Building the Foundation for a Successful Lay-Head Partnership

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Registration Fees:
Prizmah Network schools $36 per person
Non-network schools $45 per person
Canadian Prizmah Network schools $27 US per person
Canadian Non-network schools $33.75 US per person (Code: CADNON)


The registration system will automatically determine whether or not your school has joined the Prizmah Network, and will charge the appropriate price for all US schools and for Canadian Prizmah Network schools. Participants from Canadian Non-network schools should use the discount code CADNON to activate Canadian school pricing.

Meredith Jacobs, Nishant Mehta
Ilisa Cappell
Board Chairs / Presidents, Board Members, Heads of School
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Creating Safe, Respectful, and Equitable Work Environments

November 10th, 15th, 22nd, 30th & December 7th, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PT

Join experts in leadership and governance for a series focused on the lay-head partnership. A strong lay-head relationship is critical to the success of heads of schools, and it enables lay and professional leaders to navigate complex dilemmas together. In this five-session series, learn how leading practices, approaches, and perspectives can inform your practice inside and outside the boardroom. You will walk away from these sessions with systems for setting up this important partnership to strengthen performance, improve school culture, and create conditions for safety, respect, and equity in your school community. These sessions are specifically designed for heads of school, board chairs and board members.

Program Outline

November 10th, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PT

The Lay-Head Partnership: Setting up the relationship for success with Nishant Mehta

Healthy, safe, and respectful partnerships are critical to ensuring thriving school environments. This session will focus on the systems and structures that support strong lay-head partnerships, as well as the cultural norms that lay a foundation for success. Learn concrete tools and strategies to strengthen the capacity of your school’s leadership.


November 15th, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PT

Goal Development and Alignment for Heads of School and Boards with Nishant Mehta

Developing clear goals that clarify priorities and create alignment between the board and head of school is one of the most important tasks leaders face at the beginning of any school year. This session will support heads to understand areas of focus and growth tied to short- and long-term priorities; identify individual and shared responsibilities between the board, head of school, and leadership team; and ensure there are no surprises as leaders collaboratively move forward.


November 22nd, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PT

Developing Systems for Feedback and Success with a Head of School Support and Evaluation Committee with Nishant Mehta

Creating a culture of feedback is essential for a successful partnership between the board and head of school. Building on the previous two sessions, this session will focus on creating a positive foundation for systems of feedback between the board and head in order to ensure alignment and intentionality at the top. Join us as we explore the role of the head support and evaluation committee, leading practices in effective communication, and the importance of clear communication as a foundation for strong partnerships.


November 30, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PT

Leading in a Polarized Environment with Nishant Mehta

Creating a climate of inclusion and belonging in today’s polarized environments requires a thorough understanding of change management theory, as well as an intentional strategy grounded in school culture and values. This session will offer clear frameworks to senior leaders, heads of schools, and trustees to create a sustainable, community-based approach to those goals and objectives.


December 7th, 2022
1:00PM-2:00PM ET
10:00AM-11:00AM PT

Speaking Truth About Power with Meredith Jacobs

There are power dynamics in all workplaces, and schools are no exception. As heads of school and lay leaders, how do we recognize our positions of power so that we can shape a workplace that offers safety, respect, and equity? What unique challenges does the familial nature of Jewish communal organizations offer? How do we ensure that we are building a culture that cultivates and retains mission-aligned staff? In this session, we will explore these questions and leave attendees with action items to take back to your schools.


To make the most out of this experience, please plan on attending each of the five sessions.



Meredith Jacobs is CEO of Jewish Women International (JWI), the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women. Since assuming the role in 2020, Jacobs has shepherded the development of the National Center on Domestic Violence in the Jewish Community; the Women’s Financial Empowerment Institute; the Jewish Gun Violence Prevention Roundtable; Men As Allies: Leading Equitable Workplaces; and the international expansion of JWI’s Young Women’s Impact Network.

Named one of the “50 Most Influential Jews of 2020” by The Jerusalem Post, Jacobs is former editor-in-chief of Washington Jewish Week, and author of several best-selling parenting books.

Nishant Mehta

Over a career spanning two decades, Nishant has worked in or consulted for K-12 schools, non-profits, and companies of all types on issues of leadership, culture, strategy and change management, and equity and justice. After seven impactful years as head of The Children’s School in midtown Atlanta, Nishant founded Mehta Cognition, LLC in spring 2020 as a leadership and management consultancy to better serve our educational and non-profit leaders and boards on their journey of innovation, inclusion, and strategic transformation.

He is recognized by his peers and the broader industry for his passionate leadership and vision in improving educational access and centering our attention and intention on breaking down silos in our schools. He is a sought-after writer, speaker, and presenter on advancing cultures of inclusion, learning, and leadership in organizations. He also mentored new and aspiring heads of school through programs set up by National Association of Independent Schools NAIS and The Children’s School.