November 4th Edition

Post-Election Communications

In this highly charged political atmosphere, it is important to remind staff about communications in the aftermath of our national election.  Here is an outline that the Stevens Point Area School District is using with their staff.

As always, if you need any communications support AWSA members can reach out to the Donovan Group at 414-409-7225 or at [email protected]

AWSA Joins the Stop the COVID Spread Coalition

“Stop the Covid Spread!” is a coalition of Wisconsin’s leading health care, business, and advocacy organizations that have joined together to urge the public to take preventative measures to stop the spread. The coalition is encouraging everyone in Wisconsin to wear a mask, wash their hands, and physically distance

You can incorporate the coalition’s fact sheet, public service announcements, and other materials into your communications to demonstrate the broad support for masking, hand washing, and physical distancing.

Members Sharing Ways to Staff Sustainable Hybrid Learning Options

In many schools, at some point this year, students will be attending in-person while others are attending virtually.  Educators are working to find staffing strategies to provide and sustain high-quality hybrid learning options.  This table includes strategies that AWSA members are having success with.  If you have not done so please share your effective practices by completing this form.

The Real Issue Isn’t Student Engagement, by John Spencer

The shift toward virtual and hybrid learning can be challenging; especially around student engagement. However, sometimes the real challenge isn’t one of student engagement so much as student empowerment. In this article, we explore how teachers can design distance learning with student self-direction at the forefront. This is a modified excerpt from my upcoming book Empowered at a Distance: How to Build Student Self-Direction into Remote and Hybrid Learning.

Read more.

Finding Time in a Health Pandemic, by Amy Arbogash

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” -Harvey MacKay

And yet, when we have the time together as a staff, we rarely take full advantage of that time. We have all experienced traditional staff meetings that use time for informational delivery. There isn’t meaningful collaboration. There isn’t active learning. There aren’t opportunities for teacher leaders. There isn’t modeling, choice, or transformation.  As educational leaders, we need to find ways to get time on our side, and one of the ways that has seen a track record of success is the process of flipping a meeting.

Read more.

Instructional Coaching Goes Virtual: Leveling Up Professional Practice, by Caroline D. Haebig

Needless to say, education professionals are facing a lot of fluidity and change this year. One area worth exploring is the implementation of instructional coaching in a virtual format.  While this concept may seem obvious, some school administrators and coaches have questioned whether it is possible to provide high-quality instructional coaching virtually.  A variety of coaching industries have thrived using a virtual format. 

Read more.

November 18th Edition

Coaching Impact Amid Uncertainty: Reimagining Support, by Brianna Hodges

The pandemic’s toll on educators has paralleled and, in some ways, even surpassed the stressors felt by first responders.  Educators, coaches, and instructional leaders provide support, which is foundational to our work. That said, support is a variant term, meaning different things in different scenarios.  How might we reimagine support so that we can better sustain educators amid extreme uncertainty? 

Read More.

Instructional Coaching in a Virtual Format (Part 2): High Impact Methods for Increasing Participation and Effectiveness, by Caroline D. Haebig

Last month’s newsletter entry, Instructional Coaching Goes Virtual: Leveling Up Professional Practice, discussed the value of creating a pilot program to identify best practices to provide instructional coaching in a virtual format. This article provides next steps, specific resources and methods to support high-impact instructional coaching methods in a virtual coaching environment.  

Read More. 

State Superintendent’s 2021-23 Biennial Budget Request Addresses Priority Needs

The Department of Public Instruction submitted its 2021-23 Biennial Budget request on November 9, 2020. The department's request includes critical investments in mental health & student wellness, special education, as well as the detrimental impacts the pandemic has had on enrollments in public schools this year.  Find more information here.

Practical Cyber Security for School Leaders

School Districts across Wisconsin and the country have been thrust into a world where they need to produce meaningful remote education. During this time it is easy to put cyber preparedness on the back burner.  And, yet it is more important than ever to keep cyber security in the forefront.

Read More.

November 17th Edition

Don’t Push the Panic Button! (But Rather… Take Proactive Steps to Protect Yourself, Your Students, and Your Community)

This article discusses the proactive steps we can all take to protect ourselves and the data we secure and how your district can minimize the impact of a cyber-attack. The key to remember is that we aren’t preparing for if a cyber attack occurs, we are preparing for when a cyber-attack occurs. 

Read more.

Communicating in a Time of Changes

The final month and a half of the calendar year has always been a busy time for public schools. This was true long before the global pandemic and the political turbulence many school leaders have been experiencing as of late. Beyond those things, all of the pre-holiday business of our work causes ample stress this time of the year. This article covers four key concepts to keep in mind as you work through some of the more difficult days of the school year.  

Read more.

Joint Webinar for Public Health and School Stakeholders

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) will be holding a Joint Webinar for Public Health and School Stakeholders on November 18 at 4 - 5 p.m. This webinar is an opportunity to hear from State experts regarding CDC and DHS guidance for schools and updated information on COVID-19 vaccination for school-aged children. Other subject matter experts from DHS will also be available to answer your questions. 

Please register in advance of the webinar. A Zoom link and call-in information will be provided upon registration.

2021 SLATE Convention 

SLATE is a comprehensive educational technology convention designed to meet the needs of all schools and districts. This convention is designed for a wide variety of educators including Teachers, Principals, Associate Principals, District Administrators, Library Media Specialists, IT Coordinators, Directors of Curriculum and Instruction, and other school leaders.

Over the course of three days, hundreds of educators of all backgrounds and expertise levels gather to learn about the newest in education technology, as well as practical tips and tricks to implement in their schools and districts. 

Click to Learn More or Register