This upcoming Sunday, many Americans will extend the yearly tradition of watching the last two NFL teams compete for the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. As a loyal Philadelphia Eagles fan myself, I am not too interested in the game this year, since it features the LA Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. What I am excited about most is the halftime show - this year featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar.
Most districts and schools nationwide have reached their yearly "halftimes," or the midway point in the school year. As district leaders, educators and students prepare to finish the second half of the 2021-2022 school year; this time can also offer an opportunity to revisit and check the progress of strategic plans. Using this time of year to examine the progress of strategic plans, leaders will see what is working and where pivots can (and should) be made to ensure district-wide success moving forward.
As you head to the locker room and check your districts gameplans at this halfway point of the 2021-2022 school year, here are some things to consider:
1. Use defined metrics to measure success
In order to define progress, a district needs to know what to measure first. Stakeholder surveys can be a great starting point to gain viable insight into what is happening across a district. They can offer a glimpse into the experience of various district stakeholders, including teaching staff, non-teaching staff, students, parents, etc. Whatever method you choose to measure progress, make sure that it paints a clear picture so that you can celebrate success and take action as needed.
2. Communicate where you are
For any team to succeed, each coach, player, and stakeholder needs to have a clear idea of their progress. Once you have measured progress for your district or school team, you should communicate that progress to all relevant stakeholders. This practice can allow you to develop and cultivate your team's agency and build an inclusive environment between district leaders, team members, and community stakeholders.
3. Adjust the course as needed
Games can be won (and lost) based on the adjustments coaches and players make at the half. Whether the first half of this school year showed progress, growth, or had setbacks, you should be ready to implement pivots and make adjustments to ensure a more successful second half of the school year. Remember that if you plan to make any adjustments to your strategic plans, ensure that they are responsive and integrate the beliefs of your team.
This mid-year "halftime" can offer a chance to sustain, adapt, and pivot our strategic plans and team goals to meet further the needs of our students, staff, and stakeholders. (Not to mention a time to celebrate progress!) By effectively utilizing this time, you can help ensure that your team leaves the “locker room” ready and able to sustain success in the second half of this school year and beyond.
About Chris Edmonds
Chris is passionate about people leadership and utilizing data to drive positive growth in schools. He also loves to read, watch cooking shows, and explore the Philadelphia food scene.