Crisis management

We Can—and Will—Do Hard Things

There is no question that we are in absolutely unprecedented times. Naturally, in situations like these, we turn to the leaders in our schools, districts, states, and nation that exhibit empathy, guidance, and support. If we don’t find those things, we have two choices. We can step up and become the leaders that people desperately need, or we can shut down and become afraid of the uncertainty. (more…)

Leading Through Crisis

This fall, the Science Leadership Academy faced its biggest challenge in the 13-year history of the school. After leasing our charming but limited space for many years, we were scheduled to move into a refurbished co-located facility. This was a watershed moment for the district, as it marked the first time in recent memory that two existing schools—one citywide magnet and one neighborhood school—would be co-located in the same facility. The district was committing $23 million to the renovation, and it was seen as a potential roadmap for a district with many severely underutilized facilities. We’d spent the better part of two years preparing—designing the facility, getting to know each other’s faculty, and prepping for the students from both schools to get to know their new neighbors in a way that was powerful and positive. (more…)

Leveraging Title IV, Part A to Create Safe and Supportive Schools

Guest post by Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach

Principals have a responsibility to ensure student safety while also providing a supportive environment that is conducive to learning. This requires a careful balance of addressing physical safety while also addressing the psychological safety of students. Despite the current focus on arming teachers and other school personnel, this tactic does not improve school safety, carries significant risk, and can actually undermine the learning environment. Rather, reasonable physical security measures include: (more…)

When Tragedy Strikes: Tips for Coping with Student Deaths

Guest post by Paula Callan

It’s the crisis response plan we as school administrators pray we never have to implement: The sudden loss of a student. But when tragedy strikes, it’s up to school administrators to provide leadership to the entire school community and implement protocols to support the immediate family, students, and staff most affected.  (more…)

The Orlando Shootings: A Parent’s Guide for Talking to Children

Children and teenagers are better able to cope with upsetting news when they understand more about the event. They need information just as adults do. In the wake of the recent tragic shooting in Orlando, FL, here are some things you can share with your students’ parents to help them when discussing the event with their children.

Where to Begin

Start by asking your child or teenager what they already understand about the shooting. (more…)

Revamping School Safety: Are You Prepared?

Guest post by Clint Ross

It’s something you can’t imagine happening at your school. But being properly prepared for a crisis situation—both during the emergency and afterward—is critical in this day and age.

In nearly every state, mandates involving school safety reforms have been attached to school funding. The current state of society makes this a very worthy endeavor, but this undertaking comes with some serious consternation for school districts of all shapes and sizes. Since the 1990s, school safety programs have included canned platforms that were slightly adapted to particular communities, districts, and buildings—at best. (more…)