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Human Capital Management

7 Burning Questions for School HR

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What makes a school tick? People.

From the students who bring vibrancy and energy while learning about the world around them, to the staff that ensures they’re in a healthy learning environment, human connection is at the very core of education.

Your role as a leader in your district is to ensure that connection remains strong. When your educators develop genuine, positive relationships with students and the students feel a sense of belonging to their environment, the likelihood of student engagement and success dramatically increases.

That’s where data comes in. If you use Frontline solutions for human capital management, you already have the data you need to answer important questions about your approach to human capital — and now it’s easier than ever to analyze that data to see what it’s telling you.

Answering Questions Around Absences

Teacher absences are a fact of life for school districts. But they all introduce some level of unpredictability to the school day. Tools like Frontline Absence & Time can make it easier to manage that unpredictability. But taking a deeper dive into your data can also help you answer questions like, “Do we have enough substitutes? Can we fill absences in a timely manner?”

When it comes to answering these questions, increasing predictability helps you plan for and respond to future challenges more effectively. The best way to do that is through accurate and efficient analysis of the absence data you have access to. Data can put confidence in your strategic decision-making around absences by answering some of the most confounding questions.

    1. Are you able to fill absences with substitute teachers?

    It’s easy to understand that national averages indicate a teacher — and by extension, qualified substitute teacher — shortage. But those numbers may not reflect the reality of your situation. A closer look at your district fill rate trends might reveal that your schools fill absences reliably, or perhaps the opposite is true.

    Regardless, the only way to know for sure which way your district is trending is by tracking it. There are several metrics that, when taken together, can help you truly understand your substitute situation and ultimately allow you to communicate your ability to fill staff absences and/or allow you to strategically plan how to improve fill rates within your district.

    2. How does our substitute usage compare year over year?

    Data helps you understand your district’s story on a macro level as well as a micro level. While it can help you identify the ways in which your schools struggle (or not) to fill absences with substitutes in the short- and medium-term, it can also help you judge how effective your district has been at addressing those struggles long-term.

    3. What are the reasons for staff absences?

    Just as different employee group absences affect schools in different ways, so do the reasons staff members are absent.

    Some absences from the classroom activities may be intentional, such as for critical professional development opportunities. Other reasons are inevitable but unforeseeable, such as illness. In both cases, identifying when and why staff are absent can provide districts with the opportunity to ensure that despite the reason for absence, students have a qualified professional in the classroom that will keep them on track with their learning goals.

Understanding Your Recruiting Efforts

Everyone knows that great teachers maximize the chances of student success. Of course, finding those teachers is easier said than done. Frontline Recruiting & Hiring can help you execute your recruiting strategies, and if you can analyze the data from your hiring efforts, you can track how effective your efforts have been over time.

There are two ways to approach the issue of recruiting. You could stick to your old plan and hope for the best, or you can analyze the effectiveness of your efforts so far and make data-informed changes going forward. With data you can gain a deeper understanding of the answers to these questions.

    4. What positions are still available and for how long?

    To target prospective teaching candidates, the first step is identifying which positions are open and in what areas. Often, this can be a labor-intensive process of data collection and aggregation.

    Analytics can support district and building leaders in quickly identifying which positions are open and how long have they been available. From there, strategic recruiting strategies can be put in motion to connect with and attract the top talent to your district.

    5. Do we have a diverse candidate pool?

    Diversity is essential to the learning environment. Diverse role models and perspectives in your schools have a positive impact on students. But the only way to attain this is through diversity in recruiting. By knowing the demographics of your potential candidate pool, you can get a better idea of what to expect, as well as how to ensure the opening gets the exposure it deserves.

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Assessing Professional Growth Progression

Professional learning is the heartbeat of continuous teacher growth: sustained, intensive, job-embedded, collaborative, data-driven, classroom-focused professional learning has vital role to play in improving educator quality, increasing teacher retention, and impacting student outcomes.

Those are high stakes — so making data-informed decisions about your professional learning program is critical to ensuring that the time and money spent on that learning is put to the best use. Analyzing your data in Frontline Professional Growth can help you answer questions like:

    6. What learning opportunities are we offering to our staff?

    You craft professional learning goals each year — not because you want to check a box, but because you want to make an impact. When it comes to the learning opportunities offered throughout the year, are you making progress toward those goals? If you set out to offer more collaborative, job-embedded opportunities for growth, can you show that your catalog of professional development activities is making progress in this direction?

    What formats of professional learning can your teachers and staff select from? How many hours or credits are available for teachers to earn? Do they have access to the kinds of professional learning they need that will make a difference in the classroom?

    Being able to track your progress over a period of years will not only help you determine where you’ve been, it will help you know where you are and where you should go next to support your professional goals and ultimately, student performance.

    7. Who has completed training sessions?

    You spend precious dollars on professional development for a reason — it’s vital for your educators to take the next step. That money that comes from grants and taxpayers, and those key stakeholders will want to know whether those funds are effectively helping to improve teaching and learning.

    Tracking the training sessions that have been completed — by department, building, category, course code, school year, and even looking at the individual level — allow you to identify your return on investment by ensuring that your staff’s professional development plan is in alignment with district goals and state/federal guidelines.

Money and time are at stake in all of these questions. While the ultimate goal is to drive student success, it’s important to remain accountable and strive toward success as efficiently as possible. Analyzing the treasure trove of data you’ve already collected can help you answer these questions and better ensure alignment to the ultimate goal of every school district, preparing students for college, career and life.

Human Capital Analytics can help you answer these burning HR questions and more. Learn More