Expect The Best


Register for the CAIS National Leaders Conference

Register today to join us virtually on April 12-16 for the 2021 National Leaders Conference: Positive Transformation: Reframing our Relevance.

This year we are offering two distinct conference experiences - one for Academic leaders and one for Operations leaders - all for one school fee with unlimited attendees! Find out more here.

COVID-19 Resources & School Samples

CAIS members can view up to date COVID-19 resources and school samples here.

CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy

We Build Boring Schools, Then We Put Them Online--Science Has The Fix

Writing for Forbes, Getting Smart CEO Tom Vander Ark critiques the American system of education and says that the pandemic has "made clear that learner experience (LX) is an invention opportunity." Vander Ark details 12 factors that highlight the importance of supportive learning environments and sustained relationships and stresses,"the opportunity is not about working harder, it's creating smarter systems."

#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments

Operation Remembrance 2020: Youth of Canada Honour and Respect our Veterans

Determined to find a way for youth to remember and respect our veterans during the pandemic, six schools from across Canada came together to research and develop a video to honour our veterans. Four of the schools are CAIS Schools: King's-Edgehill School, West Point Grey Academy, Selwyn House, and Sacred Heart School of Montreal. The video can be watched heresequentially or in segments.

#3: Academic Program

How Conferencing for Assessment Benefits Students During Hybrid Learning

"In the hybrid model, many teachers have found success in providing students with more voice and choice in their learning activities. However, with this increased flexibility, traditional methods of assessment fail to hold up. Gone are the days of taking points off for a wrong answer or writing a task-specific rubric," writes teacher Emma Chiappetta in this Edutopia article. She recommends that teachers use a skills-based rubric and one-on-one conferencing to get a clear sense of what students are learning.

#4: School Leadership

Talking About Mental Health with Your Employees — Without Overstepping

Writing for Harvard Business Review, Deborah Grayson Riegel says, "Managers have a responsibility to their employees to create an open, inclusive, and safe environment that allows them to bring their whole selves to work". She stresses that leaders at all levels must address mental health proactively, strategically and thoughtfully and details three ways to start the conversation without overstepping: talk about health holistically, be a bridge to resources, rather than being the resource yourself, and listen really well.

Also worth a read: Principals Are Stressed and Anxious, Especially Now. Here's 10 Things They Can Do

#5: Human Resources

How to Modify Your Expectations for Teachers in Light of COVID-19

To create a school atmosphere that is supportive and predictive for teachers, which leads to a better experience for students, ISM recommends that school leadership teams set "Essential Expectations" for teachers. The article lists traditional Essential Expectations and says that while many can still apply, it is important to clarify any changes necessitated by the pandemic.

#6: School & Community

Communicating Through a Crisis

Led by two communications professors, a research team interviewed institution leaders to find out how they communicated with their school community during the pandemic. Most leaders believe developing guiding values and statements of ethics could help institutions navigate the crisis better than developing robust and complicated plans. Smaller institutions were able to be more personal in their efforts to support mental health, but they couldn't offer as much flexibility to their students.

#7: Enrolment Management

Experience Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School Without Leaving Your Car!

This Sunday, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall, a day and boarding school for grades 9-12, will host an interactive Drive-Thru Open House. Visitors will follow a tour route through the school's 42-acre campus and will be able to use their smartphone to learn more about the school's students, campus, and approach to teaching and learning.

#8: Governance

Strengthening institutional risk and integrity culture

The authors of this McKinsey article write, "in our experience, those organizations that have developed a mature risk and integrity culture outperform peers through economic cycles and in the face of challenging external shocks. At the same time, companies with strong risk cultures are less likely to suffer from self-inflicted wounds, in the form of operational mistakes or reputational difficulties, and have more engaged and satisfied customers and employees." The article explores the steps involved in setting up an effective risk-culture program, when to launch such a program, and the five essential characteristics that leaders should put in place as part of their focus on risk culture.

#9: Finance

In order to settle its debts, Quest University sells off campus

Quest University, which brands itself as Canada's first independent, not-for-profit, secular university, has made a deal to sell off its campus and lease the buildings back from Primacorp Ventures, Canada's largest independent education provider. The school is currently under financial protection granted by the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act; assuming the courts approve the deal, "Quest's faculty will continue to deliver the program, while Primacorp will provide services for student recruitment, marketing, fundraising and other support."

#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety

Northern College Partners to Take Action on Porcupine Lake

After looking for an opportunity to improve the connection of the Timmins Campus to the surrounding natural environment, Northern College has partnered with the City of Timmins and The Friends of the Porcupine River Watershed to improve conditions in and around Porcupine Lake. Potential activities may include planting indigenous plants to help repair the ecosystem, measuring contamination in local snow dumps, and creating an Indigenous sacred garden with traditional and local Indigenous plants that are essential to the teachings and healings of Indigenous peoples of the area.

#11: Commitment to School Improvement

Using a School News Program to Promote Positivity During the Pandemic

In this Edutopia article, STEAM Coordinator Ashley Blackwelder writes about her school's morning news program, which she says is a low-cost way to promote student engagement, collaboration and morale. The article includes strategies and resources for schools to start their own newscast.

#12: Boarding Program

U.S. election creates uptick in Chinese international students opting for Canada: Consultant

Immigration consultant Lily Zheng told the Richmond News that there has been an uptick in Chinese international students and refugees considering relocating to Canada since the U.S. election polls closed. According to the article, Zheng says, "the high number of COVID-19 cases and a lurch toward anti-Asian racism fueled by the Trump administration have led some to steer away from the U.S."

Also worth a read: Thanksgiving 'Exodus' Looms, this article from the US says that relatively few colleges have released guidance for student travel over Thanksgiving.

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