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National Leaders Conference

The 2019 National Leaders Post Conference Call for Workshop Proposals are open until December 7. Apply here.

Strengthen Your School Leadership

CAIS values the constant and deliberate quest for excellence, and we recognize the vital leadership role that governors play, in partnership with Heads, in the success of our schools. We want all of our schools to have strong Heads who focus on supporting the students of the present, but we also want strong Boards that focus on supporting the students of the future.

The Governance Guide include new learning on a number of areas, including Human Resources, Risk Management, Head Transitions, and Consent Agendas.

CAIS members and non-members can purchase a hard copy here. And CAIS members can also view the full PDF in CAIS Connect here.

CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy

8 Reasons Why We Might Not Want To Reimagine School

"It appears that we are all reimagining school these days and I'm wondering why," writes David Willows in this blog post. Willows identifies eight reasons why he might not want to reimagine school, including radical honesty with ourselves and our colleagues is never easy, we won't agree, enrolment might go down and students might not go to university after high school. In the end, Willows concludes that these obstacles are reasons to keep on going.

Change Is a Two-way Street

To drive effective change in schools today, Donna Orem, NAIS President believes that we need to focus more on change leadership and less on change management and use emotional intelligence to adapt to change.

#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments

Time to Take a Look at Your Dress Code

In this Cult of Pedagogy post, Jennifer Gonzalez writes about dress codes: "Dress codes are meant to create safe, positive learning environments in schools, but too many of them have the opposite effect, shaming students, robbing them of instructional time, and disproportionately targeting female students and students of color. The good news is that some schools are stepping up to fix the problem, updating their dress codes to make them more reasonable and equitable."

There's nothing trivial about hobbies

Beginning in April, students at the Indian High School in Dubai will be given a day and a half per week to pursue "flexible learning interests". Having students engage in their favourite pastimes while at school will help to build the creative and adaptable minds of the future, writes Dr. Justin Thomas, a professor of psychology at Zayed University.

#3: Academic Program

5 blended-learning myths to bust in 2019

This piece from the Christensen Institute addresses these five myths that blended-learning educators should be aware of:

  1. Blended learning is an exclusive approach. Make your choice now!
  2. I'm doing personalized learning, not blended learning.
  3. Blended learning looks like kids in headphones in front of screens all day.
  4. If I'm using technology in my school, I'm doing blended learning and disrupting the old system!
  5. Flex is the pinnacle of blended.

Also worth a read: Are educators using SEL to empower or to manipulate?

#4: School Leadership

5 Ways Bosses Can Reduce the Stigma of Mental Health at Work

This Harvard Business Review article is written by Diana O'Brien, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Deloitte and Jen Fisher, Deloitte's National Managing Director for Well-being in the United States. O'Brien and Fisher stress that "when bosses understand mental health issues - and how to respond to them - it can make all the difference for an employee professionally and personally." The article elaborates on these five ways managers can address mental health issues and drive a more empathetic culture:
  1. Pay attention to language.
  2. Rethink "sick days."
  3. Encourage open and honest conversations.
  4. Be proactive.
  5. Train people to notice and respond.

"Leadership can be easy, and I wanted to share four secret tips that you can do right now, that will make you a better leader and will help to improve your influence and results immediately," writes Gordon Tredgold in this LinkedIn post. His post details each of his four tips: smile more, listen more, talk more and praise more.

#5: Human Resources

On Inviting Parents and Students to Professional Learning Opportunities

In this blog post, George Couros encourages schools to include both parents and students in professional learning days: "this is not only to 'share' what we are doing but to listen and work together. People are always more prominent advocates for meaningful change when they are included in the process."

Company culture needs a risk-management approach

The authors of this Quartz at Work article advocate for a proactive, risk-management approach to culture and recommend that organizations consider taking these steps:

  1. Align employees around shared behavioral expectations, and communicate them often
  2. Regularly perform a culture health check
  3. Make cultural stewardship a part of everyone's job
  4. Act-visibly, regularly, and credibly

#6: School & Community

4 Ways Canadian Charities Can Optimize Their Donation Pages in 2019

Writing for npENGAGE, Brady Josephson offers four suggestions for Canadian charities to optimize their donation pages:

  1. Tell people what their donation will do
  2. Share the reasons for and impact of a recurring donation
  3. Remove unnecessary, distracting, and conflicting links and calls to action
  4. Add trust factors to build... well... trust

Also worth a read: 8 Ways Schools Can Form a Better Relationship With the Media

#7: Enrolment Management

Audience-Centric Enrollment Marketing

In this blog post, Bart Caylor advocates for audience-centric enrolment marketing, which he believes builds brand trust. To get started, Caylor suggests that you list your target audiences, craft a marketing persona for each of them, brainstorm the questions that each of them would have about your school and develop content to answer those questions.

29 Student Vlogs Boost Student Recruitment at Temple University

Bob Johnson writes about Temple University's success with its student video blog. Johnson stresses that potential students want to know what students at your school think about it and that the technical quality of the videos is less important than their realism.

#8: Governance

You've Committed to Increasing Gender Diversity on Your Board. Here's How to Make it Happen

Paula Loop and Paul DeNicola both work at PwC's Governance Insights Center. Writing for Harvard Business Review, they provide five steps for companies looking to diversify their Boards to take: review the benefits, understand that one isn't enough, rethink director criteria, require a 50-50 slate and expand the size of the Board.

Also worth a read: Unprepared Trustees: A Critical Problem in Higher Education and From Risk Management to Risk Leadership: A Governance Conversation with David O. Renz

#9: Finance

What Is an Interest Rate Swap and Why Would You Use It in 2019?

You may have heard people talk about "swaps" on the financial markets. Here's what they mean. This article uses LIBOR, in Canada, it would usually be done via Bankers' Acceptance ("BA").

Kevin Ingram is executive vice president and chief financial officer of FM Global. In this Financial Executives International article, he writes that it is important for CFOs to manage the risk from Mother Nature.

#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety

20 Best Facility Management Software of 2019

In this article, FinancesOnline compiles a list of the 20 best facility management software solutions. According to the article, almost 44% of facility managers and building owners still use Microsoft Excel to track their assets.

Study: Classroom background noise especially distracting to young students

This Education Dive article looks at Education Week's coverage of a new study conducted by Belgian researchers and published in the Journal of Neuroscience which found that children's brains have a significantly harder time than adult brains tracking and distinguishing voices amid background noise. The article recommends carpet, rugs, acoustic elements, such as ceilings and canopies, and sound dampening materials on walls and windows can help minimize background noise as can keeping tech devices in top-notch condition.

#11: Commitment to School Improvement

Creating a School Community Where Transgender Students Can Thrive

In this School Leaders Now article, Gavin Grimm, a transgender college student outlines five points that he hopes will help school administrators create an inclusive school community for transgender students:

  1. Take bullying seriously
  2. It's about policy
  3. Make sure your staff receives proper training and professional development
  4. Challenges by members of the community and some parents will come. Prepare yourself
  5. Expand your curriculum

#12: Boarding Program

Canada's foreign student enrolment took another big jump in 2018

This ICEF Monitor article includes a table of the top 20 source markets for international students in Canada for 2018. The number of Indian students grew by another 40% in 2018; Bangladesh, Colombia, Vietnam, and Iran are among the other leading growth markets.

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