SPARC conference sessions are specifically designed to meet the professional needs of independent school summer and auxiliary program leaders. The two and a half day program blends 60 minute SPARC Sessions with keynote speakers, roundtable discussions, and facilitated planning opportunities. Our speakers are subject matter experts and experienced leaders in their field who are eager to share their talents and engage their colleagues in meaningful dialogue.
SPARC Sessions from 2017 conference
The 2018 program will be finalized and published by September 1, 2018.
PARTNERING WITH ADMISSIONS
Auxiliary programs provide opportunities to showcase independent schools and foster productive admission work. Learn about the partnership between Albuquerque Academy’s Think Academy Admission departments and explore potential events, activities, and internal policies to bring new students into your school community. Join this session to maximize the admissions potential of your summer and other auxiliary programs. Learn how to design specific programs that engage youth on your campus in experiences that attract new inquiries and applicants.
A VALUE PROPOSITION WORTH ACCELERATED COMMITMENT TO YOUR PROGRAM
Every summer program offers a valuable experience for children, but many programs are challenged to express this vision through marketing. You can do this by creating a compelling value proposition to explain the unique experience that your summer program delivers. Learn how to showcase benefits families will gain by highlighting what sets your program apart from the large number of choices. Leave with a plan to develop your signature value proposition to make it easier for families to enroll in your program faster.
RESIDENTIAL CURRICULUM – THE FOUNDATION FOR COMMUNITY BUILDING
Bring your mission statement to life through a Residential (or a Community) Curriculum. Share your approach to fostering a vibrant and nurturing community while creating a curriculum for an intentional learning experience. Discuss the objectives you expect your students and instructors will meet by the close of your summer session, the methods and resources your team will utilize to teach and practice those objectives and how to assess or measure the personal (and collective) growth of your community members.
THE SOCIOLOGY OF SUMMER CAMP
For many Americans, summer camp provides some of the most poignant memories from childhood and adolescence. So why do camps “work” and how might you look at what happens at camp to understand how other complex, educational organizations operate? Using a sociological lens, we will unpack what makes camps tick so that we might gain an understanding into the organizational aspects that make camps unique and offer insights on how you might maximize the impact of your own summer program offerings.
RENTALS – SHOW ME THE MONEY!
Under pressure to bring in more revenue, many schools are turning to renting their facilities. This can be a relatively easy way to increase auxiliary revenue as well as enhance community relations. But as with all programs -- be intentional! Join two veterans as we share the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding rentals. We will examine the pros/cons of renting facilities as well as outline best practices and important things to consider including pricing, insurance, UBIT, policies, and many other topics.
A CONVERSATION ABOUT ENROLLMENT: TRENDS AND GOALS
How do we set our enrollment goals? Can we make sure we reach them? Do we understand what factors impact our numbers? Can we prevent some trends and react to others in effective ways? To open the conversation, we will draw on the perspective of a program that is celebrating its 100th session before discussing our experiences with different summer program models to try to understand the current state of an ever-changing market that is influenced by demographic realities, growing competition, global issues, and cultural shifts.
GUIDING YOUNG PEOPLE TOWARDS MEANINGFUL LIVES
Over the past decade, Patrick has helped build a number of innovative youth programs including Project Wayfinder, Back to Earth, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, Brown University’s Social Innovation Initiative, and a travel abroad program for low-income high school students. He has taught mindfulness at public, private, alternative, and charter high schools across the world. Patrick has spoken at more than 100 high schools and universities and written on mindfulness, purpose education and high school innovation for Stanford Social Innovation Review, Edutopia, and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good.
WHAT DOES YOUR CUSTOMER REALLY WANT?
Jeet Singh is a serial entrepreneur, musician and philanthropist based in Boston, Massachusetts. He has co-founded businesses in e-commerce software, marketing analytics, digital media, and education, including the NASDAQ-listed software firm ATG (acquired by Oracle Corp). He is currently also the co-founder and CEO at Redstar Ventures, a new business "foundry”, and Begin Studios, a digital media content and software startup. He has extensive experience in creating and growing organizations, including product development, marketing strategy, staffing, marketing, and fundraising.
Building From the Top Down: Admin Training
How do you build up your admin team for the summer to achieve your vision and the mission of the school/summer program? Come explore with me a model for developing your admin team into the best professionals they can be. In turn your staff will appreciate excellent leadership and management throughout the summer. Please bring your own models as we will share best practices for creating excellent administrators.
The ABC's of Auxiliary Programming
The 'building blocks' of auxiliary programs can start with some of our youngest 'clients' as well as the earliest / latest hours on campus. This session will present case studies from various independent schools for the following programs: early childhood learning centers/daycares, enrichment workshops, before and after care, and conference days/no school events. Learn about different models. Discuss the benefits and challenges with each type of program. Leave with an action plan to create or change current offerings.
Kids Do Well if They Can - A Fundamental Shift in Managing Challenging Behaviors
Based on the work of Dr. Stuart Ablon at the Think:Kids center at Mass General Hospital, we’ll explore the powerful shift in his research-based understanding of kids with challenging behaviors. This session will briefly introduce participants to the Collaborative Problem Solving approach, the notion of “Skills not Will”, and tackle the conventional discipline/reward system that educators, parents and caregivers have been using for decades.
Most of us working at Independent Schools as Auxiliary Directors have two main responsibilities that are not mutually exclusive and they present a formidable management challenge. We are charged with creating alternative revenue centers that contribute to the school’s operating budget and reduce their reliance on tuition while supporting the school’s mission to provide high quality programs and offerings to our students and families. Finding the right balance between adding to the School’s bottom line and providing services to our families is the challenge.
A Product/Process/Price Framework for Auxiliary and Summer Programs
These days in the summer camp / auxiliary programming marketplace, everyone is hanging a shingle. Using a price, product, and process framework this session presents an intentional method to design and evaluate your programs. Discover where you fit in this highly competitive marketplace. Do you try to have the best product for your campers? Do you try create the most unique experience for your campers? Do you try to provide the best value and service to your families?
Building a Strategic Auxiliary Programs Plan
Are you interested in elevating your school's auxiliary program performance? This session will provide a framework for identifying school assets, defining strategic goals, and developing a coherent auxiliary programs plan that maximizes your school's potential. With a focused plan in place, your school will be able to implement programs that positively influence school admissions, create efficiencies in auxiliary services, and increase non-tuition revenue to support the mission of your school.
Tech Tools You Can Start Using Tomorrow
Experience web based tools in action that you can start using tomorrow with your Auxiliary Programs. Trello, Workplace, Wrike, Google Drive, and many more tools are out there that can make it easier to track tasks, communicate with staff and save you time in the long run. This session will showcase features from these and other web based options shared by directors and technology experts working directly in our industry.
Blue Oceans, Coronas, and Brand
Join two veteran directors and SPARC alums as they discuss how they have exponentially grown their Auxiliary Programs thru program design, marketing, and brand management. In this session, we will also explore some real life examples from Fortune 500 companies that can be applied to our work in Independent Schools and specifically Auxiliary Departments everywhere. Join us for this follow-up to last year’s session on Co-Branding with your School and Camp Programs.
So You Have a Website, Now What?
Everyone knows that having a website is key if you want to maintain and grow your summer and auxiliary program. Strategic marketing requires a year-round effort to see success throughout the year. In this session, you will learn some tips and tricks to increase your online presence, leads, sales, and profits. Key session takeaways will include: how to get more traffic through optimization and how to measure the results of your marketing efforts.
Developing a Culture of Giving
In a culture of success increasingly driven by the number of “likes” or “followers”, as leaders in youth development we carry a responsibility to help our staff develop coping skills outside of the virtual world. As we continue to work with a generation of staff who are driven by praise, how can we manage those expectations and still fulfill our own HUGE responsibility of caring for other people’s children?
Leading on the Edges
Summer and auxiliary programs offer unique, and sometimes challenging, leadership opportunities. Come ready to share your thoughts and ask questions about leadership. We will start the conversation by addressing relationship building, administrative dilemmas, and community partnerships and then move on to topics generated by attendees.
How to use Vendor partnerships to Accomplish Your Goals
A panel discussion with four veteran auxiliary and camp professionals who use vendor partners to achieve growth goals for their school. Whether it be to draw in new families, fill a unique niche program that you can’t internally provide or bring in additional revenue, working with vendors partners can be a part of your strategic growth plan.
Campus Safety and Risk Management
As campuses become the hub of year-round activity for many families, schools need to consider how to provide a safe and secure space for students, faculty, staff, parents and visitors. Most schools place an emphasis on this during the school year, but don't devote the same resources to this during summer and after hours programming. Explore how one school has made this a priority for all campus activities.
Professional Development for After School Professionals
Children deserve to interact with well trained, highly motivated, and enthusiastic adults during every minute of their school day, including the hours after school. This workshop will examine how to offer the same broad set of professional opportunities that are made available to school-day faculty and staff (including workshops, evaluation, feedback, and team building) to the individuals who work with students during the hours after school.
This session aims to give an understanding about what the latest research has to say about our brain and body's ability to multitask and focus on more than one task at one time. All of us face this challenge every day of our life as we balance multiple daily tasks, short-term projects, and long-term projects as well as our own personal lives. We will learn about a variety of time management techniques and concentration & mindfulness practices designed to help you filter some (but probably not all!) of the chaos out of your life.
Engaging Chinese Students
This interactive workshop explores opportunities associated with envisioning, strategizing, and implementing programs that identify, recruit, and then welcome Chinese students for summer study and the challenges of the promises to enhance a school’s commitment to diversity as well as to generate new revenue streams. Facilitated by two veteran summer program directors--one from a rural East Coast boarding school, the other from an urban West Coast day school--this session will examine the burgeoning Chinese student market and share best practices.