By: Kimberly Young, Executive Director of Continuing & Professional Studies
K-12 educators and administrators have always grappled with tough decisions, and as we move toward the post-pandemic world, the decisions are even more complex and the outcomes even more unprecedented. As we thought about this difficult moment in our society, it occurred to us that one way we can help is to be a convener of diverse thinking, unique perspectives, and rich discussion. This notion was the beginning of the UMW Regional Educational Leadership Collaborative.
The collaborative is designed to be a collegial place where K-12 principals and administrators from across the region can come together as a community of practice for exposure to topics and insights from other industries that will expand their thinking about the education sector. While this work is helpful to each participant, we expect there to be an impact on building-level leadership throughout the region.
The kick-off session opened with a conversation on “Crisis Decision Making” led by Dr. John Burrow, faculty member at the UMW College of Business and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation. Participants were invited to learn about his framework for decision-making in crisis situations during his time working for the US Navy and apply it to their current spheres of influence. We also asked the leaders to share what’s on their minds and will explore those themes from different perspectives in the coming months for the remainder of 2021.
The next topic will focus on creating a safe environment and fostering the perception of safety as parents make decisions about how their children will learn for the remainder of the school year. What better industry to hear from than healthcare? During the early stages of the pandemic, healthcare organizations saw a steep drop off of elective procedures and non-critical emergency visits and have had to figure out ways to reengage non-COVID patients and their families for care. In our next discussion, we will hear from a leader of strategic initiatives from a regional healthcare organization who will share his perspective on how they are turning the corner in the perception of safety among patients and families for non-COVID care within their facilities. Participants will have an opportunity to hear from the conversation leader as well as spend time talking with each other about how they can apply the concepts that were shared to create their desired environment in their school. We will be better off if we can learn from each other while learning to see things differently. This kind of cross-sector sharing is the foundation for generating new and innovative ways to conduct business, educate, and engage in our post-pandemic new normal.
We hope you can join us for our next conversation. The Regional Ed Leadership Collaborative is a community of practice designed specifically for building-level administrators in K-12 education. This is an informal learning community that will provide a space to gain new insights, share best practices, and apply learning in the company of your peers. We hope you will join us for this innovative approach to professional development as we convene two times each semester to address topics that are relevant to your role in this region. Register at: https://cps.umw.edu/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=1053132