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National Leaders Conference

The 2019 National Leaders Post Conference Call for Workshop Proposals are open until December 7. Apply here.

Strengthen Your School Leadership

CAIS values the constant and deliberate quest for excellence, and we recognize the vital leadership role that governors play, in partnership with Heads, in the success of our schools. We want all of our schools to have strong Heads who focus on supporting the students of the present, but we also want strong Boards that focus on supporting the students of the future.

The Governance Guide include new learning on a number of areas, including Human Resources, Risk Management, Head Transitions, and Consent Agendas.

CAIS members and non-members can purchase a hard copy here. And CAIS members can also view the full PDF in CAIS Connect here.


CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy


A Cause for Optimism in Education

This Usable Knowledge article looks at a major new report from the Aspen Institute's National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. The report illustrates "the powerful benefits of an integrated program of social, emotional, and academic learning - focusing on overall wellbeing." The report seeks to accelerate and strengthen efforts in local communities through six broad recommendations, which the article details.

Also worth a read: Students Learn From People They Love


#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments


Should Esports be a School Club Offering?

Did you know that gaming in moderation supports good mental health in teenagers as well as improved attention and executive functioning? This is one reason why the author of this School Leaders Now article recommends adding competitive gaming to your school club offering. Other reasons include the fact that video games are inherently social and esports clubs are open to students of varying physical ability. They can also provide pathways to college scholarships and other opportunities. The article stresses the importance of having a great esports coach to provide a positive atmosphere and help build skills and strategize and to help students to manage stress.


#3: Academic Program


'It Doesn't Have to Be This Way.' Why Some Boys Can Keep Up With Girls in School.

Writing for the New York Times, Claire Cain Miller looks at a study that shows the Asian-American gender academic gap starts later and writes that the fact that boys' achievement varies in different school environments suggests ways to help all students. The article provides many suggestions of ways to help all students succeed, and stresses that it is important to encourage both boys and girls to embrace a full range of character traits and not to feel limited by stereotypical gender roles.

Age-appropriate tips for addressing gender stereotypes in the classroom

"Across the grades, teachers can promote positive gender representations by presenting counter-stereotypes, talking to kids about gendered content, and teaching kids to critically analyze the media in their lives," writes Erin Wilkey Oh for eSchool News. The article looks at the effects that gendered media can have on children and provides grade-specific recommendations for teachers to combat gender stereotypes.


#4: School Leadership


Ten Ways of Re-imagining School: My Personal Learning Manifesto

In this blog post, David Willows writes about 10 ways that he imagines the school of the future, a few of which are: boldly asserting a vision, having the courage to go where no one else has gone before, committing time and energy to the cause and thinking more about the students that will come later than the students that we currently teach.

A good reminder: 14 things that are obsolete in 21st century schools


#5: Human Resources


10 Kinds of PD Teachers Actually Want

"Teachers know what they need to learn, but most times, they don't really have a say in the topics chosen," writes veteran teacher Angela Barton for We Are Teachers. Barton details 10 kinds of PD that teachers actually want, some of which are: how to talk to lawnmower parents, ways to de-stress, classroom management, how to conduct a parent-teacher conference and content and grade specific teaching strategies.

Eight avoidable mistakes that make good employees leave

Travis Bradberry is the co-author of the bestselling book Emotional Intelligence 2.0. In this Quartz at Work article, he identifies eight practices that employers must abolish in order to hang on to good employees.


#6: School & Community


Three Key Insights You Must Glean From a Campaign Feasibility Study

According to this ISM article, a campaign feasibility study should provide your school with a way to cultivate donors, a marketing tool and a method to match your messages with what your community desires. The article details all of these and recommends using an objective third party to make your campaign feasibility study truly insightful.

Also worth a read: The Trouble With Securing Donor Meetings


#7: Enrolment Management


How To Use Data To Increase Enrollment

In this blog post, Nick LeRoy, president of Bright Minds Marketing and former Executive Director of the Indiana Charter School Board acknowledges that it is challenging to start the process of using data-driven practices for your school's enrolment strategy, but doing so will allow you to make better decisions and ultimately improve your school's numbers. LeRoy recommends taking these steps to use data to improve enrolment: identify all the things you want your data to tell you, establish foundational metrics of enrolment trends and retention trends, track your "yield rate" and track the effectiveness of your outbound marketing efforts.


#8: Governance


Boardroom: Maintaining a Strong Board-Head Relationship During a Planned Transition

Karen Walker recently retired as Head of School at Telluride Mountain School in Telluride, Colorado. In this NAIS article, she writes about what she learned from her past experiences on two search committees as an administrator and moving from Head of School to retirement. To maintain a strong relationship during the transition period and lay the groundwork for a successful transition, Walker recommends the Board and Head work together on a clear strategic outline for the incoming Head. The outgoing Head should examine the current administrative team and confirm that the academic and extracurricular programs are in a good state. The school's most recent accreditation report, especially the recommendations, can also provide insights.


#9: Finance


Accountants Prove Transparency Boosts Giving

Nonprofits that are more transparent and proactively share information with the public received 53 percent more in contributions the following year than organizations that were less transparent, according to a new peer-reviewed study published in December by the Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance.

Also worth a read: How Stock Volatility Could Take a Swipe at Charitable Giving and Grant Making


#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety


AI surveillance goes to school

Schools in some states are installing high-tech cameras that use artificial intelligence to monitor movements and identify people. Officials say the measures are for safety, but critics worry about student privacy.


#11: Commitment to School Improvement


Customers Surveys Are No Substitute for Actually Talking to Customers

In this Harvard Business Review article, Graham Kenny, Managing Director of Strategic Factors, stresses that while many leaders think that multiple-choice surveys are the most cost-effective option for obtaining customer input, they are not a substitute for having a conversation with your customers. It's worth noting that you can reach the saturation point surprisingly quickly: "the point at which you hear nothing new and material is being repeated."


#12: Boarding Program


China issues travel warning for Canada

China and Canada have issued travel warnings about each other. This ICEF Monitor article addresses concerns that these tensions could put a damper on Chinese student mobility to Canada.

How canine therapy programmes benefit international students

"In a time where mental health awareness is increasing and universities are striving to find ways to help students through their troubles, canine therapy and its benefits could be one important factor to consider when coming up with beneficial student programmes," writes the author of this Study International article.




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