Planning for Uncertainty: 5 Steps To Open the School Year Successfully in the Pandemic

Planning for Uncertainty: 5 Steps To Open the School Year Successfully in the Pandemic

Many of us had hoped, maybe even dreamed, that the COVID-19 Pandemic would be behind us. In fact, early indicators during the summer pointed to a new, refreshing look at the 21-22 school year. Having worked tirelessly since the pandemic began in March of 2020, educators have been exhausted and seemed poised for a return to some sort of normal in the fall. However, recent spike's in the positive COVID-19 cases, and fear of a 3rd wave of the pandemic have required educators to pause. Unfortunately, most of the regulations and policies are out of our hands. What we can control, however, is how we react to those policies, restrictions, and guidelines. 

Here are 5 steps that will help educators open the school year successfully:

  1. Be as transparent as possible - There are many opposing sides to this issue and without getting political, it is important to know where folks stand with the issues of mask-wearing, social distancing, and travel. As educators, it is our job to stay neutral and develop a plan that is best for the students and staff. With that said, when you send your message out to the community, be as open as possible and be prepared for debate. 
  2. Empathize with your staff and students - It is easy for people to put plans in place and then have others implement them. For those of us who are in school, there are various stages of acceptance with the pandemic. As a school leader, it is important to remember that you are dealing with people. Listen to concerns, assure everyone that you are doing your best, and be honest. 
  3. Climate and Culture Plan - How will you adapt your Climate and Culture Plan to ensure that not only are you making the building safe, but also creating shared experiences, lasting memories, and pride in your school. No matter what the restrictions will or won't be at your school, it is crucial to continue honoring the hard work of your staff and students. 
  4. Create Space - Have you examined the impact that the pandemic has had on people? Everyone, in some form or fashion, has been impacted and it is important for school leaders to create space. I suggest making outdoor classrooms, mask breaks and even impromptu lessons to be conducted outside. 
  5. Take time to fill your own cup - The old adage goes, "You have to help yourself before you can help others." This rings true as school leaders across the country will soon be burning the midnight oil to make everyone safe. If you are not taking care of yourself, however, you will be of little help to others. Be sure to develop healthy habits that can allow you to do something besides check Email and research pandemic numbers. 

If you can integrate these 5 steps into your re-opening plan, you will be on the track for a positive school year no matter what obstacles are thrown your way. Nothing is ever going to be full proof. As I mentioned earlier, there are people on all sides of this and you have to be aware of the implications at your school. In addition, you need to empathize with parents who sacrificed a great deal to allow us to implement hybrid and virtual instruction. Although they may have gained a sense of respect for teachers and educators through that experience, many need to return to work. They want their students to be back in person with all the supports and interventions that come along with that. 

Remember, it is not what happens to you in life that matters, but rather how you react. 

Similar Articles


Math and statistics comprise lots of essential terminologies about which students must gain the concept. They strive hard to get the optimal knowledge about these and then practice on the questions to improve the practical skills.


Today technology has changed the way education is delivered. Students can learn from an environment they are comfortable in without needing any physical classroom. eLearning is about to change the way students think about education and pursue their degrees

online training

People are making use of technology more than ever, now with the Covid-19 pandemic, people are home prisoned and using the virtual world to its full potential. Earlier people use to do business meetings in offices, now zoom video call and google meet has replaced them.

Medical School 101: What You Need to Know Before You Enter Your Program

So, you've done what it takes to stand out as an undergraduate student and received notice of acceptance to the medical school of your dreams. Congratulations! Your accomplishments have not gone unnoticed.

Boarding School

Education has always been the most important and the most difficult decision that every parent has to make. With so many options to explore, many parents are preferring a an education system that not only provides quality education but also focuses on the overall development of the child.

How Online Classes Benefit Students

The advances in technology are hard to miss the effect it has had on our society. The mere evolution of technology and the many tools to be born out of this progress have completely transformed how we go about doing even those most menial things in our lives now.

Top 5 Ways Digital Learning Helps Bolster Collaborative Education

Digital learning has changed the education landscape in many ways. Several high-tech ideas are present today to enhance the traditional classroom-based learning approach. Toward this, educators are looking for the best possible ways to incorporate digital learning into their teaching.

Architecture Degree

A lot of students choose not to study architecture because they believe the only job available through it is that of an architect. But this isn’t true. In reality, an architecture degree offers a plethora of professional opportunities.

DIY projects

Do it yourself or DIY projects are specially designed to inspire and engage children into meaningful activities which benefits them in many ways, from minimizing screen exposure to enhancing their skills.