Thrive 2025 Proposal Submission Guidelines

Help shape the Thrive conference experience! Whether you’re into circulating the latest data and research, passionate about building community, eager to share your hard-won knowledge, or all of the above, NAIS seeks your voice to join independent school educators on the cutting edge. Submit your proposal to present a 75-minute or three-hour workshop today!

The workshop proposal deadine was June 4, and submissions have now closed. Decisions will be announced later this year.

Reasons to Present at Thrive

★ Showcase your school ★ Raise your professional profile
★ Share your expertise ★ Connect and inspire

New at Thrive 2025 

  • Thrive is a leadership conference. At NAIS, we define leadership broadly because we know that schools rely on leadership at all levels—from school heads to teacher-leaders and trustees.

  • We’re excited to share our new tracks so you can categorize your workshop proposal in new and improved ways. 

  • We encourage teacher-leaders to showcase their skills in leading classroom practice or establishing safe, supportive learning environments.  

Submission Types

Thrive offers two types of workshops. Each individual may submit up to three proposals for each presentation type. Check out the submission requirements below.

  • Three-Hour Workshops: These interactive workshops allow time for participant engagement and require additional registration.

  • General Workshops: These 75-minute presentations will be offered throughout the conference and organized into six tracks: Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Well-Being; Governance; Leadership; School Operations; Strategy and Innovation; and Teaching and Learning.

Make Your Proposal Stand Out

  • Pick a timely, relevant, thought-provoking topic that genuinely interests you. What challenges and successes are you witnessing on school campuses, and how can those lessons be applied more broadly?

  • Ensure that your session content closely aligns with your selected track and topic tag. 

  • Your title and description should be clear and captivating. A good title will invite attendees to join by making the topic and coverage distinct and engaging. Make sure that your description supports the title.

  • Do you know a lot about a topic? Prove it! Let us know what research, case studies, examples, and even anecdotes support your expertise.

  • Proofread and edit what you’ve submitted so reviewers know you’ve taken time on your submission.

How Proposals Are Reviewed

Workshop proposals should be timely, carefully considered and prepared, interactive, and include resources, takeaways, and action points. Reviewers will consider the following criteria when evaluating proposals:

Thrive Workshop Review Scoring Rubric:

  • Relevance: Rate the timeliness of the subject matter. The proposed session should explore critical and/or urgent needs, challenges, and opportunities in independent schools or the broader education landscape.

  • Clarity: Rate the clarity of the session description, audience, and objectives. Consider whether the categories selected (tracks, levels, etc.) reflect the actual content of the session.

  • Impact and applicability: Rate the impact this session could provide through concrete takeaways, inspirational stories, data, and research, or short-term or long-term practical applications. 

  • Uniqueness: Rate how distinct this session is in either subject matter or approach. 

  • Community: Rate how effectively you think this workshop will deliver inspiration and joy to foster a thriving community of practice.

  • Audience experience: Rate how the presenter(s) demonstrate a commitment to using best-practice teaching skills during their session through interactivity, technology, etc.  

  • Overall rating: Rate an overall impression. 


What information do I need to submit a proposal?

See the requirements at the top of this page to help prepare your submission. If applicable, collect co-presenter information before starting the submission process.

What is the submission and review process?

The submission period is open until May 28, 2024, at 11:59 PM ET. A team of reviewers will review and assess all proposals using the scoring rubric above. Final decisions will be announced in early September 2024.

Who can submit a proposal?

Individuals at NAIS member schools and state and regional association member schools are encouraged to submit workshop proposals. Submissions from those not affiliated with a school (member or nonmember) are highly encouraged to pair with an NAIS member school for consideration. You do not need to be from an NAIS member school to submit. If selected, solicitation or promotion of services during your workshop presentation is strictly prohibited.

When will I know if I’ve been accepted?

The primary contact on the submission will receive an email in early September 2024.