The sentiment, “Everything rises and falls on leadership” (John Maxwell) is undoubtedly true for school leaders. Student achievement, teacher development, and parent and community engagement all require specific leadership competencies based on a school’s unique vision, mission, and culture. We help leaders develop these competencies by creating formal mentorship relationships, providing ongoing leadership coaching, and engaging in collaborative work sessions to partner with you on the completion of tasks such as the implementation of new initiatives, creating student schedules, and evaluating classroom teachers.
Presenting your school to the community
Taking time to impress your current families and potential families as well as those who will never attend your school (press, naysayers, researchers, etc.) isn’t always high on a school leader’s priority list when you’re working on critical items like student safety and hiring quality teachers. Yet, how your school looks to the world can be the deciding factor for families choosing between schools. You need to put your best foot forward. Our experienced help with communication strategies, website design, social media approaches, document formatting, branding and logo use, and marketing and advertising will share your school’s message, goals, and energy consistently while providing a simplicity in use for you and your staff.
School safety and crisis response
School safety is much more than mandated monthly fire drills and periodic lockdown drills. It is a daily effort to create a school climate based on respect, shared accountabilities, and knowledge of how best practices in school safety should inform the regular operations of the school. From developing procedures for welcoming guests into the school building to empowering teachers and students to report unsafe conditions, school administrators must lead the way in creating a safe and supportive school environment. In addition to helping leaders develop habits and daily routines, we can also assist with big picture crisis planning, liasoning with local emergency services, and implementing recommendations from certified safety inspectors.
While some may think that Human Resources is simply about hiring the right people, it is much more than that, especially in the field of education! How you, as the employer, treat your employees has an impact on students and your overall school climate. A substantial compensation and benefits package, combined with meaningful professional development plans and opportunities to contribute to educational decisions, will help your school increase faculty and staff retention. And increased faculty and staff retention is a key ingredient in creating a positive school community! Pulling this all together can seem overwhelming. We understand that and can help! With our broad base of HR experience - conducting HR audits; recruiting, interviewing, on-boarding; policy development, implementation, and compliance; compensation and benefits selection and administration; writing job descriptions and performance evaluations; developing succession plans; employee relations and conflict resolution; and, HR strategy and staffing projections - we can help you accomplish the most important human resources components of your school’s strategic plan.
collaborative educational budgeting
From math manipulatives and high school chemistry supplies to professional development initiatives and employee benefits packages, your school budget should align with your vision for education and your ideals as an employer, while helping you accomplish your mission. If start-up costs, facilities fees, and unexpected operational concerns are having a negative impact on your school’s ability to enact its mission, we can help. We’ll work with you to establish timelines for a collaborative budget process, help you identify key staff and determine the role they play in the budgeting process while cultivating their “budgeting mindset”, and develop appropriate assumptions, forecasts, and formulas for your school’s effective budgeting process.
Policies, Procedures, and Routines
On the one hand, freedom from red tape and the “this is how it's always been done” mentality is a tremendous benefit for charter school and private school educators. On the other hand, these school leaders must often make it all up as they go. We can help you take stock of your school’s current compliance with requirements, make recommendations for implementing best practices in regards to policies and procedures, and then dig in and help get the work done!
Curriculum, Instruction, And assessment
The relationship between curriculum, instruction, and assessment is significantly interdependent, and all three educational components must be examined in conjunction with each other to meet today’s rigorous standards for student learning. Our consultants have experience with standards-based curriculum design, curricular resource selection, standards-based grading, and professional development that focuses on using assessment to drive instruction. We promote teacher leadership that is focused on student learning and the answer to the question, “What’s best for the kids?”
Accreditation and comprehensive planning
State-mandated reports and plans, multi-year accreditation processes, and strategic planning for the next chapter of your school’s growth and development all require equal parts of “big picture” projections and focused attention on nitty-gritty details. We provide facilitation for planning meetings and administrative retreats, to create a strategic planning process that is inclusive, collaborative, and rewarding for all members. Our experience with state-mandated reporting includes Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Plan – including the Professional Education Plan, Induction Plan, and Special Education Plan; Charter School Annual Report; Annual Safe Schools Report; and School Wellness Policy. Additionally, assistance preparing for PIMS, Title, CRDC, and like-reporting is offered.
Short-term administrative coverage
Finding quality substitutes for teachers can be difficult, but finding a qualified and certified interim, acting, or substitute school leader is infinitely more challenging. Classroom observations, teacher evaluations, professional development, student discipline, parent communication, and regular school management tasks must continue, even during temporary administrative absences. Our consultants are experienced school leaders who hold valid Pennsylvania K-12 Principal Certifications and can fill in when you have a need.