Superintendents’ Big Questions

School Superintendents Speak Out

Recently, a team from Project Education attended an important event for educators: The District Administration Leadership Institute’s Summit in Colorado Springs, Colorado. With all that’s happened to society in general and schools in particular over the last two years, there was sure to be a lot of thought about the state of education.

While at the Summit, we surveyed superintendents representing 50 districts across the United States. We asked them to share their thoughts about behavior, attendance, achievement, and other issues in schools.

As you would expect, many expressed the myriad of concerns caused by the pandemic – the issues that “kept them up at night.” The COVID – 19 crisis escalated existing issues faced daily by teachers, administrators, and parents. And they posed what they felt were the truly essential questions of our day (and the days to come):

  1. How do we make up for lost time? Students have lost valuable instructional time, and their achievement levels have paid the price.
  2. How do we find the “lost kids”? Truancy rates have skyrocketed, with some kids refusing to engage in virtual learning, and others simply unable to.
  3. How do we deal with achievement and opportunity gaps? Gaps do indeed exist, and attention is needed for our students of color and those with special needs.

Those gaps aren’t going anywhere, and they are becoming more profound. School leaders must look for ways to identify, quantify and rectify them. 

Such inequalities in our school systems existed long before COVID-19, but they have been exacerbated by the pandemic plus issues such as racism, immigration, deportations, bullying and other forms of social stress. 

Supporting students’ social and emotional needs requires compassion, patience, intelligence, plus adequate and appropriate responses to problems like truancy, behavioral issues, and bullying. It also requires fairness and impartiality.

Project Education can be part of any district’s solution. Our award-winning platform addresses these problems by first unifying school districts’ many disparate data silos, transforming an unusable jumble into a smart, well-connected resource for gleaning insights about individual students and student populations. There are online software modules for tackling Truancy, Response to Intervention, Behavior, and English Language Learners, to name a few. The system gives teachers, counselors, and administrators easy access to a wealth of District data that had previously been out of their reach. Smart, simple dashboards make the data easy to find, interpret and use.

The results: Smarter decisions, responses, and interventions. Better, more informed communications (including generating translated letters for parents in up to 163 languages when needed.) And most important of all, better support for students, including the ones who need it most.

The solutions aren’t just in Project Education’s remarkable data technology breakthroughs. We bring the human component too, with our teams of former administrators and teachers who help districts customize unique systems designed around their specific data resources. It’s a winning combination that answers superintendents’ biggest worries about their districts.