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CAIS Top 12
#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
McKinsey has been researching the social risks of COVID-19 and has found that in Europe, "the proportion of people who say that they feel lonely 'most or all of the time' has nearly tripled" as a result of the lockdown and physical distancing. The article quotes former US surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy, MD, who sees cause for optimism: "I think that this could be an extraordinary opportunity for us to step back and ask ourselves if we're leading the kind of lives that we really want to lead. This is our chance to ask ourselves where people fit in our priority list and whether there's a gap between our stated priorities and our lived priorities."
William Doyle and Pasi Sahlberg are co-authors of Let the Children Play: How More Play Will Save our Schools and Help Children Thrive. In this CNN piece, they cite research of the cognitive, physical, emotional and social benefits of play and propose that schools reopen with a 90-day "golden age of play." This means that academic education would be balanced with learning through play, physical and creative outlets and mental health counselling to provide support for children who need it.
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
#3: Academic Program
#4: School Leadership
This Harvard Business Review article is written by Dr. Julia DiGangi, who is a neuropsychologist and an expert on the effects of chronic stress on our brain and our behaviour. To manage current anxieties about returning to work, she writes that leaders should consider three paradoxical strategies related to performance management, communication, and leadership effectiveness. Dr. DiGangi also advises, "The inevitable discomfort that accompanies change should not be interpreted as a sign we are on the wrong path - just the opposite. This anxiety is a sign of productive growth, telling us we are on the right path to making substantive changes. To squander this moment's rich opportunity for transformative change is as bad for business as it is for the brain."
#5: Human Resources
#6: School & Community
Worth a watch: BSS Volunteers and Donors Make a Difference (YouTube)
Also worth a read: 13 Smart Ways To Adapt Your Fundraising Strategy During Tough Times
#7: Enrolment Management
This Volt article has many suggestions for schools during the time they cannot bring prospective students to campus for tours. Virtual Tours are essential, but Will Patch, an enrollment marketing leader, says schools should also focus on creating content for TikTok, Facebook and Instagram to meet parents and students where they already are "rather than designing something new and trying to push them to your site." The article also suggests ways to engage incoming and current students in "remarketing" efforts over the summer.
Writing for Harvard Business Review, Jared L. Landaw, Partner, and the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Barington Capital Group, L.P., encourages Boards to invest the significant time and energy required to establish a culture that embraces diverse insights. To achieve cognitive diversity, which can, in turn, significantly improve decision-making, the Board must identify directors who can introduce new views, perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. The article stresses that Boards should not address diversity as a "check-the-box" exercise. As well, it includes many practical recommendations to achieve a cognitively and demographically diverse Board.
- Use data to project who might need financial aid.
- Offer short-term aid and demonstrate flexibility to retain families.
- If you are considering making tuition adjustments, think about their long-term impact.
- Remind students and families of the value of independent schools.
- Be transparent about your decision-making and communicate, communicate, communicate.
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
This Maclean's article interviews researchers who are trying to look ahead to the impact that the COVID-19 crisis might have on children psychologically and emotionally, acknowledging that the resumption of normal life and a return to school will require them to adapt to strange new realities.
Also worth a read: How to support kids' and teens' mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
In this EdSurge article, Glenn Whitman and Ian Kelleher write about how they balanced what they know about developmentally appropriate amounts of screen time with research on the importance of teacher-directed instruction to develop the Distance Learning Plan for St. Andrew's Episcopal. The research-informed school revised its schedule to allow students time for non-screen-time work, non-school passions and meeting with advisors and teachers during Office Hours.
#12: Boarding Program
Recent CAIS Top 12
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