Strategy Lab: Leading Modern Learning

Reimagine the future of schooling.

The NAIS Strategy Lab, in partnership with author and content-expert Jay McTighe and with Kevin J. Costa, Director of LifeReady at McDonogh School, will offer a new pilot workshop this summer. Strategy Lab: Leading Modern Learning will take place on June 12 - 13, 2024 at the NAIS Headquarters in Washington, DC. The workshop will explore key ideas from McTighe’s recently revised book, LeadingModern Learning: A Blueprint for Vision-Driven Schools - Second Edition (SolutionTree and ASCD, 2019), leverage Strategy Lab’s innovation frameworks for PK-12 academic programming redesign, and draw on McDonogh School's practical experience operationalizing change in successful school environments. 


School teams will explore essential questions, including:

  • What are the goals of modern learning?  What should they be? In what ways do our current school structures support the achievement of our mission and the enactment of our learning principles? Where might we need to restructure?
  • What future trends are likely to impact today’s schools?
  • How can principles of learning guide our school’s actions and initiatives?
  • To what extent do we have a coherent curriculum and assessment system? 
  • Where should we agree to agree and where does autonomy (teacher, departmental, and divisional) apply? 
  • Are we assessing everything we value – or primarily the things that are easiest to test and grade?
  • Do we have evidence that we are meeting our mission?


StrategyLab: Leading Modern Learning will explore these questions while addressing the following topics:

  • Key forces and trends that impact the vision and practices of contemporary schooling; A modern, 24/7 system for communicating student achievement and progress. 
  • Ways to apply systems thinking and “backward-design” to develop project-level innovation designs for realizing a vision of modern learning;
  • A blueprint for constructing a guaranteed and viable curriculum and assessment system that integrates Portrait of a Graduate competencies with disciplinary content; and,
  • A modern assessment system for gathering evidence for all valued outcomes.


The Strategy Lab will include time for teams to explore these ideas, practice the processes, learn the frameworks around project-level innovation design, and network with other schools working on similar initiatives. Participating teams will receive a collection of practical and proven planning tools and samples of curriculum/assessment frameworks.


Registration Information

A detailed schedule will be shared closer to the program start. Please plan to arrive at the NAIS Headquarters by 8:45 AM ET on June 12 and plan to depart no earlier than 3:00 PM ET on June 13. A light breakfast, coffee, lunch and snacks will be provided each day. There will be a rooftop happy hour from 4:30 - 6:00 pm ET on June 12.

Hotel Reservations

NAIS has reserved a block of rooms at a discounted rate at a hotel within walking distance to the office. You will receive an email link for booking upon registration. As a reminder, the program will take place at the NAIS Headquarters at 2001 K Street, NW, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20006.


  • The most convenient airport for this event is Reagan National Airport (DCA).
  • If you are traveling by train, you should plan to use Union Station D.C. (WAS) as your final destination. The train station is located at 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002.


Pricing is per person. When you register, select the number of tickets you want based on how many individuals will attend from your school (up to six). Then, you will add attendee information directly into the registration page. You can make updates to attendees until two weeks before the event.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be received in writing to Cancellations received up to 30 days (May 13) prior to the start date of the program will be fully refunded, less a $75 administrative fee. Cancellations received less than 30 days prior to the program will not be refunded.


June 12, 2024; 9 AM to 4:30 PM ET

June 13, 2024; 9AM - 3PM ET


NAIS Headquarters Washington, DC


Leadership team members, academic leads, and teacher leaders. This event offers individual registration, and ideally, schools send a team of 3-6.


$1,050 per person (members, early bird pricing through 4/2); $1200 per person (members, standard pricing starting 4/3) $1,375 per person (nonmembers, early bird pricing through 4/2); $1,575 person (nonmembers, standard pricing starting 4/3)