In case you missed the #suptchat & #k12PRchat chatlaboration on Twitter last night, the PAPER team is here to provide you with a comprehensive wrap-up.

Superintendents Michael Lubelfeld, Nick Polyak, in collaboration with National School Public Relations Association VP and #K12PRchat host Catherine Kedjidjian, facilitated a chat with participants from varying sides of the K-12 system about a pertinent theme: Advocacy and politics in education.

Q1: How do you connect with legislators (newly elected or returning) to ensure they understand and support public education?

Connecting with legislators to help them understand and support the priorities of public school districts is key, and participants shared how they go about this:

Q2: How do ed leaders focus on appropriate and necessary advocacy vs. political action in equity issues?

In response to this question, participants shared everything from their district’s statements on equity issues to their views on educators’ responsibility to mobilize political action.

Q3: How has the increased communication/community engagement that's been required during the pandemic helped or hindered that advocacy?

Whether technological, socioemotional, instructional, or nutritional — educators showed up for their communities’ needs time and time again in 2020. This increase in engagement and communication required more time and resources, and participants shared how this affected their advocacy efforts:

The following Twitter thread from Greenon Schools’ Megan Anthony stood out:

Q4: How have you supported your teachers in navigating classroom conversations during the election season and after the election?

A fine balance needs to be struck by school districts every election, and this year was no exception:

Q5: What examples of student advocacy did you see in your community during the election season?

#Suptchat #K12PRchat participants shared some incredible stories of student advocacy over the last few months.

Q6: How do you help community members understand and appreciate the role, responsibilities, and reach of the school board?

It’s clear that the pandemic has pushed community members to be more in-tune with and aware of their school board. Some of last night’s participants think this newfound interest will continue long after COVID.

Q7: What media sources do you use to get unbiased information to help you advocate effectively for your schools and your community?

Some favorites included:

Q8: What should be the characteristics/experience/focus of the next U.S. Education Secretary?

Educators couldn’t resist weighing in on this question; most contended that the next secretary should undoubtedly have experience serving in public education, have a laser-light focus on equity and be compassionate. Some participants even elected their fellow colleagues!

Finally, some concluding remarks from the moderators:

For more, follow @PAPERLearning on Twitter. Click here to see the entire #suptchat!

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Founded in 2014, PAPER is an Educational Support System (ESS) providing students with 24/7 unlimited tutoring & essay review sessions, and teachers with real-time feedback and intervention tools. Paper partners with districts across North America to close the achievement gap and support educational equity.