Dr. Kenneth Border, right, superintendent of Shallowater ISD, accepts the first Inspired2Educate award
from Kermit Randa, CEO of PeopleAdmin.
What education is missing: Your story
If you missed it, we recently announced our first winner of PeopleAdmin’s Inspired2Educate program, which is designed to honor and celebrate our nation’s educators.
The story we chose as the first winner of our program belongs to Dr. Kenneth Border, a school superintendent in Shallowater, Texas.
At 15, Kenny Border was facing many challenges. His father had passed away when he was 12; his mother, a high school graduate, worked full time … but it wasn’t a livable wage. There were many days Kenny had nothing to eat except for the free breakfast and lunch he got at school. So he stayed in school … even after he left home and lived in his car for a couple of months.
It wasn’t until his senior year that he met Sharon Spears, an English teacher. And that changed everything …
We hope his story, and others shared throughout the Inspired2Educate program, will not only help show the next generation just how impactful a career in education can be … but will also inspire educators like you to tell your own story.
“If we don’t tell our story, someone else will,” Dr. Border said. “And the only way that you can assure accuracy in your story is if you’re telling it yourself.”
Customer Spotlight: Des Plaines Community Consolidated School District 62
‘With a digital system, teachers and principals have everything they need at their fingertips, so they can grow and reflect.’
Des Plaines Community Consolidated School District 62 is advancing its academic mission through technology and transforming the way students and staff learn and grow.
What’s more, they’re doing it so effectively that others are taking notice.
The Center for Digital Education recently recognized the district’s Chief Technology Officer, Jennie Magiera, with the “Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers” award for her efforts to improve education through innovative technologies and for creating a positive impact on student achievement.
District 62’s leaders, Dr. Paul Hertel, associate superintendent, human resources, Dr. Bradley Stein, Ph.D., principal at Terrace Elementary School, and Dr. Michael Amadei, principal at Iroquois Community School, all agree that the district’s implementation of PeopleAdmin’s TalentEd Perform has played a critical part in that success. They say the performance management solution is helping them improve process consistency and transparency, comply with strict evaluation requirements, and deliver comprehensive feedback to teachers — increasing their effectiveness and ultimately improving student outcomes.
“We expect students to embrace the digital transformation — every classroom is a fully integrated digital environment — and we expect teachers and leaders to take on the digital transformation, too,” Michael said. “We’ve marginalized the use of paper around here and teachers are now able — with the documents they’re uploading and sharing with us from the privacy of their own homes or other collaboration time — to get the feedback they want so they can grow as educators.”
District 62 has been pleased with the improvements they’ve seen in their performance management process since implementing TalentEd Perform.
“It’s made our administrators’ lives a lot easier,” Paul said. “Our tracking system is working very well and I’ve heard no negatives from either principals or our teachers association. With an electronic system, teachers and principals have everything they need at their fingertips, so they can grow and reflect. And it keeps everybody honest.”
Michael added, “Teachers like that they actually had our notes from former evaluations prior to filling out any kind of post-conference information. There isn’t a feeling of ‘gotcha’ or that we’re both coming to the table with different sets of information at a post-conference. It’s all upfront.”
Easy access to past evaluations has also improved quality and consistency in evaluations.
“When we work with the teachers who are growing,” Michael said, “there’s better consistency with the framework and the language that we’re using. What does an ‘excellent’ really mean? What does a ‘proficient’ really mean? Now that the structure is consistent across the district, we can focus more on communicating the quality of what we’re seeing to teachers. That gives us higher-quality evaluations, which can lead to big gains in teacher growth.”
“When teachers reflect on their work more because of this process,” Bradley said, “and when they feel like they can share more, it gives us as evaluators an opportunity to see some of the things we might not otherwise see.
“I think that Perform has changed my entire life as it pertains to teacher evaluation just because everything is in one place,” Bradley added, noting how Perform also auto-saves and allows for attachments.
Because in the end, he said, being able to embrace the digital transformation means teachers teaching better… and students learning.
“Thanks for a very worthwhile investment of my time and energy — I learned so much at the Tulsa User Group and enjoyed the informal sharing format.”
— Shelley Dabney, secretary to the chief HR office, Edmond Schools
“I’m getting great support from PeopleAdmin’s staff, and in terms of getting everything set up with Records and Perform, implementation’s been easier than I would have anticipated.”
— Jeremy Tabor, SPHR, director of human resources, Burlington Community School District
“Of all the implementations we’ve had in our division, Perform was the most positive. Our transition to TalentEd was efficient and painless.”
— Fred Scott, professional development integration specialist, Chesterfield County Public Schools
Take advantage of our PowerSchool partnership and receive 10% off
PeopleAdmin has joined forces with PowerSchool — another leader in K-12 education technology — to help schools harness the power of performance analytics and improve academic outcomes.
As a benefit to our PeopleAdmin customers, you can now save 10% off your PowerSchool purchase if your school or district signs between April 1 and June 30, 2016!
If you’re already using PowerSchool’s SIS and PeopleAdmin’s TalentEd Perform, you’ll soon have access to education’s first integrated talent management and K-12 student information system.
New SearchSoft integrations offer more onboarding and records management options
Since SearchSoft joined the PeopleAdmin family last year, we’ve been hard at work to fulfill your requests for more tools that meet your talent management needs.
We’re excited to share that SearchSoft now integrates with Onboard, PeopleAdmin’s K-12 onboarding solution, and with Records, our proven records management tool.
“PeopleAdmin’s onboarding tools have given us a lot more time to focus on the human element, freeing me to spend time thinking about creative ways to onboard people in person instead of what is often an impersonal process,” said Gabriel Park, chief financial officer at Equality Charter School in the Bronx, New York, which uses both Onboard and Records.
With the Onboard integration, SearchSoft users have a more feature-rich option for welcoming new hires, says Vince Kane, PeopleAdmin product manager. “Onboard goes beyond orientation functions, like I-9 form completion, with checklists, process management tools, digital storage, e-signatures, actionable reporting and dashboards, and more. It guides new hires through a pleasant, streamlined onboarding experience, gives school leaders visibility into onboarding progress and provides accountability to make sure nothing is overlooked.”
That efficiency can continue throughout the employment lifecycle with Records. SearchSoft users can automate the most complicated, frustrating and time-consuming personnel tasks and workflows.
“Using Records, we didn’t have to stuff an envelope or copy a single piece of paper,” said Dr. Linda Kaiser, director of support staff at Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Missouri.
Park Hill uses Records for more than contract renewal management; the software also helps simplify exit processing, identify missing paperwork and digitally search for documents. “No overtime, no paper. Just a very simple and easy process,” Linda said.
Attracting diverse candidates is easier
than you think
Solve your diversity hiring challenges in four easy steps
Staffing your schools with diverse employees is more than an HR best practice — it’s a way to advance your academic mission and help students succeed in an increasingly diverse society.
The reasons for lacking diversity likely vary from district to district, but commonly include overall reduction in candidates during today’s teacher shortage, lack of regional diversity and recruiting tactics that don’t reach broad candidate pools.
“We value diversity in our staff, but hiring the best candidate for the position is far and away our priority,” said Gabriel Park, chief financial officer at Equality Charter School in New York. “All things being equal, we take into account what a candidate brings to the table in terms of background and experience because our hope is that our school can match the diverse professional environment kids will be working in as adults.”
Though diversity challenges may seem insurmountable, school districts can successfully overcome them and attract more high-quality, diverse candidates for their classrooms and other staff positions by making simple adjustments to current recruiting tactics.
“We value diversity in our staff, but hiring the best candidate for the position is far and away our priority.”
Are you reaching all the best candidates this hiring season?
It’s crunch time to fill key vacancies — find top candidates with a free job post on SchoolSpring
Retirements, unanticipated vacancies and demand for specialized positions such as Advanced Placement (AP) and foreign language educators have increased competition for top teacher talent. Yet the number of qualified candidates declines.
Too often, this means districts must settle for lesser-qualified instructors or larger classroom sizes, which can jeopardize student achievement.
But human resources teams can have a positive impact on student achievement and their budgets by posting open positions on SchoolSpring, PeopleAdmin’s K-12 education-specific job site that’s backed by an army of recruiters and boasts more than 2 million teacher profiles.
What makes SchoolSpring different?
SchoolSpring promotes postings to the largest K-12 candidate pool in the country along with other top job sites, including Indeed.com, Beyond.com, Teach.org, and more.
Interested job seekers receive customized, automated email alerts about new postings.
Search local and national candidate pools and simply add candidates to your applicant tracking system (ATS) through integrations with TalentEd Recruit & Hire or other ATS.
SchoolSpring is mobile friendly, with over 40 percent of all traffic coming from a mobile device and more than 10,000 downloads of the free SchoolSpring mobile app.
SchoolSpring narrows pools to the most qualified candidates, providing unique transparency to the applicant tracking process and minimizing time and frustration for applicants and managers.
SchoolSpring representatives attend job fairs across the country, recruiting top talent in person, so you don’t have to.
Community tips and updates
Boost networking by adding a photo to your Community profile
The PeopleAdmin Community is a great place for online learning, sharing and networking. But did you know it’s also a platform you can use to find and connect with local peers who use your PeopleAdmin solution?
By adding a profile photo, you can spot and more easily connect with other PeopleAdmin peers at local meetings, educational events and even User Groups.
Here’s how to upload a photo to your Community profile:
Log in to the Community and click the “User Group” tab at the top.
On the left, you’ll see your name. Click it to go to your profile.
Hover your mouse over the blue smiley face image on the left and click “Add photo” when it appears at the bottom of the image.
Upload the image you want to use to the “Upload Profile Photo” box and click Save.
NOTE: Your picture must be an image file no larger than 8 MB.
The profile photo box will refresh and ask you to select the part of the picture that you want as your thumbnail image. This is the small image that will be displayed most often on the Community pages. Crop your picture as you see fit and click “Save.”
You can also update your profile and contact information by following steps one and two above, clicking the pencil icon below your profile image and then adding your information in each of the profile fields.
We’ve been busy improving the Community portal with these new and enhanced features:
New Community Quickstart Guides are available to help you navigate the Community:
A new “URL for Reported Issue/Question” field has been added to cases so that you can reference the specific web page for which you have a question.
Contact information now syncs between your customer profile and cases so that when you update your contact information on your profile, the support team will also see the updated information in the cases they are working.
Monthly TalentEd, SearchSoft and SchoolSpring update summaries are now available on each product’s User Group page.
New partnership: PeopleAdmin + McREL International
Partnership provides a unified technology solution for K-12 districts to improve staff performance and student outcomes
As states prepare for teacher evaluation changes under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), PeopleAdmin and McREL International — the leader in research-based evaluation and professional development systems — are joining forces to deliver easy-to-use, streamlined technology and data to improve teacher and principal effectiveness and advance student achievement.
The partnership merges McREL’s research-based evaluation frameworks for teachers, principals and central office leaders with PeopleAdmin’s comprehensive, flexible performance evaluation tool, TalentEd Perform.
“Many customers have benefitted from our past integration,” said Kermit Randa, CEO of PeopleAdmin. “By taking that even further, our partnership has the potential to help thousands of schools currently leveraging our solutions.”
The partnership will empower administrators to simplify and automate supervision tasks, processes, workflows, reminders, recordkeeping, and compliance requirements, while providing meaningful evaluation feedback using insights from McREL’s tools for analyzing educator effectiveness, school improvement, program implementation progress and targeted professional development planning.
People of PeopleAdmin: Aaron Dollinger, National Account Executive
‘Seeing the commitment that school administrators have to students has been a humbling experience for me.’
How long have you been with PA?
Just over two years.
What made you choose PeopleAdmin?
I was looking for a company in the tech space with a mission that I could get behind. I have a background in education, so it’s exciting to be able to work with educators every day.
One thing that strikes me over and over again is the quality of people who work at PeopleAdmin. If you ask anyone here, the majority will tell you that they’re here because of the commitment to the mission — we serve a much greater purpose than fulfilling a bottom line. We work hard to help schools recruit, hire and develop the best educators because that ultimately improves student outcomes.
How would you describe what you do?
I work with customers to understand how we can help them overcome challenges. Then I put together a solution that meets their needs, creates efficiencies across the district and contributes to improved student achievement.
How has working with customers helped you to grow in your career with PeopleAdmin?
Seeing the commitment that school administrators have to students has been a humbling experience for me. I watched an assistant superintendent in a Kansas City school district take in a student who was homeless, not knowing how long the student might stick around. He treated the student like his own child — not because he had to, but because it was the right thing to do — and he truly cared about the student’s future. As a result, the student went on to graduate from high school and has an opportunity for a positive future that may not have otherwise been possible.
That’s an extreme example, but I love meeting district administrators who work hard to impact student achievement on a daily basis. I also love finding ways to help them make their districts better.
What does providing “an amazing customer experience” to every customer mean to you?
It means that we’re able to anticipate a customer’s needs before they even know what they need and provide a solution that exceeds their expectations. It’s an experience that goes beyond the customer/vendor relationship.
Can you share a story about a partnership that you’ve formed with one of our customers?
When we began exploring partnership opportunities with Keith Palmer at Pasadena ISD, Keith felt burned by the district’s previous system — they needed an honest partner to provide the solution that they said they would provide.
We took the time to fully understand Pasadena’s challenges, decided whether we could truly meet their needs, and then provided the applicant tracking solution that we promised them. Since implementation, Keith has become more than a customer, he’s a friend. The district is extremely happy with its partnership with PeopleAdmin and with the higher-quality teachers they’re now able to hire.