PMP289: Supporting School Communities District-Wide with Jen Schwanke

In Jen Schwanke’s new role as an Deputy Superintendent and in dissertation work, she has been learning a lot about supporting school communities district-wide. In this week’s episode, she explains some of the main responsibilities important to embrace in supporting educators:

  • Why you cannot forget what it feels like to be a teacher or principal. Not just saying it, but meaning it.
  • Some of the main challenges leaders face in serving from the district role versus the school site
  • Learning to say yes, and… Instead of yes, but…
  • What research shows about the historic and systemic work of central office roles in their supports of schools and school leaders
  • How school law, and Supreme Court cases affect the way we do school
  • Why we must communicate: you can make that decision for your children, but you cannot make it for other people’s children
  • How policy is guidance but not always rules

As we wrapped up the interview, Jen also talked about supporting principals. Many principals feel a conflict with their central office admins. On the other hand, some appreciate the support and accountability. Jen explains how district leaders may be perceived as disconnected from the day-to-day grind and how they must navigate this complicated pathway to supporting principals and their schools.

Listen-in the entire conversation. Stay connected with Jen via her website:

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker