OSBA takes school leaders’ pulse as pandemic shifts
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
The OSBA Spring Listening Sessions found that in this rapidly changing pandemic world, six months can make a difference in how school leaders feel about education.
OSBA has released its report on its latest round of meetings with school leaders around the state. OSBA leaders held 12 sessions from March through May with a mixture of in-person, virtual and hybrid events to hear directly from school board members, administrators and other district staff.
OSBA leaders asked the same four questions about challenges, needs and lessons learned as during the fall listening sessions. The end of the mask mandate and the heat of the political primary season shaped responses, but the need for local control remains a strong throughline. Considerations of equity work and school board training come with especially strong desires for local control.
Student achievement remains boards’ guiding light, but schools are seeing students with greater needs as they cope with the pandemic’s disruptions and traumas, attendees said. At the same time, schools are nearing a crisis point on finding and retaining the staff to sufficiently serve students.
Increasing politicization of school boards and decreasing trust in both school boards and OSBA are making it harder to lead schools as well as school leaders’ fearing for themselves and their families.
OSBA will use the responses to shape its plan for the 2023 legislative session.