Future-Focused Schools Collaborative

Leading and Learning for 2030

FFSC-LogoOur schools and districts have never been more challenged in supporting the needs of students while navigating a world that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA). The realities of Covid-19, economic uncertainty and emphasis on systemic racism and inequities have brought school districts across the United States to a crossroads. Systems must adapt with a future-focused vision and an ability to apply innovative principles and processes to their work.

Building capacity for systemwide innovation requires an intentionally aligned team supported by experts and colleagues from other systems tackling this important work. AASA and the Successful Practices Network (SPN) have teamed up to work with superintendents and their teams to chart a bold course of action to continuously improve conditions for children and their families.

In this VUCA world, superintendents cannot achieve large scale innovative change alone. Transformation requires an intentionally aligned team, focused on providing youth with the skills and knowledge they need for success in their future. Building capacity within the system for intentional, controlled innovation can be enhanced with personalized coaching.

The Future-Focused Schools Collaborative is an ongoing blended support model for superintendents and their leadership teams to work together, to study best practices, to stretch and be supported by me and such national thought leaders as Bill Daggett, Ray McNulty, Valerie Truesdale, Mort Sherman, Sue Szachowicz and others.

The work of the Collaborative is supported by:

  • face-to-face and virtual support to build a culture of "whatever it takes" to support students' growth
  • strategies and tools to examine processes, protocols, teaching practices, and relationships to ensure collaboration toward a common vision
  • supports for each district team will be supported in balancing the superintendent's/school district's key goals and outcomes needed to drive performance of children.
The result of working in the collaborative is that superintendents and their teams are able to build collective efficacy in the school system and enhance peer accountability. Clarity of purpose matters, especially when coupled with intentional, incremental innovation.

Program of Work: Summer 2020 through Winter 2022

superintendents and their leadership teams will work to study best practices and apply principles of innovation to their planning and implementation. Collaborative participants will benefit from direct support of AASA, SPN and their fellow Collaborative members.

*Please note: In the event that any of the planned face-to-face events are not able to be held or if any Collaborative Member District is not able to attend, an interactive virtual event will be held

  • Summer — Fall 2020New Collaborative teams will have a virtual on-boarding session to prepare for the work ahead and begin identifying their most pressing areas of need and focus
    • Virtual framing of goals — SPN Consultants and Thought Leaders will work with Collaborative Members to identify their goals for the innovation work
  • Fall 2020 — February 2021SPN Thought Leaders and Consultants will provide tailored face to face and virtual support to each Collaborative Member to refine and implement their individualized innovation plan
    • Full day onsite with Collaborative SPN consultant to provide reflective feedback, stretch thinking, and refine innovation plans
    • Personalized virtual support from Collaborative SPN consultant to facilitate development and implementation of innovation plan
    • Regular virtual meetings with Ray McNulty, Bill Daggett, Mary Ellen Elia and other consultants
  • February 2021 — National Conference on Education, New Orleans, LA (superintendent should attend — team members optional)
    • SPN and AASA will facilitate an Institute for Future Focused Leadership Collaborative superintendents and their leadership teams
    • Team members will have the opportunity to network with other members, share best practices and lessons learned
    • SPN Thought Leaders will share additional tools and strategies to strengthen innovative work in each district
  • June 2021 - Orlando, Florida (optional professional learning event for team members- not mandatory)
    • SPN and AASA will facilitate an Institute for Future Focused Leadership Collaborative superintendents and their leadership teams within the annual Model Schools Conference.
  • October 2021 — Atlanta, Georgia (Tentative)
    • Optional professional learning event for all team members — not mandatory
    • SPN will facilitate an Institute for Future Focused Leadership Collaborative superintendents and their leadership teams
    • Participants will have the option to also attend the 32nd Annual National Dropout Prevention Conference at a discounted rate including a strand for Innovative Approaches to Supporting At-Risk Students 
  • February 2022 — (mandatory for teams to attend; location TBD)
    • District leadership teams will present their innovation plans and progress to fellow Collaborative members as well as incoming 2022 Collaborative teams
    • Collaboration with other network members
Space is limited in order to maximize the impact
for each participating district.

Register at:


Questions? Contact

Deb Light, Program Director, Successful Practices Network dlight@spnetwork.org 518.723.2051

Dr. Valerie Truesdale, Assistant Executive Director, AASA vtruesdale@aasa.org 703.774.6930