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CAIS Top 12 - Archived
#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
In this NAIS article, Greg Bamford, Associate Head of School for Strategy and Innovation at Charles Wright Academy, laments that "mission statements often become long lists of everything a school aspires to be. These lists make it hard for our schools to stand out in increasingly competitive markets, and they make it hard for board members to fulfill their strategic and generative duties." Bamford emphasizes the importance of defining and clarifying a school mission and shares the lessons he learned doing so. He also says that once a mission is public, it must be put to work immediately.
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
Some schools are beginning to add after-school skateboarding classes and even competitive teams. This Education Dive article looks at a new study from researchers at the University of Southern California that says that skateboarders have gained many 21st Century skills from their sport. The article states that "the study contributes to a shifting perception of skateboarders from loitering youth who don't respect public property to resilient problem solvers who are eager to apply their skills to areas such as filmmaking, photography, music production and apparel design."
#3: Academic Program
Also worth a read: 5 Indicators of Empowered Readers
#4: School Leadership
#5: Human Resources
#6: School & Community
The authors of this essay say that organizations should ensure that their organizational structure, allocation of resources, and the way they focus their development energies day-to-day reflect the importance of mid-level giving. They write that a mid-level plan needs to articulate strategies to identify and cultivate prospective mid-level donors, support ongoing success in securing mid-level gifts and help to transition your mid-level donors to major donors.
#7: Enrolment Management
Though written for post-secondary schools, this article from Higher Education Marketing about conducting a lead conversion audit also applies to independent schools. A lead conversion audit can help schools make many improvements: by inspecting every aspect of the admissions follow-up process, schools can identify areas to optimize efficiency, personalization and effectiveness. The article details the phases of the audit, which are:
- Evaluate Your Admissions Funnel With a Lead Conversion Audit for Schools
- Assess Your Team's Workload Through a Digital Marketing Audit for Schools
- Boost your Admissions Strategy with Competitor Benchmarking
- Optimize Your Automated Lead Nurturing Processes
- Ensure a Sound Manual Follow-Up Process with Admissions Consulting for Schools
In this Net Assets article, Jeffrey Shields, NBOA President and CEO writes about how for-profit schools and alternative models have served as disruptive forces for independent schools. He urges school leaders to embrace their independence to make programmatic, financial and operational choices to meet the needs of current and prospective families. To do so, Shields says schools must first understand what they are being hired to do and must not assume that they are competing primarily against other independent schools.
Also worth a read: Who Should Serve on Your Advisory Board?
Neil Irwin, a senior economics correspondent for The New York Times, writes that while there is still great uncertainty about how widely the COVID-19 virus will spread, the financial world now realizes how much is at stake. Irwin writes about the possible impact of the virus on the service industry and says "the longer the shutdowns of Chinese production, and the more widely other countries are forced to take similar measures, the more the spread of the virus could affect the ability of global companies to do business."
Another article by Neil Irwin, Coronavirus Fears Are Driving Interest Rates Down, a Bad Omen for the Economy, is also worth a read.
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
#12: Boarding Program
This ICEF Monitor article looks Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data, which shows that the number of international students in Canada grew by 13% year-over-year, making 2019 the fourth year of double-digit growth for the country's foreign enrolment. Of the 74,350 international students added to the country's enrolment base in 2019, about 65% are from India alone.