CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: School Purpose


Community is Not Easy

In this blog post, independent school consultant Jill Goodman writes, "Without a strong sense of community, one that is in alignment with the future vision of the school, a school is not on solid ground." Goodman offers four steps to upholding your "utopian school community":
  • Define your school's brand promises and make good on them.
  • Listen to your community.
  • Revisit your school's mission.
  • Plan for leadership succession.

#2: School Leadership


The International Science and Evidence Based Education (ISEE) Assessment

The International Science and Evidence Based Education (ISEE) Assessment is an initiative of the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP). The ISEE Assessment pools multi-disciplinary expertise on educational systems and includes several take home messages and policy recommendations.


#3: Governance


Cultivate Curiosity to Fuel Risk-Aware Thinking

In this piece, Melanie Lockwood Herman, Executive Director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, says, "curiosity is possibly the most important trait a risk professional brings to their role in a nonprofit" because it helps teams embrace uncertain outcomes. Herman shares several questions that she asks consulting clients and some hacks to increase the curiosity quotient of your nonprofit.


#4: Education Program Foundation


Why High School 'Rigor' Is Often Just A Facade

Writing for Forbes, Natalie Wexler, author of The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System—and How to Fix It, says that while school students now have more impressive transcripts, they aren't actually doing more rigorous work. Wexler believes "the most effective solution to this problem is to inject more content into the elementary curriculum—history, science, the arts—and to educate teachers at all grade levels about the importance of storing information in long-term memory."


#5: Learning & Teaching


The Research on Life-Changing Teaching

To consider the questions, "What really moves the needle for educators and, by extension, their students?" Youki Terada and Stephen Merrill from Edutopia reviewed nearly two dozen studies. In this article, they share several fundamental ways teachers can refine their practices to improve their students' lives and offer several tips for each.


#6: Student Well-Being & Support


How is victimization at school linked to depression?

Writing for BOLD, Jonathan Santo, a professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, shares his research findings that show "kids who were chronically victimized were more likely to have a dampened physiological response to negative experiences in the moment." For this reason, Santo says more interventions are required to help students process their responses to negative peer experiences as they occur, in addition to current interventions that focus on developing social skills.


#7: Essential Concepts


What makes a happy school?

Julia Morinaj is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Educational Science at the University of Bern. In this BOLD article, she looks at the "three Ps" - people, process, and place - essential for a happy school. Morinaj offers several suggestions to enhance happiness and well-being in learners and says, "any steps toward enhancing happiness and well-being in learners, however small, can make a difference".


#8: Custodial Care


Campus tours from a distance: Best practices in virtual open houses for international students

Since in-person campus tours are still impossible for many international students and agents, ICEF Monitor has compiled some best practices from virtual event experts to create and execute virtual open houses. One suggestion is to keep it dynamic: "A virtual open house should not feel like a presentation that students have to sit through. It should feel dynamic, and it should be structured around questions that students want to know the answers to. It should move around – not only in terms of different parts of the campus – but also in terms of perspective."


#9: Recruitment & Community Engagement


We are reinstating our SAT/ACT requirement for future admissions cycles

In this blog post, Stu Schmill, Dean of Admissions at MIT writes about the school's decision to again require prospective students to take the SAT or ACT (after doing away with standardized test requirements during the pandemic). Writes Schmill, "Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants, and also help us identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students who lack access to advanced coursework or other enrichment opportunities that would otherwise demonstrate their readiness for MIT. We believe a requirement is more equitable and transparent than a test-optional policy."


#10: Human Resources


4 conversations to have with your new team member

In this piece, Leadership Coach Suzi McAlpine offers four questions to ask a new team member. McAlpine says these "conversation starters" can help to give new team members the best start possible and set up your working relationship for success:
  1. How do you like to receive feedback?
  2. What aspects of the job are you feeling most confident about, and least confident about?
  3. Can we have a discussion about what good looks like and what's expected?
  4. Can we have a conversation about your strengths and how we can move you towards working from them even more?

#11: Finance


An Inconvenient Truth About ESG Investing

Writing for Harvard Business Review, Sanjai Bhagat, Provost Professor of Finance at the University of Colorado, and author of Financial Crisis, Corporate Governance, and Bank Capital looks at research that compared the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) record of U.S. companies in ESG fund portfolios with those in non-ESG portfolios. The researchers "found that the companies in the ESG portfolios had worse compliance record for both labor and environmental rules" and that sustainable funds might actually be directing capital into poor business performers.


#12: Facilities & Infrastructure


Lessons Learned from a Global Ransomware Attack

In January 2022, Finalsite was the target of a global ransomware attack. In this blog post, Founder and CEO Jon Moser says the company was fortunate to have caught the situation early and contained the activity. However, Moser stresses that the education sector is being targeted more than ever and shares seven key lessons learned.




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