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Research Report

Preparing for Your Next District Flashpoint: On-Demand Materials

What Every District Leader Should Do Now to Help Navigate Divisive Conversations in the Future

Meredith McNeill, Senior Director, Research Margaret Sullivan, Associate Director, Research

One in three superintendents nationwide have addressed a divisive flashpoint that brought everyday work in their district to a screeching halt. If it hasn’t happened to your district yet, it will soon—polls show the political temperature in public education is set to rise even further across the coming election season. Even so, the polarizing issues making headlines in K-12 education today may not be the same next month, or even next week—so how can district leaders be prepared to navigate divisive conversations on topics that change so frequently?

Experts in crisis management and public relations recommend two critical strategies to prepare for in-flux flashpoint risks:

  1. Build a system to identify and prioritize the greatest risks to your own district
  2. Compile communications in advance to save time and avoid additional controversy when a flashpoint occurs

EAB’s two-part workshop shares everything K-12 leaders need to jump start both critical strategies in their districts.

Session 1: Prioritize Flashpoint Risks with a Risk Register

Download the Presentation

Risk register template

Identifying Today’s Top Flashpoint Risks for K-12 Districts

Guidelines for Forming a Flashpoint Risk Team

Session 2: Compile Flashpoint Communications Best-Practices

Flashpoint statement exercise

Message map template

COSA Racial equity messaging spectrum

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