Day School Leaders Network

Facilitators: Rachel Lissy, Gary Pretsfelder
Format: Virtual

About this Network:

The Day School Leadership Network is for administrators and educational leaders in Yeshivot and Day Schools and who are interested in building their schools’ capacity to understand the factors that arise in conflict and how responses to conflict promote (or inhibit) their ability to learn from those moments and from mistakes. School leadership teams will explore their school culture and disciplinary systems in order to better understand: 

  • Strategies and resources to teach, model and practice with young people when they are escalated or activated in the classroom 
  • How to coach school staff to utilize effective de-escalation, co-regulation or classroom-based accommodations in moments of potential conflict (while recognizing when teachers are at the limits of their capacity), as well as to negotiate support 
  • How classroom removal impacts students and what is the collateral learning for them 
  • Opportunities for accountability, improved relationship and skill building when there is conflict between teachers and students.

Additional Information:

This network is designed for administrative teams (Head of School, Principal/Asst Principal, Department Deans, Curriculum and PD Coordinators, and Mental Health staff) from the schools that participated in the November 7th Day of Learning that took place at HALB in the Five Towns. 

The group will convene five times during the 2023-24 school year: 

  1. Tuesday, November 7 – Day of Learning Conference Day – in person 
    Topic: Conflict as an Opportunity for Organizational Learning 
  2. Wednesday, December 6, 4:30-6:00 pm on Zoom 
    Topic: Classroom-based Strategies 
  3. Wednesday, February 7, 4:30-6:00 pm on Zoom 
    Topic: In the Moment Coaching and Collaboration 
  4. Wednesday, March 6, 4:30-6:00pm on Zoom 
    Topic: Remove, Reset and Reflect 
  5. Wednesday, May 8, 4:30-6:00pm on Zoom 
    Topic: Reconnect, Repair and Build Capacity

About the Facilitators:

Rachel Lissy
Rachel Lissy

Rachel Lissy is a consultant, coach and capacity builder with more than two decades of experience working with schools, community-based organizations, and educators. She is currently the Assistant Director of the Center for Shared Society at JCRC-NY where she directs the New York Jewish Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform and the Bridges-NY Fellowship for civic leaders in NYC. Prior to this role, Rachel was the Senior Program Officer at Ramapo for Children, providing capacity building for schools, districts, networks and youth-centered organizations focused on creating inclusive and equitable communities. She has a PhD in Social and Cultural Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies from the Stanford University School of Education. She was a consultant on the New York Times and Serial Productions podcast “Nice White Parents” and for “This American Life.” Along with her first-hand experience supporting and learning from young people, she also brings historical and organizational perspectives to her work with schools, community-based organizations, and residential programs. 

Gary Pretsfelder
Gary Pretsfelder

Gary Pretsfelder is Senior Manager, Professional Learning and Growth (NY Day Schools) at The Jewish Education Project, where he consults with, and coordinates professional development for, Yeshiva/Day School educators in the New York area in support of educational and cultural change in their schools. Gary is a former long-time day school Principal and teacher who built school communities that put students and active learning at the center. 

Wednesdays at 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM ET
Dec 6, Feb 7, Mar 6, May 8
Rachel Lissy
Gary Pretsfelder
New members
Contact Facilitator
Target audience
Associate / Assistant Director
Director / Principal / Head of School
Geographic regions
Long Island
Staten Island
Area of work
Educator Training
Day Schools and Yeshivas