Caroline Staff Recognized for Investing in Innovative Alternatives

(PDF) Feb. 28, 2018 - How to do more with less? That's the question Caroline consistently asks in order to provide services to students and staff. The school system has recently been recognized for seeking out innovative solutions that result in cost savings and improved services to the school system. 

Professional Development - Gale Virtual Reference Library (GRVL) recently published a Success Story featuring Caroline County Public Schools and our commitment to quality professional development resources, provided on a tight budget. 

Caroline's Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Susan McCandless, heard about the eBooks company from another school system. "I remember thinking, imagine how much we could save as a district?" 

As a result, Caroline has cleared their shelves of print titles-which cost between $600-$1000 per title to supply a school staff -and added professional development eBooks. With this resource, the school system only needs to purchase a single copy of each title which results in a great cost savings. In addition, educators then have 24/7 access to its content, creating a personalized learning environment.  

McCandless has also created quick tutorial videos that demonstrate how to find content within the eBook library, and the benefits of searching the platform to further hone in on a particular skill. "We have to embrace other ways of accessing information," says McCandless. 

For more details, please see Success Story: Caroline County Public Schools

Reducing Health Care Costs - In 2016, the Eastern Shore of Maryland Education Consortium (ESMEC) Health Insurance Alliance, comprised of six school systems including Caroline County Public Schools, contracted with the Keenan Pharmacy Purchasing Coalition (KPPC) to provide their employees prescription drug coverage. An independent audit of contract compliance identified a savings of $2.135 million dollars during the first nine months of participation; $447,000 of this is directly attributable to Caroline. 

According to Milton Nagel, Caroline's Assistant Superintendent and ESMEC Health Insurance Alliance Chairman, "It is no longer cost-effective to bid pharmacy services along with medical coverage, which is our fastest growing budget item. Keenan enables cost avoidance by providing new and innovative approaches and programs that keep costs down. They also employ an independent watchdog. Under KPPC, prescription claims are audited independently rather than in-house, which provides additional credibility." 

For more details, please see MABE News Release, KPPC

School Safety and Risk Management -  Caroline is featured in this month's edition of Public School Works, the newsletter for a provider of safety & regulatory compliance programs for schools. By law, public school systems are required to train all district employees on specific safety topics such as bloodborne pathogens, child abuse, and more. 

"Staff training is an important component of school safety and free courses helped us meet training mandates, but we needed more," said Nagel. "We're a small system that doesn't have the in-house resources to manage the many safety processes districts are required to maintain. We wanted to find a provider that could help us manage more than just staff training."

At the start of the 2016-17 school year, Caroline opted out of free online training courses, and began implementing the EmployeeSafe Suite from PublicSchoolWORKS. "I'm a firm believer in 'you get what you pay for', and this is well-worth the investment. It has given us additional comfort knowing we are in full compliance. If we didn't have this program, we probably wouldn't be implementing such a comprehensive safety plan because we're so small."

For more details, please see Public School Works Case Study