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Hi there,

School system leaders face unprecedented challenges during this pandemic summer. What would normally be implementation planning for strategy and budget has become looking ahead to hundreds of decisions needed to craft a new strategy and realign resources to reopen schools in the fall. Worse, the information with which to make these decisions is incomplete at best.

In this issue of The Strategic System, we share seven categories of work that school system leaders need to tackle this summer and an analysis of how district savings and expenses this school year might shape budgets in the fall.

Announcing the launch of our new
Strategic Summer Framework 

We lay out seven categories of work that encompass the complete set of strategy and resource-use decisions that school system leaders will need to make between now and the new school year -- areas such as schedules, staffing and teaming models, student-teacher groupings, and budget and talent scenarios. We also provide two initial focal points to make sure you’re starting on the right track, along with examples from peers and tools to make the path a bit clearer. We will be updating this tool throughout the summer.

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School systems should be taking stock of how COVID-19 has impacted their net fiscal position and evaluate any remaining levers to maximize savings during the waning weeks of the year. To explore the question of how COVID-19 spending and savings have impacted school systems’ end-of-year financial position, ERS worked with finance leaders in four large urban districts. We researched the key areas associated with school systems’ emergency responses and the shift to remote learning to find out how much net savings they can expect in the fall.

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These resources are part of a larger set of COVID-19 tools and materials for school and district leaders. We are constantly updating our toolkit with our latest work to make sure you have what you need to support your students.

Explore the Toolkit