Dear Central Office Leaders,
Thank you for your continued leadership as we prepare to move the work of the district forward during the extended break. We realize that this is an unprecedented time for all of us and our teams, and we are grateful for the work you are doing to continue putting our students first.
We know our leaders will continue to demonstrate judgment that aligns with our Shared Core Values, and we wanted to provide guidance on how to set your team up for success for remote work during the extended break. While our school buildings are closed, the work of the district continues. We must ensure our employees are paid, our students are fed, our buildings are clean and disinfected, our budget deadlines are met, and plans made for returning to work are among the many responsibilities the central office must perform to ensure the continuity of district operations.
Preparing For Effective Remote Work
- Review the all-employee Pay Guidance document and consider how you are assigning responsibilities, projects, and tasks to team members. As noted in the document, not all team members share the same work calendar years, expectations and compensation status. Please feel free to consult your HR partner to discuss work assignments in light of these differences on your teams.
- Host a team meeting to establish your team’s work cadence.
- Define what remote work access is needed and find solutions to any system barriers for your direct reports.
- Clarify anticipated schedules for direct reports.
- Staff should generally be available by phone and/or email from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Work with your employees and be open to flexible arrangements.
- Review regularly scheduled meetings to determine if they should continue during our extended break. Then add virtual participation options if the meetings are to continue.
- Ensure your alignment with your SLT leader’s priorities. Then, work directly with your leadership to determine department and team priorities for the extended break and develop a plan to share those priorities.
- For teammates who are not scheduled to work remotely, please identify a way to keep them informed and supported.
Supporting Your Team Members
- Check on the well-being of your teammates and remind people to take care of themselves and their families.
- Be flexible with your team; understanding that each individual may need different support.
- Ensure your team members are aware of supports offered through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), including confidential counseling, work-life solutions, legal support, financial information and more to all DPS employees.
- Managers should set up a plan to check-in with your team weekly.
- Managers should set up a plan to check-in regularly with your direct reports.
- Checking in can be as simple as a text, a brief call or email message. Supplementing your previously scheduled one-on-ones with additional check-ins and contacts are critical to ensure our people have consistent communication and support, directly from their manager, while working remotely.
Communicating with Your Extended Leadership
Be sure to identify project risks, including any delays in key projects or workstreams, and share them directly with your Executive Director. Examples include a delay in a hiring process, project completion or cancelation of an event that significantly impacts a strategy.
Leader Resources for Remote Working