From the President
Even though spring is here, the snow on the ground confirms that March is a transitional month! Here's to warm, sunny weather on the horizon!
The past few months have been incredibly busy for SBGA, SFMI and all of our members. Earlier this week we held another successful Advocacy Day. More than 60 of our members traveled to Albany and met with nearly 100 New York State legislators. My special thanks to everyone who participated this year – we had a great day.
There is no doubt our jobs are becoming more and more challenging. With budget cuts, the loss of staff, and other challenges in today’s difficult economic climate, there are ways we can reduce expenses while maintaining efficiency and cleanliness. Join us at the Critical Issues Summit to learn how. Scheduled for Thursday, March 31 at Chancellor’s Hall at the State Education Building in Albany, this full-day program will provide information on creating and maintaining buildings aimed at increasing students’ overall growth and achievement.
As always, thank you all for your time, talent and dedication to the school facilities profession. Enjoy the warming weather!
Bill Blosser, CDF
SBGA Completes Successful Advocacy Day
On March 15 more than 60 SBGA leaders and members traveled to Albany for our annual Advocacy Day. Representing all corners of New York State, the focus of this year's event was our Director of Facilities Legislation, the critical importance of building aid, and funding for facilities maintenance. Please remember to constantly and consistently educate and remind your local lawmakers and community leaders to:
- Protect New York State’s $50 billion investment.
- Help districts be fiscally responsible.
- Establish minimum funding for maintenance.
- Provide building aid for maintenance expenditures.
- Preventative maintenance reduces capital spending.
Legislators and staff were very much engaged and eager to hear SBGA’s ideas and opinions surrounding various budget and educational issues. While lobbying, the Senate and Assembly passed their own versions of the State Budget, both rejecting Governor Cuomo’s proposed Budget.
Visit SBGA’s Legislative Advocacy page to read this year’s Position Papers.
Tick Tock - Time is Running Out!
Attention any dependant student of SBGA Active or Affiliate members! The deadline for the Fred Hack Memorial Scholarship application is right around the corner! Don’t miss this great chance at one of six $1,500 scholarships. The deadline for this scholarship is Thursday, March 31st.
Click here for this year's application. Good Luck!
Schoolfacilitiesjob.com - Have You Checked it Out?
Looking to advance your career? Need to hire an experienced, dedicated facilities professional? Visit SBGA’s Job Bank, specifically designed for school facility professionals to find employment as well as seek experienced, qualified employees. Simply log in and begin your search – for FREE. This is a tremendous benefit for any of you looking to fill positions, or make a move.
This site allows you to register as a job seeker or employer, and then search job listings and post your resume, or view qualified employees’ profiles. Other features include:
- job descriptions
- sample interview questions
- how to become a director of facilities
Visit the site today, and keep your career moving!
News from SED
For the latest news from the Office of Facilities Planning, click here.
Senator Martin J. Golden
Senator Martin J. Golden (R,C) was elected to represent Brooklyn's 22nd Senate District in 2002. Earlier this year Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos appointed Senator Golden as Chairman of the Civil Service Committee, and he now sponsors SBGA’s Director of Facilities Bill (S.3811).
During his first three terms in the State Legislature, Senator Marty Golden quickly established himself as one of the most influential lawmakers in the City and State of New York. Senator Golden has authored over 75 laws most notably in the areas of public safety, tax cuts, economic development, and senior citizen issues.
READ MORE >>
2011 Critical Issues One-Day Training Summit: March 31
Maintaining Our Investment: Ensuring Our Future
Register today and join SBGA and SFMI for the 2011 Summit! This year's program will take place on Thursday, March 31 and we'll again be at Chancellor's Hall in the NYS Education Building. This is a unique opportunity for our members and education stakeholders to better understand the state of affairs for school facilities, and meet face-to-face with Chuck Szuberla and Carl Thurnau, PE from the New York State Education Department, Office of Facilities Planning.
Due to the tremendous popularity of this program, all of the allocated parking spaces have been reserved. Visit our website for other options and consider carpooling!
Thank You Sponsors
The Dirty Details: Understanding the New Law & Guidance for Managing School Fields
Join us Wednesday, April 13 for our next School Facilities Webinar - The Dirty Details: Understanding the New Law & Guidance for Managing School Fields - as we examine best practices for continuing to maintain safe, effective grounds and fields in light of the new law for managing school fields. Dr. Jennifer Grant of Cornell University will provide insight, strategies and techniques for keeping your fields safe and well-maintained.
Don't wait...register today and get your entire grounds department ready for this new legislation.
SPONSORS TO DATE
John Deere Landscapes
Webinar sponsorship opportunities are available. If your company is interested in increasing its visibility to school facility professionals throughout New York State and showing your commitment to professional development, contact Mike Cocca at email@example.com for more information.
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2011 Expo - Online Registration Now Available
Save time and paper! Associate members can now register for the School Facilities Expo online! Sponsorship and exhibit materials are available on our website and the brochure hit mailboxes last week. Support school facilities and participate in our conference and expo this October.
Greener Schools Start With You!
Nominate your school for a chance to win Global Green USA's Green School Makeover Competition Presented by Pureology
NEW YORK – This year, Pureology is pleased to present Global Green USA's Green School Makeover Competition. From March 1 – September 30, 2011, a parent, teacher, student or individual, can nominate any K – 12 public, private or charter school they think deserves a Green School Makeover. One school will win a "green makeover" and four finalist schools will win $2,500 for their sustainable upgrades.
“Global Green USA has lowered energy bills for cash strapped school districts, improved indoor air quality in classrooms, and increased student test scores by greening over $15 billion in school facilities over last 10 years," said Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Global Green USA. “We are excited to have Pureology provide charitable support to help us launch this national competition, so Global Green can continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease energy costs, and create green jobs in our communities."
READ MORE >>
For Better Learning, Architects Do Matter
Rowan Moore , The Guardian
UNITED KINGDOM: England's Education Secretary claims architects have 'creamed off' money that could have gone to teachers. It's time he opened his eyes to the far-reaching benefits of a beautifully designed school.
To Gove's rejection of design, Phil Blinston, executive head of the Minster School in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, says: "It's bizarre. I just don't get it. Why wouldn't we want to factor in everything architects have learned from other buildings? Youngsters are growing up visually articulate. Why would they not expect to see that in school? Why would you expect them to lower their standards?"
The Minster School has been using an award-winning building for four years, designed by architects Penoyre & Prasad. Blinston says: "Our results were good and continued to rise with the new building. Our behaviour has improved." It has good acoustics and natural light, which "have a profound effect on the emotional state of children, which helps their learning".
Its circulation works smoothly, without "one-way systems, keep left signs or massive numbers of rules." Hidden spaces "where vulnerable kids fear to tread" are designed out, so you don't need "people standing guard." It is designed so that locals can use the building in evenings and school holidays, so this public asset is used to the full.
"I'm not talking about fancy architecture," he says – and a limited budget means the school has a simple-going-on-basic look – "but it's about enabling people to feel good. Good design produces a relaxed community. If we say education is important, we can demonstrate that by putting children in decent environments." Buildings cannot do a teacher's job, in other words, but they can make good teaching better and bad teaching less so.
Keeping Your Floors Clean
Floor care is often one of the most expensive tasks for a school facility. Reducing the frequency of these tasks, while keeping the location healthy, can help lower cleaning costs and stretch budgets significantly. Click here for an article full of recommendations from schools around the nation, carpet and flooring manufacturers and a manufacturer of the equipment to maintain these surfaces.
'Redirect' Mistakes for Positive Impact
You try to put a positive spin on everything your employees do, but let’s face it—sometimes they make mistakes that you just have to correct. Follow these simple steps to “redirect” employees onto the right path:
- Describe the error promptly, but without anger or blame.
- Explain how the mistake affects co-workers, customers, and the organization as a whole.
- Review the task with the employee. Emphasize what needs to be done, not what went wrong.
- Express your confidence in the worker’s ability to improve.
- Adapted from Whale Done! The Power of Positive Relationships, by K. Blanchard, T. Lacinak, C. Thompkins, and J. Ballard (Simon & Schuster)
Communicate Goals and Expectations with this Formula
Quotas, bonuses and other rewards are important management tools, but they’re all worthless without the ability to communicate your expectations and goals effectively. Building good communication skills takes practice and effort. Craft your message using this template:
- “This is where we are.” Start by describing the current situation.
- “This is where we’re going.” Talk about the goal you want your team to strive toward.
- “This is what we’re doing to get there.” Tell the team (or the individual employee) what the company’s particular needs and expectations are.
- “This is what we need you to do.” Tell the team (or the individual employee) what the company’s particular needs and expectations are.
- “If we don’t do this, then…” Point out what’s at stake if the goal isn’t met.
- “I think we can succeed because…” Spell out the strengths you see that will help your team and its people achieve their goals.
- “This is where we’ve succeeded so far.” Highlight previous successes that support current efforts.
- Adapted from the CEO Refresher website
Don't Shy Away from Virtual Meetings
Conference calls and other types of “virtual” meetings for far-flung teams can actually be more productive than face-to-face meetings. Nonverbal cues like body language can have a strong impact on people when they’re in the same room together. In a conference call or online team room, people will feel less intimidated by physical messages and more willing to share ideas and feedback honestly.
- Adapted from CIO.com