Technology is saving time, money, and administrators from stressed-out days -- making it a whole lot easier to focus on their families.Golden View Classical Academy opened in the Fall of 2015 as a K-10 charter school in Golden, Colorado with just under 500 students. The school takes a unique approach to education, placing a priority on liberal arts, literature, philosophy, and history. Instead of focusing on test scores, the school’s educators believe student character development is key to preparation for life after high school. For Golden View, character development begins in kindergarten. When the school first opened, they were serving just under 500 students. But now, enrollment is trending up, and with 660 students, they’ve expanded to serve grades 11-12. Overall, Golden View has realized 8% enrollment growth. As a premier choice for public education in the area, the school’s enrollment growth can easily be attributed to the administration and curriculum. But Megan, the Student Affairs Coordinator, believes their streamlined enrollment experience is one factor that has helped their success.
SchoolMint sat down with Megan to chat about the link between online enrollment systems and the school’s success.Megan: To me, success looks like a student who, when he or she moves on to life after school, is moral, thoughtful, decisive, and altogether willing to think through his or her own opinions with friends who long to do the same.
Can you describe the mission and/or background of your school?Megan: Golden View Classical Academy trains the minds and improves the hearts of young people through a classical, content-rich education in the liberal arts and sciences. This includes instruction in the principles of moral character and civic virtue in an orderly and disciplined environment.
What's unique about your student population?Megan: : When we initially opened our doors in 2015, our students came from approximately 120 different schools across the Denver area. We currently have students from over 65 different zip codes. We are a school composed of both commuters and locals, all dedicated to acquiring a classical, content-rich education.
What were some of the enrollment challenges you experienced?Megan: Prior to partnering with SchoolMint, we used other companies and our biggest problem was the lack of customer support we received. We were often left on our own to figure out problems. When mistakes on the part of the company were discovered in mapping, importing, or exporting, it was impossible to get a hold of anyone in a timely manner. Our experience with SchoolMint has been the complete opposite. SchoolMint customer support specialists are knowledgeable, prompt, and dedicated to helping us succeed. They work closely with us, often responding to several emails per day, to answer questions and assist with the process from start to finish. Once we found an organization we knew would be a partner, our attention has turned to ensuring we can provide the very best enrollment and re-enrollment experience of our families. The user-friendly features that SchoolMint offers have helped smooth the many stages of our enrollment process.
Can you share with me what your experience using our Lottery and Application solution has been like? What has been successful and why?Megan: As an administrator, the lottery and application process has been a tremendous success. Our customer support specialist worked directly with us to make sure everything was to our specifications. We also loved that we could build our registration packet directly [inside the product]. The intuitive nature of the SchoolMint software solution made gathering very important information seamless. We also really enjoy the ability to take notes on an individual student application. Having past communications and notes accessible in one place, per student, has helped keep track of and solve any problems that crop up on applications.
The intuitive nature of the SchoolMint software solution made gathering very important information seamless.
What is most important to families in your community enrolling in your school? Are there any barriers you are trying to eliminate with an online enrollment solution?Megan: Our families prefer a process that is accessible, simple, and contains clear communication. SchoolMint’s ability to reach both the tech-expert and the tech-novice has erased many of the troubleshooting problems we have experienced in the past. Automatic email and text message communications ensure that families receive complete and accurate information immediately. We also love that we can push additional communications outside the automated templates. This has been tremendously helpful in keeping parents in the loop on upcoming events and deadlines!
We know you have grown your enrollment by 8%. That’s a significant number in just a couple of years; what do you credit this uptick in enrollment to?Megan: In addition to SchoolMint, we have a good curriculum and students who started younger are staying longer.
Has SchoolMint made your life easier? If so, how?Megan: Again, I cannot say enough things about the customer support. When deciding on a software company, it is easy to overlook the importance of having a helpful and supportive customer team. Knowing that we can go to SchoolMint with any concern and receive a timely, friendly response has been a huge relief. We have seen the added amount of stress and time-consuming work that can come from an unsupportive company. SchoolMint has changed all of that.
How has SchoolMint allowed you to save time and money?Megan: SchoolMint has helped us to save time and money because all elements of our enrollment process run correctly the first time. In the past, we have spent a significant amount of time trying to solve problems that bring our operations to a screeching halt. Between the high-functioning software [solution], and SchoolMint’s impeccable support, we have been able to catch and correct every snag before they cause any problems.
SchoolMint has helped us to save time and money because all elements of our enrollment process run correctly the first time.
Have you achieved your goal of improving the enrollment experience for your families? What feedback are you getting from families today?Megan: Lack of negative feedback is always positive. In general, we have heard far fewer complaints about the process. We have heard positive feedback in the clarity of the forms, the speed of completion, and the follow-up communication (received through the automatic emails and text messages). The text-message feature, in particular, has helped the enrollment and re-enrollment process be more present in families’ minds.
What have you been able to discover with SchoolMint’s data, reports, and dashboards?Megan: The dashboards summarize enrollment and re-enrollment information clearly, and they make finding groups of students quick and simple. It is wonderful to be able to see data at a glance but also have the ability to delve deeper into the numbers. The “Export to CSV” option makes finding and sorting applicant data incredibly efficient.
How can your charter school be an example for others?Megan: By bucking the trend of focusing too heavily on test scores to define what it means to be ready for life after high school. This means, primarily, character development beginning in kindergarten. We also prioritize the liberal arts and American thought, literature, philosophy, and history. Coming soon: how Golden View is sustaining growth With the 2018 fall enrollment season now closed, Golden View is poised to analyse their growth. We’ll be checking in with the school in the future to learn about the impact of their SchoolMint Year 1 online enrollment process, the data garnered, and the insights and outcomes realized, including enrollment growth, population trends, outreach efforts, and resource allocations.