#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy
A Blueprint for Education's Post-Pandemic Future
In this Education Reimagined post, CAIS Learning Series facilitator and author Grant Lichtman acknowledges that many educators had their efforts to transform their schools sidelined by the pandemic and offers three starting points for leaders to re-take ownership in that desire for transformation. Lichtman also stresses that "empowered leaders will rise to the occasion and relish the opportunity to be more strategic about designing a better future for their school, as we enter the post-COVID world."
#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments
This reading program forged a bond between prisoners and prep school students
This upcoming episode of "This is Life with Lisa Ling" looks very interesting. It will look at a transformative program called "Exercises in Empathy", which connects students from Palma School, a private prep school for boys in grades 7-12, and their parents with inmates to study a novel. Airs Sunday at 9:00 PM ET on CNN.
Worth a read: I Teach Art to Students With Trauma. These Are the Strategies I Use to Support Them.
#3: Academic Program
REMOTE LEARNING: Rapid Literature Review
This rapid literature review, which is part of a broader research partnership between The Evidence Institute and the Australian Council for Educational Research, identifies effective practice in remote learning and synthesizes key evidence relevant to education in Australia during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The review highlights four key themes that underpin all good pedagogical practices regardless of the mode of delivery or context:
- Quality of teaching matters.
- The role of technology.
- Context is important.
- The home learning environment.
#4: School Leadership
4 ways to seal education's missing link during COVID-19
Writing for the Christensen Institute, senior research fellow Thomas Arnett says he hopes that "some of the challenges brought on by COVID-19 will necessitate improvements in the home and school interface, and that these improvements will last beyond the pandemic." To make the home and school interface a key priority, he suggests schools start by doing four things:
- Make real-time learning progress transparent.
- Leverage communication technologies wherever possible.
- Create more time for connection.
- Give guidance on learning at home.
Also worth a read: Jeff Bezos Says There Are 2 Kinds of Failure and You Should Only Tolerate 1
#5: Human Resources
Managing Employees in the COVID Age
Much of the information in Managing Employees in the COVID Age
by Eric M. Roher, Senior Counsel, Labour & Employment Group, BLG, is Ontario-specific. However, Roher says it is not likely that employers will be able to make an anticipated COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for their staff. That said, once Health Canada approves a vaccine, an employer could "strongly recommend that employees take the vaccine, subject to advice from their doctor".
#6: School & Community
7 Ways to Thank People in Your Network
In this Harvard Business Review article, tech founder and author Evan Baehr writes that "expressing gratitude to others takes a certain kind of noticing." He offers these seven practices of gratitude to consider and provides many great examples of how to do so:
- Send a specific thank-you note.
- Send something fun.
- Make an introduction.
- Offer to help — and deliver.
- Circle back at a later date.
- Send a video note.
- Make a good old-fashioned phone call.
Interested in setting up a Parents as Partners series? The article Building Better Relationships With Parents at the Classroom, School, and District Level offers some actionable steps.
#7: Enrolment Management
Determining Optimum School Enrollment Size
In this Net Assets article, Rick Fleck, the retired CFO of the Portledge School, provides suggestions to help schools determine their optimum enrolment number. Fleck cautions, "Without an understanding of and agreement on a school's faculty/student ratio and/or a goal and plan to work toward an agreed upon ratio, enrollment changes can result in resource allocations which are not in the best interests of the school's stated mission."
The path ahead: How might we prepare now for year-round school?
Award-winning superintendent and educator Devin Vodicka believes educators should anticipate and prepare for year-round school for the foreseeable future. He writes, "now is the time to deploy a small number of pods and microschools, learn from those pilots, and be prepared to launch them more broadly to create year-round learning options." He offers several recommendations for school leaders to consider right now to develop a plan for summer program options that may include five modes of schooling: full-distance learning, pods, microschools, hybrid, and full in-person.
Leon's received almost $30 million in government handouts — now it's posting record profits and boosting the amount it pays to shareholders
According to this Toronto Star article, Leon's met the government's eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, which "was designed to help companies on the brink of collapse survive the pandemic and to help employees keep their jobs" and received $29.8 million. However, Leon's did not immediately rehire employees let go when the pandemic hit and by "staying lean" for a few months, the company was able to report record profits. The author calls the company's behaviour "disappointing" and takes a close look at the timeline of events.
#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety
Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030
Lehigh University recently released its 2030 Sustainability Strategic Plan. The school says, "the plan builds on a legacy of integrating financially prudent, just, and verdant practices into our administrative, academic, and operational processes." The plan consists of 113 goals within six focus areas: climate action, campus operations, culture and engagement, educational experience, health and wellness, and focused leadership. Lehigh intends to accomplish all of the goals, which range from being near-term to longer-term, by 2030.
#11: Commitment to School Improvement
Connecting Students in a Disconnected World
In this Cult of Pedagogy blog post, Jennifer Gonzalez writes that setting aside time for social interaction is essential, now more than ever. She provides a list of ideas for generating more high-quality social interactions between students, whether they're remote or socially distanced in person. Gonzalez stresses the importance of fun, writing, "laughter is one of the best ways to relieve stress and build community, and has there ever been a time when we needed both of those things more? Setting aside time for students to just have fun together is a very good use of time."
#12: Boarding Program
Students relying more on education agents for assistance with study abroad decisions
This ICEF Monitor looks at a new report from QS that shows international students are relying more than ever on agents in their decision-making about study abroad. According to the article, "students are increasingly influenced by agents' recommendations, and educators who know how to integrate agents into their international marketing plans stand to gain an important edge in target countries." The report also stresses the importance of admissions staff finding to find ways to communicate with students directly.
Also worth a read: Info on Nova Scotia site of Scottish boarding school Gordonstoun shared at Cornwallis Park session