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Back to School in the Era of COVID-19: Uncertainties, Complexities, and Emerging Plans

Meeting 41

This virtual meeting consisted of four sessions across two days. Each session addressed a major challenge area that districts needed to navigate as they developed their back-to-school plans during the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout the two days, equity was an anchor and a goal for the work together.

Meeting 41 Summary

Briefing Book

Policy and practice briefs produced as an outcome from Meeting 41.

Educational Leadership in Crisis: Reflections from a Pandemic
January 2022

In the nearly 2 years since the SARS-CoV-2 virus burst on the American scene, more than 850,000 Americans have died, and elections have literally been won or lost on public officials’ positions and actions in response to COVID-19. Nowhere have the tensions and leadership demands been more visible than in the school systems that serve elementary and secondary school children, their parents, and communities. A new brief, Educational Leadership in Crisis: Reflections From a Pandemic, explores how some California district leaders have responded to the initial and continuing COVID-19 crisis, using the reflections of superintendents in the California Collaborative on District Reform to reveal patterns, themes, and lessons. The brief also considers the impact that the pandemic and school closures have had on the leaders themselves and the implications of that impact for the future. The authors conclude by applying the principles of high reliability organizations to suggest how local districts and their leaders might capitalize on the work to date, not only to navigate the continuing challenges of the current pandemic and recovery but also to prepare for the inevitable crises of the future.