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CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy


Transparency and Modern Nonprofit: What it Means and Why it Matters

Stressing that transparency is a matter of organizational culture and is essential to the trust on which every mission-driven organization depends, the authors of this essay detail four steps to consider to help your school be as transparent as possible with respect to fundraising.

St. Michaels University School Unveils Bold 10-Year Strategic Plan

St. Michaels University School is proud to unveil an ambitious 10-year strategic plan. The plan is called "Floreat", which comes from the Latin for "let flourish," and is built on four Strategic Priorities that encapsulate what the school will focus on to achieve excellence and student success in all areas: Foundation, Preparation for Life, Sustainability and Community. Thank you to Kyle Slavin, Content Marketing Specialist at SMUS for sending this along to us!


#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments


The Outsize Influence of Your Middle-School Friends

This article, which appears in The Atlantic, looks at the intensity of feelings generated by friendship in childhood and adolescence. The author notes that while educators and parents often regard children's friendships as a distraction when kids are problem solving or working together, students collaborate more effectively with their friends. The article also looks at the risks for students who do not have friends and the role of friends in risk-taking behaviour.

Also worth a read: How Strengthening Relationships with Boys Can Help Them Learn


#3: Academic Program


No Excuse Not To Teach Climate Crisis Mitigation And Adaptation

Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, believes that the climate crisis and the rise of artificial intelligence will be the dominant issues in the lives of young people for the next 20 years. He recommends that school leaders take the opportunity to lead community conversations about climate and create forums for young people to move climate action into the centre of the curriculum.

If Your Class Has Tests, You Have to Teach Students How to Study

In this blog post, Dave Stuart Jr. says that teaching learning strategies should be part of every class. Writes Stuart, "if you want your students to put forth the effort, then they need to believe that their effort will pay off." He recommends teaching mini-lessons on the following:

  • What kinds of study environments work best?
  • What review methods are best?
  • How long should study sessions be?


#4: School Leadership


Don't Demonize Employees Who Raise Problems

"Divergent, dissident voices are the key to growth and innovation. Yet some leaders demonize the people, accusing them of being the problem instead of solving the problem that is being raised," writes Nilofer Merchant in this Harvard Business Review article. She provides a rubric that includes several questions leaders should ask to help face challenging situations head-on, the final step of which is to celebrate the agitation instead of the most popular or most productive things that happened in your organization.


#5: Human Resources


Why Focusing On Adult Learning Builds A School Culture Where Students Thrive

This Mind Shift article looks at research from the Harvard Graduate School of Education that found teachers who continue to learn at their jobs are better at creating a growth culture. To get to that type of learning environment, teachers need colleagues who support their growth: "they need to feel safe to be vulnerable, to admit failings or mistakes and to trust that their colleagues are giving feedback in order to help them improve."


#6: School & Community


To Launch or Not to Launch: That is the Question When it Comes to Campaigns

Campaigns should not be considered automatic or undertaken for the wrong reasons, caution the authors of this Schultz & Williams essay. Before committing to a campaign, organizations should think carefully about the opportunity cost, the risk and the cost in time and money. They also identify and elaborate on four essential elements to a successful campaign: committed leadership, organizational infrastructure, a healthy prospect pool, and a compelling case for support.


#7: Enrolment Management


2020 School Marketing Predictions and Wider Trends

The Creative UX Agency offers seven marketing predictions and trends for 2020. The article includes recommendations for marketing to Generation Alpha, customizing digital advertising, and using LinkedIn Events to plan your next alumni event.

Also worth a read: School Admissions and the Importance of the IKEA Hotdog


#8: Governance


Who Really Governs and How: Considering the Impact of the Dominant Coalition

In this Nonprofit Quarterly article, nonprofit governance researchers David O. Renz and Frederick O. Davidson write about the following eight dominant-coalition archetypes, where the Board is ruled by a subsection of some combination of members:
  • True Governing Board.
  • Strong Executive Committee.
  • Founder-Driven Coalition.
  • Executive-Driven Coalition.
  • Funder-Driven Coalition.
  • Profession-Driven Coalition.
  • Blended/Diverse Stakeholder Coalition.
  • Diffuse (and Ineffective) Coalition.
Renz and Davidson say it is important to stress that "dominant coalitions may result in positive or negative consequences - and often they will leave a mixed path of results." They also offer several key questions to ask moving forward.


#9: Finance


West Sound Academy moves to sliding scale tuition model

To increase economic diversity among its student body, West Sound Academy has adopted a sliding-scale tuition model: eliminating financial aid and scholarships and solely basing tuition on a family's financial resources. Barrie Hillman, Head of School, says "we hear stories over and over about families that have kids wanting to attend our school but they self-select out when they see the tuition and the lengthy process required to apply for financial aid. By moving to a Sliding Scale Tuition Model, it opens up this opportunity for more families in the middle of the income ranges in our region, those who might not qualify for aid but can't afford the full tuition rate."


#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety


Those Asian people wearing face masks amid coronavirus fears? They aren't crazy, stupid or ridiculous, Vancouver

There is a great deal of concern about the novel coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and continues to expand. At present, the risk of the virus in Canada is low, and face masks are not considered to be necessary; however, Ian Young explains that ridiculing the decision to wear them ignores the trauma Sars had on a generation of Hongkongers.


#11: Commitment to School Improvement


The KCS Senior School

Kingsway College School will open a new KCS Senior School in September 2021. The school will be located next to Lake Ontario on the second and third floors of a commercial condominium tower. The KCS focus on community, well-being and enriched curriculum will be as evident in the KCS Senior School as it is in the KCS Junior School.


#12: Boarding Program


Butchering names disrespects foreign students, U of A psychology study finds

Ying Shan Zhang is a doctoral student at the University of Alberta who researches the ramifications of mispronouncing names. Zhang recently surveyed 173 international students and found that 75 percent of them said their foreign surnames were mispronounced. Students told Zhang that they understood why mispronunciations happen. Still, they appreciated when people attempted to get them right since their names were part of their identities and that they viewed correct pronunciation as a sign of respect.





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