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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

What Is the Relationship Between Learning Design and Student Well-Being?

Academic experiences can have a profound impact on student wellness. This Inside Higher Ed piece is a Q&A with four learning and wellness professionals. Although it was written for post-secondary, the key points apply to K-12 as well, including: "many of the practices and approaches that are most effective for teaching and learning are also techniques that support the well-being and health of students, such as creating a supportive classroom environment, implementing meaningful assessment, and utilizing a flexible course design."

Also worth a read: A, B, C, F: Why This High School Never Gives Ds and Teaches Its Students to Think Like Lawyers

#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments

Global School Play Day: One Day. Nothing But Play.

In this Cult of Pedagogy blog post, Jennifer Gonzalez encourages schools to consider participating in the Global School Play Day. There are no fees or requirements associated with participating in GSPD: Schools who want to participate can just do it on the first Wednesday of February. GSPD organizers urge teachers to follow three simple guidelines: no screens, no structure, stay out the way.

Gonzalez became especially keen on the GSPD after watching a TED talk called "The Decline of Play," given Peter Gray, a psychology professor, who details how "we have gradually taken more and more play away from kids and replaced it with structured activities, academic work, and digital experiences to the point where they hardly ever 'play' at all. As this trend has continued, we've seen a rise in childhood anxiety, childhood suicide, and a growing number of kids who simply don't know how to play."

A long read from Harvard Ed: Girlhood After years of social gains and with bright futures within reach, why are things still so difficult for middle school girls?

#3: Academic Program

Three Dimensions of Strategic Academic Planning

This ISM article recognizes that schools must construct their academic offerings in a way that best supports their mission, while also doing what is best for students. Although there are no simple answers when it comes to strategic academic planning, the article recommends considering: motivation, evaluation and curriculum and elaborates on each of these.

Why Every High School Should Require an AI Course

In this LinkedIn post, Tom Vander Ark opines that every high school should offer a course on artificial intelligence (AI). He writes about the Castilleja School's AI course, which covers what AI is and how it works, provides an overview of where the technology is being employed and looks at the risks and benefits of AI.

#4: School Leadership

Howard Schultz Teaches You How To Be A Leader In A Crisis

As the two-time CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz has had to lead the company during times of crisis. The key, according to Schultz, is to communicate and be transparent with all stakeholders. It is crucial that communication continue once the crisis is over, "remind people, through storytelling, about the heritage of the company, how hard it was to get here," says Schultz. "Success is not an entitlement. It has to be earned, and it has to be earned every day."

#5: Human Resources

How to support a peer when you're concerned about their mental health

Bill Howatt is the Chief of Research for The Conference Board of Canada. Writing for the Globe and Mail, he asks "How do you support a work colleague who you think is experiencing a mental health issue and who doesn't appear open to talking or accepting help?" Howatt provides a thoughtful case study as well as several suggestions for what not to do and what you can do.

Also worth a read: You're Fired: Advice for Delivering or Receiving the News

#6: School & Community

Parent Engagement

This blog post includes some typical ways to engage parents and 11 exceptional ways to engage them, a few of which are: host food trucks during parent-teacher conferences; a school service project that helps contribute something to the school (such as a new coat of paint) or in the community (such as a night serving dinner at a homeless shelter); and, a movie night (admission could be a non-perishable food item for local food pantry).

Also worth a read: 19 School Marketers Offer Their Biggest Opportunities for 2019

#7: Enrolment Management

Six Terms To Stop Using In College Admissions

Brennan Barnard is the director of college counseling and outreach at The Derryfield School in New Hampshire. Writing for Forbes, Barnard explains why he recommends that we do away with the following "outdated and misused" terms: process, fit, well-rounded, passion, diversity and undermatching.

Also worth a read: More Ways To Improve College Admission In 2019

#8: Governance

Why Boards Should Pay Attention To Larry Fink's Message

This Forbes article about the 2019 version of BlackRock Chair Larry Fink's letter to CEOs is written by Michael Peregrine, who is a partner in the Chicago office of international law firm McDermott Will & Emery. Peregrine recommends that the letter, which advocates for corporate social responsibility with a call for more engaged governance, should prompt a meaningful conversation between the Board and the CEO and is worthy of Board-level discussion at public, private and nonprofit companies across industry sectors.

#9: Finance

Appointing Finance Committee Members and Defining Their Responsibilities

Fiduciary responsibility is a critical Board function. This ISM article details how to appoint finance committee members and define their responsibilities and also provides examples of ways to codify the duties and desired characteristics of the Finance Committee in your bylaws. When working with the Business Manager, the Finance Committee must be both supportive and critical: asking hard questions and supplying relevant evidence.

#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety

CDC: Nearly 2 percent of high school students identify as transgender - and more than one-third of them attempt suicide

This Washington Post article looks at data published this week that shows that nearly 2 percent of high school students in the United States identify as transgender.

5 Ways to Turn Your Teachers' Lounge Into a Motivational Space

  1. This article in the Edvocate elaborates on these five ways to turn your teachers' lounge into a motivational space: Inspirational and motivational quotes.
  2. Celebrate staff birthdays.
  3. Staff kudos.
  4. Teacher share.
  5. Teacher of the month.

#11: Commitment to School Improvement

9 innovation tips from pioneering schools

As part of their awards nomination process, eSchools News asked "What advice would you give to other schools seeking to try new things and redefine teaching and learning?" The article lists nine tips from schools for fellow schools pursuing innovation. A few of which are: take it one step at a time and start small if you need to; be open to feedback from your peers; don't be afraid to start the cultural change at the leadership level; and, don't get caught up in perfection.

#12: Boarding Program

The Geelong College: Building healthy online habits

The Geelong College is an independent co-ed boarding school in Australia. The school monitors and restricts its students' gaming and technology use: games rated higher than 'M' are not permitted; Year 7 to 10 students hand their phones in during study time; at bedtime phones and laptops are handed in; and, students don't have access to their computers until 2:00 pm on weekends. The school also uses DYKNOW software to monitor what students are accessing on the school network and receives a daily internet usage report so that they can identify any students whose use may be of concern, e.g. drug references, self-harm and indecent language.

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