Dear school leaders and policymakers: It didn’t have to be this way

Covid map 2020-08-05Dear school leaders and policymakers, 

It didn’t have to be this way.

You had all summer to watch the rising number of coronavirus cases all across the country.

You had all summer to educate yourself about the science.

You had all summer to read credible news sources and see the viral outbreaks that occurred everywhere that people gathered without appropriate protections.

You had all summer to encourage people to do the things necessary to slow down the viral spread (hint: it wasn’t going to restaurants and bars).

You had all summer to invest in the safety precautions necessary for schools to be safe (ventilation systems, personal protective equipment, rules and policies, etc.).

You had all summer to recognize that reopening schools this fall was magical thinking and instead invest heavily in your educators’ ability to do high-quality, high-engagement remote learning (unlike last spring).

You had all summer to help your community close family equity gaps regarding computing devices and Internet access.

You had all summer to fortify yourselves for the brave political conversations and gather allies.

You had all summer to engage in realistic messaging to your community.

You had all summer to be the leader that you were appointed / elected to be.

Now you’re asking your community and citizens for “grace during this difficult time.” Are you surprised that many folks aren’t willing to give it?

It’s never too late to lead. Are you finally going to do so?


P.S. If you did most or all of these things, THANK YOU.


Image credit: Covid ActNow

2 Responses to “Dear school leaders and policymakers: It didn’t have to be this way”

  1. Shannon C. Svaldi, PhD in Ed. Reply August 18, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Okay, so here we are. Now what?

    Professionally, I need a set of current digital tech standards – this is applicable to all teachers. Every single one.

    I’d love a post that captures a few sets of standards and briefly discusses their affordances and limitations for a specific audience (practitioners) and how these practitioners actually use them with students (to measure teaching quality over time, develop their unit and lesson sequence, etc.). As an English Language Development teacher, I use a lot of systems of standards, yet none foreground digital tech use / design for Generation Z. If such a post exists, please point me to it!

    P.S. Scott, it is good to see your blog is still up and running!

  2. Yes, yes and yes! Scott, you hit this right on the head here!

    The bottom line is that teachers are still remote teaching and there will be a shutdown, if not full closure, at some point this year. We still need to be prepared.

    It’s lovely that we’re preparing for students to return. But every school is doing it differently! And remote teaching (and learning) isn’t on the forefront of anyone’s mind right now.

    As a school leader, I ask myself what do my teachers need? What technology skills have they struggled to develop and how can I help them succeed!? How can I help them develop engaging material, especially remotely (because Covid isn’t done)?

    If we aren’t in this job to support our teachers, then why are we doing this?

    If our conversations don’t begin and end with kids’ success, then what are we doing?

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