Lessons Learned and Ideas from the Folio Community

School leaders are being innovative and bold in supporting their communities. For teachers and staff, the result has been boosts in morale, a strong sense of ownership, new skills and experiences, and regular reminders that leaders are there for them.

In last week’s Folio group leadership coaching session, one-on-one conversations, Member Spotlight presentation, and Mastermind calls, Folio members shared what is happening – and working – in their schools right now.

How might you draw on the diverse skills of your faculty, staff, and students in new and different ways in order to get additional support where it’s needed now?

Folio members have:

  • Asked Admission team members to pivot from their usual role to conducting phone check-ins with families
  • Invited Seniors to serve as “virtual homework helpers/babysitters” for the children of teachers, so that they are able to teach classes
  • Created a Remote Learning Fellows program to help support the ed tech needed in this new way of teaching
  • Certified teachers in different technologies (such as Google Classroom, Seesaw) to help build their skills

How might you tend to your faculty/staff in order to maintain community and boost morale?

Folio members have:

  • Included funny memes and videos in regular Friday teacher memos
  • Sent gift baskets from local vendors to faculty members at their homes
  • Established affinity groups for faculty to create an inclusive space to share with others in similar positions (such as parents of young children, people living alone, etc.)
  • Hosted non-school faculty events such as yoga, karaoke, happy hours, and coffee hours

How might you stay true to your school’s mission in order to preserve traditions and a sense of normalcy?

Folio members have:

  • Developed plans for virtual awards ceremonies for graduating students
  • Broadcasted student and staff performances on a school TV channel – open mic night!
  • Continued with the traditions and rituals that are integral to the school’s culture by creating virtual Coffees with the Head, Morning Meetings, athletics team practices and enrichment clubs

How might you reframe this time as an opportunity to try something new in order to encourage innovation and experimentation with your faculty?

Folio members have:

  • Developed new life-readiness courses for seniors (especially for those who have met graduation requirements), such as laundry, cooking, fitness, and passion projects
  • Moved away from a “coverage” model to a competency-based model of instruction
  • Tried out new instructional approaches, including Flipped Classroom and Project Based Learning
  • Created dedicated time for teacher professional development; for example, one school has moved to a four-day academic week with Fridays reserved for PD and “Fun Fridays” for students (cooking shows, magic activities, etc.)
  • Tried new ways to provide just-in-time professional development to teachers, including short Loom videos and 1:1 targeted coaching after observations
  • Planned new digital summer school pilots, creating a new revenue stream while also accelerating the curriculum

How might you capture and document all of the work that is happening in order to preserve the work happening at this time in preparation for the Fall?

Folio members have:

  • Enlisted a school archivist or storyteller (or training students as oral historians) to help keep a record of the school’s activities throughout this transition
  • Thought of faculty and staff as “action researchers” – ready to plan, reflect, and iterate
  • Created multiple opportunities for faculty, staff, students, and parents to contribute to this learning, including embedding a “sharing” button in each week’s school memo and using surveys to help everyone reflect on successes and challenges

If you would like any additional information on any of these ideas, please let us know, pd@foliocollaborative.org and we’ll connect you with the school putting them into action.


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