It is difficult (but not impossible) to run a quality education program in a poorly maintained facility.  And even if the education program is of high quality, a subpar facility impedes student performance.  And in too many districts, the urgency of the Facility Staff leaves something to be desired.  (Side bar: I worked in two districts, one with horrible facilities support, and one with fantastic facilities support. For those of you who have experienced both, you know first hand the effect of environment on student performance).

The practical problem for principals is how to increase the urgency of Facilities Staff and have them better respond to the needs of your campus.  Here are some ideas to consider.

1. Treat the Facilities Staff as if they are the most important people in the World. This will make you unique. Most educators ignore Facilities Staff.  Would you give your all for someone who doesn’t know you exist?

2. Consider the Facilities Staff as part of your staff.  If you are feeding your staff, include them.  If you do staff shirts, include them. You get the idea.

3. Submitting work orders: A. When you submit a work order, attach a picture. Facilities Staff seems to respond faster when they see the problem. 

B. If there has been no response after one week, resubmit the work order and picture, but CC your supervisor, and the Facilities Director.

C. If there has been no response after two weeks, resubmit the work order and picture, but now CC your supervisor, and the Facilities Director and the Superintendent.

4. And if none of the above works, send the Director (or Assistant Superintendent) of Facilities a bottle of his favorite Scotch every Christmas (this is what I did).

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on!
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: American Association of School Administrators Conference; National Association of Secondary School Principals Conference (Multiple Presentations) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on  and like Lead Your School on Facebook