Expect The Best


Register for the 2020 National Leaders Conference

The National Leaders Conference is your opportunity to interact with a range of senior-level leaders in your network. For 2020, the audience will be 200+ Academic Leaders. Learn more here.

Register for the 2020 Spring Leadership Institute

The CAIS Diploma in Independent School Leadership is designed to prepare participants for senior leadership roles in independent schools. Learn more here.

Apply to the CAIS Strategic Change Accelerator

The CAIS Strategic Change Accelerator provides the guidance and support for school teams planning important innovative change. Learn more here.

CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy

Young People Are Leading the Way on Climate Change, and Companies Need to Pay Attention

Andrew Winston advises some of the world's leading companies on how they can navigate and profit from environmental and social challenges. In this Harvard Business Review article, Winston writes that we are "in the middle of a major re-alignment of values around climate" and considers the role that youth will play in this social movement.

#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments

The growth mindset problem

"Despite extraordinary claims for the efficacy of a growth mindset, however, it's increasingly unclear whether attempts to change students' mindsets about their abilities have any positive effect on their learning at all," writes Carl Hendrick, co-author of What Does This Look Like in the Classroom? Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice in this aeon article.

#3: Academic Program

How to unlock students' internal drive for learning

What are the best classroom strategies to promote an intrinsic drive to learn? In this article, Tara García Mathewson looks at schools that are successfully inspiring intrinsic motivation including 'The Met'. At 'The Met' students learn through real-world, hands-on problem-solving; they tackle open-ended assignments that require sustained effort; they get the power to choose what and how they learn; they finish projects with something to show for their learning in portfolios and concrete products; they set their own academic goals; they need never focus more on a grade than the process of learning because they don't get traditional grades.

#4: School Leadership

My Top 10 Leadership Hacks ... Ever

In this first instalment of his top 10 leadership hacks, Ryan Holmes, CEO at Hootsuite shares lessons he has learned about leadership and building companies. His LinkedIn post includes a few illustrations and interesting titles such as "Commandos, Infantry and Police" and "Laying Tracks In Front of A Moving Train".

#5: Human Resources

14 Signs Change Is Happening at Your School

Cultivating positive changes within schools is one of the biggest challenges school leaders face. This School Leaders Now article details 14 signs that change is happening in your school, a few of which include:

  • Teacher-leaders begin to take over planning, facilitating, and analyzing professional development.
  • One-on-one chats spark school-wide conversations.
  • Teachers hold each other accountable.
  • Staff take fewer sick days.

Finding the Best Fit for the Culture of a School

In this blog post about building culture through hiring, George Couros writes, "in education, the focus is to accelerate the school as a whole, not only the individual. The success of both should be interconnected."

#6: School & Community

5+ Nifty Ways to Market Your School's Spring Commencement

According to Bart Caylor, spring commencement is "pure, education-marketing gold" because "almost all of your marketing audiences are in the same place at the same time". Caylor stresses the importance of planning ahead in order to generate content for your upcoming marketing campaigns and suggests you consider event hashtags, rich content creation, social photography, go live and hero stories.

Also worth a read: What is Your School Website "Hired" To Do

#7: Enrolment Management

How to Build a Successful Enrollment Email Nurturing Program

According to Bright Minds Marketing, your school's marketing strategy needs to include an enrollment email nurturing program. This blog post elaborates on these best practices to build an effective program: define smaller goals, personalize your content, have at least seven touches with a prospective family, build relationships with your prospects and use analytics to identify areas of improvement.

#8: Governance

Is Your Company's Board of Directors Cyber Savvy?

Every company should expect that at some point it will experience a data breach. This article states that "every board member should make sure that he or she is fully up to speed on the cybersecurity risks faced by the company and understand what the company is doing to effectively manage and respond to those risks."

Action Minutes Make Sure Good Ideas Do Not Get Away

This ISM article stresses the importance of "action minutes" for Boards. Action minutes turn casual suggestions into agreed on tasks and "force members to be specific and assign responsibility for following up on good ideas."

#9: Finance

6 Negotiation Skills for the Office of Finance

According to this FEI article, negotiation is one of the most valuable skills finance professionals can learn. The article elaborates on the following principles of negotiation:

  1. Make it competitive
  2. Build Rapport
  3. Create a Plan and Communicate It
  4. Communicate Your Expectations
  5. Understand the Vendor's Needs
  6. Keep Open Lines of Communication

#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety

Safety & Security: Are Your Auxiliary Programs Prepared for an Emergency?

Writing for Net Assets, Brandon Perry, Director of Facilities Services and Transportation at Phoenix Country Day School, stresses the importance of evaluating and preparing your school's emergency plans for after-school, evening and weekend programs for students and the surrounding community. Some key things to consider include communication, training, attendance, reunification plans and identification of key personnel (and their backups) for key roles.

Montreal and McGill University Become Blue Communities

The Ville de Montréal and McGill University have received Blue Community certification. To obtain this certification, they have undertaken to recognize water and sanitation as human rights, to promote publicly managed water services and to ban or phase out the sale of bottled water in their buildings and at their events. McGill is the fourth university in the world to obtain this certification.

#11: Commitment to School Improvement

Creating Authentic Partnerships For Your School (One Email at a Time)

In this blog post, A. J. Juliani provides plenty of suggestions to help schools get started building partnerships with organizations, in order to provide students with authentic learning experiences.

Cultivating Long Lasting, School-Wide Relationships for Students

In this School Leaders Now article, elementary school principal Eliza Burns writes about how her school helped students build relationships, a skill that they will carry into adulthood. She stresses that planning connection opportunities for students is challenging and time consuming and it is important to be flexible for growth to build school relationships.

#12: Boarding Program

The shift of Vietnamese students to Canada marches on

According to University World News, a steady growth in Vietnamese student enrolment in Canada is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Japan set for "first European-style" boarding school

A "first European-style" boarding school for primary pupils is expected to open in Japan next year. Jinseki International School will provide a Japanese-English dual-language, multicultural educational environment. The firm behind the school is Next Educational Environment Development, led by Minako Suematsu. In an effort to attract international students, Suematsu has hosted seminars in Seoul and Taipei.

More international students than ever are studying in Canada, starting in high school

This CTV News article looks at international education in Canada and the growing trend of school boards actively recruiting international students.

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