While many K-12 leaders understand the value of data-driven decision-making, few have the time needed to compile mountains of data into an understandable format.
“I supervise an office with three employees, and we oversee almost 6,000 subs,” said Roudene Jackson, supervisor of the office of substitute employment at Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Virginia. “We also process about 150 applicants a month, and we have a substitute orientation twice a month.”
Using Discover Analytics for Absence Management — TalentEd’s research-based data analytics solution — Roudene and her team can quickly and objectively identify strategic workforce planning priorities, without hindering day-to-day operations.
The actionable insights delivered through Discover Analytics’ proprietary Substitute Management Improvement Model include:
- Easy-to-measure fill rates, absence rates, and substitute pool volume and engagement.
- Color-coding with built-in target metrics, which help quickly identify where to focus improvement efforts.
- Deep-dive features, so district leaders can explore trends, classification groups, location groups, and more, for each metric.
The easy-to-understand data visualizations quickly highlighted a substitute engagement issue previously unknown to Roudene.
“I have 5,600 active substitutes, but only 45 percent of them are working an average of four days a week,” Roudene said. “Now that we’ve identified that issue, we’re looking into what’s causing it. We may have to change some of our requirements.”
And if those changes require leadership buy-in, Roudene is confident Discover Analytics will provide her with the information needed to get their support.
“Discover Analytics makes you seem smarter than you really are because it provides so much useful information,” Roudene said. “When you take what you learned to your district leadership, it will blow them away.”
It’s Roudene’s hope that once she gets more of her substitutes working, she can increase her district’s fill rate and take some pressure off her team.
“If we can get our fill rate to 98 or 99 percent, we wouldn’t have to constantly hire and onboard so many new substitutes. That would make our life so much easier,” she said.
A higher fill rate would also benefit the district’s most important stakeholders — students.
“It would be a great thing because it’s really hard when you have to migrate students into other classrooms or have an instructional assistant teach the class for the day,” Roudene said. “A higher fill rate would provide consistency and continuity in the classroom, which is really important.”