Guide to silver liners for educational institutions to get out of the pandemic | Fisher phillips
Our firm has just published a “Silver Linings PlaybookGleaned from our various practice groups and industry teams, highlighting the different ways businesses can emerge for the better after the pandemic. While educational institutions may find the article useful as you navigate the new world with your workforce, you deserve your own separate publication focused on school-specific concepts.
Recognizing that the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the health, well-being and economic security of tens of millions of Americans, your school must continue to do its best to provide a safe environment for your teachers, your staff. and your students. However, now you also have the opportunity to improve your institution by examining some of the positive outcomes that are flowing from the COVID-19 crisis. Here are the main concepts to take into account to take advantage of these many opportunities.
- Obviously, students and employees are now realizing that they can participate effectively in school activities from a distance. This change in mentality will make it easier to welcome students in the future.
- Schools have been forced to invest in technology as a necessity over the past year – many of them hitting their IT goals years ahead of schedule. Now that we are emerging from the pandemic, schools can take the time to harness the benefits and opportunities of their technology investments and think about how those investments can continue to benefit schools in the future. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and the past year has provided plenty of opportunities to explore creative options.
- Likewise, schools are realizing that the ease of distance learning can impact their response to disasters. If a campus is physically damaged by a natural disaster or fire, the class may be able to resume more quickly in distance learning mode.
- Thanks to current technology, schools now realize that they can organize effective training sessions – for large and small programs – using Zoom and other remote platforms.
- Schools across the country are finding that their employees collaborate more easily with other schools – both near and far. They don’t have to wait for industry conferences to share ideas, information and lessons learned. By hosting video conferences and brainstorming more regularly through other digital means, your teachers are collaborating with peers from schools around the world. By encouraging and supporting these opportunities, your school will be better for it.
- While professional development opportunities have become cheaper (given lower travel costs) and more accessible to everyone through Zoom, schools should nonetheless recognize that it is more difficult for employees to attend meaningful events in a meaningful way. such sessions while on campus. You expect them to take care of the main issues and other emergency issues, which can lead to distractions. Be realistic about your expectations of your educators and flexible about their continued in-person presence.
- Community engagement has become more accessible and broader in some ways, especially with grandparents and parents of international students who can ‘attend’ meetings and activities (athletics, fine art performances, etc.). This increased engagement can also translate into broader and deeper fundraising opportunities.
- Interviewing non-local job applicants just got easier and more thorough. It also allows you to narrow the pool of applicants for whom you pay a fee to visit campus for final interviews. While international schools have been doing this for years, we are now seeing schools of all stripes adopting this technique.
- Likewise, students can “visit” schools even if they do not live nearby. Whether they are potential students, full-time participants, or individuals looking to participate in special programs (summer camps, audit courses, community education, etc.), they are not limited. to campus activity being their only point of access. . They can participate in a class or activity and visit campus without actually being on campus.
- Finally, schools that have received P3 loans unfortunately realize the consequences of accepting financial aid from the federal government. We are seeing more and more aggressive claims and demands from parents under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title IX. This experience for many will reinforce the fact that schools should think long and hard before accepting funds that could cause them headaches for years to come.