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3 Key Themes from Insights Summit 2019


The inaugural Insights Summit is a wrap, and it was an amazing experience! As a Frontline Education team, we feel truly thankful to serve such a great group of clients.

Over the course of the event, attendees learned with and from many outstanding education leaders, from Superintendents and Directors of Human Resources, to Directors of Professional Development, Principals, Technology Leaders and Administrators. Every single role in the K-12 organization plays a critical part in educating students, and together attendees strengthened their resolve and grew the skills needed to #LeadWithConfidence.

From our learning together, here are 3 key themes that emerged from the sessions and conversations:

1. Shortages are real.

From the obvious teacher shortage to less-publicized shortages of substitutes, para-professionals and staff in general, this topic was on many attendees’ minds.

Throughout the sessions, attendees learned about the importance of proactive recruiting, ongoing professional learning and the use of data to thoroughly understand and tackle the shortages.

In some of the sessions, clients and Frontline experts shared best practice strategies to think differently. In others, attendees learned practical ways to optimize their use of Frontline solutions for greater outcomes. Many attendees were thrilled to learn how to get more value from their current systems.

In the words of an attendee: “The conference gave me the info to really attack the [Frontline] systems that we have in place – and it’s already working.”

2. To combat shortages, districts need to think differently.

Many education leaders and professionals are thinking outside the box and getting creative to combat the severe shortages. In particular, we heard an emphasis on tackling human capital management from a big-picture perspective – making sure recruiting and hiring, professional growth, and engagement and retention are all looked at together rather than in siloes.

We also heard the importance of using data to understand the current challenges as well as key levers that can be pulled for short- and long-term improvement.

In particular, one attendee shared that “the stories from other school leaders were a nice mix of pedagogy and practice.”

3. Leaders need to be brave.

It’s not new news… but leading change is HARD. It takes a lot of collaboration and courage.

Attendees heard inspiring stories and strategies for leadership from a variety of keynote speakers, including Superintendent Dr. Melissa Varley, Director of Special Education Dr. Dorothea Gordon, and the highly-energetic and motivational Rock Star Principals! They also heard practical, real-life strategies from a variety of client presenters and from talking with each other.

As one attendee put it, “This was a great opportunity to gain the skills and information that I need to get real change done within our district. Thank you for giving me the power to go toe-to-toe with our gatekeepers.”

And one more thing…

One of the biggest highlights for many attendees with the availability of Frontline staff and getting to sit down 1-on-1 to talk through their questions. This was a highlight for our team, too!

This attendee shared, “[I enjoyed the] networking and how Frontline representatives took the time to sit one-on-one to answer questions. The location and hotel stay were fabulous. It was probably one of the best events I have been to.”

Allison Wert

Allison (Ali) Wert is the Content Marketing Manager of the award-winning content team at Frontline Education. She has been writing about education topics for nearly 10 years and specializes in best practices for K-12 strategic human capital management. Under her leadership, the team at Frontline was recognized as the Winner of CMA's 2017 Project of the Year and Best Content Marketing Program. Ali also helps to manage marketing for the Frontline Research & Learning Institute and The Line.