What? I know exactly what you’re thinking. Why would a person need to know how to set up and run a new school? Simply put, the public education system isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; and even the private systems aren’t 100% secure. A dear, dear friend of mine lost her job because the organization she worked for decided to close one of their satellite locations – a school that offered focused care and education for children with special needs.
That said, she rallied on her own and opened her own school. I’m not going to delve into all of the legalities about business contracts, educational licenses, and all of that jazz – it varies from state to state anyway. What I will say is that my friend had a hard and fast lesson about how to run the business side of a new school.
Playing the Finance Game
If you’re not a financial whiz, you don’t need to become one. Try to find someone who is willing to partner with you or donate time (or at least charge you a fair enough price) to help you reduce your utility costs, make a secure budget, and get the supplies you need without going broke. School funding is a hot topic of debate just about everywhere you go, and if you do start your own school, you’ll be faced with the same problems – without the advantage of tax-dollars to fall back on.
Keeping track of your students can be quite the chore. You’ll need a really strong administrative system, like Fedena, to help you monitor attendance, track grades, and generally maintain everything from the business office to the classroom. Many are made for internal use only, but some will allow parents and students to access grades and information in real time.
Networking is Key
Don’t let your professional memberships lapse, and don’t become inactive. Networking is key to any successful school endeavor. You’ll want to make sure you are finding and maintaining relationships with new contacts. You never know when you might need to draw on someone else’s experience or expertise, ranging from classroom management to interpersonal politics.
Don’t accept the first contract you get from any supplier. Shop around, let each know you are comparing quotes, and see what you can do to keep your costs down. You’ll need everything from office supplies to textbooks to a decent school lunch program. Keep it affordable while offering your students the best experience possible.
Running a school is no easy task. Get help, form a strong team, and set defined goals. Your students will thank you for offering them a secure, dedicated, and focused education.