Table of Contents:

The New Normal

The known as schools move forward is the unknown. The need to implement safety procedures and protocols, and the implementation of virtual environments has intensified the efforts to create and leverage new systems. School leaders are well aware of how changes made today in response to COVID-19 may remain as either fully intact or in some modified form as they move ahead in an unknown space.


While there are no predictions at this time of what systems will remain intact, school leaders will need to think through how decisions are made for programs to be sustained or not. Sustainability can be viewed through multiple

Table 3.4 School health considerations




  • 1. Connect to local and state experts.
  • 2. Evaluate the ability and use of resources.
  • 3. Recommend policies and procedures for

students and staff excluded for presumed or diagnosed with COVID-19.

4. Advocate for students, staff, and parents to

local, state, and national organizations, and policy makers.

Quality improvement

1. Collect critical data to support individuals

and guide system-level decisions.

2. Share data and collaborate.

Care coordination

1. Coordinate with student families and

health teams.

  • 2. Provide trauma-informed practices.
  • 3. Provide recommendations on unmet needs

of medically fragile students.

4. Recommend protocols for students who have

symptoms of COVID-19.

Public health

1. Provide expertise in culturally competent

health practices.

2. Provide guidance on school safety


3. Support community agencies and use as a

source of information.

lenses. From one perspective, sustainability identifies a set of factors and conditions for a specific intervention. Another perspective views sustainability from an ecological or complex system view. This perspective acknowledges the interconnections between contextual and environmental conditions in connection to the intervention (Stirman et al., 2012). Both perspectives are important to sustain changes in the traditional constructs that no longer produce the desired results in the short and long term.

In education, developing and sustaining new systems creates a tension to return to how systems were before. In the business environment, where innovation is the foundation for success, creating a collective sense of purpose and action relies on the expertise of those in the organization. For school leaders moving forward, using an innovation framework for organizational sustainability is important as decisions are made about what the new normal will look like in their schools and districts.

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