CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy


What's the purpose of schooling?

In this blog post, Michael B. Horn, Chairman of the Clayton Christensen Institute, says he believes the goal of school should be to produce students who can maximize their potential, build their passions, participate civically in a democracy, contribute meaningfully to the world, and understand that people can see things differently. In the article, Horn suggests five domains for schools to consider as they build specifics around their central purpose and priorities.


#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments


Due Dates and the Value of Student Ownership

Siobhan Buckman has been an international educator for 25 years. Writing for Edutopia, she shares a successful strategy for organizing work in the classroom: negotiating due dates with students. Stressing that negotiation is different than flexibility, Buckman says, "It happens at the beginning of the process and is a proactive approach that encourages shared ownership, an acceptance of equal responsibility, and accountability." Buckman uses a model based on a view of the classroom as a collaborative learning community.


#3: Academic Program


What Today's Classrooms Can Learn From Ancient Cultures

In this MindShift article, Linda Flanagan looks at the experiences that Michaeleen Doucleff, an American science reporter, had while spending time with Maya families in the Yucatan Peninsula, Hadzabe families in Tanzania, and Inuit families in the Arctic. For example, "Among Inuit, the very definition of learning differs from the Western understanding of it. There, 'learning' often involves 'watching'—and schools emphasize observation as the path to understanding." The article notes that these communities have exposure to other ways but choose to carry on these traditions because they believe they work well.


#4: School Leadership


To 'future proof' universities, leaders have to engage faculty to make tough decisions

Loren Falkenberg, Senior Associate Dean and M. Elizabeth Cannon
President Emerita with the University of Calgary wrote this article in The Conversation for university leaders; however, there are plenty of takeaways that apply to independent schools. To successfully "future proof," schools must:
  • Have an institutional strategy that is focused on the future while mitigating the impact of unforeseen events.
  • Clearly articulate a path to a new vision with the participation of faculty, staff and external community members.
  • Consistently apply decision-making criteria and continuously measure progress.


#5: Human Resources


The Surprising Power of Peer Coaching

The authors of this Harvard Business Review article offer guidelines to help leaders get started with small-group coaching, which they say offers many benefits that one-on-one coaching does not, including:
  • Immersion in real-time group dynamics.
  • Insight into diverse perspectives.
  • Opportunities to practice new skills in a safe space.
  • A robust accountability system.
  • An enduring support network.


#6: School & Community


Leveraging Educational Videos for Higher Ed Marketing

Bart Caylor says content marketing "is an inbound marketing strategy that publishes helpful, entertaining, or informative content which adds value to a prospective student's life as a means to attract them to your marketing materials." He recommends using your faculty and staff as subject-matter experts to create educational videos for your marketing strategy and offers several tips to do so, including:
  • Create branded video playlists.
  • Keep your background consistent.
  • Create a script or template.


#7: Enrolment Management


Collecting Testimonials—a School Marketing Success Story

Citing studies that show there is far more influence from reviews and referrals than from any other form of marketing, School Webmasters recommends that schools incorporate testimonials into their marketing efforts and provides several ways to do so. They offer several suggestions to make it easy for your community to submit testimonials and many great tips for gathering testimonials with a survey.


#8: Governance


The Right Trustees

In this RG 175 article, Clay V. Stites opines about the importance of screening new board members. Stites recommends adding potential trustees to committees without letting them know you are considering them for the Board and cautions against naming someone to the Board for their "potential" to give funds or expertise. The post also considers when to remove a problematic board member. Stites says that decision needs to be considered carefully, but ultimately, "If board meetings are contentious or dreaded events, it's unlikely that people are going to want to participate in governance."


#9: Finance


Next Normal: Academic Leaders Role in Finance & Operations

In this blog post, One Schoolhouse Head of School & CEO Brad Rathgeber reflects on the collaboration that has taken place this year between Academic and Operations Leaders in schools and stresses that it should continue post-pandemic. He writes, "Collaboration with the business office and other outward facing offices (such as enrollment and advancement) might also help us think expansively about what our classrooms might look like in the future and what new opportunities are present in a post-pandemic world to reach more students in more equitable ways."


#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety


As Biden eyes infrastructure, recent research suggests students' environments affect academic success

This Chalkbeat article looks at research that shows a direct connection between the environment students are learning in and their academic success, suggesting that upgrades to school facilities might not just result in cosmetic improvements but could benefit student learning. Indoor and outdoor air quality is a big factor; for example, research has found diesel-fueled school buses in Georgia lower students' test scores.


#11: Commitment to School Improvement


How to embed accountability into your institution's DEIJ plan

In this post, Joe Infantino, Senior Analyst, Strategic Research with EAB says that accountability measures, such as project owners add timelines, are critical for institutional DEIJ plans to succeed. Infantino offers strategies and examples to embed accountability measures into your plan and includes a short survey to get a sense of how well your DEIJ plan incorporates accountability measures:
  1. Is every action in the plan assigned to a project owner?
  2. Do those held accountable include representatives across the entire institution and not just one specific office or role?
  3. Does the plan include timelines for short-term and long-term objectives?


#12: Boarding Program


Tuition discounting on the rise as educators work to rebuild international enrolments

Faced with continuing uncertainty regarding travel restrictions, visa processing, and vaccination rollouts, international students and their parents may be more cautious about committing to international enrolment. To entice students to study with them this year, several post-secondary institutions are making wider use of tuition discounts and other targeted fee supports.




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