Establishing value in partnership

09/24/2020

A district smoothly transitions to a Kelly Educational Staffing solution—deployed in just two weeks—for substitute teacher management with proven value.

Clay County District Schools encompasses a 601 square mile suburban and rural area in northeast Florida, and features eight communities that border Jacksonville. Across this widespread and relatively remote region, the district supports 42 schools plus career centers and academies, along with special programs. To help maintain its status as being among the 10 top-performing school districts in the state, Clay County Schools partnered with Kelly Educational Staffing® (KES®) for a costeffective substitute management program that quickly returned a host of valuable benefits.

Results at a Glance

 

  • Manual, decentralized, overlapping system for substitute management
  • Growing concerns about wage and hour compliance among support staff
  • Improve on placement rates for substitute teachers in a rural district

 

  • Automated scheduling with a centralized team to track/monitor absences
  • Year-round, targeted recruiting; quick transition from existing pool (~450)
  • A full range of services with best practices that reduce employment risk

 

  • Helped district avoid ~$345,000 in costs related to Affordable Care Act
  • Ensured the same dedication to achievement as school district. In 30 days:
    • Hired 144 new substitute teachers, expanding the pool by 32% to 575+
    • Placed 100% of 4,231 absence requests; 99% filled within just 6 hours

The challenge

In addition to challenges that many school districts throughout the state of Florida are facing, rural and remote Clay County Schools have had ongoing issues with attracting and retaining a reliable pool of substitute teachers. An inefficient substitute placement process added further complications. As with many schools, administrative personnel at each separate location handled this manually. But given a limited pool of available substitute teachers, staff members across the district found themselves duplicating efforts on a regular basis—placing calls to preferred candidates who were likely already engaged or no longer available.

Overwhelmed by the day-to-day burden of managing this decentralized process, most schools were without the resources to recruit for and maintain a qualified pool of substitute teachers, leaving principals and administrators increasingly concerned about administrative staff burnout. They also had growing concerns about wage and hour compliance for the support personnel who often managed the substitute process during off hours. Ultimately, placement rates in the district were suffering, especially in its most rural locations. But without effective automation of the program, administrators had limited visibility into the full scope or impact of the issues. The district turned to Kelly Educational Staffing to investigate if an end-to-end program might help to resolve these challenges.

The solution

New to Clay County Schools, administrator Dr. Michael Henry was familiar with KES. His previous district relied on KES for their substitute teacher management program. Dr. Henry brought leaders from Clay County Schools together with KES experts to establish a program that could provide reliable coverage for a staff of nearly 3,000 teachers and teacher assistants. A centralized customer support team, part of the solution, was put in place to monitor and manually fill absences— especially for same-day or last-minute needs.

In Florida, Kelly Educational Staffing:

✓ Is the leading provider of substitute teachers
✓ Partners with 1,200+ Florida schools
✓ Has 15+ years of experience
✓ Filled 702,000+ classrooms in the 2015/2016 school year
✓ Handles 6,700+ absences per day
✓ Employs 10,000+ substitute teachers
✓ Maintains 100% success improving substitute placement rates in all our districts


The district had an existing pool of about 450 substitute teachers who were paid a competitive rate and were consistently performing well. The KES team first helped these critical resources transition over to the KES payroll, ensuring that the most experienced personnel were retained for work in Clay County Schools.

The team then began an ongoing effort to recruit locally, and build a large enough pool of candidates to cover the district’s average absenteeism. KES proactively persuaded new candidates to travel to work at more remote schools, and used a comprehensive process to on-board new substitute teachers and train them to work specifically in Clay County Schools. The team implemented an industry-leading, automated scheduling system with Frontline Education’s Absence Management Solution (formerly known as Aesop)—with 24/7/365 web and phone access for requesting, scheduling, and online timekeeping. They instructed substitute teachers—as well as administrators and administrative personnel, secretaries, and teachers—on ways to make the most of the user-friendly tool.

The result

KES now conducts partnership reviews each semester with Clay County District Schools, providing program metrics that offer an objective assessment of performance—together with value-added consultation and high-powered data analytics for insight into trends for absenteeism.

Kelly Educational Staffing also helped Clay County Schools save money. As the employer-of-record, KES assumes responsibilities and costs for general liability, wages, payroll deductions, state and federal taxes, unemployment, and workers’ compensation benefits. And, since 25 – 30 percent of its active substitute teachers would qualify for Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage, KES helped Clay County Schools avoid as much as $345,000 in related costs.

In the first 30 days, Kelly Education Staffing:

✓ Hired 144 new substitute teachers
✓ Expanded the pool by 32% to 575+
✓ Filled 100% of 4,231 absence requests
✓ Filled 99% of absences within 6 hours
✓ Made 80% of placements with a degreed substitute

Ultimately, the Kelly Educational Staffing solution eliminated the administrative burden of substitute teacher management from the schools’ instructional and support staff. The executive director of schools commented that it was among the smoothest implementations he’d ever seen, as KES quickly transitioned the existing pool to Kelly payroll in just two weeks.

Dr. Henry also noted:

 

“KES has done a phenomenal job making sure that classrooms in Clay County Schools remain filled. After witnessing two school systems that have successfully deployed a KES solution for their substitute staffing needs— along with the subsequent savings in hard and soft cost, time, and critical resources that our schools have realized— the question I typically ask any district on the fence is … ‘Who couldn’t afford to implement a KES program?’”

—Dr. Michael Henry, HR Director of Instructional Personnel, School District of Clay County

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