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E​stablish a Team and Planning Process

The planning process for instructional delivery in the fall requires collaboration of a core, cross-functional team. Core teams are recommended to not exceed ten people in order to remain manageable – though others may be brought in to consult or work on aspects of the plan. LEAs are highly encouraged to make extra effort to ensuring staff with responsibility for and expertise with instructional and support needs of historically underserved student groups (e.g., students with disabilities, English Learners, students categorized as economically disadvantaged, students of color, students experiencing homelessness, students in foster care) are included on the team. LEAs are encouraged to review existing teams and determine feasibility of utilizing members who have previously established working team relationships to assist in the planning process. Inclusion of a staff member experienced in social and emotional wellness (e.g. social worker, school psychologist, school counselor, PBIS lead) is beneficial to prioritizing equity and emotional wellness throughout development of instructional plans. It is important the team be able to meet regularly as described in Section VI and empowered to make decisions quickly.

During its initial meeting, the planning team should:

  • Ensure the team is united in its purpose to develop an instructional delivery model that safely and equitably educates students in-person when able to responsibly, and, provides an equitable and quality experience for students learning remotely.

  • Allow time during the initial meeting for staff to process and communicate the social, emotional, and traumatic impacts of the pandemic and other national issues. Providing a brief, structured time of healing and focus increases task focus and staff capacity to address student and LEA needs.

  • Clarify who will have final sign-off on which types of decisions.

  • Set a date for a decision on an instructional delivery model.

  • Determine team norms.

  • Set a regular meeting time, including what platform will be used and who will be responsible for managing the virtual meeting invitations.

  • Decide what subcommittees will be formed and who will lead each, recognizing that subcommittees will require additional members not on the planning committee.

  • Mental health professionals in the school (e.g. school counselor, social worker, school psychologist) are strongly encouraged to be invited to teams focusing on critical readiness factors involving identifying student needs and ensuring student and staff health and safety.

It is important for all members of the planning team to understand the need to commit to choosing an instructional delivery model early in the planning process.  In addition to this document, planning team members should review all resources intended to be used in coordination with this toolkit.  These resources will help ground the planning process and aid communication both among committee members and with stakeholders.