The #1 Curriculum and Assessment Partner for Educators

[Education Leadership] What Administrators Can Do Now to Plan for Next Year

[Education Leadership] What Administrators Can Do Now to Plan for Next Year

For school and district administrators, it’s time to start thinking about the next school year. Yes, plenty of details are still up in the air. You probably don’t quite know what your staffing roster will look like. Your budget numbers may fluctuate based on what your state legislature comes up with this spring. And, perhaps most importantly, you won’t yet know your school’s performance on this year’s assessments.

But there are plenty of valuable things you can start doing now to give yourself an edge before August rolls around. Here are four planning items every administrator should consider putting on the to-do list.

Start conducting surveys

Satisfaction surveys can be useful tools to build connections and capture some great insights from your students, families, teachers, and staff. As the school year goes on, your staff will become more distracted. Between assessments and end-of-the-year activities, any surveys you choose to conduct have less chance of being taken seriously (or completed at all).

This point in the year is a great time to see where everyone’s mindset is. Education leaders will have gone through enough of the school year to honestly assess the climate of the school and how it’s working. Set up an online survey to automatically track your results. Depending on how it goes, you may want to discuss the results and solicit ideas in a faculty meeting toward the end of the year. Check out this blog for great tips and a survey template to get you started!

Explore federal funding options

With the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law by President Biden on March 11, $126 billion has been allocated for K–12 education. This significantly increases the amount of money provided from the two previous stimulus packages in hopes to get schools reopened safely. Check out our deep dive into the American Rescue Plan Act to find out what you can expect from each stimulus package, how they differ, what the money can be used for, and why partnering with the right digital learning partner matters.

The federal funding landscape can be daunting to navigate, so we created this Federal Funding Crosswalk to help state and local education agencies align their priorities to federal funding streams. This chart provides a crosswalk of the allowable uses and flexibility of activities authorized by a variety of federal funding sources and includes specific references to each act’s language as it pertains to the desired solution.

Sort out your training needs

By this time of year, teachers are better able to assess their own shortcomings or new ideas that they would like to learn. Summer is the most popular time for those pursuits, but a majority of summer training programs need to be booked well before then. Establish a deadline for submitting training requests (including attendance at conferences) that gives you enough time to prioritize needs and establish a rough budget. It’s much better to do this kind of work early rather than in late May, if for no other reason than prices for summer trainings and travel increase throughout the spring.

Reconnect with your feeder schools

If you work in a secondary school, now is the time to reestablish connections with your feeder schools to ensure a smooth transition for matriculating students. You’re looking for everything from early benchmark testing results to behavior statistics. The more you know about next year’s new students, the better you will be able to prepare.

Seek out community partnerships

Even if you have a strong, established relationship with your community partners, such as local businesses and charities, the earlier you connect with them, the less chance there is of being usurped by another school. You can never have enough support, so any new potential partners should also be approached now, while other schools are probably waiting until the end of the school year.

Looking for more tips for a smooth planning process? Check out these 6 Tips to Help Administrators Budget for Next Year!

This blog was originally published April 2018 by Brita Hammer and has been updated.