Teacher Absences & Subs
What School Districts Need To Know About The Affordable Care Act And Substitutes
It's official: the new healthcare reform is not going away. Not only was the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act upheld by the Supreme Court last spring, but the IRS has also just released Proposed Regulations - this time with some rules specifically for educational organizations like school districts. While the regulations don't go into effect until January of 2014, the preparations are beginning now for many school districts that are realizing the far-reaching effects of the mandate on part-time employees - including substitute teachers. Keep reading to learn some of the key points of the Affordable Care Act and why 2013 is a crucial time to prepare.
The Changing Role of the School District Technology Manager
The role of the school district IT Manager has changed. What used to be a position marked by installing and maintaining hardware has shifted to one of safeguarding - almost consulting for - the district on decisions and their effects across the entire organization. The IT Director has grown from maintaining systems to managing them; fromrunning software to recommending it. Gary Lambert, the Educational Technology Manager for Beekmantown Central School District in New York, has embraced this evolving role. In the interview below, he shares his insights on this new role and how to maximize your value as an IT professional to your school district.Continue Reading
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.
The 5 Biggest Challenges in Delivering K-12 Remote Learning
The COVID-19 crisis is an unprecedented challenge that has exposed many of the difficulties in delivering quality remote learning, at scale, to students across the country. While some school districts had all the pieces in place to instantly flip to virtual education delivery, many did not. With states shutting schools down in mid-March 2020, a lack of technology resources and preparedness resulted in sub-optimal learning for students and, in some cases, districts were forced to raise the white flag and end the school year early. The magnitude and complexity of this crisis cannot be understated regarding the speed and scale at which it impacted U.S. education.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
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