How EdTech Companies Can Persevere Through Superintendent Turnover
When top management turns over in a school district, your company empire can topple, unless you are prepared to weather the possibly rough transition.
School superintendents have one of the highest turnover rates of any position in the school district. In fact, the average length of time a superintendent stays in a place is five years.
Transitioning from one district leader to another can be a costly experience for school communities, especially if the district has to buyout an ex-superintendent’s contract while bringing onboard the new superintendent.
That can leave you in limbo when wondering whether your vendor contract will be renewed next year. Instead, you can persevere through superintendent turnover with these strategies.
Have a Contract in Place
A contract assures the school district that you will deliver on your promises, and this same contract assures you that the district will continue to be your customer throughout the life of the contract. A new superintendent cannot alter that agreement on his or her own because the school board authorized the contract at a specially called meeting. The superintendent recommended the contract agreement for services, but the school board approved it.
You have until the time you reach the end of the contract period to show the new leadership that your contract should be continued.
Develop Strong Networks
While under contract with the district, your company representatives are the link between your product and district administrators who can lend influence to the decision-making process. Next to the superintendent, the three positions you must know are the directors of finance, human resources, and curriculum & instruction.
Find out how well your costs and billing practices meet district expectations; if teachers are satisfied with the training you provide; and how well your product is helping teachers improve student achievement. These key leaders can help you stay the course during superintendent turnover.
Gather the Data
Finally, you’ll have to prove your value by showing the district they are getting a return on investment. Educators are well aware that edtech is collecting a tremendous amount of data on students. What they need to know is how to access it quickly, analyze it, and use the results to drive instruction further.
Data can be highly persuasive when the school board decides to renew your vendor contract with the school district – or not.
If you have a contract, strong networks, and quality data, you’ll be able to persevere through superintendent turnover.