With the spread of the Coronavirus and the tremendous impact it’s having across our state, we know you have a ton of questions. First, what does the Coronavirus COVID-19 mean for AWSP? Just because all our districts are closing doesn’t mean all your troubles go away too. AWSP staff has always been a phone call or email away when you are in need, and this closure will not change our response time to you. Our office will continue to operate on your behalf. Some of us will continue to come into the office, some of us will be working from home, but all of us will still be available to serve you.
With all that said, there might be a hiccup or two along the way as we work through a new reality for a while. Check out our staff directory to find all the direct lines and email addresses to access our great staff, no matter the issue or question you might have. Email is probably the best and most reliable method to reach us as our “office” becomes more remote and fluid.
We are all traveling down this unprecedented road, just as you are, with more questions than answers. As principals, and a principal’s association, we always find ourselves sitting in the middle of the sandwich between policy and decision-makers and the teachers and kids we serve.
We understand the difficult position this puts you in as your community comes to you for answers. This situation is literally unfolding before our eyes on a day by day basis. It is important for you to remain calm and reassure the students and families in your school that we will rise through this, and at some point, resume normal operations.
As you field questions you don’t have answers for, it is best to say you don’t know and point people to messages, FAQs, and information coming from the district and state levels. To help you with that, we’ve been updating our COVID-19 resource page daily with state, federal, and international resources, along with news, updates, helpful resources, and even included a video with some helpful tips that ought to bring a much-needed smile to your face.
What does it mean for AWSP events? Our first concern is safety for our members, our staff, and our community. With that in mind, here’s what that means for us as we make day by day and week by week decisions:
April Boards and Grade-Level Leadership Committees
The April AWSP Board meeting (your governance structure), originally scheduled for April 23-24 in Leavenworth, will shift from a face to face meeting to a scaled-down Zoom meeting. Details about the specifics of this modified meeting will be coming soon.
Along the same lines, principals in the state are represented by Elementary, Middle and High School Grade-Level Leadership Committees. These committees meet in conjunction with AWSP Board meetings and were also planning their next face to face gathering for April 24-25 in Leavenworth. Needless to say, those meetings have also been postponed. We will be working with each of the executive leaders of those committees to determine the next steps and Zoom options.
At this point, each education agency in the state is putting all professional learning on a “holding pattern” until further notice. We will be making official cancellation notices on a case by case and event by event basis. If you are currently planning on attending an event and haven’t heard an official word regarding a postponement and/or cancellation, just keep checking the website of the organization leading the event. For example, stay tuned on events If you are involved with Mentor Training, the CEO Network, Mastering Principal Leadership Network, etc.
Equity Conference & Summer Conference
We are using our cup-half full attitudes to hope that some of our major events like the WSSDA/WASA/AWSP 2020 Equity Conference on May 20th or the WASA/AWSP Summer Conference will not have to be rescheduled or canceled. These are major events designed to support K-12 leaders in our state. We will keep our fingers crossed that our society will emerge from this crisis well in advance of having to make tough decisions on these events. Our partner organizations are working on contingency plans if needed, but at this point, we are still encouraging people to register and plan for great future professional learning opportunities.
Principal leadership has always mattered, and in a time like this, it matters even more. You are the rock of your school and will be the one who brings everyone and everything back together. As much as you might be worried about your students, families, and school, don’t forget to take care of yourself at the same time. In order for you to lead effectively through and after this crisis, we need you to be your best self. Thank you for your leadership and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need anything.