A superintendent’s responsibilities have grown immensely over the last few years. Prior to COVID, the superintendent was primarily focused on education and the force behind establishing and managing the instructional leadership at their schools. Today, superintendents are required to navigate through a continually shifting environment – consulting health and technology experts and constantly communicating to a variety of stakeholders in their community.
As a leader in your district’s facility management efforts, it’s important to be an ally for your superintendent and proactively keep them informed on the health and safety efforts in your buildings, as well as provide them with accurate data on budget matters. Building this trust will allow you to manage your efforts more freely and the superintendent to make important decisions and communicate updates without much effort – allowing them to focus on other areas. Here’s some quick tips to get started.
1. Health / Safety
Health and safety are always a priority for superintendents, but today it’s top of mind. Keeping your superintendent abreast of the efforts you are undertaking in your facilities is critical. They don’t need to know every detail; however monthly summary reports of preventative maintenance measures and work orders are a good overview for them. Letting them see your inventory spends and stock on sanitizing and cleaning supplies is also helpful. The next level up is getting to actual upgrades on your assets and systems, primarily as it pertains to ventilation and HVAC. Let your superintendent know about the upgraded MERV filters or the protocols you have in place to flush in fresh air to your buildings daily. If you’ve made replacements or upgrades on ventilation or HVAC equipment, help them understand what you did, why you did it, and where you made the upgrades. Having a digital map of your floorplans with those assets mapped to it will make it quicker and easier for your superintendent to see the impact that you are making.
Having your capital plans and facility budgets mastered is what is really going to separate you in the eyes of your superintendent. They are looking to you for answers on the optimal times for when assets need to be replaced or updated. If you don’t know those answers, then who does? When it comes time for a building addition or new build, you need to be the point person for them to manage and report on all of the moving pieces. And you also need to be the one to maximize your funding streams to make your necessary planned purchases the smartest way possible. So, it comes as no surprise that if you get your budgeting and planning right in the eyes of the superintendent, you have removed a significant burden off of their shoulders. Even with a lot of federal funding for schools available today, superintendents need to be extra careful with spending. Having a reliable budgeting tool to help you with this is critical. And being able to deliver succinct planning and budgeting reports to them on a regular cadence will go a long way in being a better ally to your superintendent.
3. Blending Technology in your Buildings
As building automation becomes more prevalent and as your school buildings get updated with wireless networks and infrastructure, a lot of superintendents are having to go to two places get status and information on your technology infrastructure – the IT department and the facility department. Imagine if you could be more efficient in working with IT so they only have to go to one source for updates. We’ve mentioned this in previous posts and we will continue to stress the importance of creating deep partnerships with your IT department to create a seamless technology experience in your buildings. And your superintendent will be pleased with the collaboration as they are constantly juggling all of the stakeholders both inside your buildings and outside.
Every facility director should be striving to be a better ally for their superintendent. But you will need some tools to help you. MasterLibrary provides a suite of facility management tools that let’s facility directors be more scalable in their efforts and gives them the data and reporting they need to build more trust with their superintendents.