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Listen, Learn, Lead: Reflections from School Leaders

On October 29, we convened system leaders from across the country to learn how they are listening to and engaging families, students, and educators throughout this challenging school year. These leaders come from our national network of REAL Family Engagement practitioners, and represent a variety of learning environments in Texas, Utah, Tennessee, and Washington, DC.

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Listen, Learn, Lead: Reflections from School Leaders

In Part I of our “Listen, Learn, Lead” series, you heard community reflections during COVID-19 rooted in family voice and needs, particularly those most impacted by inequity. In Part II, you heard from another important audience that knows students and families best – educators. 

No matter where you live, school looks different this year. Whether your district is in-person, virtual, or a hybrid of the two, we are all in the midst of an unprecedented school year, with little certainty about what the rest of this year or next year will look like. As we navigate this time together, it is more important than ever for school systems to engage in ongoing listening to the most important members of their community, particularly those impacted by inequity.

In the same way you listened to the reflections from our panel, we also listened to you. We’re writing to share highlights from our time together as well as concrete resources for you to use as we navigate this unprecedented school year.

Attendees joined us from 37 states, including DC and Puerto Rico, 40 percent of whom identified as educators or former educators, and more than a third of whom identified as district, CMO, or central office staff. Some additional insights include:

Listen, Learn, Lead 3: Attendee Profile

In the Chat Box conversation, attendees resonated with these powerful moments from our moderator and panelists:

Listen, Learn, Lead 3: Shanita Burney Quote

Listen, Learn, Lead 3: Sheryl Ellsworth Quote

Listen, Learn, Lead 3: Dr. Liliana Valadez Quote

Listen, Learn, Lead 3: Dr. Bobby White Quote

As School Year 2020-2021 continues, we encourage you to download and share these resources to build strong relationships and support families as partners in their child’s education, even from a distance:

If you missed any part of our webinar series, or if you want to watch them again, you can access the recordings online anytime:

We hope you will continue this conversation with us to ensure that all schools are listening to those who matter most – students, families, and educators, particularly those most impacted by inequity. You can also engage with us on Twitter and Facebook.

We look forward to offering more opportunities for listening throughout this school year, so please keep an eye out for our invitations in the coming months.