We’re knee deep in figuring out the deadlines for school budget votes and Board of Education elections, as impacted by the Governor’s latest Executive Order. Throughout this school closure we’ve had many questions that we needed to answer and decisions to make. I’m not sure I’ve ever found the work of a school superintendent to be more intense or difficult. So in the midst of all of it, I checked in with our school community and asked everyone for the positives—what good may come from this closure?
The results of this latest thought exchange can be found in this summary report. We asked,
What’s gone well for you during the school closure that may be different from the norm or what you’d expect? What are possible changes you want to make when life returns to “normal”?
I found the thoughts shared to be encouraging and reflective of the caring, supportive community that is Springville-Griffith Institute CSD. Please take the time to read the report. I hope you’re as uplifted by the thoughts shared as I am!
We will reflect carefully on the lessons learned about learning and the way we do “school” after this health crisis. If we just return to the way we’ve always done things and a status quo, we’re missing a massive opportunity to improve learning for all kids. Here’s a Buffalo News article by Jay Rey in which I’m quoted as saying,
I actually hope that after all of this is over maybe we can have some lessons that we learned from this time,” Moritz said. “Perhaps some of these things we’ve clung to don’t seem so important anymore and we can focus on how we really define learning.
I hope that people will really think about the equity challenge and finally see how impossible homework completion is for some of our neediest children. I hope that we’ll capitalize on remote learning for our students who are home sick or who otherwise can’t put in the seat time requirements. We need to think about maintaining the family connections that so many talk about in the ThoughtExchange. I hope we’ll reconsider our thoughts on “proving” learning through arbitrary grading procedures. Most of all, I hope we’ll really analyze and commit to improvements about the actual curriculum content and pedagogy that we employ in every classroom, every day. As teachers were forced to consider “power” standards, the most important learning that’s necessary for each class, did they also recognize that we’re teaching some content that’s irrelevant, unnecessary, and easily found online? If so, then we need to do the hard work of identifying what will be different in our curriculum and instruction that will improve learning for all kids.
Let’s come out of this health crisis better than we entered it.