Great example of small just, just ahead

Winds of Hurricane Florence (

I refer to the ‘small just, just ahead’ strategy for communication nearly every week as I try to improve the way we inform people at Duke University (and among my family at home).

I defined and explored that strategy, which I learned from Erin, Dave, and many others, in this blog post — “Actively sharing and reviewing and evaluating information about the world around us helps children learn, the blinded navigate and teams coalesce.”

In my inbox just now, anticipating a potentially devastating Hurricane Florence, is this email from Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools superintendent Pam Baldwin, a perfect example of small just, just ahead:

Greetings CHCCS staff and families. Walking around Lincoln Center this morning, I noticed a lot of computer screens monitoring various weather websites. The damage from Hurricane Florence has the potential to be devastating, and many components of our school operations are likely to be impacted.

To that end, our team is working hard to prepare for the storm and its aftermath. Our two biggest concerns are power outages and water damage – particularly at our older buildings which, in most cases, have underground storm water systems that are ill-equipped to handle the amount of precipitation currently forecasted.

Our amazing maintenance crew has been checking our chainsaws, tools and other gear to ensure everything is in good working order. All emergency generators have been inspected and fueled, as well as our vehicles. Schools that may get used as shelters (that determination is made by Orange County Emergency Management in conjunction with the Red Cross), are being stocked with food and water. Sandbags are being prepared and our custodial staff is ready for the hard work ahead. We also remain in very close contact with our local police, fire, emergency and OWASA colleagues.

If we have to announce school closings, we will plan to use the standard communications tools. You can expect to hear from us in a variety of ways including phone and email. If you have not already done so, please consider downloading our district app (search “CHCCS”), following us on Twitter (@CHCCS) and liking us on Facebook. We will also communicate via our local media outlets.

Please take this situation seriously and make the necessary precautions to keep your loved ones safe. We will be back in touch if there is a need to alter our school schedule later this week.


Pam Baldwin, Superintendent



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