CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: Vision, Mission, Values & Strategy


Why schools can't have a complete back-to-school road map without a relationship map

The authors of this Christensen Institute blog post recommend "relationship mapping" to ensure that each student in your school has a web of positive relationships. They lay out a simple approach to gathering data for relationship mapping and stress that, given the particular challenges of this fall, mapping students' relationships should also extend beyond the school's four walls.

Also worth a read: A Back-to-School Plan Built Around Student Connection


#2: Co-Curriculum & Learning Environments


Supporting Teenagers in a Pandemic

This Usable Knowledge article summarizes developmental psychologist Nancy Hill's suggestions for how schools can work with families to continue to nurture these six developmental areas in a pandemic:
  1. Peer Groups and Social Connections
  2. Opportunities to Feel Competent
  3. Being Part of the Solution
  4. Changes in the Parent-Child Relationship
  5. Mental health
  6. Safety

This article is part of The Challenges of Reopening series found here.


#3: Academic Program


Eight Essential Principles for Improving Grading

The authors of this Educational Leadership article elaborate on the following eight principles they believe leaders should employ to improve grading practices and enhance student learning:
  1. Clarify purpose.
  2. Establish goals.
  3. Base grades on a collection of evidence.
  4. Reflect current achievement.
  5. Use established criteria aligned to targeted learning goals.
  6. Set conditions for opportunity to learn-including feedback.
  7. Report achievement separately.
  8. Use scales with fewer gradations.

Also worth a read: Students Are Living History. Empower Their Voices by Creating Primary Sources.


#4: School Leadership


5 Principles to Guide Adaptive Leadership

The authors of this Harvard Business Review article write that responding to the COVID-19 crisis requires adaptive leadership, which involves anticipation, articulation, adaptation and accountability. In the article, they detail five common principles to guide adaptive leadership:
  1. Ensure evidence-based learning and adaptation
  2. Stress-test underlying theories, assumptions, and beliefs
  3. Streamline deliberative decision making
  4. Strengthen transparency, inclusion, and accountability
  5. Mobilize collective action


#5: Human Resources


Educator competencies for student-centered teaching

According to a new report from the Christensen Institute, COVID-19 and virtual learning have created "the perfect combination of catalysts for a rapid conversion to student-centered schooling". The report suggests that school leaders revamp their professional development approaches using micro-credentials for student-centered learning.

Also worth a read: Are Your Nonprofit's CEO Succession Plans COVID Updated


#6: School & Community


Howard and Sidwell Friends Forge Forward-Looking Partnership

In this press release, Howard University and Sidwell Friends School announce that they have formalized a partnership centered on "transforming the civic dialogue about race, democracy, equity, and education among teachers and youth leaders." The agreement focuses on training opportunities for future teachers, culturally responsive teaching in schools, and an expansion of the dialogue on race, diversity, and democracy through a national conference for teachers and youth leaders.


#7: Enrolment Management


Creating a Brand Story for the Times

Writing for Inside Higher Ed, brand strategist and marketing consultant Patrick Weas advises schools looking to create interest and inquiry for next year's class to consider three priorities when assessing and crafting their brand stories:
  1. Leading with purpose and helping people understand the difference your institution is making in the world is not just a way to help your institution stand out today.
  2. Compelling messages should be focused on how your institution is addressing needs for individual safety and well-being, how your institution is creating a sense of connection and community, and how your purpose and values are transparent and integrated into all you do.
  3. Look to human insight, shared values and a sense of purpose as ways to connect emotionally.


#8: Governance


How Boards Can Plan for the Disasters That No One Wants to Think About

Writing for Harvard Business Review, Seymour Burchman and Blair Jones, both managing directors at Semler Brossy Consulting Group, argue that the pandemic should be seen as a "black elephant": "a looming disaster that's clearly visible, yet no one wants to address it." They offer board-level guidance for building resilience through governance, leadership development, and compensation programs.

Worth a look: The Board Challenge is a movement to improve the representation of Black directors in corporate U.S. boardrooms by challenging companies to take the pledge to appoint a Black director within the next year.


#9: Finance


Memo to the CFO: A new approach to 2021 budgeting starts now

This McKinsey article elaborates on five steps that CFOs can take immediately to remake their budgeting processes for 2021:
  1. Stress-test scenarios and assumptions to counter uncertainty.
  2. Reimagine the business from a zero base to determine key business drivers.
  3. Hold back some spending centrally-as contingent resources-to build flexibility and optionality into budgets.
  4. Assign finance talent to the highest-priority areas or topics to prevent burnout.
  5. Rethink decision making to speed up and debias processes.

Also worth a read: What now? Decisive actions to emerge stronger in the next normal


#10: Physical Plant, Health & Safety


The future of school may be outdoors, even after the pandemic

With fresh air seen as a way to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission, many schools are looking to enhance their outdoor programming options. According to this CBC article, "Ideas range from reading aloud to a class in the yard, to teaching about climate change in a nearby ravine, or learning about local history while walking around the neighbourhood." Chris Green, founder of Guelph Outdoor School, says that having kids outside has "shifted from an educational and developmental initiative, to a kind of preventative public health initiative."

Also worth a read: Social Media Shaming Your College


#11: Commitment to School Improvement


A Call for Optimism as Schools Recalibrate

In this blog post, David Willows, Director of Advancement at the International School of Brussels, says: "nothing could have prepared us for this moment. We just have to choose what happens next." He makes a call for optimism with the hope that the future of our schools will be better.

David was one of the presenters in the CAIS Webinar Learning from Abroad-International Perspectives During COVID-19. If you missed it you can view it here.


#12: Boarding Program


Where are my students? Why schools have their international marketing all wrong and how it can be fixed

In this LinkedIn post, Vietnam-based agent Jack Zissler, the founder of 195 Global Study Abroad, considers the current global conditions and hopes that they will spur a more strategic collaboration between educators and agents and a shift in the current commission-based industry model.

Also worth a read: Recruitment reset for 2020/21: Focus on content and agents




Back to Most Recent Top 12