#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
The Future of Education webinar
This looks interesting! Join Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget Long for a special centennial discussion with HGSE faculty on their perspectives and hopes for education going forward (December 9 at 3:00 PM ET). Find out more and register here.
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
Teaching Assertiveness in the Early Elementary Grades
This Edutopia article is by Dr. Judy Willis, who is a neurologist and a teacher. She says, "assertiveness training can help students have a more accurate perception of their experiences and empower them to deal with distressing situations such as bullying, inappropriate and upsetting behaviors directed at them or classmates, overwhelming instructions, or confusion about lessons or how to follow Covid-19 prevention procedures." Dr. Willis offers suggestions to foster assertiveness with empathy awareness and skill-building interventions.
#3: Academic Program
Diversifying Your Classroom Book Collections? Avoid these 7 Pitfalls
Writing for MindShift, Kara Newhouse stresses, "building a classroom library that offers 'windows, mirrors and sliding glass doors' to all children is more than a numbers game. It requires thoughtful curation of who is represented and how." Newhouse elaborates on seven pitfalls to avoid, including showing only suffering and surface-level diversity, and she also offers more than 50 title recommendations.
Also worth a read: Shrinking the Borders: How COVID Has Connected Students Across the Globe
#4: School Leadership
Education Matters, But Staying Safe At Christmas Matters More
Writing for Forbes, Nick Morrison critiques the U.K. Government's decision - so far - to not close schools early for Christmas and its messaging that people should adjust their behaviour accordingly. While this article centres on the U.K., Morrison's key points likely apply anywhere this holiday season: "basing a policy on what people ought to do, rather than on what they will do, never ends well" and "the Government's dogmatic approach ignores the very real possibility that many people will go ahead with family get-togethers, albeit on a smaller scale than might have been the case in previous years."
Also worth a read: Lessons Learned From A Semester On Campus During The Pandemic
#5: Human Resources
How can employees also be social-media activists?
Even though many huge organizations have publicly expressed support for social justice issues, there is still a risk to employees who stand up for their beliefs on social media. The article looks at the case of grade-eight teacher Paige McGaughey whose posts about voting, championing LGBTQ rights and supporting BLM lead to scrutiny from some parents and media attention. Ariane Ollier-Malaterre, a professor with Université du Québec à Montréal's School of Management, says she used to advise workers to be careful and avoid posting sensitive content but she acknowledges that it is increasingly difficult to be neutral.
#6: School & Community
Etonians launch petition to reinstate teacher who was sacked over lesson titled 'The Patriarchy Paradox'
Eton's headmaster dismissed English teacher, Mr. Knowland, following a lesson titled 'The Patriarchy Paradox', part of the 'Perspectives' curriculum, which encourages older boys to debate. His dismissal led to arguments over free speech, and now more than 2,400 people have signed a petition from Eton's students asking for their English teacher to be reinstated. The petition begins, "The dismissal of Mr. Knowland raises a number of concerns for the boys. We perceive in his dismissal some very grave implications about the nature of freedom in this school, and the moral stature of those in charge."
You can read the entire petition Letter from Boys to Provost about Mr Knowland here.
#7: Enrolment Management
Effective Strategies For Your Virtual Open House Follow-Up
In this Finalsite blog post, Mia Major cautions that "A larger inquiry pool doesn't necessarily mean a more interested audience. With a larger, less committed group, it's critical schools hold families' interest and keep the conversations going through that all-too-long decision-making process. After all, the commitment is lower for families; they can Zoom from the comfort of their own home." Major details four steps to take to create an effective follow-up strategy for your virtual open house:
- Send A Meaningful Thank You
- Keep the Open House Open
- Enroll Attendees in a Follow-Up Drip Campaign
- Save the Date for Your Next Virtual Event
7-Point Action Plan: How Educational Institutions Should Plan For 2021 And Beyond
This newsletter article from the law firm Fisher Phillips highlights seven processes to consider for your 2021 planning. Although Fisher Phillips is a US firm, many of the highlighted lessons and processes to adapt for the future apply to schools everywhere, including COVID-19 considerations, such as safety guidelines, testing and accommodating distance learning, enrolment and employment agreements and social justice issues.
The Future of ESG Is ... Accounting?
Writing for Harvard Business Review, Robert G. Eccles, who is a visiting professor of management practice at Saïd Business School, Oxford University, and a senior adviser to the Boston Consulting Group, details a proposal by the IFRS Foundation to create a parallel Sustainability Standards Board (SSB). If adopted, Eccles says the impact of sustainability reporting standards will be enormous and will provide stakeholders with a much clearer view of the relationship between sustainability and financial performance.
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
One person in the room with you has COVID-19. Here's how long it takes to get infected
This Fast Company article looks at a new tool created by MIT researchers John Bush and Martin Z. Bazant that provides clear guidelines on indoor safety in the midst of COVID-19. Bush, a professor of applied mathematics, says the six feet of distance guideline issued by the CDC is "dangerous" and "overly simplistic." After developing a complex mathematical model to simulate the fluid dynamics of virus-loaded respiratory droplets in any space. Bush and Bazant turned their findings into a free online tool (available here
) that you can use to create your own custom scenario to judge COVID-19 risks for yourself.
Also worth a read: As COVID Creeps into Schools, Surveillance Tech Follows
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
Is Entrepreneurship the Antidote to Student Anxiety?
In this Getting Smart article, superintendent Dr. Tom Leonard advocates for entrepreneurship programs, saying that they empower students and reduce anxiety. He writes, "Entrepreneurship education isn't just about teaching students how to make money or turn a profit. It's about empowering them to become agents of change and equipping them to solve problems, empathize with people who might not look like them, and pick themselves up after adversity."
#12: Boarding Program
Princeton will allow many more students to live on campus in spring term amid the pandemic
In this Washington Post article, Nick Anderson looks at how Princeton plans to offer housing to all enrolled undergraduates in the spring semester, after keeping most students away in the fall. The university plans to create a "bubble" that will protect faculty, staff, and students' health. Writes Anderson, "Students will sleep one per bedroom and will submit saliva samples for coronavirus testing at frequent intervals. The university, which does not have a medical school, set up a laboratory to process the tests. It also will set up isolation and quarantine housing to respond to any outbreaks."