CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: School Purpose

Setting Goals for 2022: Here's Where to Start

Acknowledging that setting new goals for your school might seem daunting, this ISM article stresses that "Having clear goals helps motivate and unify your school community, improving everyone's well-being and fulfilling your mission statement." The article includes several ways to get started on creating realistic goals: reflect, consider what is realistic, base your goals on your school's mission and values, and prioritize the most critical goals.

#2: School Leadership

12 Leadership Lessons in (Another) Year to Forget

Lamenting that "2021 was just 2020: Season 2", David Willows, Director of Advancement at the International School of Brussels, offers 12 leadership and life lessons from another year to forget. The list -- which is not entirely serious -- begins with "Overhoping is a word" and will likely have you nodding along in agreement.

#3: Governance

10 Tactics to Keep Your Meeting on Track

Writing for the Harvard Business Review, communications expert Joel Schwartzberg says, "some of the most valuable meeting tips may also be the least well-known because they're not about the meeting structure, participants, or even the agenda; they're about how the meeting leader prepares for the meeting and communicates throughout it." Schwartzberg offers ten communication tactics leaders can use to ensure that critical points are raised and discussed effectively and efficiently.

#4: Education Program Foundation

5 education innovation trends worth watching in 2022

In this post, Julia Freeland Fisher, director of education research at the Clayton Christensen Institute, says she is excited about long-overdue innovations emerging this coming year and elaborates on five trends that she will be watching this year:
  1. Leveraging pandemic infrastructure could open up classrooms to the real world.
  2. Investing in durable skills and durable networks could future proof pathways.
  3. New student-centered assessments could reveal more authentic skills and relationship data.
  4. Family-to-family tools could disrupt school-centric family engagement.
  5. Career services for credit? Third-party providers could make a dent.

#5: Learning & Teaching

The Many Benefits of Strengths-Based IEPs

In this Edutopia article, Kara Loftin, Head of School at The Craig School, looks at the benefits of strengths-based individualized education programs (IEPs), writing, "Approaching IEPs from a strengths-based perspective does not sugarcoat the struggles that students with exceptionalities may face. It's a way to shift the language we use to describe the needs of our students, and ultimately it leads to higher investment in their educational, social, and emotional growth." Loftin offers six things to consider when drafting IEP goals and stresses that teachers should encourage parents to be active participants in the IEP process.

#6: Student Well-Being & Support

School uniforms don't improve child behavior, study finds

A new U.S. national study of more than 6,000 school-age children has found that school uniforms don't seem to affect young students' behaviour or overall attendance. However, students feel less sense of belonging when uniforms are required. Arya Ansari, lead author of the study and assistant professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University, said there hasn't been much research done on the value of school uniforms in the past 20 years and "a lot of the core arguments about why school uniforms are good for student behavior don't hold up in our sample."

#7: Essential Concepts

5 ways adults can boost kids' well-being -- and their own -- as schools return from break in a Covid surge

The author of this CNN article, Phyllis L. Fagell, a licensed clinical professional counsellor and the author of Middle School Matters, spoke with psychologist Suniya Luthar, whose recent study on risk and resilience in middle and high school students found that parental support is the most important variable in every ethnic group. Although the article is written for parents, it is a good read for all adults raising, educating and working with children. The article also includes five ways adults can help themselves and the children in their care.

#8: Custodial Care

Year in review: What we learned in 2021

ICEF Monitor looks at the year gone by and shares some important insights, including that the sector is resilient with lessons learned during COVID, resulting in new program options for international students and new ways of recruiting students. Another insight is that in-person is still key: "The firsthand experience of study abroad – and everything that suggests in terms of living new cultures, forming friendships, and building networks abroad – remains a key driver of student demand."

#9: Recruitment & Community Engagement

Should You Use TikTok for School Marketing in 2022?

This Schneider B Media blog post considers the use of the video-sharing app TikTok for school marketing. The post says "TikTok is being used by all age groups. As a matter of fact, 29 percent of TikTok users are parents with children between the ages of 6 and 18 years. Parents look to TikTok to learn more about what is happening in their children's world and discover new products and services for their families to enjoy." The post also includes 12 tips to help schools start using TikTok for marketing.

#10: Human Resources

Rather than focusing on teacher burn out, let's talk about teacher 'burn in'

In this Toronto Star opinion piece, Melissa Corrente says, "programs and services offered to teachers aimed at improving their mental health are focused primarily on the individual level. Placing the burden on teachers to 'fix themselves' when the problem is systemic is not only unhelpful — it is also unethical." Instead, Corrente recommends changing the conversation to teacher "burn in", which she says leads us to focus on what's right in education, and contributes to positive thinking and resilience.

#11: Finance

How Partnering with Outside Organizations Benefits Students and Families

This blog post, written by Jason Cummings, Director of Student Programs at Global Online Academy and Nat Saltonstall, Executive Director of SPARC, highlights four reasons why schools offering summer programs should partner with one another or with outside organizations. One reason is that partnering reduces overhead and financial risk. Cummings and Saltonstall write, "A well-managed program or partnership isn't going to have an infinite appetite for risk and overhead, but partnering almost certainly relieves the individual school of some of the financial risk of going it alone."

#12: Facilities & Infrastructure

One State's Bet on 'Green Schools' to Prep Grads for Future $1.4 Billion Industry

This article in The 74 looks at the student-operated A+ Garden Centre at Parkside High School in Maryland, where students do all the work, from planting to sales to online promotions for more than 100,000 plants. Jerry Kelley, the horticulture instructor who leads the program, says, "Our mission is really just to provide opportunities for students to get involved in every aspect of the green industry, of the environment, where they feel comfortable, and where they have a path, where they have a passion."

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