5 Conferences for School Administrators in 2016

School administrators do the tough work of balancing educational demands and student and teacher needs to meet overall school goals. Earning a degree in educational administration or a related field is a great starting point for school administrators but taking advantage of ongoing learning opportunities is important too. School administrators who want to connect with peers and know what’s new in the world of education will benefit from attending one of these five conferences in 2016.

Ignite ’16

The official conference of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Ignite is a three-day event tailored especially to middle school and high school administrators. The 2016 program will focus on closing the achievement gap, building leadership capacity and enhancing stakeholder engagement across your school. Special sessions for both rural and urban school administrators tackle the unique issues of those environments while empowering principals and other leaders. The conference takes place in Orlando from February 25 to 27.

Leading for Excellence

The School Superintendents Association, popularly called AASA, hosts an annual conference known for its excellent speakers and cutting-edge presentations. This year’s conference, Leading for Excellence, features author Shawn Achor. Administrators benefit from thought leadership and breakout sessions that explore the hottest issues in education today. In addition to these sessions, Leading for Excellence also features an exhibit show. School leaders can visit the exhibit hall throughout the day to connect with representatives from educational companies and learn about the latest educational technologies. The conference takes place in Phoenix from February 11 to 13.

Best Practices for Better Schools

The annual conference of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) creates a stimulating environment where administrators learn from one another and from special presenters. The 2016 conference will focus on how identifying and adopting best practices can help school administrators improve their schools across a variety of categories. Each year, the NAESP chooses conference strands that help attendees get the most of their experience. This year’s strands include leading learning communities, technology and social media, arts education, transforming schools, emerging issues and high-leverage leadership. The conference takes place in National Harbor, Maryland, from July 6 to 8.

The ASCD Annual Conference & Exhibit Show

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) is one of the nation’s leading voices on learning programs and pedagogy. The organization’s annual conference and exhibit show blends focused learning with an opportunity to see the latest from curriculum and education companies. Speakers this year include dropout-turned-entrepreneur Manny Scott and thought leader Pedro Noguera. Special networking events, book signings and author talks provide an array of networking and social opportunities during this unique conference. The exhibit show features more than 100 exhibitors. The conference will take place in Atlanta from April 2 to 4.

The 2016 ASCD Conference on School Leadership

In addition to its annual conference and exhibit show, the ASCD hosts a special conference focused solely on educational leadership topics. Administrators who attend the conference learn how to evaluate connections between their leadership and student outcomes. Expert speakers provide practical solutions to a wide range of school leadership issues while breakout sessions and workshops allow leaders to hone specific skills. The conference offers social and networking opportunities that allow administrators to connect with one another School leaders from the classroom to district level are encouraged to attend. The conference takes place in National Harbor, Maryland, from November 4 to 6.

Remember that conferences aren’t just for new school administrators. Even the most experienced administrators can benefit from attending one of these exciting, professionally refreshing events. Make the most of conferences by attending social mixers and networking.

See also: Top 10 Best Online Master of Education Degree Programs