Principal - May/June 2021 - 50

Discovery
ZONE

Supporting Students When
Schools Fully Reopen

Full Speed Ahead
The pandemic offers schools an opportunity to navigate
toward an innovative, equitable educational experience
B Y L AT OYA D I XO N

and

STEVEN WEBER

T

he COVID-19 pandemic has had a seismic impact
on teaching and learning. Sudden shifts to remote
learning made inequities in student access to
meals, clothing, Wi-Fi, health care, and school
supplies more evident. School closures allowed teachers
to experiment with new strategies for instruction and
assessment. And the shock made social and emotional
learning, mental health, home-to-school communication, and
the " whole child " a bigger focus.
But while the future of K-12 education holds many uncertainties, there will be lessons to learn from this unprecedented point in history. " Strong leaders quickly get comfortable with widespread ambiguity and chaos, recognizing that
they do not have a crisis playbook, " wrote Nancy Koehn in
Fast Company. " Instead, they commit themselves and their
followers to navigating point-to-point through the turbulence, adjusting, improvising, and redirecting. "
Will your school be ready to reopen and meet the needs
of each learner in the fall-in what might be a postpandemic world?

*

50

Leaders who want to ready themselves for life beyond the pandemic
should prepare to do so now. While
safety, social distancing, disinfecting,
and mask-wearing have all impacted
the educational experience, how,
when, and where schooling takes
place is likely to be forever changed.
The five-days-a-week, seven-​h oursper-day structure has been disrupted. The delivery and receipt of
instruction might never look the
same again.
School districts across the country
provided parents with an opportunity to
choose between face-to-face instruction for their children and a completely
virtual model. Parents and teachers
will continue to expect that choice, and
schools and districts that position themselves to offer it will be primed for what
comes next in public education.
If schools can reopen completely,
you'll need to take the following steps:

M A Y / J U N E 2 0 2 1 * N A E S P. O R G

*	Routinely evaluate safety measures to
maintain a safe learning environment;
*	Adjust the traditional structure of the
school day and/or year for students
and staff;
*	Modify the delivery of instruction
based on the needs of students and
families; and
*	Expand choices to accommodate student and family expectations.

Instructional Strategies to
Support Learners
The pandemic forced us to think carefully and critically about what is essential
for students to know and be able to do.
With limited time and remote contact,
educators have had to determine
the most critical content, knowledge,
and skills students must master to be
college- and/or career-ready when they
leave our school systems.


https://www.fastcompany.com/90486187/how-courageous-leaders-navigate-turbulent-times http://www.NAESP.ORG

Principal - May/June 2021

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