Running one school is hard enough. Expanding a school is a whole new challenge.
Successfully running a school, each and every day is a herculean challenge. From when the bus pulls up, sometimes when it’s still dark outside, to when the last child checks-out of an after-school program, school leaders are “on,” ensuring their building’s instructional and non-instructional systems run smoothly.
From the outside, it may seem like schools are all about instruction. There’s a teacher, some students, maybe a SMART Board, and it all just sort of, magically, happens. Nothing could be further from the truth. Behind the scenes, school leaders constantly juggle dozens of competing, non-instructional priorities. From compliance requirements to report card printing to parent-teacher conferences and bathroom monitoring, a school leader’s to-do list is, well, full.
Given all of their other responsibilities, choosing to expand a school presents school leaders with perhaps their biggest challenge yet. At CTS, we support school expansions each step of the way and allow school leaders to further their organization’s unique mission.
School expansions force leaders to evaluate their existing technology systems.
What worked in year one won’t necessarily work in year two, much less year seven or eight. School expansions force leaders to critically evaluate their existing technology systems and see if they make sense for the long haul.
When a school first opens, it’s all systems go. If something isn’t perfect, a fix can wait, as long as it’s not urgent. At a certain point, it can feel like the school is making it up as it goes, troubleshooting and refining their first-year systems to work out the kinks that inevitably arise.
When a school chooses to expand, it’s time to take a step back, see what’s working and not working, and make changes accordingly. Purchasing another set of classroom hardware that the school loves but costs a substantial amount of money, might not make sense as the school expands. While a 1:1 student-Chromebook ratio could work in year one, the budget for year two might not allow it.
School expansions are a gut check, forcing school leaders to decide what’s really important for years to come, and what is merely ancillary to the school’s broader mission.
CTS supports school expansions by exposing leaders to a variety of hardware and software options.
As school leaders consider their options, CTS is there to help, exposing school teams to the range of software and hardware options available to them and their teachers. Given our diverse client base, our team knows what works and what doesn’t work in a particular setting, as well as the general trends in the education technology sector that allow school leaders to make informed decisions.
Our experience with the E-rate program also allows us to tell school leaders when we believe a particular item might be eligible for reimbursement, saving the school potentially thousands of dollars in the process.
As a school expands, it’s important to think critically about each and every one of the school’s technology choices, which might, in the future, become the “norm” across dozens of grades and multiple sites.
A school expansion also provides an opportunity for schools to maximize their existing technology.
Resource scarcity breeds creativity, and that’s no less true for a school expansion than any other project. As school leaders inventory their existing technology stock, it both allows them to identify gaps in their existing programming and gives them the opportunity to maximize all of the platforms and hardware they already have.
Many schools, for instance, don’t use all of the software licenses associated with a particular online instructional platform. Taking note of the number of available licenses and potentially “giving” them to students in a new grade can save the school money and make more efficient use of their existing resources. The same holds true for hardware, particularly student devices. A dozen Chromebooks may need some minor repairs, but the costs of a repair will fall far short of what twelve new devices would cost.
As the school prepares to expand, leaders have a chance to “look under the hood” and uncover resources they may have neglected to use in year one, but that could have a positive impact in year two.
At CTS, we help new schools expand successfully so they can accomplish their unique mission.
Our team knows that running a school is hard. We take care of the technology, so that you and your leadership team can focus on everything else. From facilities issues, procurement, and complex pre-launch technology projects, our team is ready to support your school’s expansion and set you and your team up for success for years down the road. Contact us today to learn more about our track record of successful school expansions and how we can help your team accomplish your school’s unique mission.