CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: School Purpose

3 Ways Schools Condition Students

George Couros, author of "The Innovator's Mindset," revisits a blog post from 2017 and finds that the main points still hold up. To develop students that are deep and thoughtful learners, Couros says we must not focus on awards and grades as a driver. He also stresses that "challenge" is a good thing, writing, "Do we encourage kids to share different worldviews of their own, or do we hope to convince them of what we believe? Do we understand that a student's experience is not the same as ours, and does that encourage us to try to empathize and learn about them, or condition them to us?"

#2: School Leadership

Finish Wiser, Start Stronger: 13 Questions for December

Former CEO Todd Ordal has led teams as large as 7,000 people. Now a CEO coach, Ordal recommends that to be more strategic thinkers and jump-start 2022, leaders should book a day in December to meet with their senior team and consider 13 questions. Ordal says the most senior person in the room should speak last and advises, "if you're uncomfortable with your talent as a facilitator, have someone else facilitate the meeting and learn that skill in 2022! It's critical for leaders to know how to foster effective conversations."

#3: Governance

The Serious Overhaul That is Seriously Overdue

Educational consultant Ian Symmonds says, "No one school or college was ready for the pandemic. I have yet to find a strategic plan that included pandemic response plans included in their strategies. Yet, as we all know, COVID-19 is acting as an accelerant for preexisting issues in education. The advances and innovations that are in full swing were all in place before the pandemic." Symmonds shares a blueprint for reinvention that includes retooled assessment and credentialing, differentiated price and assess points and reconfigured physical plant capacity.

#4: Education Program Foundation

Why child's play is serious business in early education

For this EdSource article, education writer Karen D'Souza looks at a growing body of research that shows the benefits of play for children, especially in tough times. Play allows children to exercise choice and control, nurtures independence, relieves stress, and helps children cope with stress. D'Souza spoke with Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University, who said, "Play is not just wasted free time. If it's used properly, it can be a deeply powerful tool to increase children's learning in math and science."

#5: Learning & Teaching

Awe might be our most undervalued emotion. Here's how to help children find it.

In this Washington Post Parenting article, Deborah Farmer Kris writes about the documented benefits of awe, which she says might be "our most overlooked, undervalued emotion". Farmer Kris spoke with experts who said unstructured time, spending time in nature, open-ended questions, participation in the arts and enjoying community experiences are ways to infuse more awe into our everyday lives. An added bonus: psychologist Craig Anderson said that awe might even support academic performance.

#6: Student Well-Being & Support

Celebrate Positive Psychology to Instill Mental Health Resilience

Studies that show the biggest source of mental health issues for teens are related to their educational experience. To help students develop self-efficacy and resilience, ISM recommends that schools adopt a positive psychology approach that focuses on students' achievements and helps them see challenges as obstacles rather than failures. The article also recommends three elements to incorporate into your school's curriculum and culture: What Went Well, Savour the Moment and Gratitude Letters.

#7: Essential Concepts

Setting Goals and Aligning our Systems

Katie L. Martin, VP of Leadership and Learning at Altitude Learning, recognizes the importance of goal setting but cautions that schools should not narrow down goal setting to focus solely on data and metrics. Instead, Martin says schools should think about their goals and focus on creating systems "that can ensure students have clear milestones or checkpoints, guidance, and accountability to make progress toward their goals."

#8: Custodial Care

Creative, Flexible, Global: What Millennial Parents Want From Schools

Writing for Forbes, Nick Morrison looks at the results from a series of focus groups in China, North America, the U.K. and Spain held by international school group Nord Anglia Education to understand the sort of education that millennial parents want for their children. The results showed that while millennial parents increasingly value soft skills and personal attitudes, they also want their children to achieve the best academic results possible and learn in creative, flexible schools and have a global outlook.

#9: Recruitment & Community Engagement

Welcome to Advancement 2.0!

In this blog post, David Willows, Director of Advancement at the International School of Brussels, reflects on 17 years of leading an Advancement team. He says there has been a shift to Advancement 2.0, writing "the pillars of our craft are the same - it's still all about Story, People, and Process - but the manner in which we tell the story, help people find their place in that story, to say nothing of the processes that we manage in support of these goals, is unrecognizable from what it once was."

#10: Human Resources

Many Principals Say They Want to Quit. Will They?

For this Education Week article, assistant editor Denisa R. Superville looks at a new survey from the National Association of Secondary School Principals. This US study shows that many school leaders are considering leaving in the near future, and "just over half of new principals—those with four or fewer years on the job—said they did not intend to remain in school leadership until they retired." These findings highlight the need for people development and succession planning.

#11: Finance

Food prices forecast to rise at highest rate in more than a decade

Globe & Mail reporter Ann Hui looks at the new Canada's Food Price Report compiled by researchers from Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia. The report predicts food prices will see the highest rise in 12 years -- as much as 7% -- over the next year. Hui notes that dairy will increase significantly; however, meat is likely to stabilize.

#12: Facilities & Infrastructure

Omicron Is Coming. How Can Schools Prepare?'

For this EdSurge article, senior reporter Emily Tate spoke with Dr. Sara Bode, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on School Health, about the Omicron variant. Since early findings suggest the variant spreads more rapidly than Delta, Bode stressed the importance of continuing with mitigation efforts, such as masking, distancing, testing students who participate in "high-risk" activities, and vaccination. With respect to vaccination, Bode says, "It's the No. 1 determining factor of how we're going to get through the winter season with the highest chance of maintaining in-person learning the entire time." Bode says school-based vaccine clinics and efforts to educate students and families about the vaccine can also be helpful.

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