CSM offers best-in-class professional development at a price that our schools can afford. We recognize that our schools have needs that are unique. We offer serious, thoughtful conversations in great locations. A CSM Retreat is an excellent opportunity for Christian school leaders to enjoy quality Scripturally infused, research-based, experientially tested advice and counsel. You are leaders who understand the power of community. Come and join us.

High Impact School Retreat

Grace Christian School, VT and CSM October 10-11, 2024

We are delighted and thankful to co-sponsor this Retreat with Grace and its Principal, Shawn Smith. We appreciate and are grateful for the community’s welcome. Grace Christian School, Bennington, VT is a CSM Member school. We have been partnering since 2017 in which time GCS has grown to 200+ students. 

Join GCS and CSM on October 10-11, 2024 for exceptional professional growth opportunities, fellowship, and opportunities to network with schools like you. Do you only have one music teacher? Or one 4th grade teacher? You know what it is to be ‘alone’! Come and meet with new friends and become a Christian professional learning community across our geographic area. 

This is a Retreat: it is intended to give you space to reflect on your purpose and role in important Christian school leadership areas; it provides opportunity to learn from CSM and with each other; in this space, you have time to reflect apart from the busyness of your typical day; during the sessions, you will utilize your own information / data in order to plan so that you bring back from the Retreat approaches, knowledge, and actions you will take.

October 10th and 11th is for administrators, Board and Board Committee members, and the leadership team. We will follow your lead as to what is most important to you right now. To get the conversation started, there will be theme sequences for the Principal, for governance, for family relations including enrollment, and for Christian school finances. 

Note: attendees will earn 2 credits towards the CSM Principal Certificate. 

October 11th is a day for teachers. This will be an amazing day for thinking about the children in your classrooms and hallways. Put it in your school calendar as a day off for the children.

This Retreat is financially supported by the CSM Foundation. 

Note: school leaders will earn one credit for each day attended towards the CSM Principal Certification.

Please click here to see the Retreat Agenda.

The following is an outline and subject to change based on your needs as they emerge – and based on the professional judgment of the Retreat leaders. We welcome teacher workshop leaders to contribute to their peers through sharing of their own practice. See the link to the Teacher Workshop Application Form. 

October 10th (school leaders, Board and Board committee members, and leadership team)

8.00 Devotions

8.20 Welcome and announcements (grab coffee and doughnuts)

8.45-10.00 

Workshop One A: 

Workshop One B: 

10.00-10.30 Reflection Break

10.30-11.45 Workshop Time

Workshop Two A: 

Workshop Two B: 

11.45-12.45 Lunch $15.00 payable to Grace Christian School

12.45-1.45 Affinity Groups (meet in self-selected interest groups)

1.45-2.00 Reflection Break

2.00-3.15 Workshop Time

Workshop Three A: 

Workshop Three B: 

3.15-3.45 Reflection Break

3.45-5.00 Taking away a plan of action for your own school

Workshop: 

Workshop: 

5.00 Depart

 

October 11th (school leaders, Board and Board committee members, and leadership team)

Note: you also have the option to join your teachers in their sessions. 

8.00 Devotions

8.20 Welcome and announcements (grab coffee and doughnuts)

8.45-10.00 

Workshop One A: 

Workshop One B: 

10.00-10.30 Reflection Break

10.30-11.45 Workshop Time

Workshop Two A: 

Workshop Two B: 

11.45-12.45 Lunch $15.00 payable to Grace Christian School

12.45-1.45 Affinity Groups (meet in self-selected interest groups)

1.45-2.00 Reflection Break

2.00-3.15 Workshop Time

Workshop Three A: 

Workshop Three B: 

3.15-3.45 Reflection Break

3.45-5.00 Taking away a plan of action for your own school

Workshop: 

5.00 Depart

 

October 11th (teachers)

8.00 Devotions

8.20 Welcome and announcements (grab coffee and doughnuts)

8.45-10.00 

Workshop One A: 

10.00-10.30 Reflection Break

10.30-11.45 Workshop Time

Workshop Set Two TBD

11.45-12.45 Lunch $15.00 payable to Grace Christian School

12.45-1.45 Affinity Groups (meet with colleagues like you and network)

1.45-2.00 Reflection Break

2.00-3.15 Workshop Time

Workshops Set Three TBD

3.15-3.45 Reflection Break

3.45-5.00 Workshop Time

Workshops Set Three TBD

5.00 Depart

The cost is $52 per person per day, or $97 for two days. For schools, we offer a special rate of $350 per day for up to 10 attendees. 

Please note that lunch is not included in the registration fee. We kindly ask that you bring $15.00 to cover the cost of lunch each day. The lunch cost is payable to Grace Christian School.

Lodging: 

In Bennington, there is a Hampton Inn; Knotty Pine; Best Western as well as local inns, B&Bs etc. 

Please contact Natalie Waters, GCS Business Manager, if you wish to use a local dormitory for a low fee.  [email protected]

 

To register for the event scroll to the bottom of this CSM website page for purchasing tickets. We look forward to seeing you there!

Terri Broce

I will provide an environment for learners to find their voice, discover their passions, and explore tools to navigate obstacles.” This statement drives my focus and continuous personal and professional development. For 23 years, I served as a teacher, personalized learning coach, and educational thought leader alongside a variety of influential colleagues around the world who share a similar mission.  Living life through the eyes of a curious wonderer, I have come to realize that there is no hierarchy of learners.  Teachers and learners bring their own expertise to the table to share, support and create.   A Master’s Degree in Gifted Education helped crystalize the idea that strength and interest based learning is for everyone, not just those labeled as academically gifted. We are all born with gifts to be discovered, nurtured, celebrated, and utilized in the way God designed.  I find no greater joy than in witnessing the development, grit and fine-tuning of artistic gifts, athletic prowess, musical creation, problem-solving sleuths, to name just a few of the infinite paths a child may choose. My own curiosity and love of learning drives me to nurture and challenge learners of all ages to uncover the path to their greatest potential.   As a Personalized Learning Coach, I worked with teachers, children, leadership, parents and community organizations to cultivate student-directed learning, entrepreneurial exploration, and global citizenship.  This is my passion: Help children find their passion. While working directly with children and families brings me immense joy, coaching teachers and school leaders to think first, foremost, and deeply about the child allows me to support children on a larger scale. I squeal with joy when a teacher gets excited about empowering children.  Some of the greatest words I have heard from a child is, “I don’t want to go to recess-I’m working on something very important!” Ultimately, I am a fierce advocate for learner and teacher autonomy with the goal of enabling each person to realize their God-given gifts and to live a life of purpose and fulfillment.

I split my time between Miami, Florida  and Boone, North Carolina with my husband and two golden doodles, Red and Blue.  We enjoy visits to our four children who live in three different time zones. Reading, pickleball, scuba diving, the cool mountain air and the salty ocean breeze are all things that make me smile.

Bill Simmer

Bill Simmer, also known as “Wild Bill,” for his entertaining presentation style, and no-nonsense approach to Christian Leadership, has been working with Private/Independent schools on both the secondary and post-secondary levels, for over 25 years. Bill has served as a faculty member, as well as in multiple administrative roles within schools. He has also been both a private school parent and student himself. For the last 14 years Bill has been a consultant and workshop leader to private/independent schools around the nation. He has served schools in the areas of Admissions, Enrollment & Re-Enrollment, Faculty Culture/Performance/Evaluation/Induction, Academic Leadership, Parent Relations, Advisory Program Development, Board Governance, and Head Coaching & Support. Through his relationship with multiple educational associations around the nation Bill has had the joy of teaching over 180 workshops nationwide.

Bill worked in the secular business context through his 20’s, with a focus on marketing, fund raising, and operational leadership. As he approached his 30’s, God called him into ministry. Through his 30’s, Bill taught and worked as a Dean of Students/Director of Student Life at two Seminary’s, International College and Graduate School (Honolulu HI), and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC). In both Seminaries, as in his secular work prior to this stage, he made significant progress toward professionalizing programs, attracting and retaining quality personnel, and insisting on a level of excellence that drove the mission and outcomes of the institutions he served.

In the process of trying to help his children’s Classical Christian School professionalize its Admission and Re-Recruitment efforts, Bill came to the conclusion that the K-12 Christian school was “where the action was.” He developed a growing desire to “reach them BEFORE they get to seminary” and to expand his ministry outside of the “seminary bubble.” His passion is to see spiritual formation programs move beyond chapel and some bible classes to true program integration that leads to genuine life transformation in the lives of Children. The end goal is to reach “the Head, the Hand, and the Heart” and to see children truly become a “co-laborer” and “friend” of God.

As a teacher, Bill’s background is in Theology, Philosophy, Western Thought, Rhetoric, and Logic. He created a Worldview curriculum for 8th/9th graders that was highly successful and well received (even loved) by his students. Bill has taught students of all ages, from Kindergarten to College. He has worked with both “gifted” as well as “at-risk” students, as well as both Seminarians and convicts in penal institutions. He has taught on both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Let’s imagine you have to make a pitch to your Board to make these funds available. What might you say? Of course, you know your own needs. The following might be helpful.

  1. I will bring back, not just one idea, but an actionable direction that I can put into effect almost immediately. 
  2. I will come back better at my job. I will know more about the Scriptural foundation for my work, potentially new ways of communicating with our families, volunteers, and colleagues that will inspire them, and better understanding of the way in which I can structure our efforts.
  3. We need volunteers. We need committed volunteers. We need educated volunteers. I will come back knowing much more about how to engage them in this important work.
  4. These are not just generic workshops. They are carefully targeted. 
  5. I’m not going to listen to long lectures. There will certainly be information shared that I may not already know. As important though, is that I will have time to work without distraction on my own materials, data, plans but with expert instructors at my shoulder to guide and coach. 
  6. I am going to meet other Christian education professionals who will extend my professional network of advice and support. And enrich my learning. 
  7. Bringing the team would mean that “we” can have a glorious two days together making the kind of progress that normally I could only dream about. No phone calls. Just working together to make our school’s future brighter. 
  8. As a result, we are going to make our school better. Period. 

If you are a Principal of a smaller school and have no other professional staff, this is a great way to get enormous knowledge and insight very quickly. Bring a Board volunteer, learn and plan together, return to the school loaded for bear. 

If you are a team leader with no ‘team’, come with your Principal or Head of School and a Board / Board Committee member volunteer. Together, you can imagine the next steps and take your school to another level. 

If you are a teacher and just hunger for ways to grow, come and be inspired by the Retreat leaders and by your peers. Return not just with a single idea but with meaningful ways to deepen your practice and move your vocation / career onward.

If you have a teacher or administrative team, come and learn a common language. Remember our mission is Christian education and that makes a generational difference. Plan together. Determine objectives and steps to success. Be coached as you do that. Return to school with greater clarity and new energy.

Even if you are only a short distance into your vocation / career as a Christian school leader, you can still mark your progress by attending CSM Retreats and gathering credits towards CSM Principal Certification. If you are a teacher and have some thought about leading in a Christian school, this is a great way to think about and learn crucial skills and gain a knowledge base. 

 If you are a current school leader, or a potential school leader, CSM Retreats are a practical, sophisticated journey towards CSM Principal Certification. They are typically two days. 

No cost. 

No bureaucracy – keep track of your Retreats. 

CSM will run up to three each year – on different aspects of school leadership and teaching. It’s a powerful process because it is designed to first significantly support you in what you are actually doing in your school, and then articulate itself into a ‘journey’ of professional growth. 

Each day of Retreat is one credit. To qualify for the CSM Principal Certificate, you need 10 credits from at least three different areas of Christian school leadership. 

For current school leaders, with each Retreat, we offer a personal 90-minute session with one of the instructors, either at the Retreat or remotely afterwards if there was not enough time at the Retreat. 

10 days of CSM Retreats and five 90-minute sessions one on one is an in-depth engagement process!

 

For everyone, there are three more requirements:

  1. A case study of strategic actions that you took after and as a result of one of the Retreats
    1. What was the issue?
    2. What did you do?
    3. What was the outcome?
    4. What were the data points before and how did they move as a result of your actions?

This case study must be good enough and presented professionally so that it can be published to inspire others on their journey – this is what is possible! The ability to publish is a part of the task. 

  1. An in-depth reflection by you about the nature of Christian school leadership through the prism of your journey. These must be intensely personal. They will not be published in any form whatsoever. 
  2. A Professional Learning Journey Transcript that identifies the steps in your growth including the CSM Retreats. 

When you think you’re done, tell us and we will evaluate your journey. If you want us to pray with you on the journey, tell us as you start and we will stay in touch and provide you with encouragement on the way. 

Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go” (1 Corinthians 16:6).

This is a 75 minute workshop. There should be content, interaction, reflection, takeaways. You are welcome to bring handouts for this workshop. 

 

One Day ticket

Two Day ticket

School ticket (October 5)

School ticket (October 6)

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