Essential Element: Shared Leadership
We are excited to introduce a new series on the six Essential Elements in NeMTSS. The Essential Elements are the building blocks to a deeply implemented system and are one of the first things districts learn about during day one of System Training. Educators are encouraged to make connections to the Essential Elements within the work they are already doing and determine strengths and opportunities for growth in each of these elements. Each element is equally important to the process; there is no “most important.”
The NeMTSS Essential Elements are:
- Shared Leadership
- Communication, Collaboration & Partnerships
- Evidence-Based Practices: Curriculum, Instruction, Intervention & Assessment
- Building Capacity & Infrastructure for Implementation
- Layered Continuum of Supports
- Data-Based Problem-Solving & Decision-Making
What is Shared Leadership?
The first Essential Element we are going to discuss is Shared Leadership. Shared Leadership is the idea that all levels of school personnel share in leadership tasks, data-based problem-solving and decision-making, and determining goals within the system.
To have a deeply implemented MTSS Framework, districts must have an effective leadership team, as well as school level support teams. These teams allocate resources and develop a plan for MTSS implementation. This is done through a culture of collaboration to address issues at all levels using a problem-solving process.
Shared Leadership is key in sustaining a system over time and builds buy-in from all staff because they are included and know their role within the system. It helps eliminate a siloed way of thinking and instead is an “all hands on deck” approach to ensure that ALL students are provided a high-quality education that positively impacts them and their families, setting them on a path for success.
Shared Leadership can take many forms throughout education. For example, problem-solving teams should be inclusive of general education teachers, special education teachers and other advocates for the student to work together and develop and follow a plan that is matched to student needs. Another example would be when decisions are made around best instructional practices. Considerations should be brought to the leadership team in which all perspectives are considered and provide input. Everyone is responsible for the solution and working toward it.
“Collectively, as a team, we make a bigger impact,” said Mary Jo McElhose, Quality Assurance, Nebraska Department of Education.
Why is Shared Leadership an Essential Element to NeMTSS?
When a district truly has Shared Leadership in place, teams are more effective due to increased communication and understanding of each person’s responsibilities within the group. When everyone is on the same page, progress can be made.
Shared Leadership is interwoven into NeMTSS and is closely connected to the other Essential Elements. For example, Communication, Collaboration and Partnerships, another essential element, is critically necessary within the leadership team.
For our next Essential Element, we will be taking a deeper look at Communication, Collaboration & Partnerships.