ATLIS Summit: Making Informed Decisions for the Journey Ahead

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For this  ATLIS Summit, we crowdsourced ways to access and leverage data to address the many decisions that are confronting schools as they plan to continue to meet the needs of students in the months ahead. Access the archived video for the complete Summit that is outlined in brief in this post. -- SD

[10-minute read; 1-hour video]

ATLIS Summit: Making Informed Decisions for the Journey Ahead
June 17, 2020

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

Schools are facing the enormous challenge of reinventing themselves in the wake of COVID-19. Will they reopen in a new socially-distanced configuration in the Fall with a plan to nimbly transition to online learning once again if needed? Or will they adapt to some new hybrid model to serve their mission to educate students? 

This summit built upon discussions of the ATLIS Technology Considerations for Campus Reopening at our Virtual Town Hall in May. Since then we crowdsourced ideas from our community for how to access the information needed to make informed decisions about planning ahead. In particular, we asked:

  • What information (stories/data) are you collecting and how? 
  • How are you using this information to learn from your experiences and plan ahead?

I Just Don’t Know What I Don’t Know!
Melissa Kummerer
Regents School -- Austin, TX

Kummerer set the tone for our discussion with her frank observations about where we all are as we face a school year that will likely look like no other we have ever experienced. We can all learn from taking some time to define what we do know and then determining what we need to find out.

All Out Brainstorming
Amy Grunat
Drew School, CA

Data and stories were collected from all Drew School teachers before they left for the summer; they were asked what worked well, but also what didn't. This resulted in a full day brainstorming session -- with no holds barred. Now those ideas are being transformed into actionable plans. 

Collecting Data on Constituent  Experiences
Tatyana Griffin
Marin Horizon School, CA

Many schools have taken pains to collect hard data from the many corners of their communities. But how then do you move beyond the numbers towards real action? Griffin shared what her school has been doing to collect data to innovate its schedule, along with the steps being taken towards putting it to use to make the right decisions. 

Design Thinking Solutions: Design It for Those Who Will Use It
David Boxer
The Blake School, MN

Design Thinking provides a framework for decision-making that incorporates empathy interviews to gather data for problem-solving. Boxer shares how this process has affected the ways his school has designed and planned for whatever the future may bring. 



Leadership + Design, Design for Resilience Cohorts
NAIS, Education Unknown: A Guide to Scenario Planning for Independent Schools in the Age of COVID-19, May 2020

Panorama Data to Task Force
Holly Gerla
Charles Wright Academy, WA

Gerla shared how her school built on Panorama data from past surveys addressing a wide variety of topics. Concerned about survey fatigue, the school chose to send surveys on distance learning and well-being only to faculty this past May.  A task force, with input from technology team members, is forming to address the most pressing subtopics for the school.

Piloting New Devices in the Wild
Jose Tagle
The Buckley School, CA

Creating a pilot blended classroom to test new devices allowed tech explorers to test the effectiveness of new tools "in the wild.” A video shows what one version of what a blended classroom with a Meeting Owl might look like.

Jose Tagle, Hybrid Learning Video, The Buckley School, Video

Even as we begin to grapple with the lasting effects of COVID-19 and the concurrent impact on the economy, the struggle for true race equality has moved front and center for our communities. This is a reminder that the rapid changes in any culture can generate a lasting impact on the independent school community, and that technology leaders have a responsibility to help each other stay abreast of the best ways to lead the way forward.

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