#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
24 Big Ideas that will change our world in 2021
Every December, LinkedIn editors ask their community of Influencers, Top Voices and frequent contributors to share the "Big Ideas" they believe will define the year ahead. Almost all of this year's predictions and thoughts are on topics that have the potential to significantly impact independent schools, including:
- A "double-dip" recession is the greatest risk for 2021
- Servant leadership will be a competitive advantage
- Employees will demand greater flexibility and organizations will require it
- The remote classroom will get a much-needed upgrade
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
Coping with Change and Uncertainty
Writing for Educational Leadership, school counsellor Phyllis L. Fagell shares six ways -- based on her research and experience -- that educators can regain a sense of control and be a reassuring source of strength for students during these tumultuous times.
- Reframe your personal narrative.
- Prune and preserve relationships.
- Build community and foster collegiality.
- Be specific when naming emotions.
- Exercise agency.
- If you can't fix it, aim for acceptance.
#3: Academic Program
The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2020
Youki Terada, Research and Standards Editor and Stephen Merrill, Chief Content Officer, both with Edutopia, reviewed hundreds of educational studies in 2020. This article highlights 10 of the most significant studies, which cover topics from the value of handwriting to the effectiveness of using a rubric to reduce racial grading bias.
#4: School Leadership
12 Lessons in Leadership in a Year to Forget
In this blog post, David Willows, Director of Advancement, International School of Brussels, attempts to extract some of the lessons in school leadership he's learned each month of 2020. For August, he writes, "Pandemics don't read reopening plans. By August, there was a new kid on the block of school publications: the Reopening Plan. Like a veritable book of spells discovered in the library of Hogwarts, we looked in awe at each colourful matrix, the cascading scenario plans, the principles and commitments. We begged, borrowed and stole ideas until ours was complete and proudly published it on our school websites. We were ready for a new school year to begin. And then, two weeks in, we realised that Covid-19 hadn't got the memo."
#5: Human Resources
How Do You Evaluate Performance During a Pandemic?
The three authors of this Harvard Business Review article, from the Stanford VMware Women's Leadership Innovation Lab, say "companies must arm managers with the tools they need to fairly and effectively adjust performance expectations within their teams." They suggest three steps of "criteria monitoring" to help remove ambiguity from the review process, get decision-makers on the same page, and help managers hold one another accountable for fairness.
#6: School & Community
How to maximise your school's social media during the Christmas break
The school marketing and communication experts at imageseven stress that "the Christmas break is an important time of the year to maximise your school's social media presence; a time when your school can amplify its voice and reach your audience on a deeper level. The Christmas period allows your school to shed light on good deeds, recap on the year and exchange greetings." They offer four ways to make the most of your school's social media during the break:
- Prepare and schedule
- Add some Christmas sparkle to social media campaigns
- Connect with parents
- Create a school holiday hashtag
#7: Enrolment Management
How This 5X Founder Creates an Internal Culture With a "Crazy Focus" on Storytelling
First Round Review interviewed David Cancel, who has held many roles but is currently the CEO of Drift, to understand the role an excellent internal story plays in marketing and internal culture. Cancel says these days he spends all his time focusing on these questions: "What's our story? Not just the vision, but what is the story that we're telling for the next year, two years, five years?" He thinks about building the bigger story first and how to tell it and then considers how to communicate it to customers and prospects.
McGill ramps up its commitment to sustainability with new Strategy
The McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025 was endorsed by the Board of Governors this week. The strategy commits the school to becoming zero-waste by 2035, providing accessible sustainability training, and developing a carbon offsetting program. Dr. Yves Beauchamp, Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance, says, "The Strategy aims to empower the McGill community, advance our sustainability efforts, and, ultimately, transform our campuses into the sustainability hubs of the future."
Opportunities Covid Has Provided Colleges And Universities As We Look To The Future
Writing for Forbes, Lucie Lapovsky looks at a survey of Chief Business Officers conducted by Lapovsky Consulting and Moss Adams this fall, which showed that only 48% believe that the pandemic will result in a rethinking of their business model. Colleen Rozillis, Director at Moss Adams, recommends "moving from the way we have historically looked at budgeting and planning, which relies on beginning with last year's budget and deciding what needs to be cut in order to balance the budget, and instead focusing on what our goals are and thinking about what should be kept."
Also worth a read: Elon Musk Just Sent an Email to All Tesla Employees and It Shows Why He's a Brillant Leader
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
Can workers be mandated to take the COVID vaccine?
Canadian HR Reporter asked Shaun Parker, employment and labour associate at Osler in Calgary, six key questions on the legalities of requiring the COVID-19 vaccine, delivering the immunization, and dealing with refusals. While Parker says he would not advise employers to mandate vaccination for their employees, those who are vaccinated may be given exemptions from the otherwise more rigid protocols an employer has. He also says that if employers can obtain the vaccine, they should offer it to employees at work.
Also worth a read: Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine is not approved for Canadians under 16. Here's why
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
This course looks interesting: Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty & Stress
Marc Brackett, Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, instructs this free course that will provide participants with the knowledge, skills, and strategies to understand and manage their emotions and those of their students. The 10-hour online course is designed for school staff, including teachers, paraprofessionals, counsellors, principals, and non-teaching staff in preK-12 schools.
#12: Boarding Program
Why a Cheltenham school is taking pupils to a house in the country over Christmas
According to this article in Gloucestershire Live, school leaders at the Dean Close School plan to take boarders -- who may not be able to travel home for the holidays due to COVID-19 -- away to a beautiful country house. In the article, Headmaster Bradley Salisbury says, "Never in my time in education, has a home away from home, had such significant meaning. There is definitely room at this inn."
Why Some College Dorm Policies Are Driving Students Into Depression
Alison Escalante writes about the science of performance. In this Forbes article, she says colleges that make living in dorms mandatory hurt college students' mental health. She identifies three key factors tailor made to create depression: social isolation, an injury to trust, and being helplessly trapped.
Also worth a read: Digital health passports will help shape global travel in 2021