Friday / June 14

School Leaders’ Summer Reading List

School leaders have never had a summer like this. Summer 2020 has a new feeling of urgency around so many issues – ensuring equity and cultural proficiency in our staff, figuring out how to re-open safely, creating contingency plans for a possible recurrence of COVID-19, leading from a distance, rethinking nearly every piece of the school day, and – maybe – finding a small space somewhere to rest and recharge for the fall. We all know that the 2020-2021 school year will also be unlike any other, and many educators are using this summer time to try to prepare.

If you and your leadership team are engaging in this critical preparation season, I wanted to recommend some great resources to help you get ready and feel more confident and resilient to meet the challenges of the next school year with calm, caring, and confidence.

The occasion is piled high with difficult, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. – Abraham Lincoln, in a letter to Congress 1862

If you can do nothing else, do this.

Caring School Leadership by Mark Smylie, Joe Murphy, and Karen Seashore Louis

No matter if learning takes place from afar or in person, leaders always have the opportunity and responsibility to exhibit care toward the humans in their school communities: every staff person, teacher, student, and family member. This book is the perfect reminder – with heart-warming stories – of how caring during challenging times can make all the difference.

Find ways to truly partner with families in your community.

Engage Every Family, 2nd Edition by Steve Constantino

COVID-19 has brought to light the critical importance of families in kids’ learning environments – and working with families is more important now than ever! Dr. Steve Constantino’s new edition of Engage Every Family couldn’t be publishing at a better time. Pre-order your copy now, and take advantage of all of the COVID-19 resources on his website.

Lead the shift to digital.

Digital Leadership, 2nd Edition by Eric Sheninger

Many schools have had to go digital in a hurry. Use this book to help you iron out the kinks in your plan and set your school up for long-term success, using Eric Sheninger’s Pillars of Digital Leadership.

*BONUS*: Interested in having Eric join you and your team for a virtual book study?

If you order 200 or more copies of Digital Leadership, 2nd edition, Eric will lead a 5-week synchronous book club via Zoom or Google Hangouts for your team members.

Here’s how it works:
– Purchase at least 200 copies of Digital Leadership, 2nd edition.
– Send Eric your receipt, PO, or other proof of purchase:
– Eric will respond to coordinate the details for your book study.
– Contact Eric Sheninger at with any questions.

AND – for more resources from Eric specifically on leading during COVID-19, check out the book’s companion website.

Prioritize learning, whether face-to-face or online.

Instructional Leadership by Peter DeWitt

COVID-19 launched educators and students into digital classrooms almost overnight. But as we settle into the “new normal” and look toward the fall, we need to move beyond a “pandemic teaching” mindset and toward a model for better remote and blended teaching and learning.

For even more resources on leading instruction during COVID-19, take a look at the Instructional Leadership companion website.

*BONUS*: Join Peter DeWitt in an online book club around Instructional Leadership!

Start visioning for the future.

Visioning Onward by Chris Mason, Paul Liabenow, and Melissa Patschke

When the present is so chaotic and changing so quickly, it can be difficult to peer into the future with clarity, calm, and reflection. Visioning Onward is absolutely perfect if you’re feeling unsure about what is to come in the 2020-2021 school year. The most important lesson: We’re all in this together.

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At Corwin, we have one objective and one objective only: to help educators like you make the greatest impact on teaching and learning.

We offer a host of independent and integrated professional learning options that conform with your budget, your timeline, and your objectives: from books and resources, to on-site consulting and Visible Learningplus, to online solutions, and more. Visit for more.

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