Amid Change, Our Autonomy and Community Are Our Strength

This blog post was written by Dr. Sana Shaikh, who served until this spring as Director of School Operations at Rise Prep High School, an autonomous school in Springfield, Massachusetts. Rise Prep is one of 13 schools in the Empowerment Zone, schools designed to provide principal leaders the autonomy to make equitable decisions for student impact. Dr. Shaikh designed and managed the systems that impact student learning. This included professional development training as it relates to anti-racism and culturally responsive teaching. She currently works for an edtech company.

This year was overwhelming. And we made it through, centering our community in all we do.

Operations, generally, is an iterative space and one that requires research, forecasting, and diligence in implementation. With COVID, we had to create systems from scratch, without having any precedent or data we could use to guide our decisions.

Moreover, there were continued inconsistencies in what our day-to-day would like. In July 2020, we were told we would be going in-person in August. Two weeks before school reopened, we learned that was not the case and we would be operating fully hybrid.

Read the complete #WithCommunities blog post and learn more about community-centered charter schooling on the NACSA website.

We’re NACSA and we believe that we can create the best education systems for our students by collaborating #WithCommunities. Join us: