December 4, 2020
I know it has not been very long, but I have missed sharing resources with you, at least that is what the length of this week’s list tells me. I hope you rested your eyes over the Thanksgiving break!
For you skimmers…
This article overview from Ogletree Deakins , a good piece on mandating vaccination for students, this one on mandating vaccines for employees, this HBR article on sounding inclusive, this piece on the uselessness of mindfulness, this piece on Black teens dating, this one on a new relationship model with parents, and this piece around student relationships.
Big News of the Week(s)
Has been really around both the vaccine and the change in the CDC guidance around contact based quarantines and asymptomatic people. Let’s start with the latter as that has our immediate attention. I like this article overview from Ogletree Deakins on how to think about the new guidance reducing the contact based quarantine period, and here is the guidance itself. At this point, schools seem a bit split on adopting this new 10 day quarantine period, with some schools moving in this direction and others either waiting for further guidance from the state or a meeting of their medical advisory group to talk through the changes. Still others are adopting the changes for some circumstances, but potentially not others – such as when athletes who may be in close contact with other players are part of the calculus. Either way, this is a change and a welcome one for many schools facing staffing shortages due to the 14 day period. We are already starting to see states adopt the new guidance, like TX did here.
The other big virus news relates to the vaccine, when it will be available, to whom, and whether schools should think about mandating the vaccine. The CDC has taken a first shot (ha!) at vaccination priorities, although much of the ultimate distribution and determinations will likely be made at the state level. We had a lively conversation on the listserve about how to have these conversations with your boards and leadership teams and I will work on pulling those thoughts together next week, but in the meantime, it might help to read some good pieces on the topic. This is a good piece on mandating vaccination for students, with a bit of insight into the possibility of state mandates. The student mandates might be a way off as these vaccines are just beginning to be tested on students over 12. On the employment front, there are some great articles out there, like this one.
In other virus news, it looks like immunity might really last for a bit, despite cases of reinfection occasionally occurring. Despite all of the good news, epidemiologists are not changing their habits, or anticipating lifestyle changes for a while, and you might want to check your place in the vaccine line before you get too excited (I have roughly 287 million people in front of me).
Sometimes the virus information feels kind of in the weeds, so here are some antidotes.
I honestly have no idea where these two should go, but I think they are important. The first one was written by a friend of mine – Shafia Zaloom – who also wrote Sex, Teens, and Everything in Between. She has been working on this piece on Black teens dating for a while and it recently ran in the Washington Post. It is fascinating insight into their experiences, from them. Shafia works with teens and schools on sexuality education and routinely engages in amazingly brave and awkward conversations that never cease to astound me.
The second of these pieces was written by our friends Michael Thompson and Rob Evans. It articulates a new relationship model between schools and parents, particularly as parent behavior and anxiety have been shifting in often unusual and confounding ways.
There were some good legal docs out there this week and last. Three not to miss:
Higher ed has some interesting things to watch happening right now. One group is capitalizing on college kids being off-site by creating a campus experience at a resort. The notion is that 150 college students, all attending a variety of schools, would decamp to a secluded resort where a bubble would be formed and they could have a reasonably “normal” college experience. There are interesting takes on this one. Are college campuses really resorts where learning happens to take place?
Higher ed also took two data blows this week as international student numbers are down, way down, and may not be coming up any time soon. And, domestically, students are putting a lot more thought into delaying college rather than experience the unusual campus or non-campus life on offer in 2020 and likely 2021.
And What About the Learning?
There is a waterfall of really interesting insights around learning and teaching, and school life in general. Pick and choose from the below as suits you.
Some other quick hits:
If you are looking for a couple of things to listen to, check out the NAIS trustee table podcast on building a future together. You can find it under Trustee Table on podcast lists, or online here. You should also check out the Enrollment Spectrum podcast from the Enrollment Management Association. There are two there that I like right now – one on character in college admissions and the other on thinking like a rocket scientist.
Finally, ’tis the season and this was an interesting article on gift giving and teachers that you might check out. And, for those in the giving spirit, NYT put out its notable book list that always has some interesting titles.
And, mark your calendars for some excellent SAIS webinars next week – including on PPP loans, substance abuse prevention, positioning your school for making more progress in diversity, and a little self-care.
You might also mark your calendar for this unusual alignment of planets that will create a “Christmas star.” Something no one has seen since the 13th century.
Have a great weekend!
This is a recording of the November 3, 2021, webinar, Financial Wellness for Trustees. Is your school’s current trajectory sustainable in the long-term? What actions can you take in the next five years to ensure future choices?
The following is a recording from the heads of school virtual roundtable, which featured a discussion of current hot topics, followed by a presentation by Michael Nachbar and others from the GOA leadership team. They shared how they’ve created a student-focused competency-based grading system, and what insights they gained from data to deepen how and when they spot student struggles, and how they provide additional student support.