2019 Winter Institute Info

14th Annual ISEEN Winter Institute
Beyond Borders: Experiential Education Through the Lens of Equity & Justice 

January 22-25, 2019
with Riverdale Country School
Bronx, New York

Coming in 2019: ISEEN at Riverdale from Riverdale Country School on Vimeo.

General Institute AgendaPre  & Post Institute Activities | Institute Notes | Registration Fees | General Registration
Educational Service Providers Registration | Hotel and Travel | Driving Considerations | Institute Session Details 

The 2019 Winter Institute is sold-out at this time, please sign-up for the waitlist and we will contact you if a spot opens up.

The 14th Annual Independent Schools Experiential Education Network (ISEEN) Institute will be held from January 22-25, 2019 at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, NY. The theme of this year’s Institute is “Beyond Borders: Experiential Education Through the Lens of Equity & Justice.” By exploring ideas of both identity and community, we will situate and fortify our work in schools and beyond. Whether we come to this work through outdoor education, service learning, global education, administration, or an intersection of multiple fields/areas, we will investigate our personal interactions with students, colleagues, and communities. Guiding us through this theme will be Emily Schorr Lesnick, previously the Upper School Director of Service Learning at Riverdale Country School and now the Social Emotional Learning Coordinator at University Prep in Seattle, and Dwight Vidale, Director of Community Engagement at Riverdale Country School. (You can read more about Emily and Dwight by clicking on their names!)

All participants will experience the following:

  • Hands-on interactive learning of place-based education concepts and delivery, along with tangible takeaways.
  • Extensive learning by doing while exploring Riverdale’s comprehensive EE program, alongside students and faculty both on campus and in and around New York City. 
  • Guided and thoughtful opportunities for reflection connected to learning and application of that learning to your school or program.
  • Model Programs and Practices: Participants will have the opportunity to engage in small group “speed dating” with fellow attendees in sharing an experiential lesson, practice, program or tool from their school/organization.
  • Opportunities to immerse in the conversation around various "areas of interest" (outdoor/adventure education, global education, community engagement, sustainability, student leadership and school administration) and make deep connections with like-minded educators in discussing topics relevant to each area.
  • Extended time for informal networking through longer break periods, dynamic activities, and group dinners.
  • Opportunities to engage in meaningful pre and post institute workshops and activities. 

Optional Pre & Post Institute Workshops & Activities:

The Institute will formally commence at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22 and end at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, January 25. We will be offering the following pre and post-institute options (click here for detailed descriptions of each workshop/activity and presenter bios). 

Tuesday, January 22 - Pre-Institute Workshops & Activities

  • Purpose Learning Intensive for Experiential Educators. Facilitators: Ross Wehner, Vicki Weeks and Siri Fiske, 8:00-2:30 p.m. 
  • Moving Beyond GPA: Using the Mastery Transcript to Drive Equity and Engagement. Facilitators: Mike Flanagan and ISEEN Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) site directors, 9:00-11:00 a.m.
  • CITYterm: NYC Neighborhood Study. Facilitators: CITYterm faculty, 9:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Multi-Ethnic Eating & Walking Tour by Big Onion Walking Tours, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Welcome & Orientation for all First Timers to ISEEN. Facilitated by ISEEN staff, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Friday, January 25 - Post-Institute Workshops & Activities

  • This is Not a Drill: Critical Incident Response Preparedness. Facilitators: Simon Hart and Mark Vermeal, 2:00-5:00 p.m. 
  • Outdoor Group Skating at Bryant Park, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
  • ISEEN Happy Hour/Post Skating Drinks, Location TBD, 5:00-6:30 p.m. 

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Institute Notes:

  • The ISEEN Institute will be limited to 150 participants to maintain the intimacy of discussion.
  • The Institute will formally commence at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22 and conclude at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, January 25. Please know that we value your participation at the ISEEN Institute and we feel it is critical for participants to arrive on time and leave on time. Arriving late or leaving early not only diminishes the quality of your experience but also the shared experience of your peers. If you know that you cannot manage the full schedule, please consider joining us at a future institute.

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Registration Fees:

  • Early-Bird Registration for Schools (Aug 21-October 15): $1,100 USD 
  • *Please note that ISEEN member schools have priority access to register from July 20-Aug 20. On Aug. 21, registration will open to all independent schools. 
  • Regular Registration for Schools (after October 16): $1,400 USD
  • Educational Service Provider Registration (Aug 1-October 15): $1,600 USD ***Update as of Aug. 8: Only 1 spot remains.***

*Registration fee is inclusive of all workshops, snacks, lunches and most dinners throughout the duration of the formal institute. Additional costs include accommodation at the InterContinental Times Square Hotel, optional pre & post institute workshops and activities, breakfasts, Thursday dinner and airport transfers to/from the hotel. 

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General Registration Notes:

Because the registration page times out after five minutes (which the system doesn’t allow us to change), we recommend you prepare the following prior to beginning the registration form:

  • Look through all the Winter Institute details and make note of the pre- and post-workshop details you’re interested in so you don’t have to refer back to the website
  • If you are completing sections on the registration form that require a lot of text, such as the Model Programs & Practices section and the mentor/mentee section (describing what skills you have to serve as a mentor or what areas you’d like mentorship), we recommend that you type this information in a word document first

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Registration Notes for Schools:
  • ISEEN member schools will be granted a one-month priority registration window from July 20-Aug 20. Only ISEEN member schools will be permitted to register during this window. 
  • All schools (including member schools) will be permitted to register a total of three participants up until October 15 (and the conclusion of the early-bird rate). This is to allow more schools to attend the Institute. Should spaces still be available after October 16, member schools will receive a two-week priority window to register unlimited additional attendees. Should spots remain after this period, they will be opened to non-members.
  • To apply for a scholarship to attend the ISEEN Institute please click here to review the details and fill out the scholarship application by September 15. All applicants will be notified of decisions by September 30. 

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Registration Notes for Educational Service Providers (ESPs):

All 10 ESP spots are taken at this time! Please fill out the waitlist to be considered if someone must cancel.  If you have any questions, please contact Shoshanna or the ISEEN Office

  • There are 10 spots reserved for ESPs who are members of ISEEN. ***Update as of Aug. 24: 0 spots remain.***
  • Each ESP organization is limited to one spot, available on a first-come, first served basis until Oct. 15.
  • While ESPs gain significant value by attending the Winter Institute and the intimate networking opportunities available to them to build relationships with member schools, their primary role as an ISEEN member and attendee will be that of a fellow educator. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities for greater visibility, please contact the Executive Director ([email protected]).
  • To become an ESP member of ISEEN please join now

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Hotel and Travel Information

Our home away from home will be the InterContinental Times Square Hotel steps from the bustle of NYC’s famous Times Square.

We have secured a VERY discounted rate of $189 per night (single or double occupancy, comes to $220.38 with all taxes and service charges). We are committed to a block of rooms at the hotel and all Tuesday workshops, Friday workshops, and casual socializing will occur at the hotel (as well as all transportation). Please make your booking asap and note that room availability and price cannot be guaranteed past December 20. 

Book YOUr hotel room now

If you would like to have us try and find you a roommate to split lodging costs, please indicate this on the registration form and we will do our best to pair you with other suitable attendees.

When making your travel arrangements please plan to be at the InterContinental Times Square Hotel in time to check in and be ready to go no later than 4:45 p.m. on 1/22/19 (unless you are taking part in an earlier pre-conference workshop or activity) and that your departure plans do not require you to leave the hotel prior to 12:30 p.m. on 1/25/19.
NOTE: Please know that we value your participation at the ISEEN Institute but it is critical for you to arrive on time and leave on time. Arriving late or leaving early, not only diminishes the quality of your experience but also the shared experience of your peers. If you know that you cannot manage the full schedule, please consider joining us at a future institute.

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  • New York City is in close proximity to three airports: John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark, NJ (EWR)
  • For detailed information on how to get to the Intercontinental Hotel Times Square from all airports, please click here.


  • The address for the InterContinental Hotel Times Square is 300 West 44th Street : New York , New York ,10036, United States : +1-212-8034500
  • Directions to Riverdale Country School can be found here (please note that we will spend time at both the lower and upper campuses).
  • Driving and parking in NYC is expensive and challenging. We advise that you only rent a car if absolutely necessary as the hotel is in a great location to walk/take the subway/Uber anywhere you would want to go. Shuttle transportation from/to the hotel will be provided to all Institute events.
  • Rideshare programs such as Uber and Lyft operate in NYC.
  • Valet parking is $70 per day plus tax. No in and out privileges. 
  • Self-park is $42 per day plus tax. No in and out privileges.

 For questions about this event, please contact [email protected]

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Institute Session Details