Florida Charter Schools find unique solution for mentorship approach

09/22/2020
Florida Charter Schools find unique solution for mentorship approach

An institution gets results from a unique HR and recruitment program that supports more efficient operations.

Results at a Glance

The challenge

The FCPCS promotes the establishment of high-quality public charter schools through focused activities statewide. As the charter school movement rapidly expands in Florida, widespread challenges continue to face many public schools as well as charter schools when receiving state limited and local funding, due to budget cuts and property price devaluations.

Cost-effective and efficient operations remain vital to every school’s function. But many schools cannot employ dedicated back-office staff members who are available to recruit, screen, and maintain daily workforce management—or to keep up with the mass of related but standard HR administrative responsibilities.

By design, public charter schools must accommodate a wide diversity of contracted details in their unique missions, programs, goals, students served, methods of performance assessments, and ways to measure success. This broad range demands a highly flexible business partner for workforce solutions with delivery models that adapt easily to the local talent needs of a public charter school.

The solution

KES provides interview-ready candidates for all CSE positions—already prescreened from hundreds of initial applicants to meet the school’s exact standards—saving the organization from heavy administrative burdens that would otherwise distract time, money, and valuable attention from its core mission. The CSE also benefits from a variety of adaptable workforce delivery models, including recruitment outsourcing for direct-hire, temporary, and temporary-to-hire employees; HR consulting; and payroll services.

KES is the leading employer of substitute teachers in the U.S., and is an expert in full-service, cost-saving solutions for educational environments. However, like many FCPCS schools, the CSE doesn’t rely on a traditional pool of substitute teacher talent. They prefer a mentorship approach that better supports the educational strategy of students learning at different, individualized paces. The CSE carefully cultivates 10 – 15 new teacher interns to become more familiar with each school’s curriculum and methodologies, before directly hiring those same well-trained and practiced candidates in permanent teaching roles.

KES experts took time to understand the CSE culture and ideology before adapting a solution that met its operational needs. The CSE first engaged KES for placement of office staff, and the relationship has grown exponentially ever since. Today, KES provides the organization with principals, guidance counselors, social workers, teachers and teacher interns, tutors, and paraprofessionals, as well as its food service, facility service, security guards, and after-school program employees. To help manage normal attrition, new candidates are screened to identify a certified pool of potential new office staff and teacher interns, ready to begin mentorships as needed.

The result

All KES employees receive perks, which have helped increase employee retention and satisfaction. KES employees are offered insurance options—which are available for purchase from a designated third-party vendor—along with paid training, a service bonus plan, a 401(k) opportunity, and more.

Meanwhile, KES effectively acts as the school’s back-office team—also managing employee relations—reducing its liability, and avoiding cost and other issues the school may have to navigate with workers’ compensation and unemployment. Off-season and during summer months, some CSE workers are placed by KES with other local employers on short assignments. Many employees are engaged through temporary-to-hire agreements that allow each school to evaluate them on-task before deciding to directly hire them, or to replace them with another candidate whenever they choose—without complication.

Through the same top-quality practices that KES uses to serve massive public school districts such as Florida’s Orange or Duval County systems, which are comprised of hundreds of thousands of students, the same flexibility, efficiency, and cost savings are delivered to the smaller, unique needs of the state’s public charter schools—for even as few as 100 students.

“The Charter Schools of excellence have found KES to be a very professional resource and partner, and we appreciate that KES cares to understand our culture, approach, and mission in adapting its services so ideally to fit our distinctive needs as a flourishing public charter school.”

—Jeremy Westbrooks, Director of Support Services, The Charter Schools of Excellence

“Many Florida charter schools do not have the time to advertise, recruit, and screen potential principals, teachers,and other staff. We have found KES to be very professional. They send us ‘interview-ready’ candidates and help us to create a pool of qualified candidates. They allow us to do a temporary-to-hire arrangement where the employee remains on the KES payroll for at least 90 days, and if it doesn’t work out, it’s easy to disengage with that employee and start interviewing for another. I would encourage any of the charter schools to try KES.”

—Robert Haag, Superintendent, The Charter Schools of Excellence

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