Three Ways to Use Summer to be Unstoppable During the School Year


Ah, summer. Those glorious months of free time unbelievably hard work for education organizations to get ready for the upcoming school year.

Ensuring your schools and offices are fully staffed. Teacher preparation and development. School operations planning, expansion, and growth. And much more.

How do you make the most of the summer to ensure you and your team will be unstoppable in the school year?

Three ways to start:

1| Get more capacity now and build your brand long-term.

Summer is the perfect time to court graduate students who are seeking to make an impact, deepen their work experience, and broaden their networks before their school year starts. Bringing in a talented, experienced leader or contributor with a specific skillset for the short-term can help you make sizable progress on specific initiatives that will have long-lasting results.

Plus, summer hires are a way to increase awareness about your organization and build relationships with candidates early who may become long-term hires. It’s never too early to start building and growing your talent pipeline.

“Over the years, I’ve been able to identify projects that would really benefit from a high-level skill set over a specific period of time. Working on the human capital data management system is a case in point. I needed someone with a high level of analytical skill to do the groundwork and research in order to be positioned to identify the resources and leverage to move the work forward.”Brigitte Marshall, Chief Talent Officer, Oakland Unified School District

Quick solution: The EP Fellowship’s summer track is designed to connect you with a summer superstar who can tackle an immediate business need for you. By partnering with EP, you’ll raise awareness of your work and organization to thousands of talented people.

2| Support your team’s growth.

One of the four ways to keep your best people on board is to invest in their professional growth and development. Ask your staff to seek out summer professional development opportunities that interest them—including conferences, webinars, networking events, courses, and more—and help them develop professional growth plans.

“Stretch” work assignments (that are either new areas of work or bigger projects to manage), are also great professional opportunities. Give your high-performing aspiring managers the opportunity to supervise summer talent (EP Fellow or otherwise) to grow their skills and experience.

Summer is the perfect time to kick-start your team’s development. Make it a priority. After all, when you help your superstars see how and where they can grow with your organization, they’ll not only want to stay on board, but also be better equipped to do great work.

Quick solution: EP’s Visiting Fellowship is designed to help you grow and invest in your talented staff.

3| Implement your strategic plan for radical change.

Summer is the perfect time to execute your innovative ideas for the coming school year, and to test drive new ones.

EP Founder and CEO Scott Morgan shared three practices that can help drive radical change: (1) getting out of our industry or organization “bubble,” (2) learning to innovate, and (3) rewriting the recipe for how we work.

“When we get better at connecting insights, experiences, and ideas from other people, industries, and even countries, we become more creative. On the whole, leaders in education can get a lot more comfortable with different perspectives, and with combining ideas in unique ways to create breakthrough solutions.” – Scott Morgan, Founder & CEO, Education Pioneers

Have a promising initiative that you need more data on before you implement it? Summer can be an ideal preparation, testing, or launching period.

Quick solution: Read Scott Morgan’s post about driving radical change and think about how you can become a more radical leader to drive the change students need.

Turns out, summer can be one of the best assets you’ve got—if you use it right. Let EP help; that’s what we’re here for.

Reach out to us at so that we help you plan.

Frances McLaughlin is the President of Education Pioneers and is responsible for implementing the organization's strategy nationally to achieve EP's ambitious goals. She believes deeply that effective management and leadership – in addition to high quality instruction – are necessary for all students to reach their academic potential.


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