Institute for Middle Level Leadership

San Diego, CA • June 19-22, 2016
Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa
Register by: June 3, 2016
Hilton Head, SC • June 26-29, 2016
Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa
Register by: June 10, 2016

A one-of-a-kind, collaborative learning event where the content is directed by YOU!

Prepare for the new school year with an action plan specific to your challenges and designed to develop high performing middle grades schools.

Save a Seat!
Include the AMLE Institute for Middle Level Leadership in your 2016 professional learning plan now! When you register by March 1, 2016, AMLE members will save $200 and non-members will save $300 off of the regular registration rates. Prices increase on March 2, 2016, and space is limited to the first 200 registrants for each location.

Event Schedule

Sunday: June 19, San Diego, CA / June 26, Hilton Head, SC
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Technology Sandbox Pre-Conference session
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Meet & Greet – Icebreaker/Link-up Activity
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Welcome and Dinner (included)
6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Large Group Activity
7:10 p.m. – 7:40 p.m.
Home Base Meeting #1
Monday: June 20, San Diego, CA / June 27, Hilton Head, SC
7:00 a.m. – 7:50 a.m. Breakfast (included)
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Content Breakout Session #1
9:25 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. General Session
10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Home Base Meeting #2
11:25 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. Lunch (included)
12:35 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. Content Breakout Session #2
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Show & Spark Speed Learning Session
3:10 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Job Alike Session
3:55 p.m. – Individual or School Planning Time/
Faculty Open Office Hours
Tuesday: June 21, San Diego, CA / June 28, Hilton Head, SC
7:00 a.m. – 7:50 a.m. Breakfast (included)
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Content Breakout Session #3
9:20 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. Home Base Meeting #3
10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Open Space Activity
10:30 a.m. – 11:10a.m. Open Space Session #1
11:15 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Open Space Session #2
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (included)
1:10 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. Content Breakout Session #4
2:35 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Team-Building Special Mission
4:10 p.m. – Individual or School Planning Time/
Faculty Open Office Hours
Wednesday: June 22, San Diego, CA / June 29, Hilton Head, SC
7:00 a.m. – 7:50 a.m. Breakfast (included)
8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Content Breakout Session #5
9:25 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. Content Breakout Session #6
10:45 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. General Session
11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Home Base Meeting #4

Session Formats

Learning your way! Participate in a variety of presentation formats including:

Technology Sandbox Pre-Conference: If you are a middle level leader looking for guidance about how to connect with technology, you’ll want to attend this pre-conference session. Bring your own device and get hands-on help with apps that will support your leadership growth.

General Session: During these engaging, whole-group sessions, we’ll examine the essential 16 Characteristics of an Effective Middle Grades program, discuss leadership actions that make those characteristics work, and explore This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents.

Home Base Meetings: Similar to Homeroom or Advisory/Advisement at school, these small-group meetings will give you the chance to more deeply discuss and examine key middle grades concepts and data that impact your school and leadership.

Content Breakout Sessions: You’ll get a variety of content from AMLE middle level experts in these interactive, solution-rich sessions.

Show & Spark Speed Learning Session: During this session, you’ll have the chance to shine a spotlight on the great ideas, programs, and initiatives at your school and learn from other attendees in a quick, personal setting!

Job-Alike Session: You’ll meet and collaborate with attendees that share your job/role to share similar triumphs, challenges, and solutions.

Individual or School Planning Time/Faculty Open Office Hours: Use this time to reflect on the learning from the day - individually, with a colleague, or with your team - and/or schedule a "shoulder-to-shoulder" work session with any of the Leadership Institute faculty members.

Open Space Sessions: Bring your critical issues and concerns, and then create the sessions that you need! Build the conference you want within the Institute, and get the answers you need to improve your school!

Team-Building Special Mission: Get energized and motivated during this special activity-filled session, in which you’ll join other Institute attendees in games that create great teams, great laughs, and great comradery!

Breakout Session Topics

Sessions Offered in Both Locations
Facilitated by Nikki Woodson:

  • Positive Behavior Management for Culturally Responsive Middle Level Schools and Classrooms
  • Developing Teacher Leaders in Middle Schools
  • A Comprehensive Glance at the School Improvement Process for the Middle Level
  • Hands-on Leadership Strategies for Middle Level Leaders

Facilitated by Juan Rodriguez:

  • Engaging in Difficult Conversations
  • All About Me! Personalized Leadership Growth
  • School Safety: How to Ensure Everyone Feels Safe
  • Leading and Supporting the Mental Health and Wellness of Young Adolescents
  • Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners

Facilitated by Paul Dunford:

  • Special Education Services and Middle Level Structures
  • Engaging Students with Universal Design for Learning
  • Tools for Principals: Building Stronger Teams
  • Strategies to Make This We Believe Work
  • Co-Teaching: Models and Strategies that Foster Inclusive Classrooms

Facilitated by Dru Tomlin:

  • Act Like a Middle Level Leader
  • Strengthening Relationships through Advisory
  • Engaging, Motivating, and Leading Young Adolescents
  • Fostering a Culture of Literacy

Facilitated by David Hayward:

  • Enhancing Your Digital Presence
  • Using Blended Learning to Flip Your Classroom
  • Redefining Student Consumers as Student Creators
  • Moving to Personalized Learning (1:1): Building the Why and How
  • Project-Based Learning: Instruction and Technology Meet to Engage Students

Exclusive Sessions for San Diego Participants
Facilitated by Gail Heinemeyer:

  • Coming and Going: Transitioning to and from Middle Level
  • Laying the Foundation for Effective Teaching Teams
  • Making Every Day Count: Early Warning Indicators – Attendance, Chronic Absenteeism, and Truancy
  • The Care and Feeding of the Beginning Teacher: Designing Effective Induction and Mentoring Programs
  • Beginning the Journey Towards Interdisciplinary Instruction

Facilitated by Ann McCarty:

  • RTI and MTSS: Systems and Structures for Middle Level Schools and Teams
  • Moving to Personalized Learning (1:1): Building the Why and How
  • Project-Based Learning: Instruction and Technology Meet to Engage Students
  • Co-Teaching: Models and Strategies that Foster Inclusive Classrooms
  • Data Protocols: Powerful Data Protocols to Increase Academic Achievement

Exclusive Sessions for Hilton Head Participants
Facilitated by Cedrick Gray:

  • Middle School Improvement that Really Works
  • What Every Superintendent Wants Middle Level School Leaders to Know (And, Be Able to Do)
  • The Road Less Traveled: Behavior Management that Engages Middle Level Learners
  • May I Have Another, Please? Response to Instruction and Intervention
  • Raise Student Academic Performance by Having a Fit

Facilitated by Linda Hopping:

  • Student-led Conferencing: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
  • Taking Teaming to the Next Level
  • Transforming School Culture
  • Early Warning Indicators: What They Are, What They Mean, and How to Work With Them
  • This We Believe: Grounding Your School Around Best Practice

Meet the Facilitators

Our team of middle grades experts facilitates learning at the Institute for Middle Level Leadership guided by the following principles:

  • Develop courageous, collaborative, compassionate, and reflective leaders.
  • Provide a safe space for taking the risks to implement the actions necessary to improve schools.
  • Create a personalized experience that is responsive to the needs of participants, school teams, districts, and state teams.
  • Foster an environment based on energy, humor, and humanity.

Paul Dunford

Cedrick Gray
*SC only

David Hayward

Gail Heinemeyer
*CA only

Dru Tomlin

Ann McCarty
*CA only

Juan Rodriguez

Linda Hopping
*SC only

Nikki Woodson

San Diego Hotel/Travel

Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa
June 19–22, 2016

1775 East Mission Bay Drive
San Diego, CA 92109
Online Reservations

Hotel Rate: $205–$225
Rate varies based on room type selected
(includes resort fees and in-room Wi-Fi)

The institute is a perfect opportunity to bring the entire family
Set on the beautiful sands of Mission Bay, the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa offers a variety of options for the entire family to enjoy—from spa and pool activities to tennis and sailing, we have it all! Located just six miles from the San Diego International Airport, this San Diego hotel has 357 stylish guest rooms including eight spacious suites with private balconies. Enjoy waterfront dining at Acqua California Bistro, or sit by outdoor fire pits and sip cocktails during Happy Hour (4pm – 6pm) at The Olive Lounge. In the morning, stop by A'roma Cafe where freshly brewed coffee and snacks are available daily

AMLE and the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa will provide a complimentary shuttle service to Old Towne San Diego on Tuesday night!


Late afternoons and evenings are yours to enjoy!
Plan how you’ll explore San Diego:

Hilton Head Hotel/Travel

Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa
June 26–29, 2016

One Hotel Circle
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Online Reservations

Hotel Rate: $199–$299
Rate varies based on room type selected
(includes resort fee and in-room Wi-Fi)

The institute is a perfect opportunity to bring the entire family
Marriott’s world-class resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina offers you an island escape in utter paradise. Enjoy newly renovated guestrooms, award-winning dining, three championship golf courses and spa. In addition, the distinctive Hilton Head oceanfront hotel's staff always delivers superior service to make your stay even more special. This outstanding family-friendly retreat also offers a wide array of impressive amenities, including golf, tennis, biking, parasailing and so much more. Take advantage of this unbeatable location and enjoy easy access to a variety of nearby destinations, including local airports, shopping and popular tourist attractions.


Late afternoons and evenings are yours to enjoy!
Plan how you’ll explore Hilton Head:


Register by March 1, 2016 and save up to $300!

Included in registration

Space is limited and is not guaranteed, so register early.

“The institute was a worthwhile event that really helped me reflect on my own personal growth as well as how to facilitate growth of my staff.”
—Institute Attendee

Register Online

Download Registration Form

-cancellation policy-


  • Cancellations must be made in writing via mail, fax, or e-mail by the registration deadline.
  • Substitutions are encouraged.
  • Cancellations received by the registration deadline will be refunded in full, less a $200 non-refundable processing fee. After the registration deadline, no refunds will be granted.
  • Memberships purchased at the time of registration will be cancelled only if specifically requested. Refunds may be pro-rated based on the portion of member benefits you have received.
  • Refunds will be issued in the same form as the payment that was received.
  • Refunds will be processed no later than eight weeks after the conference.