Leadership Toolkits

Toolkits are developed by our experts to guide leaders with a framework for complex solutions.

  • K12 Reentry Toolkit

  • Crisis Communication Toolkit

  • Return to Learn: Execution and Improvement Toolkit

Planning for a successful reentry to schools header

Leading a Successful Reentry to Achieve Organizational Excellence

A guide to reentry planning along with nine interactive tools that leaders can use to create a solid and flexible plan for reentry. This resource provides a framework for reflecting and scenario planning for the new academic year during unexpected and extended emergency situations.

This toolkit includes two sections:

Section 1: Measures that Matter, Communication, After Action Reviews and Scenario Thinking

This section of the toolkit starts with a self-assessment to determine where you can shift fears to opportunities. It also includes a scorecard to define measures that matter, reviews a communication template to use throughout the reentry planning process, an After-Action Review to reflect on past decisions and engages in high level thinking about possible reentry scenarios. You will use this information to design a reentry plan.

Section 2: Comprehensive K12 Reentry Plan

The resources in this section of the toolkit provide leaders and teams with helpful tools for reentering schools. You will use this toolkit to provide the best benefits for your team. Leadership teams can go through all the resources or select the resources that are most helpful. Feel free to modify any tool to meet your needs.

Your work is more important than ever as we face the challenges ahead. With great leadership, you can achieve results on the measures that matter most and that are focused on student success. High performing people within your organizations want to help students and families thrive in these challenging times. We are confident that working through the current challenges with resources like the ones in this toolkit will make schools better places to work, and where your people are making a difference as they are engaged in the most worthwhile work possible, educating our children. Let’s take on this challenge to build better systems to support student success.

Before you work through the resources in the toolkit, designate or create a Reopening Leadership Team. This team serves as the guiding team for the plan development and reentry process. Use an existing team or designate a team of 5 to 7 people to serve in this capacity. This team will include executive leadership representation and possibly other high performing employees that others trust.

We hope you find value using this comprehensive resource for reflecting and planning to enter the new academic year during COVID 19 and any other unexpected and extended emergency situation.


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Interactive Tools and Resources:

Tool 1: Fear to Opportunities Self Assessment

To start the process, we provide a self-reflection tool for people to use to gauge how they are feeling about shifting fears to opportunities. Use this tool with leadership teams to gauge where you are as a team.

Tool 2: Organizational Scorecard Template

Use this tool to track and communicate progress toward key measures aligned to each pillar for success.

Tool 3: Communication Template

Use this tool to record necessary actions and create a timely message for the right people at the right time with key words to turn anxieties into opportunities.

Tool 4: After-Action Review Process

In this three-part template, you will identify key actions taken in response to the crisis, reflect on the effectiveness of those actions and then begin brainstorming possible scenarios.

Tool 5: High Level Scenario Thinking

Use this tool with your leadership team to create the three most-likely scenarios for reentry and discuss the pros, cons and implications of each.

Tool 6: Reentry Questions By Topic

Assign workgroups to the topics in this tool, and ask them to respond to the provided set of questions for each topic.

Tool 7: Reentry Questions By Template

Use this template to transfer the topic, question and answer for one or more scenarios. Feel free to modify the scenarios to meet your needs.

Tool 8: Reentry Plan Template

The reentry plan document should serve as a high-level overview. It is used as a reference point to answer questions that employees, students and families may have about the decisions made around how schools will be managed. Use this template as a guide to assist the team in creating the plan. Use the headings provided, or create ones that are most significant for your district.

Tool 9: Stoplight for Tracking Execution of Plan

Using your Reentry Plan and this template, map out 30-, 60- and 90-day high-level actions. These actions will be used by divisions and departments to create detailed action plans to execute the district actions.

Leader communicating to employees critical news

What the Best Leaders do to Communicate with Employees During Critical Times

Employees need to hear the voice of the leader. That’s what this leadership toolkit is about – how the best leaders in the best organizations communicate with employees during a crisis.

This toolkit includes two sections:

Section 1: Leadership Mindset for Crisis Communications

The first section focuses on our “leadership mindset,” which is understanding what we stand for by connecting our personal values to organizational values. Also, structure is more important than ever when we are managing a crisis. We focus on routines and rituals and how the two influence the way we communicate. Therefore, our values drive the attitude behind the actions we take. It’s important to get that right as part of our mindset.

Section 2: Essential Communication Tactics and Tools

The second section shares essential communication tactics and tools that provide executive leaders with communication approaches that are simple yet have a tremendous impact on keeping people focused and engaged to work through a crisis.

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Tactic and Tool Highlights:

Daily Huddles

Daily Huddle Sample Agenda

Executive Leader Daily Communication

Sample Virtual Broadcast Outline

One-on-One Connections

3-2-1 Reflection Tool

Key Words at Key Times

Suggestions for using Key Words at Key Times to communicate

Return to Learn Toolkit Header Image

Return to Learn: Organizational Excellence Execution and Improvement

To support leaders and teams in achieving these goals, the Organizational Excellence Execution and Improvement Toolkit provides resources aligned to creating a scorecard, using a scorecard to apply a short-cycle improvement process and turning meetings into improvement conversations.

This toolkit includes two sections:

Section 1: Create a Scorecard to Use as Part of an Improvement Process

In this section of the toolkit, we summarize and provide examples of the scorecard components that set the stage for engaging in improvement conversations with leaders and teams. This section includes defining pillars, creating aligned “measures that matter” and aligning strategic actions to achieve the outcomes associated with the “measures that matter.”

Section 2: Apply a Short-Cycle Improvement Process

After establishing scorecard measures and goals and creating strategic actions to achieve the goals, you’ll apply a short-cycle improvement process to determine how well  actions are working to achieve the goal. In this section, we provide an overview and resources for weekly short cycle improvement meetings, 30-day short cycle improvement meetings, and a 30-, 45-, and 60-day improvement cycle template.

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Tools Highlights:

Define the Pillars

Pillar definition examples

Measures that Matter

Sample Scorecard

Short-Cycle Improvement Meetings

Weekly stop light report
Weekly short-cycle improvement meeting agenda

30-Day Short-Cycle Improvement Meetings

30-day short-cycle improvement questions for results trending at or above goal
30-day short-cycle improvement questions for results trending below goal
30-day short-cycle improvement meeting agenda
30/45/60-Day Scorecard short-cycle improvement review template