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Planning and Communication

Students wearing masks and doing schoolwork outdoors

Create Working Groups

Begin the process by determining who might be included in the planning team. You may want to create working groups to tackle specific areas of planning. For a school district that is limited on the size of their staff, one team might be created with individuals taking on each of the identified roles, e.g., communication, social and emotional learning, instruction, technology, nutrition and safety, and operations. 

Be sure each working group engages in the Imagination Protocol to ground their work in removing systemic barriers. Working groups will need to communicate and coordinate efforts. 

Possible working groups:

Leadership Team

Charge: Promote the vision and mission for school culture and student learning and ensure the overall safety and well-being of the school community.


  • Set goals.
  • Outline all key work, projects, and timelines.
  • Promote the school culture.
  • Keep all stakeholders informed.
  • Name what’s working and not working and adjust course.

Communication Team

Charge: Ensure stakeholders feel informed and confident through effective communication.


  • Communicate with families and staff proactively and in a variety of ways and on a variety of topics.
  • Address access to food and technology, emotional support, and up-to-date information about the distance learning plan.
  • Push out and coordinate communication from the other working groups.
  • Support communication for any high-priority groups.

Social and Emotional Support Team

Charge: Support the well-being of students and staff.


  • Provide proactive and reactive support for all families and staff.

  • Target students who receive counseling, staff that are sick, and students or staff with family members who are sick.

  • Provide multiple opportunities throughout the daily schedule to allow for, and focus on, relationship building and meaningful connections.

  • Prepare for the next school year by planning social and emotional learning support and effective reentry strategies.

Instructional Team

Charge: Ensure that students learn and provide support for teachers and families.


  • Set the direction and vision for the academic program, which includes building the instructional model.
  • Talk to families and students that had challenges with the instructional model and adjust accordingly.

  • Design professional learning based on lessons learned.

  • Design and plan professional learning for staff.

    • Create tools and processes for families to support learning.

    • Identify students who need a boost and ensure they receive support.

    • Provide training to teachers to create group projects online.


Technology Team

Charge: Ensure effective access and use of technology to support learning and communication.


  • Lead technology access and support by conducting an inventory, issuing devices, and assisting families with technology support.

  • Collaborate with leadership and instructional teams to ensure student data privacy, data, and cyber security is embedded in platforms and tools used in learning.

  • Determine how to use pre-existing platforms for smooth operations (e.g., SIS and/or LMS).

  • Coordinate and communication about access and use of technology.

Nutrition and Safety Team

Charge: Support the well-being and safety of students, families, and staff, including tracking needs and coordinating responses.


  • Provide families with resources in the community, particularly around support for food.

  • Ensure there are enough resources for each school neighborhood and provide weekly food distribution if needed.

  • Track and support the health and well-being of families, students, and staff and plan for staff absences.

Operations Team

Charge: Ensure operations are in accordance with all policies from the district, local county health departments, and Wisconsin Department of Health Services and support logistics for communication, finance, and learning.


  • Clean all schools.

  • Confirm payroll needs.

  • Check in with vendors.

  • Set up a process for the printing and distribution of materials, both digital and hard copies.

  • Ensure compliance with attendance policies and policies for providing accommodations.

  • Ensure adequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, and instructional supplies


For questions about this information, contact Tamara Mouw (608) 266-2364