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CAIS Top 12
#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
- Skills and motivation to solve meaningful problems are critical
- Evaluation is based on impact, not seat time
- Passion is central to the work, not something you just do on the weekend.
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
Also worth a read: Parents should encourage girls to get angry and show it. Here's how.
#3: Academic Program
#4: School Leadership
This School Leaders Now article provides some tangible ways to support your teaching staff's mental health: modelling self-care practices, incentivizing the practice of self-care and incorporating self-care during staff meetings and PD days. The article also asks that school leaders consider how they can create systemic change to foster a culture of self-care.
Also worth a read: Simple Tips for Boosting Teacher Resilience
Sheridan Steelman has been teaching for over 30 years. In this School Leaders Now article, Steelman writes "Our mentoring should be deliberate, planned, and inclusive. Sometimes minor changes in present practices and a strong commitment to mentoring new teachers can make all the difference in the longevity of an educator's career." The article provides suggestions to mentors: teach together, meet often, encourage reflection, be vulnerable and share experiences, create positivity and ensure that new teachers feel supported and valued.
#5: Human Resources
This ISM article recommends that schools create a structured hiring process in which all openings are communicated to faculty and staff before they are made public. Doing so has numerous benefits: fairness, a stronger pool of applicants, career development opportunities and legal protection. The article also has several tips for writing a job description that will attract the right candidates.
Also worth a read: How to Collaborate with People You Don't Like
#6: School & Community
Two years ago, Western Alumni launched "kind mail" and later this week more than 1700 letters will be delivered to current students. According to this CBC article, "the idea is for members of Western Alumni to send an encouraging note to the student who lives in their old residence room or to any student who attends the university: a way to give students a boost during exams."
#7: Enrolment Management
At Ad Astra School, the unconventional private academy funded by Elon Musk, the students take part in a curriculum heavy on science, math, engineering, robotics and artificial intelligence. According to this Quartz article, hopeful students, who must be between the ages of 8 and 13, fill out a basic information form, an optional parent statement, an example of a project or endeavor that shows the student's "commitment, ambition, and originality," and the student's answer to one of three "synthesis" questions: "Goldilocks", "The Eleventh Painting" or "The Lake", which the article details.
All the talk about helping prospective students find "the perfect fit" may be discouraging them from truly valuable experiences at colleges where they may thrive, writes Diana Senechal in this Inside Higher Ed opinion piece. While it is written about post-secondary education, it is an interesting read.
- Ensure every member of your Board remains enthused to tap their personal networks for your cause.
- Audit the networks of your Board along with your major donor list.
- Invest in training, and learn from customer service obsessed companies in other industries.
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
The Hebrew Academy of Cleveland recently sent a letter to parents, telling them that students are no longer exempt from vaccinations, even for religious beliefs. In the letter school leaders wrote: "We recognize that there are families that have strong views on both sides of this issue. However, this is not an area where we can accommodate any deviation from this new protocol." The article quotes Dr. Barcuh Fertel with the Cleveland Clinic who said, "there's really no good credible science for someone not to be vaccinated."
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
In this blog post, Mike Connor stresses the importance of conducting an Image Audit to gain actionable insights: "The Image Audit is still a powerful tool to inspire reflection and growth. Its reach goes far beyond enrollment conversions and yields and into marketing and branding's prime directive: LISTEN FIRST."
#12: Boarding Program
Recent CAIS Top 12
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