One School District’s Response to Declining Enrollment

  Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify.   Sam Kirk is the Director of Finance and Operations at Armstrong School District in western Pennsylvania. As industry has dwindled, student enrollment in the district has taken a hit as well.   In this episode of Field Trip, Sam shares his experience grappling with the financial realities these […]


Cash for Chromebooks: Budgeting Tips for the Technology Department

‘Tis the season: as we approach the end of the year, families are preparing to gather over festive meals, students will head home for winter break… and department heads in schools everywhere will joyfully begin to put together their budgets for the next school year.   For K-12 IT professionals, that not only means keeping […]

School Health

SIS vs. EHR: The Differences Between These Systems (and Why You Need Both)

School districts may choose to have both a Student Information System (SIS) and an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system for a variety of reasons, as they serve different purposes and cater to distinct aspects of student well-being and education.   Here are some reasons why it can be beneficial for school districts to have both […]

Special Education

4 Survival Strategies for Special Education Teachers

It’s estimated that up to almost 50 percent of a special education teacher’s time is spent completing paperwork. Yet, as a teacher, you want to spend your school days teaching. You want to work hard in ensuring that every student — no matter their ability — gets a fair shot at success. In short, you […]

Special Education

5 Tips for Successful Collaboration Between General & Special Education Teachers

Jim Stovall, International Humanitarian Award recipient and Olympic athlete, once said of teamwork, “You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.”   For general education and special education teachers, the “everybody wins” payoff […]


3 Steps in Developing Your Referendum Strategy

Each year brings a new adventure for school district administrators. And for some districts, that means tackling a new referendum with their community.   While the district may fully understand the need for a referendum, often the challenge is justifying it to the local taxpayers, who may not understand the resource needs and constraints of […]

Student Services

Exploring Different Payment Models for Medicaid Billing Vendors in K-12

Medicaid’s implications for your school’s bottom line make it one of the most consequential programs for K-12. It’s also one of the only funding sources that many schools are not fully tapping into. That’s why having support from a Medicaid billing vendor can make such a big difference for schools. And with so many different […]

Professional Growth

From Required to Inspired: Inside Culture Change in Professional Learning

In Hanover County Public Schools, there’s a shift happening… something bubbling up from deep within the Curriculum & Instruction Department. Something exciting.   In the past, teachers would complete their professional learning requirements in large part by participating in mandated sessions for two days every August. “The problem is,” says Dr. Steve Castle, Director of […]

Student Data

Scary (Student Data) Stories: The Haunting of Attendance Valley

Happy Halloween!   Monsters under your bed might not be what’s haunting you this year. Maybe it’s student data…but it shouldn’t be!   With analytics software, you can put all of your student data to work without working yourself to the bone.   But in the meantime, if you’re looking for a spooky story to […]

Talk Data to Me

A data-centric view on the challenges facing school districts

Recruiting & Hiring

Talk Data to Me: Hire Rates

According to a 2021 Frontline survey, about two-thirds of over 1,200 school and district administrators reported having a teacher shortage. Some districts experienced the teacher shortage worse than others. About half of the respondents reported difficulty filling jobs across all grade levels and subjects while the other half felt the effects of the shortage in […]

Teacher Absences & Subs

Talk Data to Me: Trends in Absence Management and Substitute Pools

Troubled by substitute shortages and low fill rates? You’re not alone. These are challenges faced by many districts, and for good reason. Substitute management is no walk in the park: a lot of different elements go into maintaining and managing a healthy substitute pool.   To overcome the challenges associated with the substitute shortage, districts […]

Recruiting & Hiring

Talk Data to Me: The State of the Instructional Teacher Shortage

The Frontline Research and Learning Institute recently published a research brief called “The State of the Instructional Teacher Shortage”. Following a basic supply and demand economic model, the analysis investigates the quantity of candidates applying for jobs (supply) as well as the availability of open positions (demand). Trends show changes to both sides of the […]

Student Data

Talk Data to Me: Supporting the Health Needs of Students and Staff

In early April, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that schools should be reopened and “full-fledged in person” come fall 2021, regardless of vaccination status. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona echoed this in early May, saying that he expects a full return for all students in the fall. With most states no longer placing restrictions on school […]

Front & Center

A series showcasing various leaders in the K-12 space