CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: School Purpose

Education Change is Happening But It's Missing a Crucial Ingredient

In this Education Reimagined Insight, Grant Lichtman writes, "if there is a constant that we want to embed in every facet of the learning trajectory, it is to help students develop the skills and confidence to investigate and identify their personal sense of purpose as it will evolve throughout their lives." Lichtman offers two sets of questions that schools can ask to deeply embed purpose into the learning experience.

#2: School Leadership

5 Things High-Performing Teams Do Differently

Ron Friedman, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychologist and the founder of a learning and development company that teaches leaders science-based strategies for building high-performing teams. Writing for Harvard Business Review, he says high-performing teams cultivate relatedness in five ways:
  1. More frequent communication; more likely to use the telephone.
  2. Strategic meetings, including pre-work, agendas and check-ins.
  3. Discussion of non-work topics.
  4. Give and receive appreciation more frequently.
  5. Express authentic emotions with their colleagues.

#3: Governance

School Sustainability Is About More Than Just Keeping the Doors Open

Sean McClung is the Senior School Success Officer at XQ. In this Getting Smart article, he writes about the five components of sustainability that XQ views as crucial for sustaining the journey of an innovative school towards its vision: fiscal, operational, academic, leadership, and extended impact. In addition, McClung stresses that "sustainability requires constant refocusing and reinforcing of school models by engaging not just staff and students, but also community partners and other stakeholders, in both the 'why' and 'what' of the school". McClung offers several questions to ask as a starting point.

#4: Education Program Foundation

Building a Better Check-In

Lauren Porosoff, founder of EMPOWER Forwards, says that carefully crafted check-ins can bring middle and high school classes closer together and improve student well-being. She writes, "Such activities can be a playful way for students to start class, a ritual through which they establish community, and an assessment tool that helps teachers know how well students are faring." In the article, Porosoff details seven ways to make check-ins a greater source of community and wellness for students.

#5: Learning & Teaching

Using Technology to Support 10 Executive Functioning Skills

Writing for Edutopia, Instructional Coach and Adjunct Faculty Member Eric Rodriguez says, "it's important for our approach to be more intentional to support cognitive skills". He suggests ways that teachers can help students develop ten urgent and critical executive functioning skills to ensure that students have the skills to flourish in school and life.

#6: Student Well-Being & Support

The National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

As part of the Australian Government's long-term national health plan, The National Mental Health Commission has developed the National Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. One focus area is Education Settings which includes three objectives: a wellbeing culture, targeted responses and well-equipped educators. There are also several priority actions, including requiring schools to have a comprehensive wellbeing plan for their students and having a designated wellbeing staff member.

#7: Essential Concepts

Report: Schools' role in promoting civic engagement growing more important

This Education Dive post looks at a new report published in the journal Democracy & Education that focused on the importance of K-12 educators' roles in preserving democracy. The report says school leaders have a responsibility to promote civic education. The authors offer several recommendations for doing so, including providing students choices for community projects and civically oriented extracurricular activities and making civic mindfulness part of a school's theme by including students in decision-making.

#8: Custodial Care

7 missing pieces: why students prefer in-person over online classes

For this University Affairs article, a group of York University students discussed what aspects of in-person classes they missed most while studying remotely. Seven main themes emerged, most of which speak to the exceptional benefits offered by boarding programs, including community and friendship, presence of social cues, staying focused, sense of routine and "just being on campus".

#9: Recruitment & Community Engagement

Is There a Lack of Diversity in Private Schools?

This article in U.S. News acknowledges that many private schools are actively working to increase diversity and provides a list of things that parents can look for to measure inclusiveness as they look at schools:
  • Commitments to diversity articulated in school publications.
  • Course offerings, especially in the humanities, featuring diverse voices and perspectives.
  • Books in the school library.
  • Art on school walls.
  • Student affinity groups or clubs.
  • Programming for students and parents around diversity awareness.
  • A diversity director or coordinator on staff.

#10: Human Resources

Women Do More to Fight Burnout — and It's Burning Them Out

The six women who wrote this Harvard Business Review article are with global management consulting firm McKinsey. Their research shows that women are suffering from increasing levels of burnout, but, at the same time, women are much more likely than men to take action to fight it. The article elaborates on three actions that companies can take to alleviate burnout:
  1. Set company-wide working norms to take some of the pressure off managers.
  2. Equip managers with the training and resources they need to lead
  3. Formally recognize their efforts by making managers' support of their employees part of their performance reviews.

#11: Finance

Rising inflation calls neither for panic nor complacency, but action

In this Globe and Mail opinion piece, Andrew Coyne asks, "Is it time to panic about inflation?" Coyne acknowledges that temporary influences may largely explain the price increases observed over the past year. Still, he says there is room for concern about where inflation may be headed: "The extraordinarily loose fiscal and monetary policies pursued over the past 18 months may not have ignited inflation while the economy was flat on its back, and held there by government-ordered lockdowns. But now that the lockdowns have been lifted, and the economy is recovering, there is real risk of an inflationary blow-off."

#12: Facilities & Infrastructure

The Hot New Back-to-School Accessory? An Air Quality Monitor.

In this New York Times article, Emily Anthes writes that parents are sneaking carbon dioxide monitors into their children's schools to determine whether the buildings are safe. One of the parents featured in the article is Dr. Jose-Luis Jimenez, an aerosol scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Jimenez said he would like all public indoor spaces to provide permanent real-time displays of the carbon dioxide levels.

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