With budgets under scrutiny more than ever, schools must work hard to minimize costs while still delivering the highest-quality education possible. The digital revolution is moving quickly in some areas and more slowly in others. The school system is one area of relatively slow growth, due in large part to the massive number of students and the even larger number of files, forms and documents that these students need. All of this recording has traditionally been done with paper, meaning that there is an enormous number of forms and documentation that needs to be tracked and maintained during and after the enrollment process.
The process of school admissions — including enrollment, registration and charter school lotteries — is one of the most costly and time-consuming tasks that a school needs to conduct. Also, the admissions process is the first touchpoint a family has with the school they are applying to, and it’s important for schools to make a good first impression. This makes the school system a great candidate for a transition to online management.
Managing the School Admissions Process Online
Poor planning by a school can lead to over- or under-enrolling, which leads to an eventual loss for the district. Last year, the Boston public school district overestimated the number of students who would be enrolling by almost 2,000, opening up dozens of new classrooms that won’t be needed or used. This mistake is projected to cost the district over $10 million, and adds to a number of similar mistakes in the past few years.
An online enrollment and management tool such as SchoolMint provides an efficient way to organize and control school admissions, saving time and money. By conducting school registration online, the the enrollment numbers can be tracked in real time, and compared against trends in numbers from previous years, or nearby schools, ensuring accurate projections of demand.
Benefits of Online Enrollment Management Systems
An online enrollment system can collect all the information into a central hub, making it easy to access and modify. Registration information is instantly added to the database without the need to enter the information into a registry by hand. This dramatically speeds up the registration process, frees up employees to do more useful tasks and increases accuracy by cutting down on the number of data entry errors. Errors that could cause problems faced by the Boston school district — such as false addresses and students who have relocated — can be caught and immediately corrected.
Charter schools use a lottery and waitlist in their enrollment process, and are notorious for making mistakes. This is a huge problem because a single error could mean that a student might not get into the school that would have significantly improved his or her life. An online lottery and wait list management system can solve these problems using clear rules and priorities set to ensure that registration is fair. Comprehensive audits can be performed to check the process and understand the details.
By incorporating several months’ or years’ worth of data, a predictive tool can produce actionable insights that a district can use to plan out its enrollment goals and resource allocation. This data includes reports on the number of applications submitted, inactive applications, and demographic information.
With streamlined and digitized school admissions, parents can become more involved and better understand the registration process. Helping parents understand this perspective will encourage parent-school communications even once the students start attending school, keeping them involved in their children’s education. Parent-School communication is one of the most important benefits of such a system, because the more involved the parents are, the better students perform in school. Schools can quickly and easily send families an email or text message, allowing them to respond immediately. For those hard-to-reach or inactive families, a list can be generated that would allow officials to personally reach out for formal communications, fostering an engaging communication process for all.
So if you are a school and would like to learn more, contact us. Our platform can assist schools with mobile and online enrollment, student registration, managing lotteries, managing wait lists and communications. The inputted information can be conveniently exported to Student Information Systems like PowerSchool and SchoolMaster. In addition, SchoolMint is a powerful communications tool that helps schools and parents stay in touch beyond enrollment, and highlights the relevance and usefulness of using an online registration platform within the school setting.
SchoolMint. Happy Families. Happy Schools.