Succession Planning for Students and Staff
Succession Planning means to plan for the future stability of a GSA. GSAs are transient in nature because of their high turnover rates. GSAs are commonly run by students in higher grades who will inevitably graduate and/or move on from the school. Succession planning is useful in the sustainability of the GSA.
As the end of the year approaches, start thinking about who will be taking over the GSA for the following year. Talk to returning students to see if they have an interest in taking on the leadership of the group. A good strategy is letting those who are interested run a few meetings. This will give them the opportunity to see if it is right for them as well as help them practice for the upcoming year.
It’s also worthwhile considering reaching out to schools that new students will be coming from or where older students will be going to. Arranging for your GSA to visit incoming students and sharing what they can look forward to when they come to your school, or helping graduating students find the GSA at their new school, can be a huge help in succession planning and in the continuity of supports for LGBTQ2S+ students in your community.
Teacher Sponsors who are leaving the GSA can use a similar strategy. Encourage the new Teacher Sponsor to attend meetings and become familiar with the students and the dynamic of the group.
Succession planning takes time and patience. Don’t panic if you don’t secure facilitators for the next year. It will require a bit more work, but the gains the group has made will still exist within the school.