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CAIS Top 12 - Archived
#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
In this Harvard Business Review article, Lisa Lai writes, "There are three things you can do today that will put you in a better position to manage strategic ambiguity: Take pragmatic action, cultivate emotional steadiness, and tap into others' expertise." In the article, Lai provides several ways to do each of these things.
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
According to this Edutopia article, a GSA club in middle school can provide a safe, supportive space for students at a critical point in their lives. The article elaborates on the following four points to consider before starting a club at your school:
- Understand how a GSA is different from other clubs or organizations.
- Know your role as a protector of privacy.
- Guide students to write a mission statement.
- Utilize the high school GSA for mentorship and advice.
#3: Academic Program
- Choose carefully.
- Make your case.
- Create a safe space.
- Be prepared for blowback.
- Teach the whole book.
Also worth a read: 6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2019
#4: School Leadership
- Build and maintain a psychologically safe environment.
- Ask for feedback skillfully.
- Request both positive and negative data.
- When receiving feedback, give your full attention and listen carefully.
- Don't debate or defend.
- Own your reactions.
- Demonstrate gratitude.
- Reflect and evaluate.
- Make a plan and take action.
- Sustain progress and share updates.
#5: Human Resources
A Webinar from Ceridian: Cannabis and Impairment at Work: Best Practices for Employers
#6: School & Community
Also worth a read: The Big Benefits of a Marketing Strategy for Small Schools
#7: Enrolment Management
Meghan D. Hodgin is director of marketing and communications at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child. In this NAIS article, she writes that it is an absolute necessity for the admissions and marketing and communications offices to be strategically aligned to drive enrolment. At Oak Knoll, the team embraced shared goals and worked together on content creation including a video, ebooks and a blog. The school was able to track conversions from the blog and content offers to see the significant impact; the school saw a 48 percent increase in lower and upper school applications, year over year.
"The window of time in which schools have to react to a crisis has decreased dramatically, in large part because of social media," writes Jan Abernathy, Director of Marketing and Communications at The Elisabeth Morrow School. In this NAIS article, Abernathy details the takeaways from a crisis she dealt with as the Board Chair of a school in 2013.
- Plan before the crisis
- Leave emotions at the door
- The clock is ticking
- "No comment" is no good
- Know when to seek professional help
- It's never the crime, it's the cover-up
This article in the Nonprofit Quarterly stresses the importance of "developing and maintaining a business model that produces exceptional mission impact and sustained financial health," and provides a summary of these eight key business principles that should guide financial leadership practice:
- Activate Your Annual Budget
- Income Diversification...or Not
- Make Cash Flow Your Priority
- Don't Wish for Reserves - Plan Them
- Rethink Restricted Funding
- Staff Your Finance Function
- Help Your Board to Help You
- Manage the Right Risks
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
While written for a post-secondary audience, this article provides several good ideas on how to best use students' evaluations, while at the same time acknowledging that evaluations are inherently flawed. The article elaborates on the following ideas:
- Prime your students to give you meaningful feedback.
- When you get that feedback, don't take it personally.
- Separate criticism of the material from criticism of you.
- Focus on opportunities for feasible, tangible improvements.
- Finally, save your evaluations.
#12: Boarding Program