#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
While a digital learning program cannot replace the experiences students should have in the classroom, Khan Academy's new Mastery System can "effectively take over some of our instructional tasks-like differentiating lessons based on student readiness, assessing individual skills, and assigning tasks to fill gaps-so that we can focus our time on planning and implementing those activities that build relationships and engage students at higher levels." This Cult of Pedagogy post gives an overview of how the Mastery System works, noting that it is available for free and accessible to anyone who wants it.
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
Calling all Schools! Let's celebrate Earth Month with the 2019 Recycle My Cell Earth Month Challenge!
More than 60% of Canadians have cell phones that they aren't currently using. The Recycle My Cell Earth Month Challenge is a great way to keep these phones out of landfills. An added bonus: schools get the opportunity to win up to $1,000. Visit the website to find out how to participate, what can be collected and what happens to the phones that are collected.
Female teens feel less equal as they grow up: survey
A recent survey, commissioned by Plan International Canada found that "six out of 10 Canadian girls between the ages of 14 and 17 feel they have the same opportunity as men to lead," however" by the time they are 18 to 24 years old, only 36 percent believe they have that same opportunity." These results suggest that while schools are successfully creating gender-equal environments, systemic barriers remain.
#3: Academic Program
The Creativity of ADHD
Students with ADHD often experience difficulties, especially if they are expected to sit still and pay attention. However, this Scientific American article looks at a new study which "suggests that ADHD may be especially beneficial when the goal is to create or invent something new without being locked into - and constrained by - old models or conventions. The innovative, original thinking style of people with ADHD may be a great fit for innovative fields where it's an advantage to be on the cutting edge."
Also worth a read: 1 in 3 students with ADHD receive no school interventions
The Stigma of Choosing Trade School Over College
"In the United States, college has been painted as the pathway to success for generations, and it can be, for many. Many people who graduate from college make more money than those who do not. But the rigidity of this narrative could lead parents and students alike to be shortsighted as they plan for their future careers," writes Meg St-Esprit for The Atlantic. The article addresses the misconceptions that persist about vocational careers and recommends exposing students to the possibility of vocational training early to "help students and parents alike see a variety of paths to a successful future."
#4: School Leadership
Principal gets student's view of life at Case High during 'shadow' day
High school principal Brian McCann recently spent a day shadowing freshman Ethan Gonsalves. In this article, McCann talks about his takeaways from the day, one of which is that the schedule his students follow is challenging, "by 12:15 I was so hungry I could have eaten my watch. The day is exhausting so it made me think, how can there be a pause in the day?" As for Gonsalves, he appreciated that McCann took the time to see the school from the students' perspective.
Students Post Swastikas During Presentation at Elite Sidwell Friends Prep School
Following a presentation on Wednesday, students at the elite Sidwell Friends school played an online learning game called Kahoot, using their phones to answer questions that were projected on a large screen. According to Time magazine, "among the usernames projected on to the screens were two that included swastikas and several that were racist toward Asians and Native Americans." The article includes the letter that Bryan Garman, the Head of the school, sent to parents following the incident.
#5: Human Resources
The Wisdom of Those Closest To Students
George Couros recently asked readers of his blog for their thoughts on how to best empower educators to serve the individual needs of their students. A reader named Jeffrey responded with "I'd say the #1 thing we need is common sense, articulated policies that teachers have a say in creating and that we agree are based on realities in the 2019 classroom." In response to this comment, Couros suggests asking educators to merely "make decisions in the best interest of serving the students in front of you," cautioning that too many rules can lead to negative consequences for students, and that when people are micromanaged they are less likely to go above and beyond what is expected.
Also worth a read: How Adobe Puts the Employee At The Center Of Their Global Well-Being Program
#6: School & Community
The End of the Beginning of Online Giving
Writing for npENGAGE, Steve MacLaughlin, Vice President of Data & Analytics at Blackbaud and bestselling author of Data Driven Nonprofits advises, "Let's stop acting like online giving is still a new thing - it's not. Let's start embracing the fact that the next 20 years will bring tremendous digital transformation in the nonprofit sector. Let's continue to focus on delivering multichannel giving experiences for donors." The blog post provides plenty of data on online giving and offers some predictions for the future.
What Fundraisers Can Learn from Direct Marketing
Stacy Rooney is a principal business consultant at Blackbaud and an annual giving expert. In this article, also from npENGAGE, Rooney recommends applying the following direct marketing ideas to promote philanthropic giving:
- Track the effectiveness of your campaigns.
- Apply A/B testing to your materials.
- Segmentation works.
- Harness the power of the personal appeal.
#7: Enrolment Management
Stand Out with High-Touch Enrollment Marketing
In this blog post, Bart Caylor encourages schools to engage in high-touch enrolment marketing: getting to know its prospective students on a personal level. While technology and automation can give your marketing a personal touch, they cannot replace the personal interaction with an enrolment professional. To increase enrolment numbers, Caylor believes it is especially important to place strategic "touches" in the parts of your enrolment process where you experience the most friction.
Good Governance: The Foundation for Good Schools
In this Getting Smart post, Tom Vander Ark writes about the importance of great governance for charter schools. To succeed, schools require a strategic, effective, diverse, and engaged board. In the article, Vander Ark quotes Carrie Irvin, CEO and co-founder of nonprofit Charter Board Partners: "Boards hold in their hands the ability-the responsibility-to hold schools accountable for academic outcomes for students, and for being well run organizations financially and operationally."
Build the Board You Need to Succeed
In this blog post, Adam Hartzell recommends that organizations go beyond the Board Member matrix to map out Board recruitment. Consider the skills that are truly needed to achieve extraordinary results and tie Board development to supporting the key strategic objectives.
Strategies: the Magic Binder
In this Net Assets blog post, Jayme Karolyi, Director of Finance at The Shipley School writes that "the magic binder" is the best process implemented in her 19 years in the school's business office. Reconciling every number on the balance sheet and putting it in a binder each month ensures that proper accounting functions have taken place, minimizes the risk of mistakes and reduces the amount of time that auditors need.
Also worth a read: Private School Endowments Return 7.4% in 2018 (US) and Elite UK school fees paid via tax haven firms, leak reveals
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
How cold is too cold for outdoor recess? Guidelines vary across Canada
When it comes to outdoor recess how is too cold and how is that determined? According to Global News, most provinces opt for an indoor recess when the temperatures are between -20 C and -28 C - with or without wind chill - but up north, students are sent outside in temperatures as low as -50.
Also worth a read: Whooping cough outbreak declared at Moncton High School
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
10 things I do to boost my students' self-esteem
To ensure that students feel safe and cared for eSchool News recommends 10 strategies, a few of which are: greet every child at the door with a smile and say his or her name, ask a question of the day to kick start your morning and touch base with every child, encourage students to advocate for themselves and provide opportunities to give feedback to students-not just grades.
#12: Boarding Program
Students from India now outnumber those from China at Canadian schools
This article is about the number of international students from India attending Canadian universities. In 2018, 172,000 Indian citizens held a Canadian study permit compared to 142,000 from China.