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How Important are Letters of Support?

Several staff members want to apply for a fairly large grant that would fund a school wide technology initiative. The RFP requires the principal to write a letter outlining ways the administration will provide support. I’m seriously thinking about leaving this site at the end of the year, but since I haven’t made a final decision I haven’t made any announcements. Should I write this letter knowing that things are up in the air?

A change in leadership often has a negative impact on grant programs. This is one reason funding agencies ask for written evidence of support. However, the greatest problems arise when the program relies heavily on just one or two people to see it through. I think you can have a productive discussion with staff about the proposal without making an announcement.

The focus of the discussion needs to be shared leadership. There are no guarantees that there won’t be several personnel changes during the life of the grant, even if you decide to stay. How can the program be designed so that its success or failure is not dependent upon a few individuals? Is it possible to embed support in a systemic way? Once you’ve had this discussion, you’ll be in a better position to decide if you can write an honest letter of support.

Next Tip: TBD

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