A1,100-student school district in Minnesota had been purchasing food supplies through a buying group of five other school systems—but it wasn’t efficient. “We would have to meet quite often,” says Director of Food Service Sandie Rentz of Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools. “We wrote our own bids and market basket. Then we would go out for bidding and tabulate the results ourselves.”
To engage students with diverse interests, high schools are adding nontraditional sports such as flag football, bass fishing, sand volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, orienteering and esports, to their lineups.
The reach of K12 bulk purchasing and co-op agreements has expanded substantially as more districts join to save substantial amounts on everything from software to playground equipment, according to a recent AASA report.
Managing school energy use can save money and accelerate conservation. The latest in energy management technology can prevent waste automatically while allowing administrators to control ventilation and other systems from a computer or mobile app. Some platforms also track billing information and send alerts during emergencies, such as power outages.
One energy management solution even recycles outdated light bulbs.
The 45 schools and systems recognized by this year’s District of Distinction program have created homegrown initiatives to support students’ social-emotional development, to provide powerful new opportunities for career-focused STEM learning and to improve the skills of educators.
The process to select a new elementary math program for Columbia Public Schools began four years ago. K12 Math Coordinator Dana Hibbard located the highest-performing schools in Missouri and selected their top two math programs for piloting in her district of 18,555 students.
The K12 transportation landscape is getting increasingly complex, as districts wrestle with issues ranging from school choice and questions of equity to how to subsidize mass transit for urban students.