Expect The Best


Register for the CAIS National Leaders Conference

Register today to join us virtually on April 12-16 for the 2021 National Leaders Conference: Positive Transformation: Reframing our Relevance.

This year we are offering two distinct conference experiences - one for Academic leaders and one for Operations leaders - all for one school fee with unlimited attendees! Find out more here.

COVID-19 Resources & School Samples

CAIS members can view up to date COVID-19 resources and school samples here.

CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#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."

#8: Governance

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."

#9: Finance

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:
  1. Supports and academics should be tightly linked—across the people providing each.
  2. Supports should respond to individual circumstances rather than demographic traits.
  3. 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.

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