Independent Schools Association of the Southwest

Education News


By Kara Newhouse, Mind/Shift (from March 24, 2020)
On the second day of her school's COVID-19 related closure, sixth-grade teacher Elizabeth Raff sent her students a video through Google Classroom. In it, she talked about what she had been up to, including celebrating her son's second birthday at home, and she told her students that she missed them and wanted to hear how they were doing. She invited them to send her an email, and she promised to reply. Within a few hours, her inbox was flooded.
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By Phyllis Fagell, Association for Middle Level Education
My 11-year-old son recently got an email from his coach, Ava Benach, on what was supposed to be his first day of baseball practice. "Hi team," she wrote. "I wanted to send a brief link of Juan Soto that shows you what a remarkably disciplined hitter he is. This is a two-pitch sequence from Justin Verlander (no slouch) during the World Series." The coach goes into more detail about the clip, then urges each player to toss a pop fly to themselves or to a sibling, get in some tee work, or simply hold a baseball in their hands.
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By Christine Cyr Clisset, Wirecutter (from March 17, 2020)
With schools closing, many parents shifting to working from home, and social distancing limiting child-care options, juggling kids and work is becoming a new reality for many people. I've worked from home for more than six years—as long as I've been a parent. During that time, I've weathered my daughter's day care suddenly closing, worked when my girls were both struck down for a week with hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and worked through dozens of snow and sick days with one or both of them at home. These periods have felt like both a marathon and a sprint. The days can feel endless, yet I've often needed to blast through work in short bursts between managing the kids.
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Peter Baron & Hans Mundahl, The Enrollment Management Association

What will the effect of the COVID-19 crisis be on independent school tuition and financial aid? Mark Mitchell from NAIS helps us with some historical context.

After the 2008 financial crisis according to NAIS's DASL data:

  • FA applications went up 16.7%
  • Students receiving aid went up 17.8%
  • Total FA spending per student went up 21%

In this conversation Mark advises us that although we can't predict the future we can start asking the right questions to help our schools prepare today.


By John Bailey, Education Next (from March 25, 2020)
To slow the spread of Covid-19, governors in 46 states have closed more than 91,000 U.S. public and private schools, affecting more than 50 million school students. Most of the closures are currently scheduled to last for only two to three weeks (see figure). As those deadlines approach, governors now confront the difficult questions of whether to reopen schools, and if so, when?
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By Stephen Merrill, Edutopia (from March 19, 2020)
The thought ended almost before it started: "This is so overwhelming." It was all one teacher managed to type before she stopped short, vexed into silence, perhaps, by the sheer size of the problem. In the pregnant pause that followed, undoubtedly, every teacher tracking the unspooling thread—about the dizzying, rapidly escalating viral crisis that was closing schools across the country—recognized the chasm they were all facing as well, and scrambled to fill in the blank.
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Ian Symonds & Associates (from March 16, 2020)
Happy Monday to all of the educators trying to make sense of the current health crisis and plan accordingly on behalf of their students. The past two weeks have been a wild ride, leaving many of us with more questions than answers. I spent the weekend communicating with clients across North America, as well as thinking and rethinking our industry responses to COVID-19. I landed on a few tidbits that I am hopful will be helpful to you and your team as you navigate the future.
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By Lizzy Francis, Fatherly (from February 27, 2020)
Jess's decision to "redshirt" her youngest children — let them stay in preschool for another year and delay their entry into kindergarten — did not come easily. She had all four of her children (eight, seven, and twin four-year-olds) in the span of three-and-a-half years, and wanted to keep her twins just two years behind her second oldest child. She liked the idea of keeping them together as a crew of some kind, protecting each other and sticking together. "From the beginning, I didn't want to hold them back," she says.
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By Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic (April, 2020 Issue)
"I'll tell you a funny story," said Mitch Daniels, the president of Purdue University. It was the day before the first home football game of the season and he was sitting in his corner office, overlooking the postcard-perfect quad.
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By Mike Vachow, Knuckleball Consulting (from July 18, 2019)
Al Adams' piece in the 2010 fall issue of Independent School magazine, Thirty-One Windows: the Evolving Metaphors for Headship, is one that I re-read at least twice a year and have forwarded to dozens of head friends and clients. It's a study on the roles that heads play in leading their schools and how the relative importance of those roles changes over their tenure. Adams discerns 31 "windows" into headship that he groups into 9 overarching roles.
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By Jeffrey Shields, Net Assets (from February 18, 2020)
Over the past several years, schools have been working on various tuition and financial aid models to adapt to market forces today and into the future. These models have included different forms of indexed or variable tuition, restrained tuition growth and tuition resets among others. The goals are similar: to reduce sticker shock, highlight availability of financial aid, increase prospective families' interest in independent education and perhaps most importantly, demonstrate that value and financial commitment are well aligned.
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By Lisa Damour, The New York Times (from February 18, 2020)
Parents of adolescents are often confronted by a puzzling sequence of events. First, teenagers bring us their problems; second, we earnestly offer suggestions and solutions; and third, teenagers dismiss our ideas as irritating, irrelevant or both.
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By Lisa Leslie, Center for Positive Organizations (from January 22, 2020)
Facebook publishes an annual diversity report—a way to catalog the efforts the company is making toward diversifying its staff, and to report on its progress. They're not alone; many other companies, both in the technology world and beyond, are implementing similar initiatives. And yet each year, the results seem underwhelming.
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By Todd Nordstrom, Forbes (from February 19, 2019)
"I just can't seem to get people to truly understand," she said. "I feel like I've tried everything. I tell them they need to be better. I tell them what they need to fix. And, they just don't respond." These words came from a woman who was recently promoted. She was now leading a department of nearly eighty people. "I feel like I'm failing."
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Ian Symmonds & Associates (from February 19, 2020)
What is the role of education today? Is it to live a better life than that of the generation before us? Or, is it to leave a better life to those who will inherit the world behind us? I don't mean to make this sound like such a dramatic, binary choice, but as we continue to see emerging generational differences in why those people younger than Gen X or Boomers choose independent schools and colleges, I suspect this question needs to come more into focus.
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