Whether responsible for a district large or small, or rural or urban, district leaders across the country all faced overnight change this past year and are figuring out the new rules of school together now.

We recently brought together Mary Henderson, Superintendent of Roselle School District, Victoria Hansen, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction of Bellwood School District, and Travis McGuire, Superintendent of Hinckley-Big Rock CUSD, for a leadership panel moderated by Darlene Ruscitti, Regional Superintendent for DuPage County Schools, to discuss what they’ve learned in 2020 and how leaders today can successfully navigate the remainder of a school year. In our discussion, we talked about juggling responsibilities, getting buy-in from teachers/students/parents, managing stress, and more.

View the highlights from our discussion below and if you’re interested in learning more about the Foundations for Blended Learning program mentioned during the discussion, click here.

Looking back to the start of the pandemic when everything changed, what’s one thing you wish you could do better?

How have you managed juggling all of the responsibilities in your district (e.g. logistics of this school year such as devices and hot spots for kids, hand sanitizer in buildings, etc.) while making sure teachers feel prepared and supported?

Coming into the fall, what was your top instructional priority and what was the plan to make sure it happened?

 What did you do to get teachers/students/parents to buy-in to the plan the district set for the school year?

Teachers in each of your districts are being coached right now to become Blended Ambassadors. What is a Blended Ambassador? What is the program like that you’re each using? What results have you seen from these efforts so far?

Taking care of ourselves is very important. How are you managing stress and what advice would you give fellow leaders?

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as you’ve addressed all of the challenges this school year? What’s the one bit of advice you’d like to pass on to other district leaders in your shoes?