CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy


After the Pandemic, a Revolution in Education and Work Awaits

In this New York Times op-ed Thomas L. Friedman, writes that post-pandemic, "You're going to see some amazing stuff emerge, some long-established institutions, like universities, disappear - and the nature of work, workplaces and the workforce be transformed." Some key points from the article:

  • The most critical role for K-12 educators will be to equip young people with the curiosity and passion to be lifelong learners who feel ownership over their education.
  • Postsecondary education will be a hybrid ecosystem of company platforms, colleges and local schools, whose goal will be to create the opportunity for lifelong "radical reskilling".
  • Increasingly companies will seek "problem-finders," people with diverse interests - art, literature, science, anthropology - who can identify things that people want before people even know they want them.


#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments


Can Your Students Tell the Difference Between Fact and Fiction?

Writing for EdSurge, Kimberly Rues admits that even as an educator and a library media specialist, she sometimes fails to be a critical consumer of information. She recommends several resources, including News Literacy Project and Stanford History Education Group Civic Online Reasoning Curriculum, that together provide an in-depth and comprehensive look at the issues of news literacy.


#3: Academic Program


How deeply will digital learning transform K-12 long term?

Education Dive looks at a new report, Digital Learning During the Pandemic: Emerging Evidence of an Education Transformation, that identifies three takeaways as evidence of potential significant, long-term impacts on K-12 educational models:
  1. Greater digital resource usage by teachers and students expands opportunities for defining rigour and quality of resources and greater context for determining digital learning's value.
  2. Parents have a stronger appreciation of digital learning as a mode of delivery for education and their role in the learning process at home.
  3. Students' appreciation of technology as a learning tool has also grown, recognizing new mediums for educational delivery and better learning environments for some.


#4: School Leadership


"Serious" Leaders Need Self-Care, Too

In this Harvard Business Review article, consultant Palena Neale writes that leaders should consider self-care an investment in their productivity and effectiveness as a leader. She cites data-driven reasons for embracing self-care, offers tips to help you get started and stresses the importance of sharing what works for you with your team. With employee burnout a greater concern now more than ever, Neale says, "make it clear through both words and actions that you know the importance of taking care of yourself. If you're open about your investments into self-care, your team and your entire organization will follow your lead."

Also worth a read: Staff Meetings Get a Needed Makeover During the Pandemic


#5: Human Resources


The Value of Setting a Clear School Vision This Year

Writing for Edutopia, principal Joe Mullikin writes, "In challenging circumstances, building and district leaders often tend toward cheerleading-a commendable and appropriate response. But we cannot lose sight of the entirety of that word: The leading matters as much as the cheering." He has kept himself accountable as a leader by ensuring his team is focused on a vision, setting clear targets and differentiating the strengths and challenges that each team member is facing.


#6: School & Community


COVID's Impact On How Students Serve Others

The pandemic has had a significant impact on school service programs. In this Getting Smart article, Michele Pitman elaborates on ways students are creatively helping others and reaching out to their communities, including:

  • Shifting to an indirect service model.
  • Adding advocacy and social justice.
  • Changing the service requirement to a 4-year goal instead of an annual goal.
  • Service leaders are expanding guidelines and accepting service that may not have been accepted in the past, such as helping neighbours and assisting with siblings.


#7: Enrolment Management


How to Find and Form a "Parenting Posse"

For the past five years, Avi Patel Thompson, founder and CEO of Modern Village, has been considering how parents can build 21st-century support for parents. Writing for Harvard Business Review, she says that during COVID-19 "parenting has never been a more constant and heavy weight" and offers suggestions to help parents create a support system. Independent schools should consider the parenting "pain points" identified in the article and how they might offer practical help to families to address them.


#8: Governance


How Donors Like MacKenzie Scott And Mike Bloomberg Are Changing The Higher Education Mega-Gift

Writing for Forbes, Michael T. Nietzel, President Emeritus of Missouri State University, considers the recent shift in the aims of major philanthropists and their support for higher education. While "mega-gifts" have historically gone to elite schools, recent gifts benefit institutions that serve the most diverse and financially strapped students. Nietzel looks at several examples of major gifts and asks, "Is this year just an anomaly, a temporary readjustment inspired by the pandemic and racial justice concerns? Or does it signal a fundamental shift in giving priorities, with major donors looking to invest in institutions that serve larger shares of low-income and minority students?"


#9: Finance


This Financial Executives International article looks at the challenges that finance leaders are facing due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The article stresses the importance of adapting quickly: "The most successful companies were the ones who cut early, cut deeply and cut once." Moving forward, organizations should take a strategic, long-term approach and carefully communicate any cuts.


#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety


Sheridan exceeds reduction target for carbon emissions ahead of schedule and makes significant strides towards energy and waste reduction goals

Sheridan released its 2020 Sustainability Report this week. The school has exceeded its reduction target for carbon emissions ahead of schedule and is an institutional model for how a 21st-century organization embraces sustainability. The school's efforts include efficient building design, district energy infrastructure, promoting green transportation, and facilitating meaningful engagement with community wellness projects.


#11: Commitment to School Improvement


3 COVID-19 education trends set to persist post-pandemic

Education Dive spoke to several school leaders to get their thoughts on which new or refined activities should last beyond the COVID-19 pandemic because they have the potential to improve student outcomes and school operations for the long term. They identified remote learning for when kids can't travel to school, creativity increasing school model flexibility and improved parent-school-community connections.


#12: Boarding Program


Student housing demand shifts to private rooms as sector adapts to pandemic

This ICEF Monitor post is about a new analysis from housing marketplace Student.com and sector research specialists BONARD that looks at how and when international students book student accommodation. The study shows that demand is shifting to single-occupant rooms, and Dan Baker, general manager, EMEA at Student.com says, "the hunger for students around the world to study has not stopped, and COVID-19 has simply changed their plans somewhat."




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