Top 10 Key Actions for Administrators Before the New School Year (Back-to-School Part One)

Top 10 Strategic Initiatives Before the New School Year

A note to our readers: While this article provides valuable insights and strategies for school administrators to enhance their planning process, it's important to note that no single solution can address all of the challenges mentioned. At Sparkrock, we offer a modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system designed to integrate seamlessly with many other solutions like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM), and Student Information Systems (SIS) through our APIs. We encourage you to explore our offerings and engage with our team to understand how our ERP can align with your specific needs.


The school bell is about to ring once again as summer break draws to a close. While the halls have been quiet, the upcoming season signals the start of a bustling period.

The foundation for a fruitful academic year is laid through the careful planning of dedicated school administrators. Their efforts during the summer months pave the way for success in the year ahead.

Even though summer break serves as a true respite from the routine and fast-paced nature of the school term, it is in this limited span that school administrators hold the power to make a significant impact. 

In part one of our back-to-school series, we are sharing some key actions to check off your list before the start of the new academic year:

1. Reflect & re-examine

Consider this previous year's accomplishments, challenges, and areas for improvement. Evaluate what went well for the district and determine how to navigate the missteps better.

2. Plan

Set goals, develop action plans, and establish priorities for the upcoming school year. Review your current curriculum against student achievement rates. Meet with building principals to discuss scheduling, professional development opportunities, and budget.

3. Attend PD

Find local, state, and national conferences relevant to your role as a district administrator. Explore new educational trends, best practices, and innovative strategies to enhance your leadership skills and knowledge.

4. Collaborate

Build a community of practice with fellow district administrators, principals, and teachers to exchange ideas, share successes, and discuss challenges. A solid professional network fosters innovation and provides valuable insights into common issues in the education sector.

5. Update policies

Refine district procedures by reviewing existing policies, researching new ones, and ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

6. Engage the community

Strengthen ties with parents, community leaders, and local organizations. Share educational goals, solicit feedback, and explore partnership opportunities that benefit students and the district.

7. Conduct school visits

Go to the different schools and classrooms in the district to help gain firsthand insights into the learning environment. Seeing the physical space (better yet, unused space) in schools can help reimagine their purpose.

8. Analyze data

Assess student and school performance, and identify trends or areas of improvement. This data-driven approach can inform decision-making and help identify strategies to address achievement gaps.

9. Develop a communication plan

Ensure you have an effective dissemination of information within the district. This can include regular newsletters, online platforms, social media channels, and other means to keep stakeholders informed and engaged.

10. Reset

Take care of yourself during this last month. Engage in activities that help you relax, recharge, to maintain personal and professional priorities. Whether spending time with family, pursuing hobbies or taking a vacation, self-care is essential for sustaining your effectiveness as a district administrator.

Empower Your District With One Unified Data Source: How an ERP Can Help

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is critical for successful school planning. School administrators use ERP tools to manage day-to-day operations and strategic vision.

Here are some ways an ERP can help your school district plan for the academic year ahead:

Attendance Patterns

Student and teacher absenteeism has become increasingly pressing in US and Canadian schools. When managing teacher absenteeism, an ERP solution helps administrators determine patterns in absences and secure necessary pathways for the upcoming school year.

They could provide additional support services to their staff, such as:

  • Mental health counselling
  • Creating more flexible attendance policies 
  • Offering incentives such as rewards for low attendance rates. 

Staffing Needs

Many teachers plan their retirements in the summer, while others announce their departures unexpectedly. With an ERP system, administrators can track staffing patterns and determine where there may be gaps in positions. By identifying potential staffing needs early, districts can begin hiring new staff members and ensure that all jobs are filled before the start of the school year.

ERP software can also streamline teacher recruitment, making finding and hiring qualified candidates easier. Now is the perfect time for HR to focus on standardizing this. Instead of manually inputting and extracting data, HR can easily add, modify, and approve job requisitions. This streamlined process ensures the school district finds and places a suitable candidate efficiently. As many schools face a shortage of qualified teachers, it's crucial to use this time wisely.

Resource Allocation

Since 2020, school districts have witnessed a consistent rise in the usage of tech tools month by month. A 2022 report from LearnPlatform highlights this trend, indicating a near tripling of the average number of tech products accessed by school districts in recent years. With this increase, it becomes evident that a substantial portion of resources could be underutilized.

This data is essential for school leaders as they prepare to allocate resources for the upcoming academic year. And, the Director of Technology need not "bury their head inside spreadsheets" like one educator in a South Jersey district did to access this critical data. An ERP system can seamlessly identify, track, and manage resources more efficiently. Analyzing the usage of EdTech products allows administrators to discern patterns in resource utilization, enabling them to pinpoint areas for enhancement.

Subsequently, school leaders can generate reports on student scores from their Student Information System (SIS) and compare the resources utilized in previous classes. Strong test scores could align with the efficacy of specific educational resources. Armed with this information, administrators can then confidently remove unused tools and enhance resource optimization, allocating funds toward areas proven to yield value.

How ERP Systems Help School Administrators Build Greater Harmony

As the final days of summer unfold, we can all look forward to an academic year that promises challenges and opportunities like never before. Just as diligent planning has been the cornerstone of your school's success, the tools you choose are equally pivotal.

A modern ERP solution like Sparkrock 365 can empower you to optimize resource allocation, streamline operations, and foster a collaborative ecosystem while being agile in the face of the unexpected. It's more than just software; it's a partner in your journey to elevate education. 

Sparkrock 365 is designed to amplify your efforts, align your goals, and maximize your impact.

Now is the moment to transform challenges into opportunities and ensure every student, educator, and administrator can thrive in this evolving educational landscape. Reach out to us today to discover how Sparkrock 365 can empower your school district, ensuring preparedness, resilience, and success. Let's embark on this transformative journey together.

Catch part two of our back-to-school series next week!

Are you ready to spark change?

With Sparkrock 365, you'll have the tools to manage your finances and workforce more efficiently so you can focus on what you do best. Go from paper-based processes to intelligent online workflows, and access the data you need to make a real difference in your community.
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