The Shock of Last Spring Suppresses Conflicts and Complexity that Surface Later: Lessons from Aurora Public Schools’ COVID-19 Response Spring 2020

Aurora Public Schools

A suburban Colorado district’s experience last spring and planning for the fall shows the benefits and limits of crisis management in dealing with COVID-19. Leaders must navigate interest group politics and intergovernmental relations, not just technical and instructional challenges.

Key lessons:

  • Textbook crisis management—clear decisions, cross-functional responses, and unified operations—was critical for addressing real problems last spring.
  • As the crisis wore on, more complicated issues surfaced: resource problems, uncertain guidance, and political conflict.