#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
Six Ways School Teams Can Reflect on Pandemic Learning
The authors of this Global Online Academy post share six ways that school teams can reflect on pandemic learning to identify the practices they want to continue and those they seek to shift:
- Create time to self-reflect and share
- Affirm what we admire in colleagues
- Ask, "What will we start? Stop? Continue?"
- Create a permission slip
- Interview a colleague
- Engage in a team discussion
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
A Popular Study Found That Taking Notes By Hand Is Better Than By Laptop. But Is It?
An often-cited 2014 research study found that students who took notes by hand did better on conceptual recall questions than those who typed notes on laptops. However, according to this EdSurge article, when other scholars have repeated the same experiment, they haven't been able to get the same result. The article quotes Michelle D. Miller, a psychology professor at Northern Arizona University, who says, "If the supposed advantage of handwriting is flaky enough, or simply small enough, not to reliably show up across studies, we probably shouldn't be remaking our classroom policies because of it."
#3: Academic Program
New UCalgary resource helps Canadian K-12 teachers bring Indigenous storytelling into the classroom
The University of Calgary has developed a new online database for teachers seeking to integrate Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into K-12 classrooms. The website Books to Build On: Indigenous Literatures for Learning provides details on more than 250 books, poems, songs, art collections and websites by Indigenous creators from Treaty 7 territory and across North America. Many of the entries include lesson plans.
You can visit the website here.
#4: School Leadership
How Leaders Get in the Way of Organizational Change
Writing for Harvard Business Review, Ron Carucci, co-founder and managing partner at the organizational and leadership consulting firm Navalent, suggests ways that leaders seeking to implement organizational change can avoid three of the most common saboteurs:
- Understand that significant change will be harder than you think it will be to achieve.
- Be realistic about your organization's capacity to implement changes.
- Make sure your organization understands how and why the transformation is important to you.
#5: Human Resources
Can your employer mandate you to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Reporting for Global News, Christa Dao looks at whether or not employers can mandate that employees get a COVID-19 vaccine. Dao interviewed Puneet Tiwari, a human resources lawyer who said this is unprecedented territory, but employers are legally allowed to require vaccination. Writes Dao, "Tiwari is advising all employers to have a separate workplace policy on vaccines that explains what's required to keep a safe workplace and ensure others are safe."
#6: School & Community
Donors fulfill record-setting Limitless Campaign
At the end of March, Thompson Rivers University successfully concluded its Limitless Campaign, exceeding a target of $50 million to raise $53.7 million. According to the article, "TRU Vice-President University Relations Brian Daly said the university community is grateful to all who gave to the Limitless Campaign, especially during this past year, when the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for so many people." The Limitless Campaign funds will be allocated as follows:
- $33.7 million for scholarships and bursaries
- $11 million for buildings and equipment
- $9 million for research, innovation and community collaboration
You can view the Limitless Campaign website here.
#7: Enrolment Management
3 Email Campaign Ideas For Enrollment And Retention
According to this Finalsite blog post, "Successfully attracting and enrolling families during the pandemic required one strategy, but as a new admission season begins, maintaining your enrollment numbers might demand a different approach." One strategy to help reduce attrition is to create email drip campaigns and the article offers many great tips for each of three types of email campaigns:
- The "Welcome" Sequence
- The "Engagement" Sequence
- The "Reminder" Sequence
10 Proactive Questions Every Board Member Should Be Asking
The authors of this Harvard Business Review article have extensive experience as consultants and board members. They suggest 10 questions to "enable boards to change from passive to active and from reactive to transformational." The first five questions are:
- If you designed the agenda, what would be on it?
- What is the executive not telling you that you feel you need to know?
- How is the external world changing in ways that are not reflected in your board conversations?
- What don't you know about the company that you're most concerned about?
- What do you see always being discussed but never resolved?
Western budget makes bold, new investments in university's mission
The Board of Governors at Western University has passed the 2021-2022 budget. According to the school's website, "The pandemic prompted a series of emergency steps in last year's budget to boost support for students and ensure the university's stability amid global uncertainty. While this is the second of Western's pandemic budgets, it focuses squarely on the future." Some highlights include:
- The addition of 94 new faculty members and over 140 staff.
- Enhanced financial support for students.
- New facilities to support student well-being and health.
- Greater environmental responsibility, including $10-million to support campus-wide sustainability initiatives.
- An Indigenous learning facility.
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
How often are Canadian kids actually getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19?
Writing for CBC News, Lauren Pelley says that while COVID-19 variants are circulating and cases remain high in many regions, serious illness or death among youth remains rare. Pelley writes, "there's emerging evidence that variants of concern could be both more transmissible and more capable of causing serious illness. But that doesn't seem to be translating to more severe symptoms among kids". She cautions that medical experts stress that parents need to remain vigilant.
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
Using a 'Less Is More' Approach to Engage Parents
Gina Pascual is a senior program design associate at the Primary School in Northern California and a design thinking facilitator at Stanford's d.school. Writing for EdSurge, she details how her school employed design thinking to meet the challenge of engaging parents and offers three ways schools can transform parent engagement:
- Give parents just a few hands-on activities that they can incorporate into their daily routines.
- To remove any barriers, give parents everything they need.
- Introduce one concept at a time.
#12: Boarding Program
COVID-19 information for International students
Georgian has prepared a well-organized international resource guide with FAQs to outline how COVID-19 may impact international students' travel and study plans. Understanding that social distancing can bring social isolation, Georgian's International Centre hosts 30-minute live chat sessions over Instagram three times a week.