In August or September, the first week of a new school year, do you find that your campus seems to have problems that are unexpected and out of line with the status quo from the spring term? If so, then there is probably one or many problems embedded in the execution of the school’s End of Year Process (EOY). Although this post is going to focus on technology EOY, the fact is all systems and departments have (or should have) an EOY.
Any system, department, etc., that is not practicing a well thought out EOY will not only struggle, but create a cascade of problems that will spread through out the community. This cascade will feel like a sudden and unseen wave of chaos, or a series of seemingly small disconnected problems.
An Example of a Technology EOY
Here is a list of EOY processes/jobs that must be completed before the end of the first week of July. I have simplified some of them as most have multiple steps to complete.
|Active Directory access for all non-returning staff needs to be removed.|
|Active Directory accounts and groupings for all new staff needs to be created|
|Active Directory Student Accounts Need to Be Moved to the Next Year Group|
|New School Student Enrollment Complete/Check/Verify|
|Leaving Grade 5 Students in PowerSchool|
|All other Primary School Leaving Students Transfer After RollOver and Remove AD Accounts|
|Destiny needs to be updated|
|Powerschool Roll Over and Back to School Update (If Required)|
|Powerschool Records must be Cleaned- teachers/students/etc/ use PowerTools to Check Data Issues|
|PS Database Backup to Test Server|
|Make Primary School School Teams|
|Primary School Backup Report PDFs Generated|
|Secondary School Backup Report PDFs Generated|
|New Courses for Primary School Imported/ Old Courses Off|
|New Courses for Secondary School Imported/ Old Courses Off|
|PowerSchool- Plugins Update|
|Office 365 users and groups need to be adjusted to match the schools AD|
|Turn-It-In, and Naviance Updates/Staff/Students/Etc|
|ATLAS- Add new Hires and Remove All Old Accounts|
|Prepare all laptops, printers, and other necessary equipment that have been damaged sent for repair|
|Prepare all laptops, printers, and other necessary equipment to be recycled|
|Year 17-18 Orders – All Paperwork completed so items arrive in August|
|New Constructions/ Building – Checked and Tested|
|Websense Sync and Configure|
|Filewave Sync and Configure|
|Secondary School School Server Room Cleaned and Placed in Correct Working Order|
|Secondary School Switch Rooms Cleaned and Checked|
|Primary School School Server Room Cleaned and Placed in Correct Working Order|
|Primary School School Switch Rooms Cleaned and Checked|
This list does not include the procurement process, as that connects to other EOYs in other departments.
This list is share as an online dashboard. Jobs are assigned to team members. Each job has a status, due date, and comment box.
If any of these jobs is not completed, or not completed with enough time to repair problems or make some adjustments to the fall planning, the start of school will be rough.
The Myth of the Summer Staff
Many schools assume that EOY processes can be done slowly during the summer because they have summer staff. This is a myth, and it usually does not work well because the logic is flawed.
First off, summer staff are always fewer in number than the staff during the normal year. So unless the school is completely closed down, then they will actually have less time to focus on meaningful work. For example, unless the schools avoids summer camps, conferences, admissions tours, etc., the summer staff will become distracted. Their jobs many seem less demanding, but EOY processes take hours to complete, and require large blocks of time. Large blocks of time require more human resources than are available during the summer.
Secondly, summer staff tend to work a different work schedule. The hours are reduced, and oversight is lacking. Knowing it takes 4-6 weeks at 40 hours a week to complete the EOY, how is it possible for fewer people working fewer hours to complete the same job in 4-6 weeks? The math simply does not work. Departments trying to fulfill EOY with limited summer staff will be setting the stage for an anxiety and problem ridden start of the year.
Finally, unless summer staff have 100% full signature authority and empowerment to make decisions, many jobs will be partially done and awaiting a manager to return. Not only will this cause delays, but it will also cause project fragmentation. Think of a multiple puzzles missing multiple pieces in order to visualize this problem.
EOY is End of Year not The Beginning of Next Year
EOY processes are designed to allow the time needed to make upgrades, backups, repairs, etc. These processes need to finish no more than a few weeks after the last day with students (and many need to be completed on or before the last day with students).
Do the EOY on time, prevent the cascade of problems, and start the year on a forward moving pace that exceed the status quo. I firmly believe a good start leads to a good year.
Further Recommended Reading:
The Systems Lifecycle