Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources: Governing in Crisis

Updated June 4, 2020

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, NAIS heads of school and their boards must face unknown challenges that make an effective partnership more important than ever. Trust, respect, and clear communication are critical to navigate this landscape effectively. While the immediate needs of the school are at the forefront of decision-making, school leaders and trustees also must engage in strategic planning and generative thinking to ensure future sustainability.

When managing a crisis of this magnitude, it is helpful to turn to the school’s mission, vision, and values as guideposts to both short- and long-term decision-making. This is a real test of the validity of a school’s M/V/V. While strategic and operational considerations shift depending on context, these statements should be enduring. If they don’t fit these unprecedented times, this is an opportunity to rethink them.

In times like these, school leaders must draw the community together by being role models themselves, remaining both flexible and agile. Providing clear, factual, and transparent communication to stakeholders, demonstrating compassion for students and families, and understanding that in this moment, there may not be a right decision, only the best one for these extraordinary circumstances. We will continue to curate resources to support heads and trustees in the areas of leadership and governance, as these are the cornerstones to school viability in a post-pandemic world.

Please note: The following links and content are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal, medical, or other professional advice. The opinions expressed in these resources are those of their respective author(s), and do not necessarily reflect NAIS positions or policies. NAIS does not endorse, promote, or guarantee any products or services referenced in these resources.


The Role of the Board 

Finance and Fundraising

Crisis Communication

Legal Considerations