It’s January, and if you are like so many other Federal Program Directors and me, I’m sure you are feeling overwhelmed. We have FY22 and ESSER II reallocations, equitable service diligent search, comprehensive needs assessment surveys, and now FY22 schoolwide plans to be completed within the next month or so. Overwhelming???? Yes!!!
So how are you handling the stress? If you are not already a part of a Federal Programs Consortium, I suggest finding a group. A consortium is a great way to talk with others going through the same thing as you. The Consortium can provide moral and mental support. If you don’t know of one, don’t hesitate to reach out to the MDE Federal Programs Office and ask for a referral to a group. Another suggestion is to take deep, slow breaths and realize that you can only do so much. Look at your deadlines and plan your time accordingly. If you need an extension for a deadline, please do not hesitate to ask for one from MDE. They do understand and are usually very accommodating.
As you work with your schools on completing the FY22 schoolwide plan, I suggest you utilize the question template sent out by MDE. Remember that schools only responded to the School Planning Team, School Planning Summary, Prioritized List of Needs, and the School Plan Overview sections in the FY21 schoolwide plan in Mississippi. Schools completed the other sections only if something had changed. The FY20 project has the other responses to the questions. Consider recommending the schools copy their responses from the FY20and FY21 plans into the template. They can then review and make the necessary changes. Once the schools have completed the template, they can open the FY22 plan in MCAPS and copy and paste it, as it is difficult to go back and forth between years in the projects. Don’t forget to utilize the schoolwide plan rubric to review the schools’ plans. The rubric has requirements that are not included in a question.
If you use Education Resources as the source of your comprehensive needs assessment, you should have much of your stress relieved. You will benefit from the question bank and resources, as well as from the survey responses.
Deep breaths! Good luck. I promise you will survive the next few months.