We too, use electric kilns in our district. THE BEST (I'm not really
yelling! just emphasizing ;-) option in my opinion is the programmable
digital timer. There are a number of types available and I think it's
worth the $ investment. It did away with me running back to school
during off hours to turn the kiln up if I was firing during those times.
Provides lots of flexibility in firing temperatures and lengths of time.
If you are not familiar with this item, do try to connect with someone
who can demonstrate it for you.
Hope this helps!