Educational Leadership Students Create 388-page Re-entry Plan

“In early March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began to wreak havoc on every aspect of life as we all knew it. Events were cancelled, businesses began to close, and classrooms became virtual spaces. The world looked and felt very different from anything we had ever known,” wrote Carolyn Gassman, Butler University graduate student.

The Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP), an educational leadership graduate program at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, canceled their summer 2020 research and study abroad learning experience to Italy due to Covid-19.  EPPSP Students, practicing school teachers and educators, understood the complexity of returning to a physical building in the fall 2020 and wanted to support school leaders as they transitioned back to school.

EPPSP’s 40-year history includes experiential and relevant learning opportunities along with proficiencies that allow students to engage in real-life school leadership practices.  Nationally, school leaders began developing re-entry plans and Indiana leaders were conducting plans of their own.

Using a Design Thinking process that focused on a human-centered approach,  EPPSP graduate students developed twelve project teams to research and compile national and international resources ranging in topics from remediation, curriculum and instruction, to trauma support and equity.  As future leaders, the summer research project allowed students to interview and network with over 80 high-level experts and advisors such as the Governor’s Senior Education Advisor, Mayor’s Director of the Office of Education Innovation, Superintendents, Principals, Professors, Business and Community members.

Each project team shared key findings, recommendations, and/or actionable strategies such as the need to make broadband a utility to ensure connectivity and access for all students, remediation suggestions and best practices, assessing and identifying learning gaps, developing plans for social-emotional learning activities, utilizing CARES Act dollars, and sharing international school case studies to name a few. 

On July 1, the EPPSP Blueprint 2020 was launched and shared with school leaders. The 388-page document includes 12 topics and a multitude of resources that may be helpful to school leaders throughout the country.  If you would like information on Butler University’s EPPSP program, please visit:

For further information about these documents or questions about EPPSP, please contact me at

Finally, to follow along with current and future EPPSP projects and events, visit us on social media. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. 

Deb Lecklider is the director of the Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP), College of Education at Butler University. 

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