Photo by Leah Trib Productions.
In 2019, Adelante Schools was co-founded by experienced education professionals Eddie Rangel and Matthew Rooney. The non-profit currently manages the public charter school Emma Donnan Elementary & Middle School with a team of 67 employees — the very first of whom had to be hired during the pandemic.
Under the leadership of its co-founders and chief operating officer Jordan Habayeb, the organization has always operated with a special and paramount mindset: for “all of [their] operations to be incredibly sound, so that teachers, scholars, and families get what they need when they need it.” Meaning, the non-profit needed a tool to help them document everything they were doing and teach their team the best ways to do everything — that’s how they were going to help their teachers and students reach academic success.
Knowing that they had to codify everything, as well as hire and train a completely new team remotely, the leadership at Adelante Schools quickly found that Trainual was the best option to get their organization up and running quickly.
“After vetting a handful of other platforms, Trainual was one, the most easy to use, and two, for a school and non-profit setting, the most affordable.”
<blockquoteauthor>Jordan Habayeb, Chief Operating Officer at Adelante Schools<blockquoteauthor>
A knowledge management software that saves teachers time
“Some of the biggest time sucks are the number of meetings and repetitive things that teachers have to sit through,” shared Jordan. “So, our goal is to maximize their time.”
From his experience as a teacher and principal, Jordan knows just how much time gets spent on meetings. But when that time gets lost sharing information that doesn’t change that much from year to year (like benefits or emergency procedures), it becomes a wasted resource — especially when that time could be better spent working on academics.
So, when Jordan and the team had the chance to return in-person for their second year with the organization, they simply updated Trainual with any incremental changes and had teachers train using the platform — instead of holding unnecessary meetings.
“When you looked at [teachers’] training schedules, you realized that, if they were a returning staff member, almost 40% of [training could be] an updated Trainual that takes 5 minutes to brush up on — instead of sitting through a 45-minute session,” Jordan said. “So, after our first year, once we were able to come back in-person, it totally changed the amount of time we were investing in academics.”
“Starting year two, we were able to transition to [saying] ‘Everything’s on Trainual. Everything’s searchable.’ And it saves a significant amount of time to either let teachers focus on training and development in academics, or to give them time back to just be themselves.”
A training platform that promotes consistent results — and helps organizations expand
Since their founding, Adelante Schools has been part of The New Teacher Project (TNTP) national survey, which measures teacher and leadership satisfaction in schools. And every year, they’ve outpaced the top quartile of the national and Indianapolis averages for satisfaction in their operations — and Trainual has played a part in that.
“It really boils down to this: Staff always know who to go to, and we’ve been able to customize Trainual with Slack so that when people do have a question that has already been answered, they get an automated response that directs them to the Trainual that we have already created for them,” Jordan said.
Meaning, teachers are more satisfied because they have everything they need to know at their fingertips — something that’s helped further by Trainual’s AI-powered search functionality. And their emphasis on business documentation isn’t just for keeping their teachers trained and updated. With desires to expand to new campuses and partnerships with other schools, the Adelante team has always worked under the mindset of “codify to expand.”
“[It’s] core to our model to have really strong operations. So we know that as we learn here, we can take those things and package them up to really make them sustainable and people-centered,” Jordan said. Trainual makes it easy for them to document and update their SOPs and policies — as they perfect their documentation year after year, they’ll be better prepared to expand their operations to new locations.
“With Trainual, we can bring in a human voice and things that match our culture.”
An employee tool that helps retain teachers in periods of high turnover
“It is incredibly hard right now to find and retain high-quality teachers everywhere,” Jordan explained. “So, when we first launched in the midst of the pandemic, we made a strong decision to peel back some of the layers of what it looks like to work in a school.”
In an effort to build a culture where teachers felt valued and supported, Jordan and the Adelante Schools team decided to treat teachers as if they were in a startup. In other words, the organization wanted to provide flexibility to where teachers could work — something you might not find in a more traditional school setting.
“With Trainual, we’ve been able to say, ‘Your contract time is until 4:10 p.m., but kids leave at 2:10 p.m. As long as there’s no in-person meeting, that time is yours,’” Jordan shared. Teachers with Trainual material to review can do that anytime and anywhere — and the time and freedom that has given teachers has helped the organization meet their retention goals year after year.
Plus, having Trainual has helped other academic leaders build frameworks to take care of the low-hanging fruit of their responsibilities — freeing up their time and energy to focus on supporting teachers, something that “really wouldn’t be possible without [Trainual].”
Over the past few years, the leaders at Adelante Schools have worked to build operational frameworks to provide their teachers, students, and families the best environment possible for academic success. And with Trainual, they’ve been able to successfully document the SOPs and policies that run their operations, while training and preparing a staff of teachers who feel supported and cared for. And as the organization refines their documentation for future expansion, Trainual will continue to help organize their documentation and train their employees for continued success.