The latest edition of Hanover’s Superintendents Leadership Council, co-hosted with the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators (MASA) and Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), was held on Thursday, August 19th and structured in a Q&A format that focused primarily on Navigating the Complexities of the 2021-22 School Year.
Establish outcomes and track metrics for new programs and spending from ESSER funds to support future decision-making
- Dr. Prince discussed their approach of “budgeting to the plan” to ensure that new programs and initiatives that rely on ESSER funding are sustainable over time if needed. While the district anticipates that some spending may be short-term, there are other programs that are likely to continue after ESSER funding (e.g., additional school counselors, MTSS coaches). To plan for future decision-making the district is creating outcomes and tracking metrics that will later be used to determine return on investment.
Focus on what is within your control, recognizing that in the current environment everything is potentially political and polarizing
- Superintendents across the country are grappling with either implementing decisions from the state-level or making local decisions about highly divisive topics related to school re-opening (e.g., masks, vaccines, quarantining) and equity (e.g., critical race theory).
- Dr. Prince echoes sentiments felt in many districts about the “50/50” split on many decisions that superintendents must make. She recommends focusing on what is within your control to quiet the noise and distractions surrounding the start of the 2021-22 school year. Further, Dr. Prince recommends that superintendents recognize that their typical long-term and strategic planning mindset may not always be possible in today’s rapidly changing environment by developing solutions that are flexible to accommodate current conditions.
Forge ahead with equity and DEI work by stating the facts about what is happening in your district and presenting your core mission and goals
- Dr. Griffin provided a background on critical race theory (CRT) and context around how we reached the current, highly political environment around DEI and equity in schools. She recommends that school and district leaders not engage in debate around CRT specifically. Rather, she suggests using neutral language and terminology to describe the goals and actions that your district is taking to achieve educational equity and achievement for all students. Try to avoid getting caught up in the terminology and focus on the overarching goals, and in some cases requirements (e.g., disaggregation of student achievement data), related to DEI work in your district.
Download the recording today!