Sustainability… 3 tips that may be a good idea in the event of…

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 9.38.10 AMAs you may recall, in 2011 we had a turn of events that caught us fully off guard. Districts had to conduct drastic cuts in staff and expenses. Programs suffered and the long term effect on the psyche in education is felt to this day. Here are a few tips for sustainability:

1. Put some money aside so you have a rainy day fund was probably one of the best suggestions by Jerry Brown yet. Though painful and frustrating at times, it yields helpful outcomes to be able to afford sustainable programs in the long run. Know where and when to spend money is the gift of every good investor. But an even more important facet one must take into consideration is the Return On Investment (ROI). If one implements a program or hires consultants, calculating the ROI before hand will benefit all. Another question to posit is, “Is it guaranteed?”. While in life there aren’t many guarantees, some programs do offer money back guarantee’s. Read fine prints. Make sure that your programs support the LCAP as your ongoing funding is dependent upon it. Is the program federally approved and does it support the LCAP in an ongoing manner; whether or not I have to lay off staff?

2. Adopt sustainable programs. When the economy is sustained, people and staff are very important for the human touch needs of the students. But, as you’ll recall in 2011, we were laying off tens of thousands of teachers, counselors, nurses, custodians, librarians, about the only people left standing where the Superintendents and the I.T. department. This sends out a very clear message that the two more important departments are head administration and technology. Technology is sustainable. You buy the software or pay a nominal annual fee and there is no ongoing costs unless you elect to do so. As anyone with Apple Care can tell you, it does often pay to continue ongoing support. But, if it isn’t possible, you want to make sure that the program adopted will stand on it’s own regardless. Make sure that your programs support the LCAP as your ongoing funding is dependent upon it.

3. Monitor and Engage. In times of hardship, I have found, growing up in rural parts of Oregon that the strongest teams are the teams that work together. There is a reason “E Pluribus Unum” is cited on our coinage in the United States. Strength comes in numbers and it helps to hear all voices on the team. Janitors to Superintendents- all parts of a successful team are crucial to success. Ongoing sustainability comes from team work, dedication and strong leadership communicating and showing the needs across the district. Will the programs we offer cover our ISS needs as well as our Beyond the BellĀ  character development activities?

My hope is that this blog is useless. That we never have to face another critical time as we did in our districts in 2011. But, in the event that we do need to look at it, will we have been proactive this time or remained as ostriches hoping that the winds of time won’t have blown the sand away? Contact us today for our NREPP program preview that supports all 8 priorities on your LCAP.



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