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Register for the CAIS National Leaders Conference

Register today to join us virtually on April 12-16 for the 2021 National Leaders Conference: Positive Transformation: Reframing our Relevance.

This year we are offering two distinct conference experiences - one for Academic leaders and one for Operations leaders - all for one school fee with unlimited attendees! Find out more here.

COVID-19 Resources & School Samples

CAIS members can view up to date COVID-19 resources and school samples here.

CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy


New vision statement for McMaster is 'a unifying statement for our community'

To develop its new vision statement: "Impact, ambition and transformation through excellence, inclusion and community: Advancing human and societal health and well-being", McMaster University first solicited input from students, faculty, staff and the wider community on five questions:
  1. Where should McMaster be in 30 years?
  2. What do students need to thrive in a rapidly changing world?
  3. Which of the urgent problems facing the world should McMaster focus on?
  4. What is the most impactful thing McMaster can do to create a brighter world for our city and our region?
  5. If there was one thing you could change about McMaster, what would it be?


#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments


Imperfect Girls Make Perfect Role Models

Writing for the New York Times, Katty Kay, Claire Shipman and JillEllyn Riley, authors of Living the Confidence Code, say that girls benefit most from "work in progress" role models. Informed by their extensive work on girls and confidence, they opine: "Girls want to please, judge themselves harshly and suffer from rampant perfectionism. They need to see the screw-ups and failures and struggles in their role models, as well as heavy doses of perseverance. Anything that smacks of a trajectory preordained and success effortlessly attained can deflate instead of inspire, playing into girls' worst flawed thinking patterns."


#3: Academic Program


An Equity-Driven Approach Towards Assessments and Grading

Writing for Getting Smart, Sophia Kwong Myers, the founding Director of Strategy and Operations for Teaching and Learning at Uplift Education, stresses "the cumulative effects of poor assessment and grading practices can have long-term, irreversible impacts on a student's outcomes and abilities to succeed." She recommends several bold, attainable moves that educators can take to make meaningful improvements for students:
  • Prioritizing Performance-Based Assessment Tasks
  • Developing Student Voice and Agency
  • Reviewing and Revising Grading Policy through the Lens of Antiracism and Equity


#4: School Leadership


Five Mistakes that Killed a Once-Great School and How You Can Avoid Them

In this blog post, Moira Kelly, President, Exploration Learning, identifies five things that have gone wrong with a struggling school called "Blackberry Academy" (the post is inspired by an article about the Blackberry device), one of which is that Blackberry Academy does not play well with other schools. She offers many takeaways and stresses "Over the course of the last nine months, I've heard many Heads of School say that they have never felt more connected to other Heads of School and the feeling of competition has given way to collaboration... Smart schools will make sure they continue this collaborative posture well after COVID is no longer a threat."


#5: Human Resources


Making The Hybrid Workplace Fair

The authors of this Harvard Business Review article expect that post-pandemic most workplaces will be hybrid: some employees will share the same physical space, and some will work remotely. Since this creates power differences, they say managers must recognize and actively manage "hybridity positioning" and "hybridity competence". The authors offer four strategies managers can take to manage the structurally inevitable differences in power that arise in a hybrid environment: Track and Communicate, Design, Educate and Monitor.


#6: School & Community


Raising Money for a Nonprofit? Try a Personalized Approach

Paul Sullivan, Wealth Matters columnist for the New York Times considers a new report, Transforming Partnerships With Major Donors, by the Leadership Story Lab, which works with companies and nonprofit organizations on their messaging. Sullivan says that self-made wealthy people want nonprofit groups to update their approaches -- doing away with galas and annual reports -- and make their pitches more personalized. Sullivan notes that many donors are driven more by problem-solving than recognition.


#7: Enrolment Management


A Personalized Campus Tour... From Home

Inside Higher Ed looks at how tour guides at Hamilton College are using cameras to give live, personalized tours. According to the article, "Tour guides report that they have had many questions on these tours -- about diversity, problems on campus, daily life and the tour guides' individual experiences with certain issues. The tours can include residence halls and show various living spaces -- something they couldn't easily do safely with big groups."


#8: Governance


Embracing development, sustainably

In this University Affairs article, Moira MacDonald writes that universities have been explicitly called on to engage with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 Global Goals spell out clear targets for change and indicators that make it easier to assess progress. MacDonald says, "The Global Goals' special sauce, however, is a unifying framework, recognizing that actions on seemingly separate issues are in fact interrelated – if you work on poverty and hunger, for instance, you'll butt into the need for quality education, gender equality and inclusive employment."


#9: Finance


Finance Canada releases draft legislation to increase accessibility of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

This CPA Canada update looks at the two draft legislative proposals to implement changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) programs, released by Finance Canada this week. The changes will clarify the eligibility requirements and expand the accessibility of these COVID-19 business support programs and give applicants more flexibility regarding revenue decline for specific qualifying periods. As well, the update says the CRA has indicated that it will further extend the period for carrying forward unused Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) credits.


#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety


Not Just Mitigating COVID But Monitoring Wellness

Writing for NBOA's Net Assets, Larry Eighmy, The Stone House Group, and Sisi Kamal, Friends Seminary, detail how extensive facilities monitoring has helped Friends Seminary limit the spread of COVID-19. Beyond managing the pandemic, the school plans to continue monitoring many wellness indicators, including carbon dioxide and particulate matter concentrations, to track student and staff wellness for years to come.


#11: Commitment to School Improvement


Policy Recommendations for Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Canadian Schools

This policy brief from the Global Centre for Pluralism and UNESCO is intended for Canadian policy-makers and school leaders seeking to address anti-Black racism in education systems. The brief is based on feedback from more than 500 teachers and non-teaching staff from schools across Canada and offers recommendations in three areas: Professional Development, Curriculum Development and Strategic Planning.


#12: Boarding Program


Ready to be an anti-racist school? Diversifying students' networks is a must.

In this Christensen Institute blog post, senior research fellow Mahnaz Charania says that to create inclusive environments, students must have the opportunity to interact with diverse cultures and people. Charania says, "put simply, by more holistically tackling the social side of DEI—how students actually interact with and view others perceived as different from them—schools stand to boost students' ability to understand, empathize, and communicate along lines of differences."




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