Schools are scrambling to take care of basic needs and to create distance learning opportunities to serve all students. The decisions being made today are critical, yet only address the immediate impact of the pandemic.
Over the next weeks and months, the economic impacts of COVID-19—likely reductions in state and federal funding—will become apparent. School leaders will face a set of decisions on mid- to long-term plans that will define the full impact of all the disruption on students and schools.
School leaders can make effective, long-term decisions using a framework of school identity, vision for student readiness, equity, and impact to clearly and concisely answer the following questions:
- Vision: How does your decision align with where you are going and what you are trying to get done?
- Identity: How does your decision reflect who you are and align with your shared values, beliefs, and approaches?
- Equity: How does your decision support students who are furthest from opportunity?
- Impact: What does this decision make possible if we make it and what is the potential impact if we don’t?
Making high-quality decisions using this framework assumes that leaders and all stakeholders know who they are (e.g., values, beliefs, mental models). They have already gained clarity on what they are trying to get done (e.g., shared vision for student readiness, goals). They know who the students are that are furthest from opportunity. Having this knowledge and clarity is a huge head start for being strategic in the important decision making just ahead.
To sum up, the effectiveness of the mid- to long-term decisions and strategic course corrections that schools will soon need to make will depend on four things: the alignment with who you are; the connection to what you are trying to get done; how well it will support students furthest from opportunity; and how likely it will lead to the desired, anticipated impact.
The Inflexion Approach is an organizational framework designed to support schoolwide implementation efforts and to build learning communities that work for ALL students. It is a way to develop coherence in systems often described as being disjointed, disorganized, and chaotic. Through the Inflexion Approach, we call out critical elements of school identity that support organizational structures and learning approaches aligned to a shared, holistic vision for readiness.
Through our work at Inflexion, we have learned time and time again that schools with a shared sense of identity, vision for readiness, and deep understanding of their students and community are best equipped to make quality decisions—especially in a crisis.
We’re here to help. Check out examples and resources in our latest newsletter.