Primary and Middle School CA
Marin Country Day School, CA
Marin Montessori, CA
Marin Mothers Club, CA
Menlo School,  CA
Miami Country Day School, FL
Millennium School, CA
Minnetonka School District, MN
Moorestown Friends School, NJ
Mirman School, CA
NatureBridge CA, WA, DC
Nightingale Bamford School, NY
National Presbyterian School, DC
The Nueva School, CA
North Yarmouth Academy, ME
Oak Hill School, TN
Odyssey School, CA
Open Window School, WA
Palo Alto Unified High School, CA
Pegasus School, CA
The Peninsula School, CA
Peninsula Bridge, CA
Piedmont High School, CA
Poly Prep Country Day School, NY
Proof School, CA
Rowland Hall, UT
San Ramon Valley High School, CA
Shady Hill School, MA
Sacred Heart School, CA
Seattle Country Day School, WA
Stuart Hall School, CA
Stuart School, NJ
Sea Crest School, CA
Science and Arts Academy, IL
Sonoma Country Day School, CA
St Andrews School, TX
St. Joseph’s School, CA
St. Luke’s School, NY
St. Mary’s College High School, CA
St. Paul’s Academy, WA
Town School, CA
Montessori de Terra Linda, CA
University Prep High School, WA
Walden School, CA
Woodland School, CA
Woodside Elementary School, CA

Conference Presentations include:

African Leadership Academy Indaba
Bay Area Teacher Collaborative Workshop
California Association of Independent Schools
Challenge Success, Stanford University
Columbia Teachers College Conference
East Asia Region Conference (EARCOS) – Administrators 2017
Innovative Learning Conferences
Learning and the Brain Conferences
National Association of Independent Schools
Northwest Association of Independent Schools
People of Color Conferences
San Ramon High School TedX Conference
Stanford University Round Table on Technology & SEL in Schools
NWAIS Student Diversity Leadership Retreat 2018
California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC)

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