CASDA Consultant Newsletter

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August 2021:

CASDA Consultant Advisory Team

The content of our first meeting focused on three goal areas: Build Capacity; Be Consistent (without constraint); Develop Next Practices (meet emerging needs). To Build Capacity, I shared two areas for consideration, recruiting new consultants and training consultants in areas of high demand such as coaching and school improvement. Consistency referred to developing models/frameworks for conducting CASDA work based on a common theory of practice and utilizing an agreed upon research-base. However, to maintain flexibility by allowing consultants to bring their unique experiences and approaches to the work. Regarding the development of Next Practices, the idea is to determine emerging areas of need and to prepare consultants to lead the work.

 

Under Build Capacity, the Committee discussed topics like recruitment of new consultants.  Additionally, the following ideas were shared: determine CASDA expectations for consultants working in districts; develop a profile of a CASDA Consultant; create an orientation for new consultants; onboarding; focus recruitment on specific core subject areas such as Social Studies, Science, ELA, Math; create a “Help Wanted” ad to be published in other educational publications.

 

For the goal of consistency, the committee shared several thoughts such as:

  • Determine a research-base for each focus area of work and save a space for new research to be added. 

  • Emphasize confidentiality when conducting work. 

  • Share the culture/history of an organization with new consultants as they prepare to begin work in that organization and actively listen to what the organization believes its needs are. 

  • Create models for conducting work - best practices and share with all consultants. 

  • Use CASDA historical data (prior contract) to create common themes across focus areas like the study on Special Education Reviews.

 

The third focus area, Next Practices, elicited a discussion about communication. A key question posed was, “How can CASDA communicate about the support it can provide when district’s don’t see a need themselves?” Suggestions for improving our communication efforts included focusing on personal relationships, increased Executive Director outreach, activating the Executive Committee to be Ambassadors of CASDA, activating the Principal Center Board and 

expanding CASDA affiliations with NYSASCD, SAANYS, ESSA, NYSCOSS.

 

The first CASDA Consultant Advisory Team Meeting was lively and interactive. As you can tell from this summary of the meeting, there is much work to do and many great ideas for accomplishing the tasks we have identified. The Committee’s next meeting will be late in August with a date to be announced. Please feel free to join the Committee when you have time, we would love to hear other perspectives and we welcome your assistance.

July 2021:

Business Insurance - If you choose to become an independent consultant for fiscal year 2021-2022, you may want to consider insurance coverage in the areas described below. Though not required, these insurances may be helpful in safeguarding your business.

  • General Liability - This is insurance that will cover situations where your business may be responsible for an accident that injured someone or their property. 

  • Commercial Auto - If you drive for business reasons there is a chance that you are not covered for numerous business tasks and errands. Just like a personal auto policy, commercial auto covers accidents that happen while you are working. 

  • Errors and Omissions- This type of insurance will cover if you are being accused of making a mistake or being negligent. This is also referred to as E&O or professional liability insurance.

  • Commercial Property- This covers all the equipment, furniture, inventory, and structure of where you do business. 

  • Workers Compensation- Most states require this coverage once you hire your first employee. However, if you are a sole owner or worker it will cover expenses or lost income/revenue due to an accident (not wages, as consultants are not considered employees).

 

How to Establish an LLC - If you choose to become an independent consultant for fiscal year 2021-2022 you may want to consider establishing your own LLC. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Decide on your name (practical for business and branding) 

  • Choose your business entity. If you are a single-member LLC you are taxed as a sole proprietor and you fill taxes on a form schedule C, which is also part of your personal tax return.

  • Designate a registered agent. This identifies and records the person that receives official and legal documents on behalf of the LLC. If you are a sole proprietor this is yourself.

  • Grab a copy of your states LLC article of organization form. This can be found on the NYS Department of State website. New York’s can be found here. 

  • Create an operating agreement if your state requires it. However, I highly advise you create one regardless. 

  • Obtain NY business permits where applicable. 

  • Publish notice of LLC formation and submit certification of publication with the designated fee to the state. In New York by law you are required to publish a notice in 2 approved newspapers in the same county as your business of the LLC. One newspaper must be daily and one newspaper must be weekly. Notices must be published in each paper at least one time per week for 6 consecutive weeks. 

  • Example of text:  (LLC NAME) LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the SSNY on XX/XX/2021. Office: X County. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to the LLC, (Address). Purpose: Any Lawful purpose. 

  • Keep your LLC active by paying necessary NY taxes and comply with federal obligations such as getting an EIN number (when applicable) and consider the following

    • having a business bank account

    • getting a business credit card

    • obtaining business insurance

    • choosing business accounting software

    • paying annual business taxes

  • For more information from NYS, click here. ​