CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy

A Fuller Picture of What a 'Good' School Is

In this Edutopia article, Research and Standards Editor, Youki Terada looks at new research that shows that promoting relationships and a positive mindset toward learning has a more significant impact on students' long-term success than raising test scores. While all students benefit from attending high-performing schools, the research shows that "a school's impact on the noncognitive dimensions of learning—healthy relationships and a growth mindset, for example—were much more predictive of long-term success than a school's impact on test scores."

#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments

The Two Most Important Things We Don't Teach

Writing for Forbes, Tom Vander Ark says the climate crisis and artificial intelligence (AI) will most shape young people's lives, influencing where and how they live and how they earn a living and expanding inequality. Vander Ark says, "Young people deserve a chance to learn about climate change and AI and develop an informed opinion about the path forward and where they can make a difference."

#3: Academic Program

Three Quick Wins: Student-Centered Assessment Strategies

In this article, Becky Green, Associate Director of Professional Learning at GOA, writes, "Equitable design for assessment demands that we empower students to take agency for their own next steps in their learning." Green details three strategies that educators can use in remote, in-person, or hybrid learning settings: Snapshot Assessments, Process Portfolios and Self-Assessment.

#4: School Leadership

Six Questions Schools Should Ask Now: A Framework for the Fall

This ISM article was written by Scott Erickson, Head of School at Phillips Brooks School. Driven by these six essential questions, Erickson has been discussing with his Leadership Team how they envision starting school in the fall:
  1. What assumptions should frame our discussion?
  2. What are our objectives for fall 2021?
  3. What actions should we take to achieve our objectives and what does each cost?
  4. What unexpected issues should we name up-front for which we may need contingency plans?
  5. How do we structure internal communication strategies about our objectives?
  6. How do we structure external communication strategies about our objectives?

#5: Human Resources

How Educators are Using the Exclusive Social Media App Clubhouse

In this EdSurge article, edtech blogger and consultant Monica Burns writes about how educators can participate in professional development on the new social media app Clubhouse. Burns says the "combination of scheduled sessions and impromptu rooms give the feel of a structured conference with an Edcamp component." The article quotes cognitive scientist Lindsay Portnoy who says, "Clubhouse feels like a 24/7 teachers lounge filled with all the brilliant chatter you'd hear in a brick-and-mortar teacher lounge with the added benefit of even more diverse voices."

#6: School & Community

Alumni: Are We On Their Wavelength?

In this Fragments II blog post, David Willows, Director of Advancement, International School of Brussels, writes about how a team at his school started to map the journey of alumni to design better and more meaningful experiences for them. The team determined that eight elements make up alumni life, and "across the course of a life, there are some times when our graduates feel more connected, nostalgic or positively oriented towards the school and other times when school is something of a distant, perhaps even irrelevant, memory." The school then sent a simple survey to alumni, and, in the post, Willows identifies some patterns from the results.

#7: Enrolment Management

RETENTION 2021: Segment for Success

English Marketing Works believes that retention will be the most critical contributor to school success this year and recommends that schools implement a 9-step segmented approach to their retention strategy. This guide covers how to:
  • Use a segmented approach for retention success
  • Create experiences that support retention
  • Create a Believabiility Summary to strategically address parents needs, interests and concerns
  • Strategically develop messaging to enhance retention efforts
  • Develop events specifically designed to improve retention
Note: You will have to enter your contact information to download this guide.

#8: Governance

What will education look like in 20 years? Here are 4 scenarios

In this article from the World Economic Forum, Andreas Schleicher, Director, Directorate of Education and Skills, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) writes, "Imagining alternative futures for education pushes us to think through plausible outcomes and helps agile and responsive systems to develop." He considers four scenarios: Schooling Extended, Education Outsourced, Schools as Learning Hubs and Learn As You Go and cautions, "we must guard against the temptation to choose a favourite future and prepare for it alone."

#9: Finance

NYC Prep School Raises Fees to $58,820 After Parent Pushback

This Bloomberg Wealth article considers the Spence School's decision to increase tuition by 2.5% despite the fact that a group of parents had requested that the school freeze its annual tuition at or below the current amount of $57,400. Although the increase was the lowest in 25 years, one parent told Bloomberg, "the desire to keep increases at the rate of inflation or below is a matter of sustainability, not just for parents but for the school. 'If these schools don't improve their models, what are they going to look like in another decade?' she said."

#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety

Student study tracks COVID-19 stress levels in classrooms

Dr. Kelly Dean Schwartz, an associate professor in school and applied child psychology at the University of Calgary, is generally encouraged by how students are dealing with stress related to pandemic restrictions, school closures and physical distancing. That said, the most recent data showed a slight bump in critical stress levels, and once students are back in school, it will be important to make sure they feel comfortable and confident and determine what they missed over the past year.

#11: Commitment to School Improvement

Why most schools won't 'reinvent' themselves after the pandemic

In this blog post, Scott McLeod, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Colorado Denver, writes that he is growing more and more skeptical that schools will 'reinvent' themselves after the pandemic. Instead, McLeod thinks we may see only minor changes after the pandemic, and says, "any school leader who is trying to sell the need for a post-pandemic systemic transformation to their educators, families, and school board members is trying to sell a SECOND enormous disruption to the community ('Now let's change school as we know it!') at a time when everyone is completely exhausted from – and ready to be done with – the FIRST enormous disruption to the community (the pandemic)."

#12: Boarding Program

Postsecondary institutions use virtual events for recruitment, mentoring, career networking

Academic Group looks at a few ways that postsecondary institutions are recruiting new students online. Université du Québec à Montréal has announced that its Open Doors event, which will use over 100 activities, including webinars, one-on-one sessions, and chat rooms. Enactus Lakehead has a new platform called Dear Stranger that allows students to connect with upper-year Lakehead students.

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