For mission-driven organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic left major impacts. What ultimately resulted, and what our session panelists at this year’s Modern Governance Summit stressed, is the importance of observation, evaluation and evolution.  

The Surprising Impact on Schools 

Surprisingly, some of our panelists witnessed an increase in student learning in some areas as a result of virtual school and the technology used. AJ Crabill, Director of Governance for the Council of Great City Schools, said, “In some cases, the virtual setting actually turned into a blessing.”  

The critical takeaway from these situations where virtual learning helped students is to figure out how to apply those lessons elsewhere. Examine the data, identify cases where this occurred and draw parallels between communities. This is how to effectively leverage technology to drive learning and better outcomes, even in less-than-ideal situations.   

However, the pandemic also left many students struggling. As Crabill noted, “The challenge has been attending to the realities. We were losing track of how our students were actually learning because we were so focused on them being safe.” He continued, “What we’re seeing is that a lot of our students are behind.”  

“We locate the students who are struggling and dismantle obstacles to unlock their potential.”

Brad Saron, District Administrator, Sun Prairie Area School District  

It’s imperative to understand where technology worked, but also where it did not work, and why. Then, the next step is to calibrate appropriately and figure out next steps for students who have gotten off track.  

Improving the Quality of Community Meetings 

For others, the benefits of a virtual environment elevated the quality of community meetings that took place online. Once municipalities realized that the pandemic would not be a short-term bump in the road, districts decided to tackle the challenge of conducting community engagement and strategic planning using the technology and tools at their disposal in a virtual environment.  

“I actually enjoyed these virtual sessions. We finally had people showing up regularly to each one.” Cinto Ramos, Chief of Board Governance and Leadership, Leadership ISD  

Learn more about how BoardDocs, a Diligent brand, can help school boards, local governments and other mission-driven organizations achieve success with the right technology.