Expect The Best


Register for the 2020 National Leaders Conference

The National Leaders Conference is your opportunity to interact with a range of senior-level leaders in your network. For 2020, the audience will be 200+ Academic Leaders. Learn more here.

Register for the 2020 Spring Leadership Institute

The CAIS Diploma in Independent School Leadership is designed to prepare participants for senior leadership roles in independent schools. Learn more here.

Apply to the CAIS Strategic Change Accelerator

The CAIS Strategic Change Accelerator provides the guidance and support for school teams planning important innovative change. Learn more here.

CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy

How this district is preparing students for 2030-and beyond

The fourth industrial revolution has already started: robotization, nanotech, and artificial intelligence (AI) and it will fundamentally change the way the world works. To best prepare students for 2030 and beyond the author of this eSchool News article offers many suggestions: teaching cognitive flexibility; moving to a multi-dimensional education; teaching coding, robotics, and digital life skills; and, focusing on integration and digital equity.

#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments

A less noisy classroom equals a better learning environment

Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., is a professor emerita of Lehman College, City University of New York who has conducted research and written on the adverse impacts of noise on mental and physical health, advised community groups on how to advocate for less noise in their areas, and worked with legislators concerned about lowering the decibel levels around us. In this Education Dive article, she writes that "noise can impede a child's speech acquisition, cognition and learning ability," and offers recommendations to lower the decibel level in classrooms.

Minecraft can increase problem solving, collaboration and learning - yes, at school

Thierry Karsenti, Professor, Canada Research Chair in Technologies and Education, Universite de Montreal encourages parents and educators to take the time to learn about the enormous educational potential of Minecraft.

Orphanage Voluntourism: Trafficking on Good Intentions

This Nonprofit Quarterly article looks at the increase in demand among volunteer tourists for orphanage opportunities. Matthew Maury, CEO of the Christian international relief and development organization TEAR Australia, cautions "These children are being sent to institutions where they're effectively being used to generate profits from the tourists who are looking to have an experience and are looking to, at the end of the day, feel good about how they've used their holiday and feel good about themselves and feel like they've contributed to a better world."

#3: Academic Program

Climate Change: What Educators Can Learn from Students Around the World

This NAIS article suggests ways to support students who are looking to take action on climate change, including:
  • Look for opportunities for climate education in the material that is already being taught
  • Use a multidisciplinary lens
  • Undertake immersive projects
  • Community improvement initiatives.
Many of the suggestions are from their own schools: Phillips Exeter Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall and San Francisco University High School.

Students build 'high school survival guide' through skits aimed at younger classes

With the goal of promoting positive mental health and building relationships between older and younger students, a drama class at Colonel Gray High School wrote and performed a series of short skits. The skits are based on their own experiences and include coming to Canada as a newcomer, the pain of being left out by your friends and the pressure to drink, vape, or send explicit pictures.

#4: School Leadership

"We're a Family" and Other School Norms that Can Cause Burnout

In this Cult of Pedagogy blog post, Jennifer Gonzalez looks at how three common school norms: "We're a family," "Do it for the kids, no matter what," and "Be a team player" can all contribute to teacher burnout and offers suggestions for looking at these messages with a more critical eye.

#5: Human Resources

The Far-Reaching Impact of Embedding a Sustainable Workplace Culture for World Earth Day -- Today!

Writing for Entrepreneur, Leni Zneimer, Vice President, Community WeWork, U.K. and Ireland writes, "establishing a sustainable workplace culture can thus not only reduce your environmental footprint, which can attract customers externally, but also support your internal talent recruitment and retention initiatives." Zneimer elaborates on these six practical tips for creating a sustainable workplace:

  1. Understand your ecological footprint.
  2. Reflect sustainability in your mission statement.
  3. Set goals.
  4. Map and share your progress.
  5. Get more people on board.
  6. Challenge the status quo.

#6: School & Community

TED's fundraising masterclass teaches you how to raise millions for your nonprofit

Believing it is instructive for anyone looking to raise money for a cause, the author of this Quartz at Work article examines how TED raised funds for The Audacious Project's recipients.

  1. Gather affluent friends and strangers in a beautiful setting.
  2. Have celebrities introduce you, but choose them well.
  3. Prepare a compelling pitch (using the TED talk formula).
  4. Create easy and visible channels for donors.Talk about data.
  5. Have a chanteuse.
  6. Throw a party.
Bonus: Invite a scientist to explain the scientific benefits of charitable giving.

Also worth a read: How to Create Better Charts to Show Fundraising Results

#7: Enrolment Management

Diagnosing your enrollment challenges to increase enrollment

In this blog post, Nick LeRoy, MBA, President of Bright Minds Marketing recommends that when looking for opportunities to improve their enrolment numbers, schools should first break down the enrolment process into four discrete process steps: knowing, marketing, recruiting and retention.

Also worth a read: How to Train Student Brand Ambassadors

#8: Governance

The Investor Revolution

Robert G. Eccles is a visiting professor of management practice at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and Svetlana Klimenko is a lead financial-management specialist in the Operations Policy and Country Services vice presidency of the World Bank. Eccles and Klimenko recently interviewed 70 senior executives at 43 global investment firms and found that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues were almost universally top of mind for these executives, most of whom described meaningful steps their firms are taking to integrate sustainability issues into their investing criteria. In this Harvard Business Review article, they detail five actions that companies can take to prepare for the new era of sustainable investing:

  1. Articulate your purpose.
  2. Improve engagement with shareholders.
  3. Increase involvement by middle management.
  4. Invest in internal systems for ESG performance information.
  5. Improve measurement and reporting.

#9: Finance

What happens when students are given a say in school budgets?

This year, The New York City school district introduced its students to participatory budgeting, giving students control over how to spend a small amount of their school's money. According to this article in The Hechinger Report, research suggests that participatory budgeting makes people more likely to vote and attend and speak at community meetings. Josh Lerner, co-executive director of the Participatory Budgeting Project, said the process teaches students how to identify needs in their schools, find ways to address them and pitch their solutions to peers and school leaders.

Also worth a read: FBI investigating $3.7 million cyber scam of Scott County Schools

#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety

Strategies: Blueprints and Checkboxes: Simplifying the Facilities Audit

Dale Temple is the Director of Facilities and Operations at Washington International School and a Certified Facilities Manager. In this Net Assets article, he provides an outline for conducting an affordable in-house audit and suggests beginning with the basics, then adding other items over time.

#11: Commitment to School Improvement

10 Ways to Discipline Students Without Taking Away Recess

Recess offers many cognitive, social, emotional and physical benefits to children. School Leaders Now asked for alternatives to taking away recess as a punishment and published some of the best responses a few of which are create a room for kids to reflect, don't be afraid to immediately change your system, require students to come up with answers and assign reflection tasks (not detention) to students outside of recess time.

#12: Boarding Program

U of A's mental health vodcasts aimed at those on campus who feel isolated or alone

A new series of videos - or vodcasts - is available to both students and staff at the University of Alberta. With the idea of making people feel less alone when dealing with mental health issues, the vodcasts focus on mental health issues facing students and staff at the University of Alberta.

Also worth a read: Preventing Busyness from Becoming Burnout

Back to Most Recent Top 12