The Pandemic Closed Our Doors But Opened Our Minds: Why My School District Will Not Return to ‘Normal’

From Ed Surge, December 30, 2020, by Scott Muri

Previously the superintendent of Spring Branch ISD, Scott Muri became the superintendent of Ector County ISD in spring 2019. He implemented Opportunity Culture® in both districts.

Educators around the globe knew this school year would be like nothing we had ever experienced. In the face of a worldwide pandemic, how do school districts properly balance the well-founded fears of staff and families with the equally well-founded evidence that children need schools to learn and to grow academically, socially and emotionally? A health crisis running headlong into an education crisis: Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year.

This year reminded us that our work is all about people, and their safety is paramount. My staff and I at Ector County Independent School District, in Texas, could not accomplish our academic goals without first ensuring our schools were safe places of learning.

Virtual learning has become an exciting new option for our students. More students now have access to highly effective teachers with our use of various strategic staffing models, including Opportunity Culture®, a design that extends the reach of excellent teachers, principals and their teams to more students, for more pay, within recurring school budgets. Within a six-month period, we purchased and received 37,000 technology devices for our students to use at school and home. Read the full article…

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