BLOG

ATLIS Virtual Town Hall 10 February 2021: Rethinking School with Special Guest Homa Tavangar

This virtual town hall begins with an introduction to Homa Tavangar, keynote speaker for ATLIS 2021 Undaunted, and a discussion of the wellbeing of the educators and their profession. This exposes a natural connection to the new Big Questions Institute ebook, 9 BIG Questions Schools Must Answer to Avoid Going "Back to *Normal" (*Because "Normal" Wasn't That Great to Begin With). This led to a deeper dive into the impact of the pandemic on the personnel who have kept schools up and running and a closer look at the evolution PD for reaching overloaded teachers who shut down at the prospect of "one more thing." - SD [10-minute read; 1-hour video]

Quick Links

  • February 10, 1 pm Eastern: Save the date for our next Virtual Town Hall. Registration is required for new Virtual Town Hall participants and is free and open to all. If you have previously registered, you will automatically receive an invitation to join. 
  • Complete Virtual Town Hall Video Archive (Wakelet)

ATLIS Virtual Town Hall
February 10, 2021
Video Archive


Read More

Technology Benchmarking: How Did Your School Fare During the Pandemic?

ATLIS 2021 Technology Landscape Survey gives immediate insights.

banner

Like many things unexpectedly disrupted with the onset of the pandemic, ATLIS’s annual Technology Impact and Efficacy (TIE) Assessment was derailed in 2020. We were mid-collection when the landscape irrevocably shifted, leaving us to evaluate the benchmarking information that technology leaders would most need right now. With that, we’re pleased to announce we’ve partnered with Educational Collaborators, our TIE Assessment partner, and author Pamela Gaudet to design a quick, meaningful diagnostic tool that provides immediate feedback to technology leaders at independent schools. 

Read More

Are we REALLY gathering in Seattle? Yes, we are.

retreat graphicIf you’ve been waiting for the green light, it’s all systems “go” for Seattle. 

If you’re wondering whether we are moving forward with our in-person retreat in Seattle, the answer is: absolutely. We get the sense that some of you might be wondering if it’s really going to happen, so allow us to clarify some questions! 

Once you register for the ATLIS 2021: Undaunted virtual conference, which takes place April 12-13, you’ll be provided the information to add on the retreat and round out your experience for a nominal additional fee. We’ll be building on the core content offered during the virtual conference with a deeper dive and plenty of time for guided personal contextualizing and strategizing. Join us April 25-28 for a memorable retreat experience. 

Read More

Nominations Open for ATLIS Pillar Awards

If you or someone you know is a technology leader who has stepped into the spotlight in the last year, the time has come for formal recognition. ATLIS is calling for Pillar Award nominations through March 1. 

The ATLIS Pillar Awards were established in 2018 to honor individuals whose body of work exemplify independent school technology leaders. Nominators are encouraged to tie their nominations directly to the ATLIS vision and mission statements. 

Read More

20 Years in Edtech, 20 Lessons Learned

Curt Lieneck is legendary among independent school technology leaders. When he began posting tweets last Fall gleaned from his decades of experience in the field, we paid attention. Happily, Lieneck has allowed ATLIS to collect his wisdom into this blog post. It's actually 21 tips, but who's counting. -- SD [10-minute read]

tweet

Read More
2 Comments

Streamline Admissions Inquiries (FACTS)

The following is a guest blog from an ATLIS vendor partner, FACTS.  Courtney Haindel, FACTS SIS Product Manager, shares new product updates and features.

In January 2020, FACTS doubled down on its commitment to school enrollment. We assembled a brand-new development team solely dedicated to streamlining your school’s entire admissions process into one central, easy-to-use system. Now the time has come to unveil our new features.

Read More

ATLIS Wants to Reward You for All You've Done This Year

conference banner

Our team has witnessed firsthand the heroic efforts technology leaders have put forth to serve independent schools this year. In some cases, these selfless contributors are recognized for going above and beyond. Unfortunately, too often it’s still the case that technology leaders remain the unsung heroes in the pandemic. This is why the ATLIS team aims to find ways to celebrate and reward technology leaders.

Read More

BQI Offers Online Workshop, Perfect for Teams

BQI

Ela Ben-Ur, one of the pioneering designers at IDEO and MIT, now an instructor of design at Olin College of Engineering, will be leading an online workshop: Navigating a Mess of Unending Challenges: Five Questions to Get Us Unstuck for Impactful STEM to SEL to Staff Meetings on Feb 2 + 4 at 7 pm US ET. Ela, the creator of Innovator’s Compass, will personally guide participants through its protocols during the session as they learn to apply it to their own challenges.



Read More

ATLIS Virtual Town Hall Salutes Tech Team Rock Stars, January 13, 2021

iconThe first ATLIS Virtual Town Hall of 2021 gave special recognition to the many tech team rock stars who keep the technology humming along smoothly at our independent schools -- help desk staffers, data managers, IT and systems administrators, edtech implementation coaches, and, yes, those who serve as all of the above. Our conversation ranged from helpdesk implementation to considering the school’s value proposition to the community to favorite hacks and solutions for the challenges faced by tech teams in recent months.

[15 min. read]

Read More

Meet FACTS President Scott Spethman


  
March seems like such a long time ago, doesn’t it?
It was a month filled with fear, doubt, and (in case you haven’t heard this word often enough) uncertainty. But I remember feeling one thing in particular: Confidence. I felt confident that the world of education would rise to the challenge and adapt – and that my team would do the same.
I’m incredibly happy to report that my confidence wasn’t unfounded.

Maintaining Communication no Matter What
This was a year of change for education and educators alike. FACTS associates have been working from home since March. Like many others, we’re constantly on video calls and working remotely to support our schools. Our communication channels may have changed, but I’m proud of our associates for stepping up to maintain our level of service for our partner schools. Even though we miss visiting campuses and chatting with clients at conferences and events, we’ve made do. It was our goal to be there for our clients – a constant, comforting presence whenever they needed us.

Addressing Trends and Concerns from the Independent School Community
The education industry shifted drastically in early 2020. FACTS shifted as well. We put an emphasis on helping schools prepare to offer more personalized education. We focused on 1:1 learning, more flexible school models, parent communication – we even built out a COVID-19 resource center that our independent school partners could use throughout the year. Another big focus for us has been addressing the social-emotional needs of students. We’ve reevaluated the ways we (and schools) can communicate with students and families. And we’re doing everything we can to make the process smoother for everyone – like improving our Family App.

FACTS' COVID-19 Resource Center
The Future of FACTS
We’re well-positioned to support the 11,500 schools and three million families we work with, regardless of the status of COVID-19. I’m particularly excited about the enhancements we have planned for our SIS. It’s already very sophisticated, but we’re planning to build it out even more over the next year. On top of that, we’ll be enhancing our Application & Enrollment product, and introducing our new open API to continue supporting the goals of our partner schools. The confidence I had back in March hasn’t wavered – it’s actually gotten stronger. We’ll be ready to help our partners move forward in 2021.

Looking Forward to the Post-COVID Era
Selfishly, I can’t wait to travel back to Chicago for a Portillo’s Italian Beef. (If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it.) But on a more serious note, I miss having contact with the team and our customers on a regular basis. Human connection is something we all crave – and I’m no exception. Over the past 33 years, much of my career has been spent on the road. For the first time in a long while, I’ve been at home for eight straight months. When it’s safe to do so, I look forward to spending time relaxing with friends, sharing meals with clients, and making new connections.

Hello 2021/Goodbye 2020 Pop-Up PULSE Survey

infographic

9 Tips To Develop A School Software RFP

Evaluating software solutions for your school can be a daunting task. What are requirements versus nice-to-haves? Who should be involved? Where should I begin? Developing an RFP (Request for Proposal) can help provide structure for the process. Below are 9 suggestions based on our experience responding to customer RFPs.

1. You may not need an RFP

Some schools submit 100-page RFPs but don’t have a process established for vetting proposals once they are received. Other schools do not use an RFP but have a process that is organized, efficient, and managed well. The most important thing is to know what your school needs and ensure that vendors meet those needs. If you do decide to use an RFP, the format doesn’t matter—just clearly articulate your needs, timeline, and requirements for the vendor. Speaking of which...

Read More

ATLIS December Summit-- Leading Together (Video Archive)

ATLIS Summit: Leading Together -- Why Administrative Partnerships Matter
December 16, 2020

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its mark on our schools, technology leaders have risen to prominence as key figures to rely upon for determining how to manage in the crisis and meet the missions of the schools they serve. The success of their partnerships with colleagues across the administrative team has depended upon openness, transparency, and collaboration to serve the mission of the schools they serve. Guests panelists from AISAP and MISBO join ATLIS Executive Director Christina Lewellen to share important ways for technology leaders to team up with Admissions and Finance officers to help their schools thrive amidst the pandemic and beyond.


Read More

ATLIS Executive Director Shares 2020 Holiday Message

In this post at the end of a challenging year, Christina Lewellen, Executive Director of ATLIS, shares a holiday message for the independent school technology leaders in our community. -- SD [10-minute read] 

I usually look forward to decking out the house in holiday lights, and I’ve been known to spend days shuffling ladders and adorning surfaces high and low with my LED color palette of the year. 

Read More

ATLIS READS: Race After Technology by Ruha Benjamin

Our year-long book seminar for technology thought leaders continues with this guest post from Theresa Jay, who previews Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code by Ruha BenjaminYou can learn more and register for ATLIS Reads here. Our final selection for our ATLIS Readsyear-long book seminar is Radical Candor: Fully Revised & Updated Edition Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott. -- SD [10-minute read]

banner

Read More

ATLIS Virtual Town Hall: Olympic-Class Technology Teams, December 9, 2020

photo of equestrianThis last Virtual Town Hall of 2020 provides numerous resources shared by our participants. Our conversation focused on assessments, content areas that may have been lost in the transition to online and hybrid learning (along with ways to recapture them), and a general accounting of the participants' well-being after this very challenging year. -- SD [10-minute read; 1-hour video]

Photo Credit: Ronjamin (Ronald C. Yochum Jr.), CC BY 2.5 

Read More

Asking Vendors the Right Questions About Data Protection

At a recent ATLIS webinar, industry experts were invited stock share a "Cybersecurity Update" for our community. As the webinar came to a close, a vital question remained unanswered in the chat, so we followed up with our panelists for an answer. In this post, you will find responses from Buddy Pitt, Director of Technical Development for the Network Support Company, and Alex Inman, Founder and Senior Collaborator for Educational Collaborators, on asking vendors the right questions about data protection.  [10-minute read; video archive included in resources]

What are the best questions to be asking our vendors to ensure that we are getting the information about security or prevention measures they have in place, their data retention policies, etc.?

Read More

ATLIS 2021: Undaunted Annual Conference Announced

conference logo

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: [email protected]

This is not your ordinary conference. And we’re not just saying that. 

It’s a virtual event, AND we’re offering an in-person add-on retreat for those who are willing and able to gather with us in Seattle. 

Read More

5 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Evaluate Your Information Systems

In Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi, Piscine Molitor, or “Pi” survives for months in a lifeboat with a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and Bengal tiger. When Pi drifts ashore and tells his story, he’s confronted by doubters. How could a boy survive out at sea with wild animals? Pi’s response is simple – just because you’ve never seen a boy survive in a raft with a Bengal tiger doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

Although Life of Pi is a work of fiction, many schools are currently operating in this paradigm – just because we’ve never done something before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Read More

ATLIS Virtual Town Hall 11 November 2020: Like No Other School Year

Late in the fall season, technology leaders have hit a stride, adjusting to the ever-changing circumstances around school during a pandemic. In this reflective town hall, leaders discussed what has worked well and needs to continue beyond this school year, along with what needs to be adjusted. Special guest Pamela Livingston Gaudet, author of 'Like No Other School Year' joined us to share her insights.  

Quick Links

Read More