What leadership strategies or principles do my team and I employ on a day to day basis?
- Starting in 2017, Washington Superintendent for Public Instruction Chris Reykdal created a vision and mission that explicitly addresses equity through the dismantling of systemic barriers and includes students with disabilities and their needs in his priorities. This has provided us with an opportunity to review and revise our activities within the lens of improved outcomes for students with disabilities. After talking with stakeholders, we identified six priorities that are used to determine strategies, projects, budgets, and advise education, legislative, and community partners.
- I have the privilege of working with a fantastic team in Washington. This team starts with the staff in the Special Education Services division of the agency, and spreads across the State Education Agency (SEA) to other divisions, as well as with our regional Educational Service District (ESD) partners, local districts and school staff, and parents, families, students, and communities, to name a few. The State Superintendent includes messaging around the needs and opportunities for students with disabilities in his conversations, presentations, and it is evident in his priorities.
As we engage in our daily work, we are involved in the following strategies:
- Use the work of Simon Sinek, we start with our why, and remind ourselves of our collective responsibility to remove barriers to equity, the priorities for improved outcomes, and commit to modeling the desired behavior and changes we want to see at the district and school levels.
- Leverage our belief that students with disabilities are general education students, and that only through collaboration and teamwork, we will implement and sustain systemic improvements.
- Engage stakeholders and partners through respectful, productive, and transparent communication, providing accurate information and technical assistance based on data, best practices, and state and federal requirements.
- Openness and willingness to improve our practices, by engaging in professional learning, allowing for multiple opportunities to participate in problem-solving, and valuing/using feedback to adjust policies, procedures, and practices.