Sustaining Innovation Summit

Numerous innovations have evolved out of necessity as independent schools responded to COVID-19. The harder question remains, How can we sustain those innovations into the future?  In this blog post, we recap the innovations and ideas for sustaining them that grew from our recent summit. - SD  [10-minute Read]

Access the video archive: free for ATLIS members; $45 for non-members

1. Celebrating Teachers’ Achievements

Suzannah Calvery, The Bear Creek School, WA

  • The willingness of our teachers to try something new that intimidates them.
  • Help them celebrate their achievements and strategically encourage them to continue making such decisions. 

2. Watershed Moment for Changing Mindsets

Dan McGee, Laurel School, OH

  • Teachers have become more facile with using online tools quickly and efficiently, more than ever before! 
  • I feel we have reached a watershed moment for mindset change, which I hope we can sustain.

Examples

Sarah McKeown, Laurel School

  • The innovative use of our Learning Management System. Being in a blended learning situation, the LMS was not always utilized to it's full potential. I would like teachers to keep asking how they can use the LMS when we are back to a blended learning situation!
  • Continue to support teachers in their use of the LMS and offer professional development opportunities to enhance blended learning.

Karen Redmond, Laurel School

  • Our Pre-primary teachers have collaborated to create engaging video content for our young learners. They have really captured a sense of community.
  • Hopefully their success will carry them forward to use these new skills in the classroom, whether in a blended fashion, or with students themselves.
  1. Slowing Down the Pace

Matt Scully, Providence Day School, NC (shared by Susan Davis, ATLIS)

  • Slowing down the pace and being very intentional about how much work is enough (feedback changes as well).
  • Finding more time for collaboration and quick prototypes

Loom Sample4. Dynamic Content Delivery

Jennifer Wardell Smith, Friends School of Atlanta, GA

We're using Loom to transform our asynchronous teaching by capturing teachers' screens, voices, and faces to deliver content dynamically.

We'll continue Loom training as well as other technologies through weekly Zoom trainings and spotlighting ways teachers are using technology in creative and effective ways with periodic newsletters.

5. One-Stop PD in a Teacher Portal/HubSample Hub Modules

Dr. Jill Brown, Albuquerque Academy, NM

  • We have an online teaching portal to support the work of our faculty. We had one in the past, but teachers didn't rely on it. They would seek support in many different ways and didn't always refer to this area. We see now that they are using this online resource all the time and answering their own questions often and they now have more agency in their work.
  • We will continue to guide faculty to the online teaching portal for answers (if they are already there) and we'll continue to share their best practices/solutions they share and the ones we discover in this one place.

Sample Video

6. Home-Grown Training Leverages School Culture

Louis Tullo, Athenian School, CA

  • Rather than just directing our faculty to trainings offered by third-parties, we've crafted our own based on our identity as a school and embedding best practices from third-parties. These trainings have been created as courses within our LMS.
  • We will continue to build out trainings this way so faculty have asynchronous PD available to them, and we can enroll new teachers in these courses to get them up-to-speed on important tech integration strategies.

7. Reaching Out to Families

Lisa Fusco, French-American School of New York, NY

  • Our divisions created websites to reach out to families and share art, literature, and online resources with our families.
  • Maintain these big get-togethers with teachers and staff.
Sample Pages

8. Continuous Feedback Loop Model

Alex Podchaski, North Broward Preparatory School, FL

  • We have moved to a continuous feedback, evaluation, implement model for many aspects fo the school. We are constantly surveying, bringing together working groups, and reviewing our plans in light of developing situations. We have made adjustments to some programs, held fast to others, but are looking at things in the light of being proactive as much as possible instead of reactive, and doing continuous strategic work.
  • Given how rapidly everything is changing, this is becoming our new normal, and I expect us to continue to develop our policies and procedures as the global situation continues to evolve

9. School-Wide Gratitude

Michael Fauteux, Leadership Public Schools, CA

  • We use a school-wide gratitude program called GiveThx in our distance learning to strengthen wellbeing and social-emotional skills. We built GiveThx as a digital tool and set of practices for sending thank you notes, completing reflections, and monitoring strengths inventories of individuals, classes, and schools. We built supports for distance learning during the crisis that have strengthened student and staff wellbeing by nurturing essential connection and self-esteem.
  • We made the innovation a nonprofit to help others use both the digital tool (www.givethx.org) and its practices (bit.ly/GTDist). The program is free for schools to use to improve wellbeing, social-emotional skills, and school culture, one thank you at a time.

 

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