April 8th Edition

Leading Through Times of Turbulence

by Joe Schroeder, Ph.D., AWSA Associate Executive Director

Oh, what a difference a few weeks can make – and how leadership can be so deeply tested in such short order!  Since our state’s schools closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak last month, education leaders have orchestrated both the major moves and the underlying cohesion necessary to continue key services and supports that are responsive to the incredibly disruptive wake of the coronavirus.  Leading faculty through the massive shift from in-person to remote learning; distributing countless meals; supporting people through their own sense of loss and fear; and sustaining energy, perspective, and resilience through it all has presented what arguably is the greatest leadership challenge to date for school administrators.  And the challenge continues!  This article is designed to offer some insights, reminders, and resources for you who will need to continue to step up and lead through the weeks and months ahead.

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Using Data to Inform and Support a Coaching System

by Rachel Fregien

Over three years ago, the Department of Public Instruction introduced the Coaching Competency Practice Profile (CCPP), which provided the field with a consistent definition of coaching. You can read more about how the document was developed and its intended use here. Since that time, a diverse group of stakeholders have been busy developing tools and resources supporting the foundational definition of coaching to support the growing practice of educational coaching across the state. 

Read more.

Teacher Contract Renewal and Nonrenewal

by Malina Piontek, Attorney 

Despite the fact that school buildings and all but essential businesses are closed due to COVID 19, our laws do not stop. In particular, we are in the timeframe when school boards and administration consider whether to renew or nonrenew teacher contracts. The pandemic has not stopped that process.

Unlike the administrator nonrenewal statute which allows school boards to enter into two-year contracts with principals, and even have extensions to those contracts, the teacher contract statute only allows schools boards to enter into one-year contracts with teachers. Therefore, by law, the renewal/refusal to renew teacher contracts is an annual undertaking.  

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Wisconsin's Own Deb Paradowski Named National AP of the Year

Wisconsin’s 2019-20 Associate Principal of the Year, Debra Paradowski of Arrowhead UHS, has been named as the national 2020 Associate Principal of the Year by NASSP. 

NASSP has recognized a National Associate Principal of the Year since 2005. This award honors those who stand out in their ability to excel in this ever more demanding role. This is the first time an Associate Principal from Wisconsin has won the award. 

Debra has served as assistant principal of Arrowhead UHS for the past 15 years. Her many efforts include creating a student-centered group called Students Leaving a Mark (SLAM) to improve school culture by giving students a voice in school routines and empowering them to become engaged and confident learners.

In addition, she helped co-plan "Lake Arts Projects" which involves the Milwaukee Dance and Theatre Arts Community with Arrowhead’s Music and Art Departments. The experience immerses students creatively and collaboratively with other disciplines to develop performance-based projects providing a sense of pride, self-confidence and a deeper understanding of the meaning of community.  

Debra will be attending the 2020 National Principal Conference held later this year in National Harbor, Maryland to accept the award and represent Wisconsin education and educators.

As You Plan: Remember Summer Session Online Courses Are Aidable for Grades 7-12 

Under Wis.Stat.sec.121.14(1)(a)3, if eligible pupils complete certain online courses, a district may count instructional minutes. Eligible students must be entering grades 7-12 in the fall and successfully complete the eligible online high school course. 

The online class must fulfill a requirement for high school graduation as specified under Wis.Stat.sec.118.33(1)(a) in:  (a) English, including writing composition; (b) social studies, including state and local government; (c) mathematics, including certain computer sciences and certain career and technical education; (d) science, including certain agriculture and career and technical education and (e) physical education.  

Source: DPI February 2020 Summer and Interim Sessions Letter to District Administrators

April 22nd Edition - COVID 19 Related Information and Resources for You

Status of Safer at Home Order

Educators have been eager to learn if the Safer at Home order would be extended for the remainder of the school year.  On April 16th the Governor extended the order to May 26th and closed schools for the remainder of the year.  In addition, the Governor issued a new executive order outlining “opening” the state in three phases.  On April 21, Legislative leaders asked the State Supreme Court to block the extension (from April 24 to May 26th). The unfortunate reality is that uncertainty persists about the Governor’s extension as well as how things would play out in Wisconsin’s 72 counties if the extension is blocked by the Court. AWSA will track this carefully and be sure to include updates to the membership as developments arise.

Graduation/Promotion Planning

We know that middle and high school principals are busy trying to determine how best to bring closure to the school year and plan for promotion/graduation ceremonies. Please complete this brief survey.  The results will be used to provide resources, information, and networking opportunities for members in the coming weeks.

Take the Survey

How to Best “Get Closure” for Students and Staff

We know that elementary school principals are busy trying to determine how best to bring closure to the school year if students do not return this semester.  Please share your ideas for bringing closure to your school in this Google Doc for elementary schools. 

Getting Families Connected to the Internet

Educational leaders are struggling to provide internet connectivity to as many students as possible.  Here are ways districts are working to do so.

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Coaching Emotional Resilience:  How Will We Bounce Back?

“How you interpret and make sense of events is a juncture point where emotional resilience increases or depletes. You make the choice about what story to tell.  When you tell empowering stories, your optimism may expand and optimism is a key trait of resilient people.” -- Elena Aguilar

Just a few short months ago, I received the news that my children had a sibling born.  My husband and I are in our 50’s, adopted our two children in 2017 and now found ourselves at a juncture we knew may come.

Read more.

Wisconsin Funding From the CARES Act

On March 27, the federal CARES Act was adopted and signed into law. Part of the bill creates an Education Stabilization Fund to help with costs related to COVID-19 and school closures. It is estimated that Wisconsin will receive $175 million under that program. Additionally, state governors are being given funds to direct for further K-12 and higher educational needs; Wisconsin’s estimated share is $47 million. The DPI plans to share information with the field as soon as they receive details from the U.S. Department of Education on how these funds are to be accessed and used.

Coronavirus Page

Visit AWSA's Coronavirus Information for Schools page for resources and updates to announcements regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

AWSA Election

The election is open! The success of our association depends, to a large degree, upon the quality leadership that members collectively choose to lead AWSA. We are proud that our tradition of strong leadership continues. The election will remain open through April 30. 

Vote Now