The Case for Analyzing Your District’s Staffing Levels
Regular performance reviews are an important part of any successful school district's best practices. Many variables impact performance, and the most successful districts are those that can identify performance gaps early to identify adjustments to most effectively close the identified gaps. A “gap” is a difference between your district’s actual performance and the performance goal — or it may be a gap between your district’s performance and the performance of peer districts.
Create school board financial reports in minutes? Yes, you can.
Financial systems for school districts are great tools to accurately record revenue and expense transactions. But, as anyone who is charged with creating monthly reports can tell you, that’s where their ease of use ends. It typically takes hours — even days — of work to manually extract the right data and then build reports the district relies on to manage the health of the budget.Continue Reading
K-12: Forecast the Future to Fight Budget-Busting Surprises
How many line items are in your K-12 annual budget? 750? 1000? More? That’s a lot of places for the unexpected to creep in and mess with your carefully crafted financial plan. Save the surprises for birthday parties by getting a better handle on what’s headed your way with a process called operational forecasting.
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 the district. To be successful, districts must develop a three-step strategic framework by which they can communicate the district needs, the reasons for those needs and the data that supports those arguments. The success or failure of passing a referendum can many times be traced back to the transparency process and how well informed the public was.Continue Reading
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3 Tips for Making the Case for Data Analytics Tools
The seven most expensive words are, “We have always done it that way.” This statement rests on the foundation that without embracing change and the willingness to move beyond what has been historically done, we are risking greater losses than potential gains. In this dynamic environment, it is critical to evaluate the needs of your organization from multiple angles, past, present, and future. The technology and processes that worked at one time may not meet the needs for the current or future environment.Continue Reading
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3 Keys to Incorporating Data Analytics into Your District’s Routine
Often in my work with school districts, I’m asked about how to create a habit of incorporating data analytics into a regular routine. I hear a variety of challenges when discussing this idea with districts, but the one that comes up most often is a lack of time. Most of us work in environments where we regularly have more work to get done than we have time in the day. Instinctively, we continually make choices on what to prioritize and work on — often focusing on tasks that add the most value relative to the effort required. Unfortunately for some, incorporating the use of data and analytics within tasks gets set aside. Working with hundreds of school districts across the country, I’ve found there are three keys to successfully incorporating data and analytics into a routine — and receive a huge return on your efforts.Continue Reading
Three Steps for Effectively Measuring SEL Program Effectiveness
For the past 10 years or so, school districts have wrestled with implementing social and emotional learning (SEL) standards within their schools. To support the social emotional needs of their students, school districts have attempted a variety of solutions, including hiring student support staff members such as guidance counselors, social workers, and/or psychologists to provide targeted interventions and support for students. Some districts have purchased research-based curricula, student response surveys, and strategies for teachers to incorporate into their daily lessons.Continue Reading
Cash Flow Monitoring for Long-Term Solvency
Why SBOs should consider implementing cash flow monitoring as a long-term solvency solutionContinue Reading
The Six Key Elements to a Winning Budget Presentation
Presenting your district’s annual budget is hard, especially when the audience you present to has a different perspective from your own.Continue Reading
How to Produce an Epic Financial Story
As the finance administrator of your district, you have a number of roles. But did you know? One of the most important parts you play is that of storyteller. How you tell the story of your district’s budget can be a difference-maker in building trust with your board members. How can you use data to give a winning financial presentation? Find out below.Continue Reading
Four Tips for Building Compelling Visual Stories with Data
As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But what happens if the picture is sending the wrong message, or the intended message is being missed? Storytelling with data should be a strategic objective for all school administrators because as the pace of information gathering and sharing increases, it is even more important to be data-savvy and understand how to communicate your position to stakeholders.Continue Reading