K12 Central

Fostering design cultures in K12 central offices.

Welcome to K12 Central. Founded by Don Kennedy, K12 Central is a network of K12 educational professionals interested in increasing the capacity of school districts' central offices to effectively support K12 educational reform.

Mission: K12 Central's mission is to create the capacity of school districts' central offices to effectively support K12 educational reform. K12 Central promotes: * Collaboration: Wouldn't it be great if central offices learned from each other how to effectively implement reform initiatives? * Design Thinking: How can central offices benefit from the design tools being adopted by nonprofits to tackle complex problems? * Continuity: What happens to a district’s strategic focus in a K12 system that has high superintendent turnover? * Respect: Any negative bloggers gnawing at the staff in your district’s central office?

Seriously data-driven decision making

Phi Delta Kappan Magazine Article – Key Performance Indicators Saving Money for Urban Schools

The December 2011, issue of Phi Delta Kappan magazine contains an article highlighting the benefits of the Council of the Great City Schools’ (CGCS) national Key Performance Indicator (KPI) system to improve the efficiency of business operations, finance, human resources, and information technology in urban schools. Don Kennedy of K12-Central is a project manager for CGCS on this initiative.

Click here to see an abstract of the article: http://www.kappanmagazine.org/content/93/4/46.abstract
Click here to see this year’s CGCS Managing for Results KPI report:http://www.cgcs.org/cms/lib/DC00001581/Centricity/Domain/81/Managing%20for%20Results_2011.pdf

kappanmagazine.org As states approach the funding cliff marking the end of federal stimulus help for education, school districts will be feeling more financial pain than they're experiencing now. But there's good news amid the bad: Big city districts are showing schools nation...


Seattle Public Schools Operations Data Dashboard. I received the following email from a colleague at Seattle Schools.

I hope all is well. I just want to share with you something you started several years ago. Yesterday, we went through the District Operations data Dashboard which has the elusive common measures that we have been working towards. It took several years, but I think we have a good foundation to build on. Thank you for starting us in this path!



Budget Hold’em – Now Online

School districts can now play the Education Resource Strategies (ERS) card game online, the game that can lead them to design an effective budget development process in the face of tough budget choices. Here, Don Kennedy of K12 Central plays the non-online version with his son, Matthew Kennedy, and Matt’s friend Morgan O’Murray, last Friday, the night before Matt competed in the Florida Ironman competition (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, & 26.2 mile run).

Click here to play Budget Hold’em online. http://holdem.erstools.org/card-game/index.html

Click here to see the results of Matt’s first Ironman (bib # 917). http://ironman.com/events/ironman/florida/?show=tracker&race=florida&year=2011#axzz1cqeFxV3K

Council of the Great City Schools (GCCS) Annual Conference, Boston, Oct 2011

School Budget Hold’em. Find out how school districts are using an innovate approach to improve their budgeting process.

Don Kennedy, of K12 Central, facilitated a CGCS conference session with Pam Anstey, CFO of Memphis City Schools, and Don Hovey, Director with Education Resource Strategies (ERS), on how Memphis used the School Budget Hold’em game to transform a traditional silo budget process to a cross-functional strategic decision-making effort.

Pictured are Pam Anstey, Don Hovey, and Don Kennedy

Click here to find out more about the ERS Budget Hold’em tool: http://erstrategies.org/resources/details/memphis_white_paper/

Click here to connect to the Memphis City Schools web site: http://www.mcsk12.net/

New Fund Balance Requirements for School Districts

Don Kennedy, of K12 Central, recommended to the Jasper County School District last night during a budget presentation that the district consider updating its general fund balance policy based on new guidelines issued by the Governmental Finance Officers Association (GFOA).
Pictured with Don are Dr. Vashti Washington, Jasper’s superintendent, and Sandra Mack-Huff, the district’s Finance Director discussing the recommendation.

Has your district’s policy been updated? Click here http://www.gfoa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1450 to learn more about the GFOA recommendations.

K12 Central Offices - Needed?

This photo was taken in 1956, in Winnsboro, South Carolina. The lady in the photo is my mother, Viola Kennedy. My twin brother, Ron, and I are seated on the front bench. As a young woman my mother had a vision of helping to educate the children of our small community. This is her kindergarten class; it comprises the entire school – only seven students. With seven students in her school my mother did not need a central office.
Today’s public school systems, most with thousands of students, have additional administrative needs beyond those encountered by my mother and her single room school. During my professional life I have served in the U.S. Air Force, worked for two corporations: Boeing and SAIC, Inc., and supported two K12 pubic school systems: Seattle Public Schools and the Charleston County School District, both as their Chief Financial and Operations Officer. While there tends to be a denigration of K12 central offices by many people, my experiences indicate, that just like other large complex organizations with central structures, public school district central offices bring value to the educational endeavors of our communities. I discussed this with my mother earlier this year. She agreed.
Welcome to K12 Central. We create the capacity of school districts' central offices to effectively support K12 educational reform.

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