Future Ready

Frequently Asked Questions

Not sure how to get started, or where to go next? Make sure to reference the 5 Step Process that was developed to help Future Ready Leadership Teams work together to complete a Future Ready Action Plan. Questions or feeling stuck? Check out our Help Videos. Still feeling stuck? Contact Avril Smart.

What is the Future Ready Interactive Planning Dashboard?
The dashboard is a free, interactive planning tool that allows districts to assess their readiness, identify gaps, select from suggested strategies, and make a plan to transition successfully to digital learning.

How is the dashboard associated with the rest of the Future Ready Schools Initiative?
The dashboard is one of three major components of the Future Ready initiative. The other two components are the in-person regional institutes (or summits) scheduled across the United States and ongoing support offered through the Future Ready Leadership Network ("The Hub") that includes conference connections, state programs, webinars, partner activities, and scheduled interactive chats. Specific information on the dashboard can be downloaded here.

What does each district team need to do to get started?
Before logging into the dashboard, take a look at the Future Ready Framework and our 5 Step Planning Process. Superintendents have not already done so, but plan to utilize the tools, are also encouraged to begin by signing the Future Ready District Pledge. Your team may want to check out our help videos to better understand the 5 Step Process.

How much time will it take for the district to complete the transition to digital learning?
The truthful answer to this question is that a district will probably never be “finished.” The dashboard is designed as an organizing tool to help districts use the same language when tackling the difficult work of transitioning to digital learning. Districts should use the dashboard in an ongoing way to assess and analyze readiness levels in various gear areas, assign responsibilities, set goals, obtain stakeholder input, and track progress over time. We do, however, suggest districts utilize the 5 Step Process to support their transformation.

How much time should I set aside for the initial leadership meeting?
Prior to the initial district leadership team meeting, we recommend sharing a hard copy of the district leadership assessment with each team member. Two to two and a half hours should be set aside for the initial leadership team meeting to complete the self-assessment questions and submit the collective findings as a team.

What is the best sequence for completing the sections?
The dashboard was designed to allow districts to come and go at their own pace and complete the sections necessary for their own needs. Therefore, there is no set sequence or way a district 'must' use the dashboard, however, many districts follow this suggested 5 Step Process. The only caveat is that districts must complete the Leadership Assessment (Step 2) prior to completion of any gear level assessments (Step 3).

What does a typical goal look like in the action plan?
Goals are typically written to address one of the district’s identified gaps.

Sample gap: The district has not yet reviewed 21st Century/Deeper Learning skills, selected a set of skills that resonate with all stakeholders, and integrated those skills into all curricula. To address this, the district might set the following goal:

Sample goal to address the gap: In 2016, the district will work with stakeholders to identify a set of 21st Century skills that are essential for students’ success in school and life, and integrate those skills into all curricular frameworks.

Can I review the questions on the assessment before I get started?
Yes. Assessments are posted for review in the “Framework & Resources” section. The Leadership Assessment is available on the framework page. Subsequent gear level assessments are available on each gear page. 

How do I suggest a resource?
If you have a resource you would like to share, please utilize the "Recommend a Resource" button inside the dashboard. Teams will be asked to share the title of the resource, URL, a brief description (50 words or less), and a suggestion for gear alignment. The Future Ready Schools Team will review the suggestion and post it where/if appropriate. 

How can I and/or my organization become part of the Future Ready Hub?
The Hub consists of ongoing professional learning opportunities from organizations, district leaders, and national experts. The Hub provides ongoing planning support to district leaders on topics aligned to the Future Ready Framework. Information will be shared via webinars, blogs, a mentoring program, and an artifact library. Please send your inquiry to Sara Hall at [email protected] with a short description of your organization and what contributions you and/or your organization would like to make to the network. Please note that most network members are nonprofit educational membership organizations.

What kinds of sponsorship opportunities are available to support the Future Ready Leadership Network?
Please send your inquiry to Lia Dossin to learn about current sponsorship opportunities.

How often should our district team meet?
It is recommended that a recurring weekly meeting be added to the district calendar for the first 6–8 weeks. This will allow team members to become familiar with both the Future Ready Dashboard and framework. Once the team is functioning and taking on direct responsibility for specific parts of the planning process, monthly meetings should suffice as long as there are clear expectations of how the dashboard will be used to accomplish the identified goals within each gear. It is also recommended that districts nominate a "Project Manger" to help coordinate all of the efforts.

Who should use the dashboard?
The dashboard is designed to be used by school leaders. This resource is built to address the specific needs of district leaders who are undergoing a digital conversion. It is less helpful for school-based implementations, but it may help some principals and school-based leaders begin the process. 

Who should be on a district team?
The district team must include the superintendent. It is up to the superintendent to assign membership to the planning team. The group should be manageable in size, and should include colleagues who have decision making authority in key areas like professional learning, curriculum and instruction, assessment, data and privacy, infrastructure, devices and technology, finance and budget, and community outreach. It is recommended that the team also include principals and teachers from various levels to help ensure the decisions being made are representative of all groups, feasible to implement, and will ultimately be successful upon implementation. Visit Step 1 of the 5 Step Process for more information. 

How many people should be on a district team?
District teams generally consist of the district superintendent and 10–12 others who will be leading the planning process for digital learning. There is no maximum number of people allowed on a team, and team membership is at the sole discretion of the superintendent or his/her designee, however, the larger the team, the more difficult dynamic discussion may become. It is important that various stakeholders are represented. A suggested list can be seen in Step 1.

What is a team code?
The team code is a series of alpha-numeric characters that identifies your district team as unique. The "Project Manager" should create a team in the "Create and Manage My Teams" section of the menu. Once created, the confidential team code will appear next to the team name in the "Your Teams" section.  This number should be shared with other team members with accounts that want electronic access to the reporting features. If no team codes are listed, no data will be seen. District leaders should carefully consider who they would like to have access to the assessment results and should share accordingly.

How does my team log in the first time?
If the District Superintendent recently took the Future Ready District Pledge, a team code was automatically provided via email to the Superintendent to use when logging in. Use the email and password convention shown in the example below:

  • Email Address = [email protected] (Use the full email address used to take the pledge.)
  • Password = FRSsample (Use the characters before the “@” symbol of the email address used to take the pledge.)

How do I change my password?

After logging in the first time, your password can be changed by clicking on your profile in the top right of the page. Once in the profile section, click "Edit" in the "Personal" section to change your password.

How do I add team members to my team?
To add team members to your district team, district admin can share their unique team code. New team members must register to create an account. Once registered, new team members can use the unique team code to join the existing team. (If team members do not have an account, they can create one by clicking “Enter As Part Of An Existing Team.”  New team members will be asked for their user information such as name, title, and contact email. Please make sure your team members use the team code when completing the “tell us about yourself” form.)

How do I add another group of stakeholders (like principals or other district colleagues not on the leadership team) to take the assessment to compare the results with our leadership team’s perceptions?
As of December 2016, leadership teams have the ability to send out "anonymous URLs", similar to the functionality of a tool like SurveyMonkey. No longer to stakeholders need to create an account to submit a gear level survey. These URLs are available in the "Create and Manage My Teams" section of the Menu.

How do I change and manage multiple teams?
After logging in, teams can be managed in the "Create and Manage My Teams" section of the Menu. 

What type of security procedures are in place for the data that's submitted?
All communication with the Future Ready Dashboard is encrypted over SSL with a 256 bit key. Users will notice the "https://" and lock image in the browsing window next to the Dashboard URL, signifying the secure transmission of data. Your privacy and security is a top priority.