5 ESY Do’s & Don’ts When Scheduling New Services

When the U.S. Education Department provided recent IDEA guidance in light of the continuing challenges districts face due to COVID-19, it hinted at a new normal for extended school year services. ED pointed out that many districts were not able to provide ESY services during summer 2020 due to pandemic restrictions, meaning the old way […]

Biden’s Stance on Special Ed: 5 Things We Know Right Now

Following an administration-changing election, pundits and experts line up like callers to preseason college football radio shows to throw in their two cents on the direction the new president will go on any number of policy issues. While the future can change from day to day when it comes to politics, with respect to the […]

6 Questions Superintendents Must Ask Their Special Ed Directors Now

For the past eight months, school districts around the country have spent the bulk of their time and resources trying to manage a pandemic, keep students and staff safe, and deal with public perception issues in the media and political arenas. Even with all of that piled on their plates, districts and the superintendents who […]

COVID Has Been a Travesty for Students Getting Services. But District Financial Leaders Can Recoup Some Costs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on students in many ways, not the least of which have been the loss of services funded by IDEA, Title I, and other federal grants programs. As districts move forward with efforts to provide services amid the continuing pandemic challenges, financial considerations are a real concern with budget […]

Some advice for a new administration: Appoint a woman of color as U.S. secretary of education

America seems more ready than ever for long-overdue conversations about race, gender and opportunity. One setting where those conversations matter a lot is in our schools — the places that explicitly define opportunity in our children’s formative years. When we select people to lead our education systems, we send a loud signal to our children […]

Child Care, Students’ Internet Top Teacher Concerns

The winds of K-12 reopenings seem to be shifting nationally toward remote, or all-online, learning to start the 2020-2021 school year. Even in a hybrid environment, most students will still have three days a week of remote learning. Since it appears most students and educators around the U.S. will be engaging heavily in virtual learning […]

Supermarkets and Airplanes

I still vividly recall my first trip to the supermarket when quarantining started in early March. I was freaked out. It was before masks were mandatory and health officials didn’t have a good grip (well, as good as they do now) on how the virus was transmitted. I never saw parking lots that crowded at […]

Why Aren’t There More Female Superintendents? The Not-So-Subtle Sexism That Keeps Women out of Education Leadership

Education is one of America’s most female-dominated professions, yet the sweeping majority of school systems are led by white men. Often, the reasons are subtle. Sometimes, they’re not. One not-so-subtle moment happened at the July 14 meeting of the Sarasota County School Board, where several members proceeded to explain why they were eliminating the sole […]

Unlocking Potential

My childhood relocation from Italy in the early 1970’s could have easily made me a student who succumbed to the risk, storm, and stress that many children face every day. As such, I have committed myself to a hyper-vigilance about understanding the why and how students drift away from public schools. A few years ago, […]

Move Beyond Your Change Management Issues

Every week at least one leader tells me that their biggest challenge “is a change management issue.” It’s not surprising that Amazon sells more than 2,000 books about organizational change. Use any one of those books to plan your next initiative, then answer these five questions. Who is affected by this initiative and what’s in […]

Detroit Public Schools Show K-12 Leadership

While it is now more common to see districts in the U.S. releasing formal plans for Fall reopening—through June, most teachers and parents were left with almost no indication of what school will look like in September. But one district acted quickly in the Spring, engaged its community, and produced a comprehensive reopening plan. An […]