Presented by Dr. Doug Brubaker, Superintendent, Fort Smith Public Schools (AR); Dr. Ann Levett, Superintendent, Savannah-Chatham Schools (GA); and Dr. Kristi Wilson, Superintendent, Buckeye Elementary School District (AZ), and President of AASA
As schools reckon with learning equity, they’re often focused on academic progress. During the edWebinar, “Leading for Equity: Academic Development Through an Equity Lens,” hosted by AASA, The Superintendents Association and AASA’s Leadership Network, the presenters talked about the important role social-emotional learning (SEL) plays in the process. In fact, they argued that schools must connect academic equity with SEL if they’re going to reach their goal of serving all students.
Beyond just the ability to pivot and be prepared for any type of learning, the pandemic has brought new concerns with “Zoom bombing” and increased outside access to school networks. As part of a series on technology best practices for school district leaders, presenters in an edWebinar sponsored by ClassLink and co-hosted by CoSN and AASA discussed five key reasons why everyone needs to be on top of their cybersecurity plan and continuously evaluate its effectiveness.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in the traditional education model, there was widespread recognition that schools alone could not do everything needed to provide an equitable education for diverse students because so many factors that determine students’ success were being affected or determined outside of school.
With so many issues for school and district leaders to deal with during this difficult time, staying focused on students’ learning experiences may not always seem like the top priority. But district officials from Alabama and Minnesota, who are determined to provide an equitable education for all their students, recently explained how listening to students and taking action based on student input is a key factor in achieving successful outcomes.
These and other important lessons from Oregon’s Gresham-Barlow School District were discussed during a recent edWebinar, hosted by AASA, The Superintendents Association and AASA’s Leadership Network, with the district’s Superintendent, Dr. Katrise Perera, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Lisa Riggs. Gresham-Barlow’s school leaders explained how they have been able to increase and sustain engagement in district activities, and how this has led to improved outcomes for the students.
Now that the 2020-21 school year is underway, district leaders must continue to respond in new ways to fast-changing situations resulting not just from COVID-19, but also from equity issues, and in many locations from environmental problems as well.
While gaps in technology access were highlighted during the pandemic, many school and district leaders are trying to make strides with an even older issue: educational equity for children of all races and economic backgrounds. In the edWebinar, “Leading for Equity: Pursuing an Equity Agenda,” hosted by AASA, The Superintendents Association and AASA’s Leadership Network, Dr. Frank Barnes, Chief Equity and Accountability Officer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), and Kimberly Vaught, Principal, Allenbrook Elementary School, discussed their approach to building equity.
Before COVID-19, home internet access for all students was a goal—one that some districts even thought they had achieved. But the pandemic and forced distance learning have exposed a plethora of inequities in schools that many district leaders now see as issues they must address. In the edWebinar, “Digital Equity Strategies for Learning Beyond the Classroom,” the presenters talked about how they are managing digital equity in the COVID-19 era and what they see as the critical next steps.
Budgets. Student outcomes. Constituent communications. Previously, these were key elements in developing a strategic technology plan. And while those issues are still important, school and district leaders must now factor in that schools may never function the same way again. In the edWebinar, “Strategic Technology Planning: Aligning Priorities, Costs, Outcomes and Sustainability,” the presenters discussed new items that must become part of strategic plans.