Leading Through and Out of Crisis – A COVID19 Focus
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Laurie McLellan, Dr. Joe Sanfelippo, Neil Johnstone, Sara Cotner, Sandy Mackenzie & Kirsten Durward
< 1 min read

About the Talk 

None of us could have imagined that a global crisis such as the COVID-19 would cause schools to close with only a few days’ notice. But it did! This brought school leaders to the fore, requiring rapid decision making, deployment of resources, development of systems, and transition of teaching and learning practices into a whole new environment. As time has progressed, short term thinking has given way to long term plans and communities under stress are constantly looking towards their leadership teams for answers. In order to support schools transitioning from physical to virtual learning, and to synthesise learning in case of future needs, this panel reflects on their experiences and shares considerations on decision making, balancing priorities, and caring for their communities. This panel discussion focuses on areas such as, practical preparations, community wellbeing and rebalancing learning opportunities to facilitate the diverse experiences of the returning learners.

Highlights from the Panel Discussion 

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, 

  • Considerations on decision making, balancing priorities, and caring for school  communities
  • Practical preparations to rebalance learning opportunities and facilitate the diverse experiences of the returning learners
Don’t miss the ever growing collection of Remote Learning resources on Toddle Community!
Speakers
Laurie McLellan
Director, Nanjing International School
Dr. Joe Sanfelippo
Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, Wisconsin
Neil Johnstone
PYP Coordinator, Lutheran Academy, Hong Kong
Sara Cotner
Founder & CEO of Montessori For All
Sandy Mackenzie
Director, Copenhagen International School
Kirsten Durward
PYP Coordinator, KIS International School, Thailand
Disclaimer - This event is organised independently of and not endorsed by the IB. Toddle’s events and webinars are organised to enable an exchange of practices and ideas within the educator community and are not a replacement for official IB workshops. Views and opinions expressed by the speakers are their personal views and should not be construed as official guidance by the IB. Please seek assistance from your school’s IB coordinator and/or refer to official IB documents before implementing shared ideas and strategies in your classroom.

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Laurie McLellan
Laurie has been the Director at Nanjing International School since 2009. He has also held leadership positions at schools in Sri Lanka, Belgium, Vietnam and Colombia. Laurie currently serves on the EARCOS Board and has previously been on the Boards of ACAMIS, NESA and CIS (Council of International Schools). Laurie has a MSc in Inclusion, University of Edinburgh and a MA in International Education from Oxford Brookes University. He also holds degrees from the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow. Before the COVID-19 crisis, Laurie has had experiences with schools during Narco-terrorism, Tsunami and Civil War.
Dr. Joe Sanfelippo
Dr. Joe Sanfelippo is the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, Wisconsin - home of the Fall Creek Crickets. The Fall Creek School District was named an Innovative District in 2016 and 2017 by the International Center for Leadership in Education. Joe holds a BA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, an MS in Educational Psychology, an MS in Educational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in Leadership, Learning, and Service. Joe co-authored The Power of Branding: Telling Your School’s Story, Principal Professional Development: Leading Learning in a Digital Age, and Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love. Education Dive named Joe 1 of 5 K-12 Administrators to watch in 2018 and their National Superintendent of the Year in 2019.
Neil Johnstone
Neil Johnstone has been working internationally for over 10 years. Neil is passionate about teacher professional development and is also a certified CBCI (Concept Based Curriculum Instructor). Currently Neil is PYP Coordinator at Lutheran Academy Hong Kong. Previously Neil has taught in Ukraine, Vietnam, Indonesia, the UAE and also his native Scotland. Neil was a recent panelist on the Toddle TIES discussing leading and teaching in a crisis.
Sara Cotner
Sara Cotner is Founder & CEO of Montessori For All. She has cultivated broad and deep insight into education reform as a Teach For America corps member and national staff member, the founder of an independent consulting firm focused on high-performing charter schools, an adjunct professor, and a teacher in various environments, including charter, traditional districts, and public Montessori. In 2012, she founded Montessori For All to blend the best of high-performing charter schools with the best of Montessori education to fully unleash human potential and build a world of purpose, joy, and justice for all.
Sandy Mackenzie
Sandy Mackenzie is Director of Copenhagen International School, a position that he took up in August 2019. Copenhagen International School was one of the first schools in Europe to re-open its campus following the lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to 350 Primary School students. Prior to this position, Sandy has held leadership posts in China, Scotland and the United States. Sandy is an international educator with over 20 years of experience at six very different schools.
Kirsten Durward
Kirsten Durward is a concept based instruction trainer and cognitive coach with IB school leadership experience over 4 continents. She has worked with tens of thousands of educators to expand thinking, develop skills and empower self directed efficacy. Kirsten founded the volunteer run PLN ‘Global Educator Collective’ and the professional development platform, 'Global Learning Connections', providing tailored practical professional learning. She works with organisations, educators and schools to improve teaching and learning and currently consults for Toddle on the development of Community and Professional Learning events.
Leadership
Leading Through and Out of Crisis – A COVID19 Focus
None of us could have imagined that a global crisis such as the COVID-19 would cause schools to close with only a few days’ notice. But it did! This brought school leaders to the fore, requiring rapid decision making, deployment of resources, development of systems, and transition of teaching and learning practices into a whole new environment. As time has progressed, short term thinking has given way to long term plans and communities under stress are constantly looking towards their leadership teams for answers. In order to support schools transitioning from physical to virtual learning, and to synthesise learning in case of future needs, this panel reflects on their experiences and shares considerations on decision making, balancing priorities, and caring for their communities. This panel discussion focuses on areas such as, practical preparations, community wellbeing and rebalancing learning opportunities to facilitate the diverse experiences of the returning learners.