Communication and Collaboration: The Key to True Substitute Teacher Staffing Partnerships

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the needs of school districts nationwide changed dramatically – especially when it comes to securing a reliable staffing partner able to meet those evolving needs. The effectiveness of a substitute teacher staffing company during this time has depended on the level of service they offer and their ability to rise to the occasion and evolve along with the needs of school districts. Now more than ever, districts need an accountable staffing partner able to provide clear lines of communication, qualified management, and consistent collaboration.

In order to meet the unprecedented challenges facing school districts, substitute teacher providers must offer transparent, responsive partnerships built on consistent and reliable communication practices. Every effort should be made to ensure the needs of the district are being heard and actively addressed. Collaboration and accountability are key to a successful partnership in any field, and education is no different.

Keeping up With Current Challenges

Some staffing companies have operated for years simply providing absence software and leaving the district to manage their substitute staff themselves. This kind of partnership is no longer sufficient for many schools in light of new challenges. Substitute teacher staffing companies need to offer greater levels of management for the programs they put in place as well as qualified management personnel dedicated to providing the best service possible to their schools.

Offering Local Support

Program management personnel should be an active presence in the schools they serve. Setting up local offices and hosting regular in-person meetings with administrators will go a long way when it comes to substitute teacher staffing companies making themselves an accountable, convenient, and easily accessible resource for their partners during this time.

Listening to District Administrators

There is no better way to make administrators feel heard than by establishing proactive communication practices. Multiple lines of communication should be set in place, including phone and email, with priority lanes for administrators to ensure they have a direct line to program management when they need them. The goal, however, should be to create a working relationship where needs are met before they become an issue for the district by seeking out feedback and being flexible enough to respond with a customized program. Offering a platform for a district to evaluate the level of service they are receiving will also help the provider get ahead of potential issues and ensure needs are being met.

ESS’ Approach to Substitute Teacher Staffing Partnerships

ESS’ approach to our substitute teacher staffing partnerships is built on a level of communication, collaboration, and accountability that few can offer. This level of service has been a driving force behind many school districts’ decisions to partner with ESS over other providers. ESS has worked exclusively with K-12 school districts for more than 20 years, and providing successful full-service educational staffing and management programs is our sole focus.

When a school district partners with ESS, they are provided a transparent, responsive partnership built on consistent and reliable communication practices. ESS listens to the needs of these districts and delivers a program fully customized to meet those needs. Collaboration and accountability are the cornerstones of these partnerships and are crucial when it comes to supporting student achievement. ESS stands by our district partners, offering fully managed programs and dedicated management teams devoted to providing the best service possible to their schools.

These local management teams are just one of the unique program features that sets ESS apart from other substitute teacher staffing companies. Districts are provided local, hands-on program management and customer service delivered by professionals with years of experience in the field. Administrators enjoy the convenience and accessibility of this on-the-spot resource for both themselves and the ESS staff working in their schools. Once relieved of numerous program and staff management responsibilities, they are free to focus more energy on the success of their students.

Regular district and school visits ensure our partner districts’ needs are being heard and addressed. During mid-year and end-of-year reviews, we talk about what is working for these districts and what is not. We establish district expectations and craft solutions to meet those expectations. ESS also schedules meetings on an as-needed basis to address the needs of the district or individual schools as they arise. These ESS team members proactively collect feedback from district administration and school principals, and are always available by phone, email, and meetings with district stakeholders.

By providing dedicated local management personnel, frequent meetings with administration, and accessible lines of communication, ESS provides an accountable partnership to each district we serve. For ESS, being accountable to our partners means we are not only willing to hear feedback, we actively pursue it. Initiatives like our Principal Report Card surveys allow us to analyze our program’s effectiveness in a district and adjust our services accordingly. These surveys are sent to all principals and administrators throughout the school year to gather crucial program feedback and ensure that we are meeting each school’s individual needs. Our programs are flexible enough to allow for course correction if it is needed. Making accountability a top priority is critical to our mission of providing the best service possible.

Whatever a district’s needs may be, ESS sets in place a system that meets those needs and provides experienced personnel ready to work hand-in-hand with district officials. More than 750 successful district partnerships across 29 states prove this level of partnership, collaboration, and accountability and sets us apart from other substitute teacher staffing companies.


Contact ESS to learn more about the kinds of working relationships our district partners enjoy and what a truly collaborative partnership can do for student achievement.