The start of the school year is a time of chaos. Kids don’t know where they’re supposed to be and sometimes the teachers don’t know either. New initiatives mean teachers and administrators may be doing things differently than they’ve ever done before.
This is always the busiest time at Schoolrunner. We’re getting lots of new schools implemented and their users trained and ready. We always think we’ve got a good plan and have our implementation calendar fully built out and then reality happens.
We always have to keep in mind is that no matter how much work we have at the office, the scene is always more chaotic inside an actual school with kids running around. The other day we were on a call with a principal who kept getting pulled into the hall to talk to individual students. It’s one reason why we highly recommend that schools choose someone other than a principal to be the Schoolrunner expert at their school, but we don’t always get our way!
And sometimes there’s more than just the average level of chaos.
Two of our partners, KIPP: Houston and YES Prep, are dealing with hundreds of students whose families have lost everything in the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. (You can donate to KIPP: Houston families here, and to YES Prep families here, by typing “flood relief” in the comments). We’ve done what we can to help, like showing them how to quickly search in Schoolrunner to find out which students live in which parts of the city to deploy resources most effectively. But mostly it’s a matter of support and empathy to get through these tough times with our partners.
Other times schools don’t realize that they need to change plans until after the kids arrive. One of our schools was a brand new high school that expected to be teaching classics like Lord of the Flies in their English/language arts classes. But when the kids showed up and took the literacy screener, the analysis showed that over half needed help with basic literacy concepts and even phonics. They scrapped their curriculum that first week and started over with a targeted curriculum for different cohorts of kids to get them the help they needed.
Just remember that whatever the workload looks like inside your walls, your customers may have challenges that you can’t even imagine.