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CAIS Top 12 - Archived
#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
Rob Waters is the author of this article in The Atlantic. He writes that despite the excitement "there's little strong evidence that classroom technology, including personalized learning, is improving educational outcomes." Waters interviews Paul France who left AltSchool to teach at a traditional private school. While he still uses technology, France says he is for minimizing it, "you use technology to remove a barrier. And the question always should be: Is the tech in my classroom going to preserve or enhance human connection?"
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
In this piece in The Hechinger Report, Carma Hobgood writes, "it's an ironic twist: The very behaviors that educators often work to suppress in the classroom may be critical to students' success in the workforce." Hobgood elaborates on three classroom management strategies to prepare students for the new economy: create simulations that allow students to step into the shoes of a leader, build interdependency and help all students identify their unique value to the group.
Also worth a read: Changing How Educators See Negative Experiences in the Classroom
#3: Academic Program
Andy Hargreaves, Research Professor in Education, Boston College and Pasi Sahlberg, Professor of Education Policy, UNSW co-authored this article in The Conversation. They write "We need to make math as much a priority now as literacy has been. We need to get teachers in primary or elementary schools just as comfortable as well as competent with math and how to teach it successfully to all children as they are with reading in their lives as well as in their classes." Some of their suggestions include addressing how confident and comfortable elementary teachers feel about math, thinking about how to attract more people with math and science backgrounds into elementary teaching and providing coaching to teachers.
Andrew Miller is the Instructional Coach at Shanghai American School. Writing for Edutopia, Miller says that an interview or informal chat is often a better option than a test for assessing students: "Instead of always thinking that an assessment must be a big deal, we can use conversations to assess students in low-stress, low-stakes ways. We can choose to make such conversations formal or informal, but we should come to them prepared to ask students questions to gauge their level of understanding."
#4: School Leadership
This ISM article acknowledges that there is no single way to lead well but cautions that there are a few leadership missteps for academic leaders to avoid: not communicating the school's vision, not acting as a coach to your team and not taking the time for your own professional development.
In this LinkedIn post, Daniel Goleman writes, "employee engagement is only half the responsibility of the employer - the employee has the other half. And employees can take steps to become more motivated-for example by better aligning their work with their goals." To up your engagement Goleman recommends taking on projects that excite you but may feel slightly beyond your reach, developing questions to ask yourself daily that align with your goals, taking brief breaks throughout the day and attention training.
Also worth a read: Communicating Your Succession Plan with Customers, Clients, and Shareholders
#5: Human Resources
This School Webmasters blog post stresses that building a positive school culture is worth the efforts. A school's culture exists because of its people, so it makes sense to start by surveying staff and students to find out their perception of the culture of your school. Once you have identified any areas that require improvement, the post offers ideas to support and energize positive school culture. Also, don't forget to share stories about your positive school culture with your school community.
#6: School & Community
Writing for npENGAGE David H. King, President & CEO of Alexander Haas, a leading nonprofit fundraising counsel, provides some strategies to keep in mind for end-of-year giving campaigns: set a clear, realistic goal for every campaign, determine and segment your target audience and plan ahead to thank existing donors and collect information on potential donors.
Also worth a read: 10 WAYS TO INSTANTLY MAKE YOUR BLOG BETTER!
#7: Enrolment Management
Worth a look: The Daily Jolt newsletter from InspirED School Marketers shared the Hackley School's financial aid page: Affording Hackley as an excellent example of explaining affordability.
Mike McGill is head of school at The Northwest School, a grades 6-12 college preparatory school in Seattle. A core piece of Northwest's mission is its commitment to environmental sustainability, and the school's last strategic plan specifically called for every effort to align the school's environmental practices with its values. He details how this commitment extends to the school's purchasing policy, dining, facilities, transportation and investment policy. Writes McGill, "Now that we have made this commitment, it feels like a no-brainer. The world is facing an existential crisis... We feel it is non-negotiable that the practice of sustainable living be a part of children's learning. Most leadership in sustainable investing thus far has been in higher education. Independent secondary schools bear the same responsibility. We believe we can reap returns while doing good."
Also worth a read: How to Tie Executive Compensation to Sustainability
Also worth a read: "Grow and Then Get More Efficient"
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
This article appears in the Parenting section of the Washington Post, but it is a good read for educators as well. It stresses the importance of giving kids clear messages about 'roasting', particularly online. A key difference between roasting and bullying, according to Donald A. Moses, psychiatrist and co-author of Raising Independent, Self-confident Kids" is that "when it is roasting, the victim volunteers."
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
Exit interviews and attrition surveys are valuable planning tools that can provide data-based strategic actions to take. This ISM article states that while exit surveys can help maintain relationships, attrition surveys are more likely to provide honest feedback. The article stresses that surveys must be well-designed, short and only ask questions that will result in usable data.
#12: Boarding Program
According to this ICEF article "both agents and educators have reported a steady increase over the past three years in the number of students recruited via digital channels." The article provides ideas for how to use online strategies to inform, engage, and attract international students.