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Smart Strategies to Meet NFHS COVID-19 Guidance

Clay Burnett

Superintendents, technology directors, and athletic directors awake each morning to a new batch of news from federal, state, and local resources. The news can range from regulations to recommendations surrounding the health and safety of their students, athletes, and communities. At the same time, these school district leaders receive both praise and pressure from their stakeholders.

According to the National School Board Association ("NSBA"), school district leaders should first follow guidance from state educational agencies and public health departments. After ensuring a school district is in compliance with federal, state, and local health protocols, school boards must face the challenge of preparing for both an outbreak and a reopening.

Unfortunately, time is a limited resource. School district leaders must adapt quickly using trusted resources and tools to help increase compliance with policies and procedures in order to create a safe school.

FinalForms helps leaders meet the snowballing administrative demands of COVID-19.

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6 Tips for Dealing with Politics in High School Athletics

Clay Burnett

Athletic programs deliver a ton of upsides to communities. They teach the importance of teamwork and hard work, they build camaraderie, and they can even bring an entire community together.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons—such as selfish and aggressive parents, coaches that show favoritism, and donor and booster club influences—student athletics can have a dark underbelly. In this blog post, we’ll take a quick look at why bureaucracy happens and provide six tips athletic directors can use for dealing with politics in high school athletics.

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The Worst Athletic Clearance Form Mistakes & How to Fix Them

Clay Burnett

Athletic directors are responsible for creating and protecting a safe and educational sports experience across their districts.

To do this, they need to make sure that authorized students (i.e., those who have submitted all of their forms) are allowed to participate. And at the same time, they need to ensure unauthorized students (i.e., students who haven’t submitted forms, have medical conditions, or have recently suffered a concussion) are not allowed to participate.

With many moving parts in the average sports program, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything.

Here are some of the more common mistakes districts make with respect to athletic clearance forms—and how you can fix them.

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11 Cost-Saving Benefits of an Online School Management System

Clay Burnett

Many districts still rely on legacy school management systems they’ve been using for decades, often combination of spreadsheets and software to organize and distribute student data. While these systems might work well enough, they leave much to be desired. Tracking down information can be difficult and time-consuming, the process lends itself to human error with illegible handwriting and data-entry mishaps, and the parent experience suffers as families have to fill out the same information over and over again, among other things.

The good news is that—in the age of disruption—new digital school management systems have emerged that largely solve all of these problems.

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IT Directors: 5 Reasons Why You Should Pursue Your CETL

Clay Burnett

As an IT director for a school district, you have a lot on your plate. You play a critical role in ensuring a strong educational experience for students, and it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day. Refocusing on your professional development can keep you sharp, while helping you deliver more value to taxpayers and prove you’re committed to being the best IT director you can be.

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10-Point Checklist: AD Readiness Ratings for Fall Sports

Clay Burnett

 

Summer 2020 Update: Also check out our awesome COVID-19 Reopening Sports Checklist which will help guide you through the complicated Phased reopening.

 

As an athletic director, your list of demands, responsibilities, and requirements is never-ending. You must serve your support system from top to bottom, from incoming athletes and their parents all the way up to your superintendent. The time commitment and communication requirements are daunting, but every year you do it. And, education-based athletics will continue to thrive based on herculean efforts of people like you.

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How to Reduce Risk When Hiring High School Coaches

Clay Burnett

One of the primary responsibilities of an Athletic Director is hiring coaches. But finding qualified coaches can be difficult—especially for sports like bowling, lacrosse, and cheerleading.

Being a coach is an important job that comes with public pressures and very little pay. Finding the right person can be tough, but it’s worth the effort.

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Top 10 Safety and Legal Issues in High School Athletics

Clay Burnett

As an athletic director, you’re tasked with doing everything you can to ensure an optimal athletics experience for all students, parents, coaches, and members of the community. To do that, you need to keep safety and legal issues in high school athletics top of mind. Mitigating risk, ensuring compliance, and preventing negligence are all important pieces of AD job descriptions today. This is in large part because districts across the country face increasing regulations and we live in an increasingly litigious society.

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12 Actionable Parent Engagement Strategies for Your K–12 District

Clay Burnett

Parent involvement plays a crucial role in a child’s education. In fact, studies have found that parent involvement is the best predictor of student success.

As a superintendent, your job is to create an educational environment that helps students reach their full academic potential. One effective way to do that is by enacting parent engagement strategies that encourage parents to get involved in the educational experience.

But many parents are busy, and there are only so many hours in the day. To make parent engagement more attainable for your district—and create a better learning environment with stronger educational outcomes—use these 12 parent engagement strategies:

  1. Move to Online Forms
  2. Use a Platform Like FinalForms
  3. Institute a Parent Engagement Program
  4. Host Parent-Teacher Conferences
  5. Schedule Events and Assemblies for Parents
  6. Encourage Parents to Participate in Activities
  7. Offer Parent-Focused Classes
  8. Ask Parents to Give Feedback and Share Ideas
  9. Communicate Regularly
  10. Publish Helpful Content on Social Channels
  11. Create an Online Community
  12. Offer Guidance for Failing Students

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Enrollment Redefined: More Time Saving, Less Time Wasting

Clay Burnett

Our team is proud to announce that we've completely revamped our new student enrollment features.

Based on first-hand interaction with customers, we've confirmed that managing new student enrollment is one of the most critical, and potentially stressful, jobs in the school district.

While FinalForms streamlines the parent experience, especially for those with many children, there is a lot more work to do for administrators. The central office staff may need to review student information and decide whether to enroll the student, while building staff must ensure specific student information gets to the right reports and the right hands at the right time. Collecting the right information, determining enrollment statuses, and pleasing time-crunched parents can really create nightmares for your most valuable staffers. Don't worry, we're here to help!

The "Why" Behind the Update...

We listened to your feedback and guidance. Thanks to your insight, we added features and options that truly help your administration save time and eliminate hundreds of headaches and phone calls. 

For your staff:

  1. Approve enrollments before they are included in your student database
  2. Customize enrollment statuses such as JVS, N, R, O, etc. 
  3. Review RCards with critical enrollment information such as IEPs, District of Residence, and more
  4. Track enrollment history throughout a student's time at your district
  5. View enrollment statuses to be relative to specific school years
  6. Configure school choice options 
  7. Start services immediately for students requiring attention at kindergarten screening

For your parents:

  1. Reduced workload first-time applicant parents
  2. Upload required documentation

Intro to Enrollment Records

Many administrators use our academic, athletic, and medical screens to use lists, statuses, and email options. Now, we've added an additional 'enrollment' screen allowing your registrars to view lists, review forms, email parents, and enroll students. Beyond that, administrators may modify enrollment statuses when it's necessary to withdraw, transfer, or archive a student.

Learn more!
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