CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy


Reimagine Your Nonprofit to Survive the Crisis

Steve Zimmerman, author of The Sustainability Mindset, specializes in nonprofit sustainability and strategy. Writing for Harvard Business Review, he says the COVID-19 crisis presents an opportunity for organizations "to reinvent who you are, to better focus on your mission, and to better serve your constituents" by focussing on four important and interconnected areas: impact, people, finances, and the community.

Also worth a read: What might K-12 schools look like in the fall? Depends where you are, educators say


#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments


Independent schools, please stand up for your black students, listen to them and respect them

In this letter to the Independent, Tiwa Adebayo, Ife Ojomo, and Gbenga Ojo-Aromokudu reflect on their experiences of racism in the UK, many of which took place in independent schools. They write, "Whilst we were all privileged enough to attend these schools, there is no amount of privilege that can shield one from racism." They offer several suggestions to school leaders looking to make improvements:
  • Talk to your black students about their experiences, take the time to understand what they are going through and listen to their recommendations.
  • Hire a workforce that accurately represents your communities. We ask for all schools to review their hiring process and commit to becoming equal opportunity employers.
  • Ensure access to BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) councillors for students.
  • Adopt a clear racial code of conduct, with appropriate punishments included. Commit to following through with these punishments when required.
  • A tangible commitment to diversifying the curriculum.

Also worth a read: How to talk to kids about race, and why you should start now


#3: Academic Program


3 Ways to Deepen Student Engagement in Online Discussions

This Edutopia article suggests that teachers use three tools to facilitate and monitor small group discussions in online class sessions.

  1. A note-catcher document with directions and links to helpful resources and model discussion notes.
  2. Pre-assignments designed to help them formulate questions and collect ideas and comments in one place.
  3. Reserving 5-10 minutes at the end of each session for a feedback survey.

A game of virtual dodgeball

The Enfield School System's virtual physical education program allows students to choose the activities they wish to participate in, create goals and put a plan in place to achieve them. Teachers provide feedback and successes are celebrated on Instagram.

Also worth a read: COVID-19 lockdowns worsen childhood obesity, study finds


#4: School Leadership


Playing the Long Game: Using What We Know to Strengthen Our Schools

Jon McGee is the Head of School at Saint John's Preparatory School and author of Breakpoint: The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education. Writing for NAIS, he says that the COVID-19 crisis will end, so school leaders must play a 'long-game'. He also says that while COVID-19 defies all experience, we do know the following as we look to summer and beyond:

  • There is no escape.
  • Nobody knows what will happen with enrolment.
  • Fiscal and budgetary action alone will not save us.
  • A few weeks with distance learning doesn't make us experts.
  • Both leadership excellence and weakness will be on full display.

Also worth a read: Schools are on their own to figure out reopenings. Here's how I plan to reopen mine. | Opinion



#5: Human Resources


How to Spot When an Employee Is Secretly Struggling

In this article, Thomas Hellwig, INSEAD Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and Caroline Rook, Lecturer in Leadership at Henley Business School, advocate for a three-step "emotional triaging" system to help managers identify early warning signs of COVID-19 burn-out and take appropriate actions. The article also includes a "Stress APGAR" framework for managers to scan for early warning signs and evaluate stress levels.


#6: School & Community


Using Jobs to Be Done to Connect with Donors During the Coronavirus Crisis

NAIS recommends that advancement leaders use the Jobs-to-Be-Done methodology to continue their fundraising efforts, while being sensitive to the current world situation. The donors who are most relevant to the current crisis are those in Job 3; these donors understand that the school relies on giving to continue operating, value the school and its impact on the community and believe that they have the means to help the school. The article offers practical suggestions to engage with these donors during COVID-19.

Fundraising Success Stories for Raising Money RIGHT NOW During COVID-19

In this blog post, fundraising expert Amy Eisenstein identifies five key reasons why organizations should be asking for money right now. She also suggests a three-step approach to raising funds remotely during this crisis: clarify your case, segment your donors, and contact your donors remotely to make the ask. Eisenstein also shares some fundraising success stories during COVID-19.


#7: Enrolment Management


Virtual orientation kicks off for new Iowa State University students

New students at Iowa State University will be introduced to campus virtually through an online orientation, completing orientation modules at their own speed. Sarah Merrill, Director of New Student Programs at ISU's Office of Admissions, says, "we know orientation positively impacts student success and retention by exposing students to campus resources, learning about their academic programs and preparing them to navigate campus." Merrill says the orientation is a true collaboration across all parts of ISU, from academic affairs to student health and wellness to financial aid.

Visit Queen's Campus on Minecraft!

Three Queen's engineering students decided to recreate a virtual Queen's campus in Minecraft to give students a way to experience the campus while they can't be there physically. The students said they were inspired by a graduation ceremony held in Minecraft by students in Japan.


#8: Governance


Coronavirus: 15 emerging themes for boards and executive teams

The authors of this McKinsey & Company article recently spoke with a group of leading nonexecutive chairs and directors at companies around the world, who shared insights and experiences gained from their organizations' efforts to manage through the crisis and resume work. The authors recommend that Boards and management teams reflect on the 15 themes that emerged. In summary:
  1. Take the time to recognize how the people who (directly or indirectly) depend on the company feel.
  2. Have aspirations about the post-COVID world, but build the resilience to make them a reality.
  3. Strengthen your capability to engage and work with regulators and the government.
  4. Watch out for non-COVID risks, and make sure to carve out time to dedicate to familiar risks that have never gone away.
  5. Find out what went wrong, and answer the uncomfortable truths that investigation uncovers.

Worth a listen: Episode 15: COVID-19 Generative Governance-Board Guidelines from Richard Chait


#9: Finance


Managing Your Empty Campus

Colleges Woo Students With Bargain Tuition Rates
Inside Higher Ed looks at a variety of tuition discounts and scholarship programs that schools are using to entice prospective students and to keep those already enrolled. While some signs look promising, whether the programs will pay off is still not determined.

Also worth a read: How K-12 Schools Can Measure Ed Tech ROI


#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety


How will we approach the health of our communities and our planet after COVID-19?

Writing for Canadian Architect, Lisa Bate, Principal and Global Sustainability Lead at B+H, considers what a "healthy" world will look like post-COVID-19 and how we might approach social and environmental health differently. She writes,"What has become apparent to me in this global health crisis is the obligation of architects, planners, landscape architects and interior designers to sunset the term 'social distancing.' We should be promoting 'physical distancing', designing to protect social interaction by exploring and promoting all of the various methods and 'two-metre safe radius' opportunities we have."

Schools Turn to Surveillance Tech to Prevent Covid-19 Spread

Administrators hope tracking beacons will identify where students congregate and who should be isolated if someone contracts COVID-19.


#11: Commitment to School Improvement


Five Things Not To Do When Schools Re-open

Pasi Sahlberg is a Professor of Education Policy at the Gonski Institute at the University of New South Wales and the guest author of this blog post for the Albert Shanker Institute. In the post, he elaborates on these five things collected from his numerous conversations and debates during the past few months about the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for schools, teachers, students and parents that we should not do when schools re-open:
  1. Don't think that kids only learn when they are taught
  2. Don't worry about kids' losses on school tests
  3. Don't expect kids to be ready to continue where they left off
  4. Don't consider recess as a low priority
  5. Don't expect there will be a 'new normal' anytime soon


#12: Boarding Program


Strategies for International Student Recruitment in the COVID-19 Era

Writing for Academica, Vinay Chaudhry, CEO of Worldwide Educonnect and Maple Assist, recognizes the challenges to international student mobility and that it is impossible to predict when international travel restrictions will be removed. Despite this, international students are keen to come to Canada so schools must develop dedicated short- and long-term strategies to engage them, including high-quality digital marketing and recruitment initiatives and localization, diversification and collaboration of recruitment models. He also stresses that the quality of online delivery is becoming a particularly significant differentiator.

Also worth a read: Brock International launches interactive and individualized programming




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