Our recent analysis of the personnel management practices of more than thirty day schools reveals an important opportunity to enhance the efficiency of our schools. About eighty percent of day school costs are personnel related. However, it turns out that many schools have not clearly and completely specified the hours of work and the responsibilities related to those hours of work in a manner that best promotes school financial health.
School A, a high school, defines a full time workload as 5 teaching periods per day and 1 special period, including coaching team sports or clubs. It is up to the teacher to define prep time and student advisory time. Many teachers will devote countless hours to these activities but others will not. School B, also a high school, defines a full time workload as 6 periods per day but also requires the teacher to be present and available in the school from 9 to 5pm. School B's Principal assigns the full time employee key administrative tasks that help eliminate the need to hire specialists, provide value-added services to the students and the school and facilitate the presence of experienced teachers in the building. The Principal also requires each teacher to file a weekly lesson plan to help ensure that teachers are using paid prep time appropriately.
School A and school B pay their full time teachers the same. But School B is stronger financially and students receive better support. School B has taken care to define clear work expectations relative to the single largest determinant of its costs. Is this an opportunity for your school to strengthen itself?
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