2019 was a big year for the Staff Retention Taskforce. Three major things happened:
1) We participated in the Leading Edge survey again and had 21 schools participate!
2) We launched the Whole-School Teacher initiative in 5 schools
3) We launched an Innovation Grant
Leading Edge Survey
As always, this survey is a great resource. It lets us know how our educators are feeling and gives us really robust information, all for free! Our directors got individual consulting based off the results and they are doing some pretty amazing things (more on this below).
Whole-School Teacher Initiative
5 schools received a Whole-School Teacher. These teachers are experienced educators who have helped to create additional time in the schools to free up classroom teachers for reflective supervision meetings, team meetings, etc. Each of these schools had to drastically switch up their schedules to meet the requirements to participate but so far it seems like it is working. We are only halfway through the first year (of a three year cycle) but educators are appreciating the additional time to meet with their team and to get guidance from their leaders. More to come on this!
We launched the Innovation Grant (of $3,000) in the fall. Directors were able to look at their results from the survey and identify ways to address some of their educators needs using these funds. Schools are being very creative with their ideas! We saw proposals for everything from ax throwing, to cooking classes, to sweaters, to an evening out with colleagues. We are eager to see how they respond to the survey next year and if we are finding unique and fun ways to support our educators.
Lastly, take a look at what the JUF Education team created to help with reflective supervision. These cards are meant to give you the language and questions needed to engage with educators in a supportive and coaching way! Feel free to take these and use them as you need htem.
Today we talked about the Staff Satisfaction Survey disseminated by Leading Edge. Last year we had five schools participate and we have QUADRUPLED our participation for this year! That not only means that schools will get a better understanding of their staff, but we will have more robust system-wide information. Today we had Alena Gomulina from Leading Edge run an orientation for the schools who are participating. The survey will go out in May, and we expect to have the results in June!
The Staff Retention Taskforce hasn't met for awhile, but we made up for it with some in-between meeting emails, and a full and fun meeting in early October. Our meeting was focused on brainstorming and prototyping, but before we could brain storm we need to know which questions we wanted to explore. Prior to meeting, the taskforce members ranked their top "How Might We" questions. Kate then honed the list to the top five, based both on the feedback from the members and research from Leading Edge about which areas are most likely to increase satisfaction.
After a quick review, the taskforce was ready to brainstorm ideas, and then from there they picked their top brainstormed idea(s) and we prototyped. We created storyboards to flesh out the idea and explain how our ideas would impact our school staff. Kate then digitized the storyboards and presented them to teachers at the Early Childhood University. We received a ton of feedback and are now whittling it down to the 1-2 ideas we want to implement in 2019! Click this post to see all of the documentation from our meeting.
On July 29th, nearly 40 Jewish Early childhood directors and leaders joined us for a Leadership Retreat. Held at the McDonald's Campus in Oak Brook, we spent three days working together, learning from the Management Center and having a great time singing by the fire pit. We know it's important to provide support to school leadership (in addition to school staff) and we are eager to do it again! Below you'll find a full list of resources from our time together, including: turn-key team building activities, templates from the Management Center, and a full compilation of notes from all of our session.
On July 23rd, we had our Staff Retention Kick Off meeting. Prior to the meeting, a number of our schools participated in the Leading Edge, Leading Places to Work Survey. The survey helps organizations better understand their work place culture, and, upon completion organizations are then given time with consultants to help determine how best to move forward. We used the data from the survey as a way to jump start our design thinking process. We analyzed the data, found insights and then formed How Might We statements. Please see the more detailed notes below.