CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: School Purpose

With Passion and Purpose: A Strategic Plan for Collingwood

This week, Collingwood School launched With Passion and Purpose: A Strategic Plan for Collingwood, following a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process. The five-year plan -- which was launched virtually with this video along with a digital copy -- takes a student-centred approach to ensuring students are prepared for the complex world that awaits them. The plan features four pillars: Forward Focused Learning, Building Community, Wellness, and Sustainability.

#2: School Leadership

School Leadership and the Orpheus Process

In this blog post, David Willows, Director of Advancement at the International School of Brussels, writes about Orpheus Leadership. Named after the Orpheus Orchestra, Willows says this leadership process "is rooted in the idea that people engaged in complex tasks will often do better without someone at the front telling them what to do and how to act." Willows cites eight principles of Orpheus Leadership and stresses, "We simply cannot speak of empowering those around us without also creating the systems or structures for horizontal teams can flourish."

#3: Governance

A User's Guide to Open Strategy

This Harvard Business review article includes a framework that the authors call "The Open Strategy Decision Tree" that strategy-makers can use to ensure that they benefit from outside perspectives while maintaining appropriate levels of secrecy. They write that strategy is developed in three distinct phases: idea generation, formulation, and execution and highlight the importance of choosing the right tools for engaging with outside participants.

#4: Education Program Foundation

Here's How Parents and Teachers Can Help in the Battle Against Bullying

Writing for Education Post, Pamela Roggeman, Dean of the College of Education at the University of Phoenix, says that because children cannot focus on learning if they do not feel safe, the number one responsibility of parents and educators is to keep kids safe. Roggeman stresses, "It is much harder for a child to be a bully when they know they are being seen. I have never met a child who wanted to disappoint the adults who love and care for them. It is our responsibility as parents and teachers to truly see all aspects of our kids, not just the 'shiny' parts."

#5: Learning & Teaching

SEL isn't one more thing on the plate -- it IS the plate

This SmartBrief article is written by three researchers in the field of social and emotional learning: Kim Schonert-Reichl, Jenna Whitehead and Jennifer Kitil. They stress that learning can't happen when the brain is under stress and cite research that found students who participated in SEL programs "not only improved in their social and emotional skills, attitudes and behaviors, but they also had an 11% gain in their academics." For the article, they curated several evidence-based solutions and strategies.

#6: Student Well-Being & Support

Kids Are Feeling Isolated. P.E. May Help Them Bounce Back

Sarah D. Sparks, Assistant Editor at Education Week, looks at new research presented this week at the Society for Neuroscience's virtual annual conference that shows physical activity time may help students rebound from the social isolation many have experienced during the pandemic. While the neuroscience studies used animals, Sparks says their findings mirror similar research on human children.

#7: Essential Concepts

Want to reach out to an Indigenous scholar? Awesome! But first, here are 10 things to consider

Jesse Popp, Assistant Professor, Chair in Indigenous Environmental Science, School of Environmental Studies, University of Guelph, authored this article in The Conversation. As an Indigenous scholar, Popp is regularly inundated with requests for input and assistance. In this article, Popp shares ten important considerations for those who wish to reach out respectfully to Indigenous scholars.

#8: Custodial Care

What universities can do to advance student belonging

Written by Associate Director Alexa Silverman, this EAB article is about post-secondary students. Still, many of its key points apply to boarding students. Silverman says the academic literature and research on the importance of belonging identifies three key drivers:
  1. Close relationships with faculty.
  2. Engaged and active learning.
  3. Cocurricular and extracurricular participation.
Underrepresented and minoritized students are less likely to feel like they belong, so Silverman stresses that school leaders must extend programs and opportunities that advance belongingness and create campuses where every student can belong.

#9: Recruitment & Community Engagement

Telling Your Story

In this blog post, Brad Rathgeber, Head of School & CEO at One Schoolhouse, writes about the importance of bridging the gap between advancement work and the classroom. Writes Rathgeber, "When donors meet with a development officer that authentically represents programs, full of real anecdotes, they are much more likely to give. At the same time, Academic Leaders become more trusting of their colleagues in the development office when communication is open and direct. Effective partnership between the advancement office and Academic Leaders is essential to the school's mission-aligned success."

#10: Human Resources

Three Actions for Building a Culture of Collective Efficacy

In this ASCD blog post, Sarah Sugarman, Regional Director at Lead by Learning, writes about the importance of intentionally building a culture of collective efficacy and identifies three actions to help school leaders get started. First, embed a routine practice of public learning. Second, periodically pause to reflect and celebrate teacher learning over time. Third, use knowledge management tools to help make teacher learning visible.

#11: Finance

Once Again! What Are the Best Risk Levels for Your Nonprofit's Investments in a COVID 19 environment and after it?

Dr. Eugene Fram, Professor Emeritus at Saunders College of Business, Rochester Institute of Technology, has served on twelve non-profit Boards. In this blog post, Dr. Fram offers some prompts and guidelines to help develop investment policies during and after COVID-19.

#12: Facilities & Infrastructure

Why Schools Need to Look at Their Own Carbon Footprint

Laura Schifter is a Harvard Graduate School of Education lecturer and a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute, where she founded K12 Climate Action. For this Usable Knowlege article, Schifter spoke with Andrew Bauld about the Institute's recently produced K12 Climate Action Plan. The plan reveals the surprising impact K–12 schools have on the environment and what they can do to be greener. You can read the K12 Climate Action Plan here.

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