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Professional Development and Student event statuses are in flux as we respond to the guidance of health officials. View our event updates here.

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CAIS Top 12

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy


This Is The Moment To Reimagine Education

Sarah Prevette, Founder and CEO, and Sandra Nagy, Director of Learning at Future Design School, believe that the COVID-19 crisis presents an incredible opportunity for a full re-imagination of our education system. Prevette and Nagy recommend that schools adopt a personalized, project-based approach to learning, with the assessment tools to match and say that shifting to a new personalized learning model requires a holistic approach that builds skills from the inside out.


#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments


Why on-the-land educators see opportunity in a global pandemic

According to this CBC article, students benefit in many ways from on-the-land learning. As educators and administrators are forced to reinvent education due to COVID-19, Indigenous leaders and outdoor education advocates are hopeful that post-pandemic schooling will leave more room for learning on the land.

Virtual Athletic Banquet

St. Michael's College School shared on the Athletic Directors call this week that they will celebrate their first-even Virtual Athletic Banquet Friday, May 22, 2020 (today!) at 7:30 PM ET. You can view it on YouTube.

Also worth a read: Students, a Zoom Session - and Loss


#3: Academic Program


Grades Fail at Motivating Students. Intrinsic Motivation Works Better.

After speaking with educators and students from all over the world, Tim Klein, Project Lead for the True North Program at Boston College, reports that Zoom fatigue has set in, and students are turning off their videos and microphones. In this EdSurge article, he details three elements that educators can focus on to foster intrinsic motivation: autonomy, competence and relatedness.

Push the Uncomfortable: Exploring Politics in the Classroom

Writing for NAIS, Donita Duplisea and Katie Young of Holy Trinity School share their experience using a multidisciplinary salon model to expose their students to new ideas, powerful questions, and learning.


#4: School Leadership


How to Foster a Positive School Climate in a Virtual World

The authors of this EdSurge article, who are all leaders at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, stress that maintaining a school community that supports the well-being of faculty, staff and students and the continuation of high-quality instruction is paramount to achieving educational goals. To support a positive virtual school climate, they provide potential action steps organized into the following domains:

  • Physical and emotional safety
  • Respect for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Relationships
  • Supportive teaching practices
  • Sense of community


#5: Human Resources


Caring for Educators is the First Step in Serving Students

In this article, Kevin E. Baird, Chairman at the non-profit Center for College & Career Readiness, writes that educators' mental health is the foundation of effective teaching and learning, and educators are experiencing just as much anxiety and stress as many students. Baird says, "we cannot expect educators to return to us this fall without mental and emotional needs resulting from their grief, their economic anxiety, and their personal loss." He also shares a set of key "nudges" to prioritize in conversations with colleagues.

Also worth a read:


#6: School & Community


Faculty Annual Reports and the Need to Make Service Visible

In this Inside Higher Ed article, Martin S. Edwards, an associate professor in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, says that schools often lack narratives about how their faculty members make a difference. He encourages schools to understand all the contributions that a faculty member makes since doing so can have a significant impact on student recruiting and fundraising.

Also worth a read: Coronavirus: Private schools offer bursaries and beds for NHS key workers and their children


#7: Enrolment Management


Blown Away: Building a Brand-New Admissions Cycle On the Fly

"Schools are working furiously to formalize a new admissions cycle strategy at a time when they can't even be certain when they will host students on campus again," writes Heather G. Dotchel, a Higher Education Marketing and Communications Leader, in this Volt article. She advises that schools that best leverage digital insights and strategies will have a great advantage, and marketing and communications and admissions teams must be in lock-step in their strategy and approach.

COVID-19 and US higher education enrollment: Preparing leaders for fall

Current fall post-secondary enrolment numbers remain mostly unchanged according to ongoing research and analysis conducted by McKinsey to understand students' perspectives and concerns about their enrolment decisions. However, a remote fall semester could change things dramatically, and the predictive-enrolment models that leaders have used to plan classes will not hold up in a COVID-19 world.


#8: Governance


A Recipe for Thriving in Uncertain Times

In this blog post, Donna Orem, NAIS President, includes some tips for Boards from Dick Chait, co-author of Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards:
  • Work with discipline-both individually and collectively.
  • Focus simultaneously on short- and long-term decisions.
  • Set aside the conventional committee structure for the next nine to 12 months and instead organize the board into two teams. One would work with the administration on urgent fiduciary issues. The second team would have a long-term focus.

Employee Hardship Funds Help Companies Help Their People

In this Harvard Business Review article, Jenny Calvert Rodriguez, Executive Director of The Red Tab Foundation at Levi Strauss & Co., encourages organizations to consider establishing an employee hardship fund to ensure that employees and their families can weather an unexpected crisis.


#9: Finance


Students Need To Know They're Getting Their Money's Worth This Fall

Restrictions on access to facilities, such as libraries and laboratories, for an uncertain period of time, are causing prospective post-secondary students to question whether they will get their money's worth from post-secondary education. Writing for Forbes, Nick Morrison says that if schools are not willing to offer discounts, they must mitigate the worst effects of the lockdown by ramping up the support they provide in academic engagement and helping students connect outside of class.


#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety


Tool to Determine Classroom Capacity for Social Distancing

This tool, which is shared on the NBOA website, was developed by The St. Paul's Schools so they could determine how many people (children and faculty/staff) may safely be in a classroom (or other space) at a time when social/physical distancing guidelines are in effect.

Also worth a read: Is Testing Students for COVID Feasible?


#11: Commitment to School Improvement


3 Ways to Support Students' Emotional Well-Being During the Pandemic

Writing for Edutopia, Christine Pitts says, "achieving a robust SEL curriculum online requires clarity and cohesion between learning science, research, and classroom practices." She provides research-backed strategies to help students feel connected during a time of physical isolation, including:
  • Transfer familiar routines and relationships from the classroom to the virtual setting.
  • Model why and how to use metacognition
  • Engage families in discussing and defining the role of SEL in their homes.

Also worth a read: It's time to throw the school calendar out the window


#12: Boarding Program


For September move-in, the residence at King's University College at Western University is taking the following measures to address pandemic-related safety concerns and ensure greater peace of mind.
  • All residence rooms will be single occupancy (one student per room, no roommate)
  • Assigned washroom locations for each resident
  • An extension of the residence deposit refund deadline
As well, "A variety of programs and initiatives, appropriate for the COVID-19 environment, are being developed to support students during the transition to university."






Recent CAIS Top 12


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