Balancing the Here and Now with Planning for the Future

May 1, 2020

As we conclude our 7th week of Staying Safe at Home, Together, I am struck by the immense power of our flock. As a relative newcomer to the PAISBOA family, I’ve seen evidence of the mission of PAISBOA -- providing services and opportunities to empower Business Officers to excel, daily. We are living our purpose every day -- to create savings in both time and money while providing useful resources and expanded knowledge to our members. Our core values of integrity, transparency, and loyalty are evinced in every conversation, e-list post, webinar presentation, and email communication. PAISBOA is truly an all for one, one for all experience for every independent school and university, no matter the enrollment, the size of endowment, or composition of the student body. We are truly all in this together.

In the early days of the COVID-19 we were focused on the here and now—pivoting from an in-person teaching, learning, and working model to a remote experience. For many schools, this was a huge undertaking in a very short time requiring leadership that demonstrated calm and optimism with a hefty dose of realism! As we continue to be challenged on many fronts, we no longer have an emergent situation, and our constituents have settled into a rhythm of sorts, albeit an exhausting one.

We now know “The future is not what it used to be.” Through our weekly discussions with business officers and technology professionals we find that people are beginning to think about the “new normal” and what comes next — Do we run our summer programs? Do we continue with online learning over the summer? Do we give everyone a break to recharge for the fall? What does school look like in the fall? Are we on campus? How do we maintain social distancing and make budget? Do we open our campus in September knowing that we may have to pivot to online learning if COVID-19 reappears in November? Do we wait and come back to campus in January if we don’t have the testing capability to ensure the health of our students and staff in September/October?

To start the conversation, Chris Joffe, from Joffe Emergency Services, joined our Monday Morning Coffee Break this week and provided ways we can begin to think about reopening our campuses and provided some scenarios for grouping students to achieve social distancing:

  • Extended Schedule: Creating an extended schedule so that the day is longer than typical with fewer kids on campus at the same time to ensure social distancing.
  • Hybrid Learning: Those classes that benefit from in person learning are conducted on campus, and those that operate well via online continue online.
  • Staggered Schedules: Students only come to school on designated days; creating an X number day work week, where students only come to school on their assigned day.

Chris recommends that in considering each of these scenarios:

  • Give some thought to how to manage siblings from the same home
  • Contemplate the impact of staff on campus schedules
  • Contemplate now the supplies and equipment you will need to keep school(s) safe.

Join us for the Monday Morning Coffee Break on May 4 at 10 am where we will continue this conversation about the reopening of our campuses from the plant and operations perspective. Tom McDaniel, Director of Facilities and Campus Safety at Friends’ Central School will start us off with some timely and important information. Here are three things you can do to prepare for Monday's conversation:

  1. Take the survey on how you are preparing your facilities for reopening.
  2. Contact your favorite PAISBOA Preferred Vendor (PPV) with any questions or orders for supplies.
  3. Check out the OSHA guidelines for facilities; and CDC Guides for Cleaning & Disinfecting and Reopening

Until then, take care of yourself as well as those around you. Remember, the PAISBOA community is strong and resilient, and help is just a call, email, or e-list post away.

Take advantage of the power of the flock...

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