Find your heroes and strongest stories. Discover what’s common, among them. Learn from peer schools and districts where resilient inventiveness and collaborative humanity are the operating norms. Live the vision you seek for your students.

Advice from Prepared Project Schools and Districts

  1. There is never a “right time” to change practices and mindsets in schools. Don’t wait for it to come. Address current problems in ways that gradually develop the organizational attributes and operating norms you need.
  2. Invite creative initiative and practice saying “Yes!” Your greatest asset is your people—staff and students—and the good work they might do together. Lasting change happens at the speed of trust… plus agency.
  3. Lean into the “Grand Agreement” of shared goals and values as a community-wide touchstone. Find ways for your own community’s expression of student success to serve as the songsheet that everyone might sing from. And if you haven’t yet reimagined student success: do that first.
student success equals district values

Welcome to the Prepared Project “MakerSpace”

WMTSPThe activities you will find here are designed with the advice above in mind. They are inspired by the practices and perspectives offered by the project's participating schools and districts and organized by the three key factors that summarize the project's research findings. Use them to advance your own transformation journey!

Each activity comes with short, simple descriptions and steps to follow. If you use any of these activities or designed and using your own, share your strategy and progress on Twitter with the hashtag #PreparedProject. Let’s build a social network devoted to sharing good ideas about becoming the attributes you seek to develop in the students you serve!

Activities to Catalyze a Symmetric, Forward-Leaning Orientation for Adults & Kids

1. #[YourSchool]Strong

Surface, celebrate, and build on your school/district’s most striking stories of innovative resilience.

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2. Get Unstuck with the Five Hows

Feeling mired? Use the Five Hows to change the conversation and direction of your school, district, or CMO. It’s a straightforward exercise that builds consensus and momentum.

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3. Co-Build Your Own Grand Agreement

Perhaps this era when no one seems to agree on anything is the right time to create, with your community, your joint vision for student success in the 21st century.

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Activities to Catalyze a Healthy Culture

4. Activate Your Stairway of Enabling

Start to build a strong, healthy culture by creating the conditions for greater empowerment and enabling in your school, CMO, or district.

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Stairway of Enabling

The Stairway of Enabling. Credit: NGLC.

5. Live Your Grad Profile Out Loud

Use COVID/remote learning’s challenges to spark cultural change. How might you help your community turn its graduate profile into operating norms?

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Activities to Catalyze Strong Yet Flexible Systems

6. Level Up Your Community Engagement

Strong communications and engagement strategies with your community are vital, during a pandemic or not. Are you doing enough?

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7. Pick Your Problem. Solve It Differently.

Strong, resilient organizations use tactics like these to address their most important challenges, no matter how big or small they are.

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Urgency, Understanding, Opportunity

Credit: NGLC

Take the Next Step: Explore Further

Learn more about what schools experienced during the pandemic and what's next for K-12 education with this collection of additional resources.

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Photo at top by Allison Shelley for EDUimages, CC BY-NC-4.0