Day 1                              Tuesday, November 28th 

 Workshop: Teaching All Kinds of Minds

Edgenuity Special Session: Personalized Learning with Online Instruction

 Day 2                              Wednesday, November 29th

Opening Session and Keynote:  Ron Suskind—Life, Animated

Concurrent Sessions A

Session Description: On The Road to Excellence: How to Get the Right People on the Bus

Session Description: Creating a STEMtastic Lesson

Session Description: The Johns Hopkins Digital Portfolio for Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence

Session Description: "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" Finding the Magic Behind Blended Learning

Session Description: Teacher and Student Friendly Schools.

Concurrent Sessions B

Session Description: Hitting the “RESET” Button: The 21st Century Whole Child School

Concurrent Sessions C

Session Description: How to Become a Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Lighthouse.

Special Session Workshop

 Day 3                              Thursday, November 30th

 Concurrent Sessions D

Session Description: Behavior: It’s All About Culture and Climate

Session Description: Mastering the Master Schedule.

Session Description: Building Sustainable Leadership Throughout Your System

Concurrent Sessions E

Session Description: Brain-Friendly Classrooms and Strategies for Student Success

Concurrent Sessions F 

Concurrent Sessions G

Session Description: Intentional Focus: Strategic Planning as a District.

 Day 4                              Friday, December 1st

Concurrent Sessions H

Concurrent Sessions I

Session Description: Whatever it Takes-Personalizing your School!

Session Description: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice: Best Practices in Literacy Instruction.

Concurrent Sessions J

Session Description: Free Content at and Tools.

Session Description: The Artisan Leader: ‘Heart of a Servant. Mind of a Scholar, Inspiration of an Artist’



2018 Student Leadership Institute 


November 27-30, 2018

Walt Disney World® Resort, FL

            Disney’s Yacht Club Resort            

Register your student (Grades 3-12) for an unforgettable collaboration project with students from around the country. Using the Walt Disney World® theme parks as a learning laboratory our team provides one-of-a-kind leadership institute.



Disney Youth Education Series 

Provides students—and their teachers—a hands-on, educational adventure. These guided field studies are accredited, standards-based and designed to reinforce your classroom lessons. Practice teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving as your group participates in one-of-a-kind learning moments using the magic of Disney. The program includes guided, in-park educational field studies with courses in Applied Sciences, Environmental Studies, Liberal Arts and Leadership Development.


BRSE's BOLT Program 

Blue Ribbon educational staff use the Walt Disney World Parks and Conference Center as a classroom to teach leadership curriculum to students in grades 3-12. Focusing on the key question of 'What makes a good leader?', Blue Ribbon staff focus on providing the building blocks of leadership so that students can return to their schools and communities ready and willing to take on an active leadership role. Each year, the focus of the BOLT program changes to accommodate returning students. Past BOLT focuses include: Servant Leadership, Leadership Innovators and Building Blocks to Leadership.





Students will be divided into three grade levels:  Elementary, Middle, and High.  The daily schedule and select programs will vary slightly per the grade level of the student attendee.  Most days start early in the parks "behind the scenes".  The program concludes between 2:00 and 3:00 each day to give students and families time to enjoy the parks together. You can view the schedules below:

Elementary- Winter 2018              Middle- Winter 2018                 High- Winter 2018




Hotel Reservation & Ticket Information

Special rate of $225/night at Disney's Yacht Club Resort.  Book reservations by calling Disney Group Reservations at 407-939-4686 or use this link for online registration.

ATTN: Our host hotel at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club has sold out. However, the vacation line is available to assist you in finding hotels on Disney property or other area hotels. Please also feel free to email judy@blueribbonschools if you have any questions about reservations. There are many transportation options available to the host hotel, including a quick Uber ride. We look forward to assisting you in securing lodging and seeing you in November! 
Walt Disney World Vacation Line – 407-934-7639 


Sponsor a Student or Student Group



Airport Transportation & Park Transportation: 
For those of you who are flying to Orlando, once you book your flight you will want to head over to the Disney Magical Express site to sign up for your free ride to Yacht Club Resort.  The Disney Magical Express will take you and your luggage to the hotel and you can schedule your return trip to the airport. From the Yacht Club resort you can take a Disney bus to all of the parks as well as to Disney Springs where there are additional dining, entertainment, and shopping options. 
Magic Bands: 
If you haven't been to a Disney park in a while you may not know about the Magic Band. This is a waterproof wrist band that each person in your party will wear. This band serves as your room key and will hold your park hopper pass and fast passes. In addition, you can use it for purchases of food and souvenirs in the parks and resort. You will want to hop on over to My Disney Experience to get your Magic Bands ordered. 
Park Hopper Passes:
We will be ordering your park hopper passes through our group program. Once those tickets arrive we will scan and email you copies so you can log into  My Disney Experience to link your tickets to your Magic Band. From there you will be all set to begin scheduling your fast passes for rides. 
Planning the Day:
We suggest you download the My Disney Experience app to your phone for ease of planning and tracking dinner reservations, etc. We will have your child(ren) from about 7:30-2:00 every day. During this time we will provide them with a hot breakfast that is included with the Student Leadership Institute and they will eat lunch in the park (for which they can use their Magic Band or you can provide them with cash if you prefer). This means you get time to enjoy the resort and parks, resort amenities, or shop on your own. The pick up point for the children will be at the Yacht Club Conference Center.



Students:  Explore the Leader in YOU in the Most Magical Classroom on Earth!








2017 Keynote Speaker

Ron Suskind

Ron Suskind Pulitzer
Prize-Winning Journalist, Author

Ron Suskind is one of our most treasured journalists. As a reporter and senior national affairs writer for The Wall Street Journal, he has covered capitalism and our nation's capital in addition to penning front-page investigative features on poverty, race and class in America, which won him a Pulitzer Prize. Highly respected by Washington pundits, Wall Street analysts, business leaders and social activists alike, he is also one of the nation's most gifted speakers and performers. Blending monologue with reportage, Suskind's unforgettable and highly entertaining speaking engagements provide insightful analysis on everything from ethics and leadership to the rise and fall of the U.S. economy, managing money and risk in the 21st Century, and the current state of health care in America.

He is the author of six best-selling books, the most recent of which — Life, Animated, A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism — documents his family's two-decade struggle with regressive autism. Using a technique called Affinity Therapy, the book recounts how the Suskinds broke through to their autistic son Owen by exposing him to Disney movies, which Owen memorized and used as a pathway to communication. Ron's technique was demonstrated onstage at Comedy Central’s autism fund-raiser, Night of Too Many Stars, where Owen memorably acted out scenes from Aladdin with Gilbert Gottfried. His previous works include the New York Times bestsellers The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism, The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11, and the modern classic, A Hope in the Unseen, An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League.

A globetrotting speaker who NPR hails as "a master storyteller with the lyricism of a poet," Suskind connects with audiences through intellect and humor, sharing unforgettable tales of power, perfidy, tragedy and triumph with astonishing insight and honesty. In keynote speeches and customized presentations tailored to business leaders and corporate groups, he delivers intimate anecdotes and complex global themes culled from his experiences as a journalist, author, teacher, pundit and father to an autistic son. His wildly popular signature keynote, Presenting the World: An Entertaining Evening with Ron Suskind, has been delivered around across the globe, seamlessly fusing politics, ethics and family affairs in a virtuoso showcase from one of the finest writers and speakers working today.

What others have said:

  • He was the BEST keynote speaker in all of the conferences I have attended.
  • One of best sessions I have ever been to anywhere
  • Very inspirational; cried and laughed.
  • Absolutely fantastic!!! I bought the book and can't wait to see the movie! He made great connections to education.
  • It was one of the best opening sessions/keynote speakers I've ever heard.
  • Best I've ever seen!
  • Ron Suskind was phenomenal. He deeply moved me.
  • Ron Suskind was a powerful and interesting presenter with an inspirational story. It would be difficult not to be touched by his keynote. It was the kind of story you wanted to share with others. Also, left wanting to watch his documentary and read his Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles. Thank you for bringing him . . . Really amazing!

2017 Keynote Speaker

Dr. Barbara Jenkins

Dr. Barbara M. Jenkins, Ed.D.
Orange County Public Schools

Dr. Barbara Jenkins has been dedicated to serving the needs of students for more than 25 years. She was named superintendent for Orange County Public Schools in 2012.

Under Dr. Jenkins' leadership, the district won the prestigious 2014 Broad Prize for Urban Education. The prize earned half-a-million dollars for student scholarships from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The district received the Governor’s Sterling Award in 2014 and again in 2015 for its exemplary performance using research-based best practices in its business. In 2015, OCPS received District Accreditation from AdvancED for its best practices in the education field. Also, for three of the last five years, OCPS was named to the AP District Honor Roll by the College Board, for increasing access to Advanced Placement course work, while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning exam scores for college credit.

Dr. Jenkins is a recognized education leader. In January 2017, she was appointed a director on the board of the National Board of Education Sciences. She serves on the executive board of directors of the Council of Great City Schools, is a member of Chiefs for Change, a national education policy and advocacy transformation group, is a member of the Florida Council of 100, and is past president of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. She was named the 2017 Florida Superintendent of the Year and is one of four finalists for U.S. Superintendent of the Year. The Orlando Business Journal honored her as a CEO of the Year in 2015. In 2014, she was named the Visionary Award recipient by the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council, and the Central Florida Woman of the Year by the Women’s Executive Council.

Recognized for her commitment and influence, both the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Magazine have named her as one of the 10 most powerful people in Central Florida; Orlando Magazine ranked her number five overall in 2015, and number two in the Education category in 2016.

Deeply engaged in the community, Dr. Jenkins serves on the boards of Florida Hospital, Orlando Economic Partnership, United Arts of Central Florida, Winter Park Health Foundation, Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness and Orange County Youth Mental Health Commission.

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    PO Box 322
    Chapin, SC 29036

  • SC Office
    136 Lakeside Road
    Chapin, SC 29036
  • Tel.: 1 (408) 844-4BLU
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