As I have shared before (and will keep sharing), this year the five school priorities (in order) are:
#1: Keep the Adults Safe and Alive.
#2 Keep the Students Safe and Healthy.
#3: Keep the School Safe and Open.
#4: Address Emotional Health and Belonging Needs.
Obviously, to educators and anyone with a brain, the most important priority is #1: Keep The Adults Safe and Alive. After all, it is difficult to teach effectively when you are dead. But from an operational standpoint, the linchpin priority is #3: Keep the School Safe and Open.
Linchpin: One that serves to hold together parts that function as a unit.
Think about it… If one puts in place a program of practices and routines that maintain the health and hygiene integrity of the campus, addressing everything from morning entry thru evening dismissal; then in all likelihood the campus will remain safe and open for the majority (if not all) of the year.
These same practices and routines that allow the school to remain safe and open are the exact same practices and routines necessary to keep adults alive and students heathy. If the program of practices and routines are not the same, then school leaders are relying on hope and luck, “I hope the virus stays away and if we are lucky no one will get sick.”
Then, by keeping the school safe and open, staff and students are able to address and fulfill emotional and belonging needs in an on-going and purposeful manner (Priority #4). This in turn set the stage for actual teaching and learning to occur at some point during the year (Priority #5). Hopefully sooner, but this year, later is OK.
Lead Your School and Wash Your Hands!
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