the 5 greatest challenges facing private school administrators

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The 5 greatest challenges facing private school administrators : 

The 5 greatest challenges facing private school administrators A look at private and diocesan schools’ unique challenges and how administrators can overcome them

Researched and produced by: : 

Researched and produced by: Sponsored by: 2 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Why did Computer Logic Group commission a study? : 

Why did Computer Logic Group commission a study? Challenges facing private schools make it extremely difficult to keep them thriving and competitive We hired an independent research company to study what these challenges are, as well as uncover strategies to overcome them We are pleased to share this study with you! 3 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Areas Covered : 

Areas Covered Trends and statistics The Five greatest challenges facing private school administrators Three steps to overcome these challenges 4 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Independent school trends and statistics : 

Independent school trends and statistics

The number of private schools are increasing : 

The number of private schools are increasing In the last decade the number of private schools has risen 26% In fact, 25% of all schools in the US are private schools Source: Digest of Education Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, 4/7/10 6 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

However, enrollment is down : 

However, enrollment is down From 2006 to 2009, public school enrollment grew by over a half-million students or 1.5% At the same time, private school enrollment dropped by about 146,000 students, nearly 3% Source: Recession fuels shift from private to public schools, USA Today, 1/6/10 7 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Recessions take their toll on private schools : 

Recessions take their toll on private schools Private schools lost nearly half a million students after recessions in the early 1980s Even after the relatively brief 1990-1991 recession, private schools lost 33,000 students They lost more than 200,000 students after the recession triggered by the September 11 attacks Source: More parents request aid, pull kids from private schools, USA Today, 1/12/09 8 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Diocesan schools hit especially hard : 

Diocesan schools hit especially hard The hardest-hit by recessions are Catholic schools, which educate 40% of private school students In the last 30 years enrollment has dropped from 5.3 to 2.3 million More than 1,300 Catholic schools have closed since 1990 Source: More parents request aid, pull kids from private schools, USA Today, 1/12/09; Catholic school enrollment dwindling, USA Today, 2008 9 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Parents have high expectations for private schools : 

Parents have high expectations for private schools Over 60% of parents enroll their students in private schools because of the promise of better education Better student/teacher ratios An academically challenging environment Exposure to the arts Extra programs and clubs Educational trips College preparation Source: Public vs. private: Which is right for your child?, NCES/Baby Center Medical Advisory Board, 2010 10 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

A safer environment : 

A safer environment 46% of teens report gangs at public schools, compared with just 2% of teens at private and religious schools 47% of public school teens said drugs are used, stored or sold at school, compared with 6% of private school students Source: Gangs and drugs prevalent in public schools, survey finds, LA Times, 8/20/10 11 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

It is costly for private schools to provide these benefits : 

It is costly for private schools to provide these benefits Private schools spend over $20,000 on each student while public schools spend about $10,000 Many of the nations top private schools spend thousands of dollars more per student than what they charge for tuition Source: Per-Student Spending Gaps Wider Than Known, Washington Post, 8/31/09 12 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Technology is also a major cost : 

Technology is also a major cost Schools spend anywhere from $120 to $240 per student on technology This means if a private school has 400 students it will cost the school nearly $100,000 to keep it technologically current Source: School district outlines plan to fix failing technology infrastructure, The Northwestern, 9/16/10 13 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Tough financial times have influenced parents decisions : 

Tough financial times have influenced parents decisions Administrators, financial aid counselors and parents say many families have been questioning for the first time their ability to pay for private school A New York-based firm that handles payments for some 2,000 private schools across the country, said that by mid 2009, 7% of families had already dropped out, doubling the drop rate of 2008 Source: About His Deposit ..., NY Times, 3/1/09 How can private schools keep enrollment high and thrive in this environment? 14 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

The five greatest challenges facing private school administrators : 

The five greatest challenges facing private school administrators Competition Parental Engagement Communication Pitfalls of Technology Inefficiencies 15 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Challenge #1Competition : 

Challenge #1Competition

Administrators are feeling the stress : 

Administrators are feeling the stress Competition is beneficial to a school and to students in ensuring that all schools strive to improve student outcomes, advance technology, and maintain facilities However, it can make an administrators job even more stressful and demanding as they try to maintain a competitive edge Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011; USCA, Patterns of stress, 2004 17 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

The competition is fierce : 

The competition is fierce While private school enrollment is declining, public schools including new charters, are seeing an increase in enrollment In the state of Georgia alone, about half of new enrollment in charter schools were transfers from private schools Source: Private-school families take charter school alternative, Reporter, 2010 18 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Schools need a competitive edge : 

Schools need a competitive edge “Every private school is looking for a competitive edge so they can attract the top tier of kids” Sandra Bass, Editor, Private School Insider Source: At Elite Prep Schools, College-Size Endowments, New York Times, 1/26/08 19 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Challenge #2Parental Engagement : 

Challenge #2Parental Engagement

Parents want to be involved : 

Parents want to be involved The parents of private school students tend to be extremely committed to having a say in their child’s education 36% of teachers say they often come across parents who need ‘constant reassurance’ Source: Public vs. private: Which is right for your child?, Baby Center Medical Advisory Board, 2010 21 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Expectations of parents and administrators don’t always coincide : 

Expectations of parents and administrators don’t always coincide Private schools create an expectation that parents have a level of input in the educational process Some parents, however, interpret the partnership notion to mean that since they pay tuition, their concerns should always be met Interacting with faculty, students, the community, policymakers, and parents can be stressful and demanding for administrators Source: Parental Influence on Curricular Decisions in Private Schools: Negotiating Parental Expectations, Georgia State University, 2009 22 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

How far should parental influence go? : 

How far should parental influence go? Over one-third of teachers come across parents who ‘try and influence decisions’ about their child, such as which class they go into or where they sit in a classroom Research suggests that parents who are potential donors or successful alumni can have even more influence and insist on being consulted about possible changes to the curriculum Source: Schools & Parents: A New Partnership Study, Next Generation Learning, 11/5/09; Parental Influence on Curricular Decisions in Private Schools: Negotiating Parental Expectations, Georgia State University, 2009 23 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Challenge #3Communication : 

Challenge #3Communication

Parents don’t always feel engaged : 

Parents don’t always feel engaged The majority of contact parents have with schools takes place in a rush at the end of the school day More than one in 10 parents say they often feel dismissed as an ‘overly demanding’ parent Another 11% say they are made to feel that they are imposing on the teacher’s time when they try to make contact Source: Schools & Parents: A New Partnership Study, Next Generation Learning, 11/5/09 25 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Are parents getting the feedback they need? : 

Are parents getting the feedback they need? Parents were asked what type communication they needed to feel more in touch and involved with the school and their child’s learning process Participants wanted a better understanding of: The grading system Homework assignments and ways to help with homework Progress reports or early warnings of academic difficulties Test dates and results Extracurricular activities Source: School/Home Communication: Using Technology to Enhance Parental Involvement, Illinois State University, January 2004 26 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Can technology bridge the gap? : 

Can technology bridge the gap? 89% of parents say technology couldhelp them become better informed about their child’s education However, despite schools having electronic communication tools in place, 46% of parents say their schools don’t communicate with them in this way One concerned parent indicated that only four of her daughter’s 11 teachers used their school’s online collaborative software Source: Schools & Parents: A New Partnership Study, Next Generation Learning, 11/5/09; Express Times, Are parents to blame? July 22, 2010 27 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Challenge #4Pitfalls of technology : 

Challenge #4Pitfalls of technology

Technology challenges equal high costs for schools : 

Technology challenges equal high costs for schools Rampant viruses, malware, human error, and other technology issues are prevalent in schools The costs for technical services, lost productivity, and the value of lost data average $3,957 for each incident If data is permanently lost, the average costs are estimated to be amuch higher $20,557 Can private schools really afford this? Source: The Cost of Lost Data, Pepperdine University, 2009; School district technology infrastructure, The Northwestern, 9/16/10 29 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Collaborative technology is not without complaints : 

Collaborative technology is not without complaints PowerSchool is the fastest-growing, most widely used web-based system for schools, and provides a collaborative infrastructure for parents, teachers, and administrators However, many schools struggle to gain value from this software and complaints are constantly being made by users Source: School district might seek to opt out of PowerSchool contract, Tehachapi News, 5/18/10 30 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

What are the most common problems reported? : 

What are the most common problems reported? Tracking capabilities not meeting state standards Problems generating transcripts Disappearing transcripts Issues and delays with upgrades Insufficient access privileges Staff being included in the wrong group Not being able to modify for specific uses Slow responding support Insufficient training Sources: Security in PowerSchool, Meriwether County Schools, 2010; School district might seek to opt out of PowerSchool contract, Tehachapi News, 5/18/10; Powerdata solutions, Performance issue thread 31 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Challenge #5Inefficiencies : 

Challenge #5Inefficiencies

Poor training is a barrier to optimal use : 

Poor training is a barrier to optimal use The lack of effective continued training makes it difficult for teachers to find a place for integrative technology in their classrooms Office staff continue to be burdened with paper-work and retyping data Source: Information Technology vision statement, New Hampshire Department of Education, 2008 33 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works : 

A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works Different educational roles require different uses of technology and complicate integration Teachers complain they do not have the support personnel or training they need to take advantage of current technologies Professional development choices in technology are often made at the administrator level but are not aligned with technology that teachers and staff can actually access Source: Promoting technology integration, New England Reading Association Journal, 2009 34 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Software providers can beunhelpful : 

Software providers can beunhelpful Providers are often too focused on the product and not the customer When customer problems arise, providers will blame the user, the configuration, or the user’s equipment In addition, customer service can be bureaucratic and consist of telephone reps who listen, record complaints, and answer with standard routine fixes - not school-specific needs 35 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

The result of these challenges… : 

The result of these challenges… Maintaining a competitive and efficient private school becomes a monumental task Investments in technology don’t promise the returns and benefits expected However… 36 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

There are strategies to overcome these challenges : 

There are strategies to overcome these challenges

What are the strategies? : 

What are the strategies? Effective use of technology Effective training Choosing the optimal partner 38 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Effective use of Technology : 

Effective use of Technology

Administrators need to retool : 

Administrators need to retool For the long-term viability of the school and communication with parents, administrators must think beyond print —annual reports, and fliers — and beyond Web 1.0 home pages, emails, and HTML newsletters Source: Can You Hear Me Now?, National Association of Independent Schools, Winter 2009 40 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Use technology to enhance parent involvement : 

Use technology to enhance parent involvement The research is clear that when schools can get parents involved in their children’s education it causes drastic improvement outcomes in areas such as learning, attendance, behavior, and graduation rates Utilize technology in all areas of the school to enhance communication and involvement School software can let parents know in real time, grading, assignments, school announcements, test dates, etc. Source: School/Home Communication: Using Technology to Enhance Parental Involvement, Illinois State University, January 2004 41 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Just having the technology doesn’t guarantee value : 

Just having the technology doesn’t guarantee value In order to get the greatest return on investment in integrative technology, all stakeholders need to be committed to using it and using it effectively Furthermore, the technology needs to match the individual needs of each school and staff member 42 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Effective technology gives schools a competitive edge : 

Effective technology gives schools a competitive edge In the current economic climate, private schools desperately need a competitive edge Technology, when used effectively, makes a school more competitive and maintain higher student retention by keeping parents involved and improving overall student performance Source: Source: Schools & Parents: A New Partnership Study, Next Generation Learning, 11/5/09; 43 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Effective Training : 

Effective Training

A Case Study… : 

A Case Study… School officials of one private school district were extremely disappointed by their investment into PowerSchool They purchased the program for tens of thousands of dollars to help students and parents take more ownership over education and make the district more efficient and competitive Despite paying for costly training sessions from the designer, they were still unable to get teachers and staff to understand the software and utilize it to its full potential 45 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

The district lost confidence in their technology investment : 

The district lost confidence in their technology investment Office staff performed manually what should have been done by the software and report cards were late and contained multiple errors To perform needed tasks, the district opted to use an older, but familiar, technology that did not meet state standards 46 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Value was not being realized : 

Value was not being realized They submitted a long list of complaints of the problems they were having, but received a slow response… Some issues were fixed, but many were not After losing confidence in the software, the district considered pulling out of their contract with the designer of the program 47 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Effective training provides the greatest return on investment : 

Effective training provides the greatest return on investment Instead of breaking their contract, the district decided to partner with a company that hosted the program and delivered effective, just-in-time, custom training The schools’ technical issues disappeared, and with training they were able to customize the software to fit their exact needs, as well as get teachers and staff on board to fully utilize the software The school district was finally able to realize a return on their investment! 48 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Why does just-in-time training work? : 

Why does just-in-time training work? Recall of key tasks and theories are at their highest levels The task becomes tangible and relevant which makes learners more motivated There is the opportunity for more efficient feedback from the trainer and the learner There are opportunities to go directly back to the trainer for follow-up Source: The Wonders of Just-in-Time Training, ClickZ 49 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Choosing the optimal Partner : 

Choosing the optimal Partner

Look for a partner who: : 

Provides customization Offers pro-active support and training Hosts the software Ensures the technology is secure and tested 51 Look for a partner who:

Customization : 

Customization Schools should not have to adapt their policies and goals to conform to a software A partner with the ability to customize software can match school policies, strategies, systems, and calendars to the software This means schools can focus on the application itself and not the technical aspects 52 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Pro-active support and training : 

Pro-active support and training Only effective training and support can help a school get the best business benefits and the highest return on their technology investment Choose a partner that can offer customized, just-in-time training, and is willing to fix every problem no matter what the problem is or where it lies 53 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Third-party hosting : 

Third-party hosting The benefits of third-party hosting through a partner include: Eliminating the need for technical support and hardware so that focus is solely on getting the most use out of the technology Eliminating the need for configuring, software backup, or reinstallation on new equipment Readily available data through an Internet connection so data can be accessed 24x7 in any location Convenience in working on multiple platforms Source: Strategic Advantages of Web Based Applications, BluEnt, 7/31/09 54 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Security, and testing : 

Security, and testing Choose a partner that provides both data security and data recovery and tests software updates before deployment This ensures updates are received remotely - after they have been tested and potentially destructive bugs have been worked out 55 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Who here feels they’ve learned a great deal today… : 

Who here feels they’ve learned a great deal today… Our hope is that you learned the challenges facing private schools and that it takes effective training, effective use of technology, and choosing the right partner to overcome these challenges This presentation was sponsored by Computer Logic Group— would anyone here like to know about what we do? We have a short, three-minute overview 56 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Educational insights brought to you by… : 

Educational insights brought to you by… 57 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

What we do : 

What we do Computer Logic Group is an education solution provider with broad experience in emerging technologies We facilitate the transparent integration of technologies for teaching, learning, and administration We provides tailored services and customized solutions that address the specific needs of our education partners 58 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Who we are : 

Who we are We are a highly experienced team of technicians, project managers, professional development and leadership consultants, systems engineers, and support personnel Our professionals have extensive teaching and administrative experience We are passionate about education and committed to our education partners Working together, our group provides planning, strategy, design and implementation services 59 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

What sets us apart : 

What sets us apart Hosting: Data reside on our server, eliminating technical issues and the need for tech support, and increasing data security Testing: We test upgrades before deploying and provide exceptional data recovery Support: We provide two contacts per building or location so that someone is always available for help and support 60 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

What sets us apart : 

What sets us apart Customization: Reports can be customized to each school system and we adapt the software to the school rather than the school to the software Training: we deliver just-in-time training designed for each school to help schools get the most out of their software investment 61 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Tried and Tested : 

Tried and Tested We’ve been addressing the technology needs of the education community since 1988 Our customers include hundreds of public and private schools throughout the country and throughout the world including schools within the New York City Department of Education 62 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

What people are saying… : 

What people are saying… Our network wanted to take the next step with PowerSchool. We wanted the advantages of custom pages and ODBC access but didn’t want the risks that come with maintaining our own server.  Computer Logic Group provided above and beyond support from the day that we contacted them.  The conversion process was seamless and the support response is phenomenal. System uptime has exceeded our high expectations and CLG has been prompt and timely for backup requests and other maintenance.  Above everything else, though, we’ve appreciated how the support team at CLG has worked to understand our schools and our priorities.  In CLG, we’ve got a partner on our side excited to help us leverage our system to its full capacity. We’re very thankful to have found a SIS host who we know is on our side! Student Information & Assessment Specialist, TEAM Schools 63 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

Our offer… : 

Our offer… Schedule a PowerSchool Utilization Review and Analysis today This comprehensive evaluation identifies specific areas of improvement and ways your school can maximize the potential of their PowerSchool investmentThis Review and Analysis is valued at over $1,000 is FREE to your school for attending this briefing. 64 © Computer Logic Group - 2010

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