In May 2020, we conducted four online design charrettes with school and district leaders, teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders to translate design-based practices for leading school change into an online context. In this report, we present two meeting protocols: one for multi-stakeholder meetings and one primarily for students. To accompany these protocols, we have sample agenda, online workbooks, and sample notes and exercises from our discussion to help school and district leaders facilitate these kinds of meetings in their own local contexts.
The goal of these meetings was to identify shared values and priorities for reopening schools, to build stakeholder engagement, to seed stakeholder leadership and involvement, and to develop new ideas and structures for reopening schools. In particular, we were interested in “tentpole” ideas, structures and routines that could define a reopening plan and provide an organizational frame for the hundreds of smaller curricular, programmatic, and logistical decisions that will need to be made next year. In a linked report– “Imagining September: Principles and Design Elements for Ambitious Schools during Covid-19”- -we have published “storyboards” for a variety of school reopening ideas and structures inspired by the participants in our charrettes.
Re-opening schools in the fall will be a community-wide effort, requiring leadership, innovation, and experimentation from all parts of school systems. Including diverse stakeholders early in the process of imagining September will bring forth a community’s best ideas and invite people through the system to join the work of retooling schools for the challenging year ahead.