Message from IASA Board of Directors:
The strength of the Illinois Association of School Administrators has always been that it is a statewide association guided by incredible school leaders who share the common goal of making decisions based on what is best for students. It’s how we keep focused on the right issues and on the right side of issues.
In the era of COVID-19, the question of what is best for students is something each and every one of us is struggling with. In our hearts, we know the foundation of school is based on social connections — not social distancing.
But we all find ourselves in this strange new world, wrestling with what is the correct balance of providing a quality education while prioritizing the health and safety of students and staff. It’s an unenviable task that nobody signed up for and, quite frankly, people who are not in your shoes can’t fully grasp the pressure and the extent of the difficulties you face.
If one thing has become increasingly clear, you are not alone in this struggle. The challenges faced by superintendents reopening schools in the Shawnee Region are similar to the obstacles faced by peers in Cook South, Blackhawk and all of IASA’s 21 regions.
The IASA Board of Directors includes superintendents of all 21 regions, and we want you to know —
we are here to support you
. These past four months have shown that we need to lean on our peers more than ever. There is a saying that the superintendency is a lonely job, but it doesn’t have to be.
We encourage you to build your network. Reach out to any of us, members of the IASA COVID-19 Transition Team, your IASA Region Officers, peers in your region or your peers across the state. Learn how they are managing issues with their local school boards, parents and bargaining units. Chances are, they are facing similar problems. Not one person has all the answers as to what is best for your community but, together, we can find the best path forward.
Furthermore, take advantage of IASA staff and the resources IASA has made available. The Illinois Schools Step Up Toolkit on the
is the landing spot for all COVID-19-related resources. IASA has also launched new professional development opportunities and is expanding legal resources by partnering with school attorneys across the state. For newer superintendents, the field services directors exist to support you and are available 24/7 to answer your questions.
We are in this together. IASA is not just the staff, it’s school administrators across Illinois. Our state is blessed with tremendous school leaders who always rise to the challenge. Remember, seven school board members once sat in a room and decided you were the best person for the job. You are built for this.
Collectively, we are a strong and powerful group faced with one of the toughest challenges in our lifetime. The plans you put forward may not be perfect, but the process you used to get there is what you can find comfort in.
Together, we will find a path forward.
IASA Board of Directors