Continuous Improvement in Schools in the COVID-19 Context
This brief summarizes key points from the report Enabling Conditions and Capacities for Continuous Improvement: A Framework for Measuring and Supporting Progress Towards the Goals of the Statewide System of Support and contextualizes the findings within the current challenge of supporting teaching and learning during a pandemic. The concept of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) provides a framework for the ways in which schools are operating amid the COVID-19 crisis. In an unprecedented VUCA context, rapid cycles of improvement are essential for identifying approaches to address student needs. Even in such conditions, the enabling organizational conditions for continuous improvement—shared purpose, mutual trust, structures and resources that foster collaborative work, and the preparation and mobilization of improvement capacities—are needed to facilitate improvement and organizational learning. For examples of how this approach works in context, read the related practice brief Ayer Elementary School's Resilient Conditions for Improvement: Pivoting Amid COVID-19.