June 2nd Edition

The AWSA Update Bulletin is ending the school year with
the four most-read articles of 2020-21. 

Pain, Promise, and the Path to Racial Justice (July 2020)

By Jim Lynch and Joe Schroeder, AWSA

Race is a social construct.  The genome has been mapped, and we know that our species share 99.9% of our DNA with one another.1

That “social construct” has very real meaning in our country.  Babies who are black and white are born with the same amazing potential.  However, based solely on the social construct of race, we can predict wide disparities for people of color in education, criminal justice, health, and poverty.  And, here in Wisconsin, we have some of the widest disparities in the nation.

Read more.

Coaching Emotional Resilience: How Will We Bounce Back? (April 2020)

by Tammy Gibbons, AWSA Director of Professional Development

“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.  Ultimately, we made the painful decision that while we would love to continue to adopt more children, it simply isn’t the best decision long term for this child or our own. 

Read more.

12 Things School Leaders Should Stop Doing Today (July 2020)

by Jimmy Casas

A couple of weeks ago I was part of a group discussion where a building principal shared that he had been called to the superintendent’s office.  You could tell by the tone in his voice that he was a bit nervous about why his superintendent had requested the meeting. He shared that it wasn’t the first time he had been called in to have “a talk.” 

Read more.

School-Based Mental Health Services for Students in Remote, In-Person and Blended Learning (July 2020)

by Tim Peerenboom, School Psychology Consultant on Student Services, Prevention and Wellness Team

Prior to school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing evidence was making two things clear.  First, is that Wisconsin students are in crisis.  According to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), nearly 60% of high school students reported experiencing depression, anxiety, self-harm, or suicidal ideation.  Second, is that schools are uniquely positioned and thus increasingly being relied upon to provide mental health services for school-aged youth.  

Read more.


2021 Elementary Principals Convention 

Photo of elementary aged school childrenThe 2021 Elementary Principals Convention will take place from October 13-15, 2021 at the KI Center in Green Bay. Brad Gustafson and Jennifer Abrams will present our keynote sessions and the convention will feature over twenty sessions focused on Elementary Leadership. 

Click for more information. 

June 23rd Edition

A New Partnership with School Perceptions

Recently, AWSA and School Perceptions formed a partnership to bring you the School Leadership Planning Tool. Perfect for building leadership teams such as administrators, teacher leaders, and others, this tool helps you create an environment where students can thrive.  Check out this flyer to learn more about the School Leadership Planning Tool.

Recognizing 2020-21 Retirees

It is our privilege to thank our AWSA members who are retiring at the end of this school year for their careers of service to children. We extend our best wishes to our colleagues who are opening a new, more leisurely, chapter in their lives: Class of 2021 Retirees. 

Cover of Retirement Pamphlet of Members

Important COVID Information

This article includes information on federally sponsored COVID testing support for the fall, and updates on the increase in adolescent hospitalizations, and vaccination. 

Read More.

 Upcoming AWSA Webinars 

In addition to our academies, conventions, and workshops, AWSA has several webinars planned during the start of the next school year. Review the information below to register or find more information. 

Professional Learning That Sticks Webinar
August 2, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM 

If ever we needed our staff to grow, it’s now. The best professional learning does not come from outside consultants – it is home grown. I will share a simple four-step process for designing professional learning (PL) sessions that stick. Come with an idea for a PL session and we will brainstorm ideas together. I will also share a tool to help you with the most neglected part of professional learning – evaluating it. How do you know if it worked? You will walk away with 2 tools and 5 strategies to improve professional learning at your school. Free to attend.

More information / Register today!

Communicating in a Time of Change: Connecting to Stakeholders, Responding to Crisis
August 17, 2021 | 9:00 - 10:30 AM 

Effective communications and management are always important for school leaders, but getting communications right is even more critical as we emerge from the pandemic. Join Jerry Gallagher and Joe Donovan from the Donovan Group in discussing the principles of communication and crisis management that will promote clarity while preventing or minimizing the damage a crisis can inflict on the organization, its stakeholders, and its reputation. School leaders in large districts and small and from every corner of the state can attend this webinar for practical school communication tips for the 2021-22 school year. Free to attend.

More information / Register today! 

Advancing Your Skills Webinar Series: Webinar Wednesdays
Multiple days

Based on past participant feedback and recent developments in the need for virtual professional development, AWSA will now be providing virtual offerings focused on specific key areas in coaching school improvement. It is recommended that participants have already participated in the Impactful Coaching Academy in order to be familiar with the coaching protocols to be used in the virtual offerings.

More information / Register today!

Using Assessment as an Improvement Lever Webinar
October 6, 2021 or March 29, 2022

Teachers make many instructional and assessment decisions in a day.  As a leader, what role do you play in ensuring that the assessments teachers are choosing to inform instruction and are used to communicate progress are valid and reliable and reflect student understanding?  What does monitoring for assessment quality look like in your school? In this webinar, participants will learn some tools for conducting an assessment audit, understand the role of the team/department and identify the various entry points for this important improvement work.

More information / Register today!

Essential Standards Webinar Series
Multiple Webinars October & November of 2021 

The pandemic illuminated a lot of improvement areas --in positive ways-- and one of those is the need for staff to truly refine curriculum, focusing on Essential Learnings or Power Standards/Clearer standards for each grade and subject, and vertical articulation.  AWSA will be providing a series of webinars to equip school leaders and leadership teams with the knowledge and skills to facilitate this work back at the school/district level.  Participants may choose all four webinars or pick and choose the specific topic of need.  

More information / Register today!