Dealing with a Pandemic: Making Tough Decisions

Posted on: Tue, 03/17/2020 - 17:00

COVID 19 is officially a pandemic, and measures to limit the community spread have begun. People are being asked to take actions and make sacrifices that are unprecedented for many of us. Therefore, I will be using my blog as a communication tool to support the community. Watch for guest blogs from experts who will also provide timely advice.

I remember the look on the principal’s face when I told her that the band field trip to Disney World had to be canceled immediately. It was only two days away, and there was no answer about refunds. Not to mention the devastation for disappointed students and families. A very hard decision, and yet within the week, even Disney World was closed.

That was just the first of many tough decisions as new guidance from the CDC and community health departments emerged. Some tough decisions were made for me—like closing schools from March 16th until March 27th. That mandate created a cascade of related decisions, which had to be made quickly.

For me, the hardest part is when there’s not enough information to make the decision. People want to know if schools will be closed longer. The State Superintendent will make that decision. There are so many other questions that we cannot answer yet.

The easiest part for me is knowing that I can rely on my team. Being surrounded by high quality leaders who offer timely advice and are empowered to make critical decisions as needed has been a true blessing in this time of crisis.

I also know that harder decisions lie ahead. Some will be made by state officials, but many others will need to be made by the Board of Education or me. Collaboration in exploring options and seeking creative solutions will be critically important in the days and weeks ahead. While there are many things I don’t yet know, what I do know is that every decision will be made in the best interests of our students!