Creating Culture in the First 20 Days – Virtually

by Dria Setter, Professional Development Specialist

Schools were tasked with a decision like no other this fall – a reopening plan amidst a global pandemic. It is safe to say that regardless of how much preparation and anticipation there was leading up to Day One, there were still so many unknowns. Whether this was your very first day or your twentieth first day of school as an educator, it was like year one all over again.

Now more than ever, building a culture to support learners, both academically and emotionally, was at the forefront. In addition, there was a need for a culture shift that supported the new demands on educators. On top of that, this also had to be done virtually for many districts across the country – another first.

We invite you to view a recent conversation with one of our partner districts, Mehlville School District in St. Louis, MO, as we explored the journey they took to successfully build a culture within their first 20 days – virtually.  Mehlville began their school year completely virtual and recently transitioned to a hybrid model with only their K-2 learners the week of September 21.  Throughout the conversation with Sadie Lewis, Director of Instructional Design and Personalization, Anna McGuire, Instructional Innovation and Data Privacy Specialist, and Stephanie Werner, Studio 5 Teacher at Mosaic Elementary and Summer School Principal, we covered a variety of topics supporting the culture shift needed to begin the year in a fully virtual capacity, from both administrative and classroom educator lenses.

In addition to their candid voices, we invite you to dig into the valuable resources they shared during the conversation, including K-12 templates for beginning your learning environment in a virtual world.