Residential & Student life institute

July 26–29

RESIDENTIAL & STUDENT LIFE INSTITUTE

RESIDENTIAL & STUDENT LIFE INSTITUTE

Today, Residential Life professionals must have ready knowledge of communication strategies, management techniques, and a variety of legal, sociological, medical, and psychological issues. This interactive workshop will offer both synchronous and asynchronous opportunities for the participant to explore a wide variety of topics that are vital to running a top-notch residential program.

Health & Wellness Staff — attend the first two days of this Institute at a discounted rate! Simply enter 21HEALTH at checkout.

When

July 26–29 • Noon–4pm ET

where

Virtual

who

Deans, directors, dorm parents, non-dorm parents and staff of residential and student life programs.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Examine the latest research and best practices on critical topics facing residential and student life leaders, including cultivating communities of belonging, promoting healthy technology consumption habits, and developing post-Covid residential policies.

Develop strategies for supporting the health and safety of students in the crucial areas of mental health and wellbeing, current legal issues, substance use and prevention, and misconduct and abuse prevention.

Understanding best practices for developing rich and robust student programming, including advisory programs, student leadership development, auxiliary programs, and student social and emotional development.

Improve the quality of your program and team with program audits, innovative staffing structures, and professional growth.

Brainstorm, strategize and problemb solve with a personal network of new colleagues and mentors from across the boarding school industry.

Monday, July 26 • Noon–4pm ET

Critical Topics for Residential
and Student Life Leaders

BLOCK 1

Welcome to the Institute!

Get to know your program mentor, fellow attendees, and lead facilitators for the program. 

BLOCK 2

Cultivating Inclusivity and Belonging in Residential Life

When our students not only learn, but also live, at our schools, the stakes for building truly inclusive communities for students of all racial, ethnic, gendered, and international backgrounds are more critical than ever. What are the unwritten norms and behaviors that will allow/prevent diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work to thrive in your school? Where is your best opportunity to proactively bring in concepts around DEI? How have you handled (or not handled) incidents around equity and inclusion? Engage with a variety of student experiences and discern key takeaways you can implement in your professional and personal practice to build relationships that instill values of equity and inclusivity and contribute to a culture of belonging at your school.

BLOCK 3

Technology and Consumption: Strategies for Healthy Use

With phones constantly at our fingertips and more Zoom fatigue than ever, what does the latest research reveal about technology, social media, learning, and connection? How can we instill healthy and productive technology habits in our communities (and families) and build awareness about the impact of consumption and creation in our students’ lives?

BLOCK 4

Preparing for Fall with Covid in the Rearview

Gather with your colleagues to discuss strategies for Covid-conscious opening of school. What health precautions need to be continued into the next academic year, and what public health and residential life measures have been so helpful that you’ll hold on to them long after the pandemic? 

TUESDAY, July 27 • Noon–4pm ET

Student Health and Safety

Some topics are repeated during select blocks

BLOCK 1

Mental Health and Wellness

Explore the key mental health and wellness concepts most critical to supporting students in the residential environment, including the latest science about anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and self-harm, and what you can do to promote an environment of wellness on your campus. How might our schools promote healthy habits and well-being, and how might we lead by example, modeling the habits and behaviours that we want to inspire in our students so that they can thrive in our communities?  

Legal & Boundary Issues

Review and discuss common and urgent legal challenges that boarding school leaders encounter, from boundary issues to those relating to the latest pandemic. In  interactive breakout groups, you’ll consider various issues and scenarios, while exploring the best methods and suggestions to more effectively and safely manage them with your school’s culture and mission in mind.

BLOCK 2

Playing with the Problem: Emergency Response & Risk Management

Working in small groups in a breakout room, you’ll encounter an emergency scenario and consider how to respond constructively, mitigate risk, and manage boarding and day families. Share and learn about protocols at peer schools and have the chance to ask questions of the presenters to think through what might need updating in their own handbooks or practices. 

Mental Health and Wellness

Explore the key mental health and wellness concepts most critical to supporting students in the residential environment, including the latest science about anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and self-harm, and what you can do to promote an environment of wellness on your campus. How might our schools promote healthy habits and well-being, and how might we lead by example, modeling the habits and behaviours that we want to inspire in our students so that they can thrive in our communities?  

BLOCK 3

Preventing and Responding to Substance Abuse

The world of substance use in our schools has changed significantly with the popularity of electronic nicotine delivery devices such as juuls and vapes.  How are we responding to his new threat?  How has this new threat affected the use of other substances among our students?  

Legal & Boundary Issues

Review and discuss common and urgent legal challenges that boarding school leaders encounter, from boundary issues to those relating to the latest pandemic. In  interactive breakout groups, you’ll consider various issues and scenarios, while exploring the best methods and suggestions to more effectively and safely manage them with your school’s culture and mission in mind.

WEDNESDAY, July 28 • Noon–4pm ET

We're running two tracks on Wednesday and Thursday:
1 – Designing the Student Experience
2 – Developing Your Program and Team

Feel free to switch from track to track however you like — It's your institute!

1 – Designing the Student Experience

BLOCK 1

Mission-Driven Advising

Does your school’s advising curriculum reflect your school’s mission statement? In this session, we’ll look at how to build (or rebuild) your school’s advising curriculum from the mission statement up. Participants will be guided through exercises that they can bring back to their school and lead a process that ensures that the essential components of a school-wide advising curriculum are in place and flourishing. 

BLOCK 2

Skills for Life: Residential Community Learning

When dorm parents, student leaders, and campus administrators approach residential living as skills-for-life education, all students are empowered to build resilience with guided and intentional support. This brief introduction asks you to frame your thinking about Residential Life programming as skill building opportunities through the myriad of daily tasks and interactions students tackle, both on and off campus. Whether your students are on campus or spread across the globe, you can partner with families to keep building students’ skills everyday.

BLOCK 3

Student Leadership

Each school has a unique student leadership program with ties to tradition along with newly emerging roles to meet the needs of today’s students. We will look at several models for leadership programs and ask you to consider how your school might expand leadership opportunities without diluting the quality of the program, as well as addressing upholding leadership roles when students are away from campus. 

2 – Developing Your Program and Team

BLOCK 1

Basics of a Residential Life Program Audit

Whether you’ve proposed a residential and student life audit to your leadership team, been asked to begin an audit, or simply been curious about the process, this session will guide you through the key objectives and frameworks for engaging in a program audit.

BLOCK 2

Best Practices and Innovative Staffing Models

The “triple threat” model has a long history in boarding school staffing structures, but more and more schools are exploring new ways to imagine staffing structures to serve student needs, promote health and balance for team members, and better align with missional and strategic initiatives. This session will host conversation about staffing structures and descriptions of key roles and invite you to share your own.

BLOCK 3

Parent Partnerships and Communication

When you are acting “in loco parentis,” effective partnerships with parents are some of the most critical relationships you’ll build as you support and nurture students. Using case studies and a review of best practices, learn effective strategies for navigating partnerships with parents and discuss how to leverage those relationships for success from the start.

THURSDAY, July 29 • Noon–4pm ET

We're running two tracks on Wednesday and Thursday:
1 – Designing the Student Experience
2 – Developing Your Program and Team

Feel free to switch from track to track however you like — It's your institute!

1 – Designing the Student Experience

BLOCK 1

Supporting International Students

International students cross profound physical, cultural and social boundaries to join our boarding schools communities. How can we empathize with the wide spectrum of experiences of international students to design a smooth and welcoming transition that engages them during the admission process and supports them through move-in and throughout their journeys within our communities?

BLOCK 2

Strategic Approaches to Student On-Boarding

Explore best practices and creative approaches to welcoming students (and their parents) into your communities with rituals and processes that affirm the values and norms your institution celebrates, position students for success, and support your retention efforts.

BLOCK 3

Student Discipline and Restorative Practices

In this session we will discuss the variety of ways schools work through disciplinary responses, the variety of responses schools utilize, and the ways schools communicate these responses to build community and to instill a sense of justice and fairness. Restorative justice is rooted in indigenous cultures and traditions and is an approach that focuses on healing relationships and harm caused by adverse behavior or actions. In this session, we will look at ways in which restorative practices can help build community and address challenges that will inevitably arise in residential settings. 

2 – Developing Your Program and Team

BLOCK 1

Mission-Aligned Hiring and On-Boarding

Research shows that the first days of an employees experience in a new organization have profound implications for that individual’s performance and morale for years to come. Learn and share the best systems and practices for helping new team members to experience, feel and become equipped to cascade the mission, values and cultural practices of your residential life program.

BLOCK 2

Developing your Team

A cohesive, dynamic, positive and progressive residential life faculty is the backbone for a vibrant and healthy residential life program.  With the impact of COVID-19, what are new skill sets and realities for residential life staff?  In this session we will explore and discuss the key skill sets we wish to see and develop in residential life staff, challenges for residential life staff in this new reality, best practices for residential faculty and their development, onboarding and ongoing training, mentorship programs, team building and leadership development.      

BLOCK 3

Embracing Difficult Conversations

Do you enjoy having difficult conversations?  How much training have you had in facilitating challenging moments with adults?  As a school leader you will inevitably be called upon to engage in a challenging conversation with an adult member of your school.  In this session, we will look at strategies and techniques to help you facilitate even the most difficult of talks.  

BLOCK 4

Wrap Up and Send Off

Bring your Residential and Student Life Institute experience to a close with a celebratory send-off into the academic year and the affirmation of your colleagues.

What do people say?

As a professional transitioning into boarding schools for the first time, this academy helped me feel prepared for my new job.
Ryan Grant
Walnut Hill School for the Arts
Whether you are a long-time house-head or first timer, this was well worth it!
Jeff Natale
Milton Academy

Schedule is subject to change.