#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
5 Key Practices in Learner-Centered Schools
After recently visiting some exceptional schools, Kate Martin, VP of Professional Learning at Altitude Learning, identified several trends that she believes will be more common in schools over the next decade. One of which is the importance of learner agency: "When you are so used to a compliance-driven model it is often hard to imagine that kids (and all people) can function outside of a control and command environment because you are so used to it. In these visits, educators are always struck by the culture of care and agency rather than control."
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
Keep your teen moving to reduce risk of depression, study says
Depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents and rates of teen depression are on the rise. A new study, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, found that each additional hour of sitting at age 12 was linked to an 11% increase in depression scores at age 18. The study also found that 60 minutes of light exercise may help protect children against developing depression. Senior author Dr. Joseph Hayes, a psychiatrist and clinical research consultant at University College London, encourages schools to integrate light activity into students' daily routines.
New Studies Link the Arts to Crucial Cognitive Skills
This Edutopia article looks at several research studies that show that participation in the arts boosts crucial cognitive and social skills. One study the article looks at tracked over 10,000 students in Texas and concluded that as they participated in arts programs, the students "performed better on state writing tests, were better behaved, had more compassion for fellow students, and were more engaged in school."
#3: Academic Program
Equity conference seeks school 'path to reconciliation'
This week, for the third consecutive year, Balmoral Hall School organized a day-long equity conference centred around First Nations cultures and Indigenous-led storytelling. This year's event, Equity 2020: Indigenous Languages and Art, emphasized the importance of language revitalization, traditional art and discussions about the history of Canada before colonization.
The consequences of maths anxiety
In this BOLD post, Annie Brookman-Byrne looks at a large study that showed the majority of children who have high maths anxiety are not poor performers in maths. Also, while there are minimal or no gender differences in maths performance, maths anxiety is consistently found to be more prevalent in girls than in boys. Brookman-Byrne offers some possible strategies for teachers and parents to reduce maths anxiety.
Also worth a read: As young documentary makers make films about global conflicts, they're learning about teamwork, effects of war
#4: School Leadership
How to Repair Relationships (And Why You Might As Well Accept that You'll Need To)
Most people recognize that relationship building is a critical skill for teachers and school leaders. In this blog post, Dave Stuart Jr. writes that relationship repair is also a critical skill and offers a simple process for teachers and school leaders. He also cautions against beating yourself up when you offend somebody: once you have done the repair work, look for takeaways and move forward.
Facilitation Training - Beyong the Agenda: Planning and Facilitating Constructive, Efficient and Energizing Meetings
As a leader, have you heard the frequently expressed sentiment, "Oh no, another meeting!"? When you facilitate a meeting, do you want:
- productive and efficient use of time
- generative, strategic and creative thinking
- a meeting environment that is created to be open and honest
- the freedom to discuss the undiscussable with assurance and ease
Facilitator Training is one of the NLC Pre-Conference Workshops this April 4, 2020 at St. John's School in Vancouver, British Columbia. This workshop will also be credited as a module for those enrolled in the CAIS Leadership Institute. Elizabeth Chambers was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Winifred Hunsburger, our course moderator, to find out more about this module. Find their conversation here.
#5: Human Resources
Study: Tough teachers get better results from students
Authored by American University's Seth Gershenson, Great Expectations: The Impact of Rigorous Grading Practices on Student Achievement examines the extent to which teachers' grading standards affect student success. Gershenson found students gained more knowledge from teachers with rigorous grading standards than those with lower expectations. He also found that teachers with more experience tend to have higher grading expectations, and their students achieve at higher levels.
#6: School & Community
You can stop guessing about what works in fundraising and what doesn't
In this Candid blog post, Tom Ahern shares some insights from his book If Only You'd Known ... You Would Have Raised So Much More:
- Don't be timid in asking
- Arouse emotions
- Don't waste time "raising awareness"
- Never judge a donor by the size of their first gift
- Send the swiftest possible thank-you
- Ignore the futurists
Don't Ask on Every Visit
This blog post from the Veritus Group recognizes the importance of raising money to fund mission-appropriate programs while building a unique and personalized relationship with donors. To this end, they stress that it is not appropriate to ask for money at every visit and they offer a reminder that when you are with a donor, "it's not about you and your goals, or the organization's financial deficits. It's about the donor and their vision for the planet."
Also worth a read: The Art of the "Ask": Six Tactics Frequently Ignored by Nonprofit Board Members, CEOs and Fund Developers
#7: Enrolment Management
Private School Marketing in 2020 and Beyond
Trevor Waddington, Principal, Truth Tree Consulting, offers several suggestions to help education marketers use digital marketing to get the attention of mission-appropriate families, build trust and compel them to take action in this blog post. A couple of suggestions are to avoid unique language and don't be afraid to try some "fringe" tactics.
Also worth a read: Audience-Centric Enrollment Marketing
The One Key to a Great Board Meeting
Non profit consultant Joan Garry believes that big changes start with simple questions; in this blog post, she asks, "What would a Board meeting look like if everyone behaved as if they had been hired?". To this end, Garry encourages organizations to build a culture in which no one is "JUST a volunteer." To get started, she recommends developing a recruitment strategy that speaks to the privilege of having the opportunity to support the organization's work.
Also worth a read: 9 "Failure Strategies" for Your Board of Trustees
Changing the Lens: Shifting the Conversation around Net Tuition Revenue
In this AISAP blog post, Drew Cocco, Director of Enrollment Management at the Montgomery School, writes about adopting Net Tuition Revenue as a strategy. Cocco proposes that schools should consider using NTR as a tool by implementing it as one part of an overall enrolment management strategy and suggests moving away from the concept of a fixed budget.
Also worth a read: Canadian Website Hosts and the Legal Reasons to Use Them, thank you to Michael Wolfe, Head of Stanstead College for sending this along to us!
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
Ultra-green school planned for Coquitlam requires cash to become reality
Burke Mountain Secondary School is slated to open in 2023 and will be British Columbia's first net-zero school, which means it won't use more energy than it produces. Some of the environmental measures being considered for the school include geothermal heating and cooling, wind turbines, enhanced building envelope and rainwater filtration and recovery.
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
This Is How Scandinavia Got Great
New York Times columnist David Brooks writes that the success of Nordic nations is rooted in their commitment to lifelong learning and the generations of phenomenal educational policy. Brooks writes that the Nordic education approach considers "the complete moral, emotional, intellectual and civic transformation of the person" and "is devised to help them understand complex systems and see the relations between things - between self and society, between a community of relationships in a family and a town."
#12: Boarding Program
Coronavirus update: Economic and mobility impacts will depend on how long the outbreak persists
The outbreak of the new Coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has named Covid-19, has had a very significant impact on student mobility as a result of travel restrictions, quarantines and cancelled school trips. Experts do not believe Covid-19 has reached its apex, and this ICEF Monitor post includes a table published by the British Council, shows how enrolments could be affected depending on how long the outbreak continues.