California Independent Schools Business Officers Association

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2020 Annual Conference and Meeting
Now Virtual!
Pre-Conference Human Resources Workshop
Sunday, May 3rd

Preliminary Schedule

We are excited to bring you a virtual conference this year! Please check back frequently for updates regarding the schedule.

Our HR Workshop Planning team has put together an informative and interactive program that provides timely professional development on topics of interest to anyone involved with HR in independent schools. Topics range from practical day to day compliance concerns to those addressing a more strategic focus.

Sunday – May 3, 2020

8:00 am - 1:30 pm (more details to come) 

We are in the process of organizing the programming schedule. 

A special thank you to Gallagher for underwriting the Pre-Conference HR Workshop.

Preliminary General Session Topics:

Navigating Sticky Tricky Leaves of Absence
California independent schools are subject to both the California Family Rights Act and the Federal Family and Medical Care Leave Act. They are subject to the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. Then there is workers’ compensation, vacation, and sick leave.  The list is nearly as long, intertwined, and exasperating as the difficult situations schools need to navigate.  This presentation will help schools untangle the various state and federal laws that make addressing employee leaves so perplexing and will offer a roadmap to deal with overlapping leaves.  Participants will leave with a better understanding of when employees are eligible for leaves, the length of the leaves, and when enough is enough!

A Great Place To Work: At the Intersection of Communication, Culture, Leadership, and Talent
Do your employees look at their work as just a job or do they see your school as a great place to be?  With today’s multi-generational workforce and so much competition for talent, “good enough” isn’t good enough anymore.  Workforce and leadership strategist, Eric Swenson, will lead this session focused on strategies to develop your school culture to attract, retain, and engage your valuable human resources.  Being a great place to work isn’t about paying more or providing free sushi lunches.  It’s about creating an atmosphere where your employer brand becomes impeccable and a place where people are proud to say they work.  Attendees will leave with strategies to: better align your school’s priorities with those of your great employees; communicate more effectively; and create a cross-generational culture that embraces innovation and people.

Preliminary Breakout Session Topics:

Breakout Sessions
Each session will be offered twice. Attendees can choose to attend two of the following three breakout sessions.

Building Financial Intelligence for Today’s HR Leader

Everything you always wanted to know about finance but were afraid to ask!  In order for today’s HR professionals to be strategic partners and school leaders, they must demonstrate  business acumen and understanding of how the people centered work of human resources impacts the school’s finances.  In this engaging, practical and participative session, Paul Butler will demystify concepts like working capital, financial statements, and commonly heard but often misunderstood terms such as; depreciation, goodwill, amortization, accruals, unearned revenue and EBITDA.  Paul is an engaging presenter who uses stories and humor to draw in the audience.  You’ll never look at a balance sheet in quite the same way again.

Ditching the Stipend Compensation Mentality In Favor of a Growth Mindset - A Case Study in Faculty Compensation
Join us for a case study presented by Kathy Layendecker, Associate Head for Finance and Operations, and Christina Gwin, Faculty Dean and English Faculty, from Castilleja School in Palo Alto. Kathy and Christina will take us through the faculty-led process and rationale that Castilleja recently used to restructure their faculty compensation. This initiative created faculty classifications that allows for clear professional growth paths, using an integrated and robust evaluative process to determine individual  placement in this framework. This model reduces the reliance on stipends, moving away from the limitations of the faculty step scale to instead encourage and compensate teacher initiative and agency. It also facilitates institutional transparency; it positions schools to communicate values, expectations, and priorities both internally and externally.

Getting Workplace Investigations Right
California independent schools are required to conduct workplace investigations in a variety of circumstances: to meet legal requirements, to enforce their own policies, to ensure consistency, and to learn the facts before making an employment decision.  This presentation is designed to provide attendees with the basic skills for conducting an investigation.  We will discuss who should conduct an investigation, who should be interviewed and in what order, what documents should be gathered and reviewed, how to question witnesses effectively, how to make credibility determinations, and how to write an investigation report.  We will also cover how the investigation conclusions should be communicated.  This workshop will provide these basic, important, and practical skills every school administrator should understand to promote effective investigations.

Each of the sessions above is eligible for SHRM continuing education credit.

Cal-ISBOA Community - Thank you for your patience during this challenging time. It is impossible to meet in person this May in San Mateo. But we will be coming together to share our experiences and solutions. The Cal-ISBOA Team is excited to offer  a virtual, interactive, robust professional development experience. We are committed to providing professional development and connection just as you are committed to delivering your curriculum and connection to your school community.  

We will continue to update the schedule and will provide you with the logistics of participation. In the meantime, please cancel your hotel and travel arrangements.

Register Today

Workshop Presenters

Paul Butler

Client Partner, Newleaf Training and Development

Paul is a Client Partner with Newleaf Training and Development, based in Valencia, CA. Over 50% of Newleaf’s clients for staff training and leadership development are educational entities — both private and public institutions. Paul is a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA), having qualified with Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Prior to starting Newleaf Training and Development in 2005, he served as a Regional Finance Director for Marriott International Hotels and Hilton International Hotels. Paul also served as the Director of Finance for Hilton Honors. Paul is a very engaging speaker, able to take the complexity of a subject and distill it into simple, memorable concepts that can be immediately applied.

Eric Swenson
Founder and Managing Director, Head of Workforce Management, RSJ Swenson

Eric Swenson is a workforce and leadership strategist whose HR outsourcing firm supports nearly 300 businesses throughout North America. He works with C-level executives to help identify talent, enhance corporate culture, develop leaders, and maximize productivity. A sought-after speaker, he speaks to organizations and conferences throughout the United States on topics ranging from leadership and management to workforce trends and issues. He created the Tanzanite Leadership Program in 2018 to bring contemporary techniques to managers and leaders. He’s published two books on management and leadership, and his third book, Weaknesses, will be available in Fall, 2020.

New This Year

We are proud to announce the launch of our 2020 Conference App!

Special thank you to Bolton for underwriting this important endeavor.

Here are instructions on how to download:

Download the App
For Android and Apple users, search for ConferenceBeat Event App in the App Store/ Google Play.

Access the App on the Web
You can also access the app from your smartphone, tablet, or PC's web browser with the following URL:

(Web app works on most browsers, including: Google Chrome version 63.0+, Firefox version 58.0+, Apple Safari 11+, Microsoft Edge 41.0+)

Thank you to our HR Workshop Planning Team:

Donna Voogt, Director of HR, Chaminade Preparatory, - Team Chair
Dave Carter, Director of HR, The Buckley School
Anne Condren, Director of HR, Lick-Wilmerding School

Angela Oliver, Director of HR, Sage Hill School
Rebecca Rowland, Director of HR, Campbell Hall Episcopal

Michael Russell, Director of HR, The College Preparatory School
Jessica McCullagh, Director of HR, The Archer School for Girls

Cal-ISBOA is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

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