What are the topics that defined independent school education in 2016? I scoured our CAIS Top 12 articles to find those that met two criteria – most important (to me) and most read (by you) – and I have organized them by our CAIS National Standards.
#1 Vision, Mission, Values and Strategy
I love predictions, and so do you…. Here are Deloitte’s predictions for the year ahead (2017).
#2 Co-Curriculum and the Learning Environment
We are all focusing more on helping students cope with the challenging issues they face today, and almost every strategic plan includes wellness. I am a fan of Lisa Damour, author of the New York Times bestseller Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood. Read the book or read excerpts here.
#3 Academic Program
The popularity of this article should come as no surprise, as all CAIS schools are obsessed with providing the school experience possible. I love this finding from this popular Atlantic article: if high schools want to prepare students for college, they should focus less on specific content and more on critical thinking, reasoning, and teamwork.
#4 School Leadership
Here is a case of the title really saying all there is to say – The One Type of Leader Who Can Turn Around a Failing School. Who doesn’t want to read this Harvard Business Review article?
#5 Human Resources
Our new CAIS Accreditation Guidelines include a new Indicator on School Culture:
Policies and practices are in place to ensure that teachers and staff work collaboratively and actively to pursue positive, respectful, and appropriate relationships with their students and with other adults in the school community.
I could write a lot about why, but culture is definitely a priority for all schools. Hal Hannaford (Selwyn House) teaches a module at our CAIS Leadership Institute, and Jason Rogers (Rundle) is going to join him at our Summer LI at King’s Edgehill in July.
Here’s the culture article pick: The #1 Factor That Determines A Toxic or Thriving School Culture
#6 School and Community
Here’s a favourite topic for all educators – today’s parents. Robert Evans and Michael Thompson wrote about Parents Who Bully The School in this NAIS article, and perhaps somewhat unfortunately, this proved to be a popular choice with our CAIS readership.
#7 Enrolment Management
We have come a long way – thanks in part to the work of The Enrolment Management Association – in understanding that effective enrolment management includes recruitment, marketing, retention, and financial strategies. This popular article resonated with our CAIS community, probably because we work hard to be authentic and engaging with prospective families.
Truth time – the most read article was this one about the bbq test, and it is somewhat along the same lines as this more substantial McKinsey one: Are today’s CFOs ready for tomorrow’s demands on finance?
#10 Physical Plant, Health and Safety
#11 School Improvement
The most popular article was this one: These ten ideas are each getting $10M to Change High School.
If these kinds of ideas inspire you – and I hope they do! – join our National Engagement Forum hosted by SMUS and SAC. (Warning: No cash prize.)