Tips for Working With Schools

Busy, busy, busy!  Everyone is always busy and sometimes we feel our requests are left “on the back burner.”   As a retired school employee, I can relate to some of the hectic days that occur in schools.  Just when you think things are moving along smoothly, the flu breaks out, or a major snowstorm cancels everything for two days resulting in more loss of class-time instruction for students!

As nonprofits want to work closely with schools to help serve youth, they experience many restrictions and time constraints. It can be difficult sometimes to get students released for something – no matter how important it is.   School districts have to be sure the number of instructional days/hours are met as mandated by the state.  Sometimes they are in a crunch to meet requirements.  A particular year may include 4-5 assemblies, 4-5+ snow days, or students missing class for state mandated testing, for sport events, academic events, career day, business professionals, band and choral competitions (any or all academic and non-academic extracurriculars).   School calendars usually consist of 180-185 days.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Make sure your organization is proactive and when the school calendars are set, approach school officials as early as possible to schedule your time with students.
  • Send reminders often.
  • Offer to visit the school and ask what you can do to help make the request as easy as possible for the school, students, and everyone involved.
  • Stay organized and follow up on making sure you are on their calendar.

In summary, stay positive and remember working together works best for EVERYONE!


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