Giving Compass’ Take:
• Here are five significant challenges for school districts, ranging from school security and safety to curriculum and assessment.
• How can donors be part of school district solutions?
• Learn about the issue of school district secession.
Here’s a look at five major challenges districts are facing and steps they’re taking to address them.
- Balancing school security with positive learning: Challenge: Perhaps as a result of the ongoing emphasis on safety, schools are hardening buildings to keep students safe.
- Solutions: In the rush to increase tangible security measures like installing metal detectors and surveillance cameras, experts say administrators should be mindful of putting in place equally, if not more, effective social-emotional prevention strategies.
- Teacher strikes: Challenge: With teachers in a number of districts strike-ready and greater union advocacy pushing administrators to address needs “beyond traditional contract issues,” resuming business as usual after a strike can be challenging.
- Solutions: Districts are looking for ways to continue despite teacher absences during a strike.
- Teacher shortages: Challenge: High turnover rates and shortages continue to pose challenges for many districts.
- Solutions: With the trend continuing into this school year, schools are looking for ways to attract and retain quality teachers.
- Leadership pipeline and succession planning: Challenge: According to research, 35% of principals stay in their positions for less than two years.
- Solutions: Encouraging professional learning networks, ensuring sufficient salaries, and providing both preparation programs and in-service trainings can go a long way in making principals more likely to stay in their jobs.
- Curriculum and assessment: Challenge: Many districts are feeling the pressure to meet accountability metrics while also trying to get creative with approaches to curriculum and assessment.
- Solutions: Many schools are shifting to alternative methods like project-based assessments that are scored based on creativity and “through-year” testing, a model reflecting growth and proficiency levels instead of being summative.
Read the full article about major challenges for school districts by Naaz Modan at Education Dive.
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