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Professional Development and Student event statuses are in flux as we respond to the guidance of health officials. View our event updates here.

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CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy

There Are Smart Ways to Use Time to Aid Learning, Research Shows. Why Do So Many Schools Ignore Them?

This Education Week article looks at research that shows the benefits of strategies like starting high school later, teaching math and reading early in the day for elementary school students, and making sure students get a recess break, preferably outside. The article acknowledges that implementing strategies that improve learning can be a logistical challenge for schools.

Also worth a read: What if....

#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments

Meet the next generation of feminist entrepreneurs

After watching the 2017 Women's March, the four Havergal College students profiled in this Toronto Star article founded She Clothing Co., a clothing line that raises money for local community groups. Once they graduate, the students -- who credit their teachers as excellent role models -- plan to pass the running of the company over to the next generation of Havergal students.

Also worth a read: Why Research Says Adolescence Is the Right Time to Focus on Social Action

#3: Academic Program

Research: Simple Metacognitive Strategies to Help Anxious Learners Succeed

Youki Terada writes about the link between anxiety and learning and looks at several research studies that suggest academic performance relies not only on content preparation but also on emotional and psychological preparation. Terada advises educators to be mindful of anxiety-provoking situations and says that brief metacognitive discussions or simple writing exercises can help students prepare emotionally and psychologically to meet challenges.

Also worth a read: How to Limit College Applications - A private high school imposes a limit on how many colleges its students can apply to -- nine -- and says it works.

#4: School Leadership

The College President Who Simply Won't Raise Tuition

Writing for The Atlantic, Andrew Ferguson profiles Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University. Since becoming University President in 2013, Daniels has not raised the cost of a year of undergraduate college from $9,992. As well, the school has reduced the price of food services and textbooks and made significant improvements to its educational quality, financial health and campus.

Also worth a read: More schools are adding pre-K classrooms. But do principals know how to support them?

#5: Human Resources

3 Reasons Students Should Be a Part of Your Professional Learning Day

In this blog post, George Couros, author of The Innovator's Mindset, writes about a district that focuses on involving students in purposeful ways on professional learning days. He believes the student empowerment he witnessed benefitted staff and students by giving students a chance to shine their light to an authentic audience, inspiring new ideas for staff and students, reminding us of why we do what we do.

#6: School & Community

How to Turn Your Entire Staff into a School News Army

The author of this School Webmasters blog post writes, "effective communication begins with gathering evidence for the outcomes and values your school offers." The post offers several suggestions to engage your school staff in creating compelling communications: provide examples of the type of content you'd like to see, create a process to make participation easy, and be sure to recognize and appreciate the behaviours you want to encourage.

Also worth a read: How To Do It All In A Small School Communications Office

#7: Enrolment Management

Working Parents Need a "Parenting Posse"

In this Harvard Business Review article, Senior Editor Alison Beard offers advice for readers who are balancing a career and family. Beard is fortunate to have a "parenting posse," other parents who step in and help when her work and family life conflict. While it is written for parents, schools could add value by helping parents building connections with each other so they can balance work and home lives. As Beard says, "When you engage with a broad swathe of fellow parents, you widen everyone's circle of support."

#8: Governance

Managing Strategic Risks in the Face of the Coronavirus

In this Directors & Boards article, lawyers Dave Brown and Luke Trompeter highlight some risk oversight areas that Boards should consider during the COVID-19 outbreak, including:
  • Risk heat mapping with a view toward potential impacts from the spread of the coronavirus and the reaction to it
  • Regularly review the viability of business interruption or contingency plans and make adjustments as the situation evolves
  • Request updates from management on the impact the coronavirus is having (or may have) on the supply chain.

#9: Finance

2020 School Technology Budget Tips

This Ed Tech Update post details six best practices for school budgeting for IT:

  1. Calculate your total cost of ownership, including the price of operation and support
  2. Standardize tech purchases and consolidate vendors
  3. If someone requests new tech, ask, "Who will be using it? And why?" to prevent overbuying.
  4. Stop paying for unused software
  5. Get rid of old/obsolete tech
  6. Have a transparent, zero-based budget that itemizes each expense and how it directly or indirectly benefits students.

#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety

COVID-19 Resources

We continue to update a COVID-19 resources page in CAIS Connect. We are so grateful that our regional organizations, have generously shared important resources including a Pandemic Response Plan Template, shared by CIS Ontario. The template was developed in consultation with Borden, Ladner, Gervais LLP.

We remind members that CAIS is not a medical authority, nor is this guidance intended as legal advice. Any decisions made by a school should involve its own legal and medical staff in conjunction with local health officials.

#11: Commitment to School Improvement

3 relationships schools shouldn't underestimate in closing opportunity gaps

Julia Freeland Fisher, Director of Education Research at the Clayton Christensen Institute, recognizes the importance of the teacher-student relationship. Beyond this relationship, she recommends that schools foster three other relationships that can offer real value to students -- supporting their healthy development, academic success, and access to opportunity -- and bolster school outcomes: relationships with senior citizens, industry experts and near-peers.

Also worth a read: Improve your teaching by getting feedback from your students

#12: Boarding Program

'I've got to wait half a year to see my parents': Coronavirus is forcing Chinese students to stay at school in the UK over Easter

This article about Chinese students who cannot return home or have their parents visit them for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 outbreak is from the UK, but the situation is similar in Canada. The article highlights the need for extra care for these students.

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