#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
Five Mega Trends Reshaping Global Learning
In this article, Getting Smart co-founder Tom Vander Ark writes, "Imagine school as a series of community-connected projects and skill sprints that develop leadership, collaboration and problem solving skills. Imagine a web of supports that help you make the kind of contribution you're capable of making." Vander Ark then details five "mega trends" reshaping secondary and postsecondary education: new goals, active learning, competency, integrated services, and edtech tools.
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
The Primary Reason Private Schools and Colleges Fail in Seeking Diversity
In this blog post, Ian Symmonds cautions private schools and colleges against using the "acquisition model" in their diversity efforts. Symmonds writes that this approach has failed miserably and says, "People were meant to be understood, not acquired. Diversity through acquisition is among our most significant moral sins as an industry. Diversity is a competency, not a statistic. And, it starts with a thoughtful, inclusive approach to building relationships with people based upon shared meaning and understanding."
#3: Academic Program
Teacher's Toolkit: Black History Month
The Ottawa Public Library has put together some online resources, books and activities for Black History Month, primarily for educators and their students in grades 1-4.
Zoom and Google Outages: How Schools Should Prepare for Tech Problems
To help schools prepare for outages on technology platforms, such as Zoom and Google, Education Week's technology reporter Mark Lieberman asked several school technology experts to share the lessons they've learned. They told him that schools should develop robust asynchronous learning materials, investigate offline options and build in ready to deploy redundancies before an outage. The article also includes suggestions for actions to take during an outage and stresses the importance of modelling to students the value of staying calm in frustrating situations.
#4: School Leadership
7 Strategies to Build a More Resilient Team
Through their research and experience coaching leading executive teams, the authors of this Harvard Business Review article have identified four critical characteristics of resilient teams: candor, resourcefulness, compassion and empathy, and humility. They detail these seven strategies to foster your team's resilience:
- Candor Breaks
- Independent Observers
- Story Sharing
- Owning Challenges
- Show That You Care
- Temperature Checks
- Commit to Building Each Other's Resilience
#5: Human Resources
Ten Things Leaders Can Do to Improve Teacher Morale in Early 2021
In this blog post, Dave Stuart Jr. shares evidence-informed practices for improving teaching morale, grouped into the following categories:
- Credibility boosters: Interventions that will help teachers believe that you care, you know what you're doing, and you're passionate about this work.
- Value boosters: Interventions that will help teachers believe that the work they do matters.
- Belonging boosters: Interventions that will help teachers believe that people like them do work like this.
- Effort and Efficacy boosters: Interventions that will help teachers believe that effort can make things better and eventually they'll succeed.
#6: School & Community
How to Report Impact During a Pandemic
Writing about the importance of reporting on impact to donors, the authors of this Veritus Group blog post say, "The implications of you NOT reporting back promptly or sufficiently are dire. It's the number one reason why donors stop giving to your organization." They elaborate on the following ideas on how to report on impact during a pandemic:
- Build solid relationships with your program and finance team.
- Know the communication preferences of your donors.
- Tailor any impact report to donor preference.
- Be Creative.
#7: Enrolment Management
How the Next Generation of Parents Will Choose the Right School for Their Children
David Willows, Director of Advancement at the International School of Brussels, recently asked his family members how they might choose a school for their (not yet existing) children. In this blog post, he shares the five themes that emerged from their answers, the first being, "There was a fleeting reference to the importance of reputation and academic results, but nothing more than that. Once spoken of, these concepts were never mentioned again."
How Does Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Impact A Nonprofit Board?
According to nonprofit governance expert Dr. Eugene Fram, new research shows the importance of cultural intelligence (CQ) in addition to IQ (cognitive ability) and EQ (emotional intelligence) when assessing the balance of capabilities of nonprofit board members. He highlights a few CQ divisions he has observed and offers some suggestions for bridging the gap and says, "Assessing board members' CQ categories can be a challenge for many chairs and EDs. These categories often do not fit into discrete groupings like age and educational levels. But reviewing them over time should be helpful. They allow chairs and EDs to better retain those productive outliers whose CQs may not fit the traditional legacy culture."
Private Schools Cashed in on P.P.P. Funding
The Coronavirus Schools Briefing in the New York Times looks at many elite U.S. private schools that received money from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. For example, Sidwell Friends School received $5.22 million. Some schools were embarrassed when their applications became public and then returned the money. Others kept the money, "citing economic uncertainty and rules that constrained their ability to tap their endowments to cover their payrolls."
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
COVID-19: Guidance for School Operation during the Pandemic
SickKids has updated their guidance document on school operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The most significant changes include testing recommendations, enhanced physical distancing and non-medical mask use, emphasis on cohorting and updates to the section on mental health and wellness.
Also worth a read: Children's Screen Time Has Soared in the Pandemic, Alarming Parents and Researchers
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
From surviving to thriving: 3 designs that could revolutionize student supports
In this Christensen Institute blog post, director of education research Julia Freeland Fisher looks at research that shows the clear role that supportive relationships with both families and peers have played in how well students have fared during the pandemic. Beyond the current crisis, she suggests and elaborates on the following innovative approaches to student support:
- Supports and academics should be tightly linked—across the people providing each.
- Supports should respond to individual circumstances rather than demographic traits.
- Relationships can be reservoirs of—rather than one-time deposits towards—support.
#12: Boarding Program
Canada now more popular than the U.S. as a study abroad destination
CIC News reporter Mohanad Moetaz examines surveys conducted by educations.com - an online platform that helps prospective students find relevant information on their options to study abroad - which show that Canada and the U.K. are now the two most popular study abroad countries, due to the decreasing popularity of the U.S. Moetaz says safety, socio-political climate, and the reputation of the education system are important factors that determine a country's popularity.