San Diego, CA • June 23-26 SOLD OUT | New Orleans, LA • July 7-10

Are you ready to take your middle grades leadership practice to the next level?

For more than 20 years, the Institute for Middle Level Leadership has served as the marquee event for aspiring and current middle grades leaders and teams. Attend as a team or individually and join us for a one-of-a-kind, personalized, and engaging learning retreat that will leave you ready and energized to transform your school.

Registration is now open for both 2024 institutes. Attendance is capped at 200 attendees per location and is likely to sell out, so be sure to save your spot early.

What makes the Institute special?

We know the middle grades are special, and we also know the evidence based practices that work best for educating young adolescents and leading middle school teams. That’s why essential middle grades structures are woven throughout the Institute. Attendees benefit from:

Attendee at Homebase

A bit like advisory, all attendees are divided into small Homebase teams that meet regularly with their assigned faculty coach throughout the Institute to dig into middle level best practice, debrief their experience as a group, and ensure everyone is on track to meet their objectives.

Leadership Faculty

Faculty Mentorship
Our faculty aren’t just experts on middle grades leadership, they’re also active practitioners implementing the middle school model in their own communities. We cap attendance so that our faculty are available to attendees throughout the Institute, offering more personalized coaching than a larger conference. It’s not just our students that benefit from having passionate advocates!

Attendees at workshop

Deep Dive Workshops
A fan of block schedules?  Workshops are longer, coach-led sessions that provide attendees with the time and guidance to take your learning and planning to the next level. Need to kick up your advisory program to 2.0? Looking to design a master schedule that meets student and staff needs? Interested in creating more SEL supports for your students? Attendees will tackle these and more during Workshop time.

Attendees building their learning community

Community Approach
If our school environments should be welcoming and affirming spaces, then so too should our professional development events! Attendees benefit from inspirational general sessions that will refuel your passion, intentional networking opportunities that foster lasting connections, and active learning opportunities that make the Institute an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Faculty and Topics

Session topics are driven by you – the attendee! Our expert faculty survey attendees in advance of each Institute and then channel their passion for the middle grades to craft the content reflects your actual needs. Typically, topics covered include:

  • Understanding and implementing the research-based characteristics of a Successful Middle School
  • Scheduling with middle grades best practice in mind
  • Creating an impactful advisory program
  • Addressing the social and emotional needs of students
  • Promoting staff morale and care
  • Designing effective middle grades teams and integrated instruction
  • Middle school transitions
  • Confronting equity issues: doing it right for all students
  • Effectively implementing technology into your school/classroom
  • Family and community engagement

Institute Schedule

Registration3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Welcome Networking Reception4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Breakfast7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Homebase Meeting8:10 AM - 10:15 AM
Deep Dive Workshops 10:25 AM - 12:55 PM
Breakout Sessions10:25 AM - 11:35 AM
Breakout Sessions11:45 AM - 12:55 PM
Lunch1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Homebase Meeting2:10 PM - 3:00 PM
Breakout Sessions3:10 PM - 4:20 PM
Breakfast7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Deep Dive Workshops 8:10 AM - 10:40 AM
Breakout Sessions8:10 AM - 9:20 AM
Breakout Sessions9:30 AM - 10:40 AM
Homebase Meeting10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Lunch12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Breakout Sessions1:10 PM - 2:20 PM
Team Work Time/Faculty Check In/Networking2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Breakfast7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Speed Learning8:10 AM - 9:10 AM
Breakout Sessions9:20 AM - 10:30 AM
Homebase Meeting10:40 AM - 11:25 AM
General Session11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Institute Registration


On or Before May 1 – $1,199.99

After May 1 – $1,299.99


On or Before May 1 – $1,399.99

After May 1 – $1,499.99

RegistrationDownload PDF Registration Form

Registration includes meals referenced in the Institute schedule and a copy of The Successful Middle School: This We Believe. Attendance is capped at 200 attendees per location and is likely to sell out, so be sure to save your spot early.

Substitution and Cancellation Policies

  • Substitutions must be made by mail, fax, or email at least seven days prior to the event.
  • Cancellation must be made by mail, fax, or email at least seven days prior to the event and will be refunded in full, less a $100 non-refundable processing fee. No refunds will be granted for cancellations received after the deadline.
  • 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 four weeks after the conference.


The same Institute experience is offered in two beautiful locations.

San Diego Mission Bay Resort & Spa

San Diego Mission Bay Resort

June 23-26 | San Diego, California

From $259/night (including resort fee)
Housing Block Closed

JW New Orleans

JW Marriott New Orleans

July 7-10 | New Orleans, LA

From $219/night
Housing Block Closes June 14