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CAIS Top 12 - Archived
#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
In this Cult of Pedagogy blog post, Jennifer Gonzalez writes that the Apollo School, a program that operates inside a regular public school, is a template for what school could look like if we restructured it to reflect priorities like cross-curricular connections, student self-efficacy, and inquiry-based learning.
"What might happen if rather than developing and arguing over objectives, goals, timelines and key performance indicators, administrators, faculty members, and trustees spent the time framing and asking a limited number of strategy-related questions? And once answering those, developing a series of operational plans to deliver on strategy, such as linking budgets with priorities for the next two years?" write Peter Eckel and Cathy Trower, authors of Practical Wisdom: Thinking Differently About College and University Governance in this Inside Higher Ed opinion piece. While they acknowledge that the title of the piece is a "gross overstatement" and that institutions need plans, they believe that schools would be better served to focus on the strategy itself.
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
- An emotional outburst -- in and of itself -- is not a reliable indicator of mental health.
- Some degree of stress and anxiety is not only normal but essential for human growth.
- There are tested strategies for reining anxiety back in and weathering the storm of a meltdown.
- Girls often feel stressed because they overestimate the difficulty of a situation and underestimate their ability to deal with it, missing the opportunity to correct that perception and recognize their own strength.
- Instead of worrying about stress, teens should focus on how they can build in recovery time.
- Sleep deprivation is one of the simplest explanations for the rise in anxiety-related concerns.
#3: Academic Program
- Students were less stressed, and classroom environments felt more relaxed and supportive of learning.
- Grade inflation decreased.
- Grades are more accurate and less biased.
- Students' motivation increased.
- Changes to grading practices leverage other aspects of programmatic reimagining.
- Class length must allow for the successful delivery of information.
- Time must be the variable; achievement must be the constant.
- The class function should match the length.
#4: School Leadership
#5: Human Resources
- Clear goal setting
- Work assignments that match the individual's interests and provide a positive challenge
- Open communication systems
- Frequent, constructive, and supportive feedback
- Equitable and generous rewards and recognition
- An absence of unnecessary bureaucracy
- Supportive collaboration
#6: School & Community
Andy Reeher elaborates on three best practices to help you maximize your annual giving in 2019, in this npENGAGE post: appeal to donors on the anniversary of their last gift, don't waste money by over-appealing and rely on multi-channel outreach.
Also worth a read: Show Me the Love: Creative Ways to Steward Your Donors
#7: Enrolment Management
While written for post-secondary schools, this article includes several strategies that independent schools can use to have a successful Admitted Students Day, including creating a catchy Instagram hashtag or Snapchat filter associated with a giveaway or contest, outside-the-box email campaigns, and student and alumni ambassadors.
Dr. Eugene Fram believes that the topics reviewed by a nonprofit Board should be limited to policy and strategy. To this end, Dr. Fram recommends that nonprofits should have three standing committees: Planning & Resource Committee, Assessment Committee and Executive Committee. He also lists some exceptions to this guideline.
Pessimism about the Canadian economy continues to rise, according to a new survey from CPA Canada. According to this article, "The CPA Canada Business Monitor (Q4 2018) found that in the fourth quarter of 2018, 35 percent of respondents - professional accountants occupying leadership roles including CEOs, COOs and CFOs - were pessimistic about the national economy for the next 12 months. That's up from 28 percent in the previous quarter and is significantly higher than a year earlier when pessimism stood at 16 percent."
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
#12: Boarding Program
According to this ICEF Monitor article, Indonesia is sending 35% more students abroad than it did a decade ago and the majority of them are self-funded. While Indonesian teens may want to study abroad, many are reluctant to be far away from home, so the article recommends promoting a "warm and welcoming environment" for them.