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CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy


What schools stand to learn from a generation of youth activists

In this Christensen Institute blog post, Research Fellow Chelsea Waite writes, "It's hard to ignore the irony that while some education leaders wring their hands about an engagement problem in schools, youth activism appears to be on the rise." She identifies ways that educators can learn from the motivations of student activists to improve students' in-school experiences.


#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments


Simple Ways to Encourage Kindness in Students of All Ages

With Random Acts of Kindness Day quickly approaching (February 17th!), Edutopia offers five easy ways to promote kindness across all age groups, including replacing homework with acts of kindness and asking students to articulate their kind actions. The article stresses that it is important for students to learn that being kind doesn't require grand gestures.

There's no 'I' in team, but we still need to teach kids how to advocate for themselves

To give children the best chance to achieve their future goals, we must teach them to self-advocate writes Randi Mazzella in this Washington Post parenting article. She offers several tips to help children develop these skills and emphasizes that they need a safe and trusting environment to do so.


#3: Academic Program


Making Cooperative Learning Work Better

In this Cult of Pedagogy blog post, Jennifer Gonzalez looks at the research on cooperative learning. She says that effective cooperative learning is structured to include five key components: positive interdependence, individual accountability, promotive interaction, effective interpersonal skills and group processing. She then looks at four of the most pressing issues with cooperative learning and shares some of the most effective solutions for each one.

Also worth a read: It's good to expose myths about neuroscience - but the debunking is getting out of hand, a world-famous psychologist says


#4: School Leadership


Good Leaders Have Visions Their Team Can Actually SEE

In this Great Leadership blog post, Lee Hartley Carter, author of Persuasion: Convincing Others When Facts Don't Seem to Matter, advises leaders that having a vision is not enough: "You need to be so specific that you have an exact picture of what that vision looks like. And once you've created that vision you need to share it and repeat. Repeat. Repeat. So much so that everyone on your team sees exactly what you see." Carter identifies three key benefits to creating a visual vision: focus, getting others on board and motivation.


#5: Human Resources


Why are Donor Passions and Interests So Important?

This Mind Shift article looks at research conducted by Dr. Karen Brennan, who is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, leading the Creative Computing Lab. Brennan identifies four crucial ingredients to curiosity and says that in the most creative, curiousity-filled classrooms teachers actively design opportunties to cultivate curiousity, create, collaborate and contemplate. The article includes three scenarios in which a teacher encounters a common roadblock, as well as some strategies teachers Brennan has worked with used to get past them.


#6: School & Community


Why are Donor Passions and Interests So Important?

This blog post is the first in the series: How to Identify Donor Passions and Interests and it recognizes the importance of passions and interests in major and planned gift fundraising. The second post in the series is about the importance of taking the time to find the driver behind every donor's passion or interest in a non-aggressive manner and it can be read here.


#7: Enrolment Management


Calling all Higher Ed Enrollment Marketers: Say Something Different

Tom Durso, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Delaware Valley University, wrote this blog post in August 2019 about higher education, and yet it is still worth a read! Durso calls on education marketers to acknowledge their schools cannot be all things to all students, push back when asked to run the 16-photo collage on the cover of the viewbook and instead find out what our institutions are really all about and "market the hell out of it".

Also worth a read: Digital Marketing Trends To Watch For In 2020 (According To Google)


#8: Governance


3 Strategies to Find a Fundraising Role for Every Board Member

When it comes to fundraising, "the 'ask' is just the pinnacle - final step - along the journey," writes Claire Axelrod, who is a Fundraising Coach, in this Bloomerang blog post. While some Board Members are quite comfortable asking for donations, Axelrod says others have an important role to play in facilitating the ask, which involves identifying, cultivating, inspiring and engaging potential donors. In the post, she details the steps for both a Board Philanthropy Facilitation Action Plan and a Follow-up Plan.


#9: Finance


Wilbraham & Monson Academy Cuts Day Tuition By 20%

Wilbraham & Monson Academy (WMA) is a college-preparatory school located in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. After a detailed process of financial and budgetary modeling, WMA determined that it could decrease its day student tuition for the Upper School from $42,500 to $34,000 for the 2020-21 academic year. According to Business West, "The reset is paired with a new five-day boarding option, two recent $10 million bequests to the endowment, a $6 million library set to open this spring, and a new, 4,800-square-foot, state-of-the-art STEM Lab that will be ready for use in September."


#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety


Schools struggle to help students return to class after a mental health crisis

This article from The Hechinger Report looks at a Massachusetts program called Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition that is supporting students returning to school after extended mental health-related absences. The article states that up to one in five children may have a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, which can cause problems with focusing or information processing. The cycle includes dropping grades and missed school, which adds to more anxiety. Students' attendance rates rise after they join the program, and 90% stay on track to graduate on time.


#11: Commitment to School Improvement


The Best Edtech for Students Is Backed by Research. Here's What to Look For.

The authors of this EdSurge article are researchers focusing on education technology whose work at the nonprofit Education Development Center's Center for Children and Technology focuses on how education technology can be used to support learning. From their experience designing and conducting studies to assess the impact of educational technology on learning, they offer a set of steps that any educator can work through to search for effective ed tech products as well as five questions to ask to assess the strength of the evidence.


#12: Boarding Program


The peer-to-peer effect in international student recruitment

A new study, entitled Peer-to-Peer Student Conversations, reveals that prospective students increasingly find student ambassadors to be an influential resource in their decision-making about study abroad. The study found that there are regional differences in what students value most in a student ambassador, and undergraduates use ambassadors in a different way than graduate students.





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