CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: School Purpose

Future-Proofing Students

Writing for ASCD, Michele Borba, an educational psychologist and the author of Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine, identifies seven traits that can help students thrive in an uncertain world. Borba stresses, "These strengths are not fixed nor based on scores, IQs, or zip codes, but teachable abilities that can be woven into daily lessons and help prepare kids for life." Borba offers several corresponding abilities for each trait and details how some schools are approaching this work.

#2: School Leadership

How Women Can Identify Male Allies in the Workplace

The authors of this Harvard Business Review article offer advice to women to help them identify and work with male allies in the workplace. First, they recommend looking for clear indicators of growth and opportunity. Next, actively seek out the individuals you recognize as practicing allyship (the authors caution that women should beware of performative allyship where there is no action behind their words). Finally, reach out to establish a relationship.

#3: Governance

In this blog post, Mike Vachow, Principal of Knuckleball Consulting opines that now is the perfect time for strategic planning. Recognizing that most Boards have spent the last three years focused on the operational tactics that allowed kids and teachers to be safe, Vachow says "A well-organized strategic planning process is a purposeful way to draw a community back together, to review and re-socialize the mission that attracted everyone to the school in the first place and to imagine its growth in the years ahead."

#4: Education Program Foundation

Are We Doomed to a Culture Where Fake News Wins? Not if Schools Can Help It

In this EdSurge article, PK-6 librarian Kimberly Rues recognizes that it is a "monumental task" to guide children to become critical thinkers. She says there are ten types of misleading news and educators should focus on what Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins call "A News Consumer's Skill Set" in their book Fact vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News.

#5: Learning & Teaching

In this ASCD article, Kristina Doubet, a professor at James Madison University, says that while collaboration remains one of the most highly sought-after qualities in the marketplace, the pandemic has caused schools to shift "emphasis to more self-sufficient, self-contained methods of operating." Doubet looks to the business world for characteristics of successful teams and offers practical ways to foster each of these characteristics in K–12 classrooms.

#6: Student Well-Being & Support

How to Get Students Thinking About Their Own Learning

Writing for Edutopia, Nina Parrish, Special Education Teacher and Tutor and the author of The Independent Learner, says, "As early as kindergarten, teachers can instruct students in how to build their metacognitive skills through a process of planning, monitoring, and evaluating their learning." The article includes tools and strategies to incorporate into classrooms.

#7: Essential Concepts

This Editorial in Nature, a weekly international journal, says that chemistry teachers should rethink how the subject is taught and focus more on sustainability and climate science. According to the editorial, "Researchers who study chemistry in education are advocating that curricula be based on a systems-thinking approach. This would teach students both how to understand the connections between the elements that make up a chemical compound or product, and how to quantify chemistry's wider impacts — for example, on the economy and society, the environment and human health."

#8: Custodial Care

According to this Financial Times article, Stonepeak — a US private equity company — will acquire a minority shareholding in Inspired Education. Inspired runs more than 70 fee-paying K-12 schools; has significant business in Spain, Italy and South Africa, and has avoided acquisitions in China. According to the article, Stonepeak is considering additional investments in the sector, "including in pre-primary, higher education, technology and in geographies beyond those covered by Inspired."

#9: Recruitment & Community Engagement

In this Harvard Business Review article, Daisy Auger-Dominguez, Chief People Officer at VICE Media and author of the newly released Inclusion Revolution: The Essential Guide to Dismantling Racial Inequity in the Workplace stresses that missteps are to be expected in DEI work. When that happens, Auger-Dominguez recommends taking full ownership of what happened, connecting with those offended, and using the experience to learn and try to do better. Ultimately, Auger-Dominguez says "Saying something and showing care is always better than saying nothing."

#10: Human Resources

This ISM article recommends using applications as the first data collection point to evaluate job applicants. According to the article, "Applications allow schools to quickly identify candidates who are a mission and strategic fit because application questions more accurately identify skills, attitude, and philosophy than ill-defined resumes." Other benefits include a reduction of bias, a degree of legal protection and the ability to gather relevant data. The article also outlines four steps in a hiring protocol.

#11: Finance

The authors of this Harvard Business Review article say it is important to understand inflationary pressures and supply chain issues. They present seven new strategies for companies to combat longer-lasting inflation. First and foremost, they stress that organizations must understand their entire value chain and its exposure to supply chain shocks.

Also worth a read: Navigating inflation: A new playbook for CEOs, McKinsey

#12: Facilities & Infrastructure

Writing for Tech & Learning, Dr. Lisa Gonzales, Chief Business Officer in the Mt Diablo Unified School District in California, recommends several steps school technology leaders can take to recession-proof their departments and programs. A few suggestions are: be transparent about the costs of maintaining technology, identify positions as essential and tie spending to essential student programs.

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