skip to main content

HCPSS Saves Over a Quarter-Million Dollars Sharing Resources

Posted: June 5th, 2017

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) has saved an estimated $260,000 in total item purchases through School Swap, an initiative that enables the school system to better utilize existing resources and focus more on the classroom.

School Swap is an internal system that shares materials between HCPSS schools and offices. Employees can post items no longer needed and search for available items, all offered within the school system for free. To date, 1,761 items have found new homes through School Swap, with 95 percent of schools and nearly 100 percent of other buildings participating.

“The school system is focused on equity and ensuring all schools can meet the needs of their students,” said HCPSS Acting Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “Our schools are actively sharing resources and doing the most with what we have, which increases efficiencies, cuts costs and reduces our impact on the environment.”

School Swap, initiated in the 2014–15 school year, supports student achievement by providing appropriate furniture and resources to schools and offices that might not otherwise be able to afford them. Previously, unwanted supplies and equipment were either thrown away or sold to the public, while other schools and offices were using funds to purchase the same items as new.

“School Swap has enhanced the overall operation of our Logistics Center and our school system, with less in the landfill and more in school resources,” said Leslie Gilbert, HCPSS coordinator of continuous improvement.

Additional benefits of School Swap include eliminating costly purchase orders and material handling by the Logistics Center and school personnel, and freeing up storage space in schools and offices. Hosted on an already existing employee intranet site, no additional costs were associated with setting up or maintaining School Swap online.

School Swap’s contributions to HCPSS were recognized last year with a Brice & Shirley Phillips Best Practice Award by the Association of School Business Officials of Maryland and District of Columbia.