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Insights and Trends in Student Enrollment

Why K-12 Schools Should Manage Student Enrollment Online

Posted June 7, 2016

Why K-12 Schools Should Manage Student Enrollment Online Blog

Automating the School Enrollment Process – in the Name of Efficiency

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 industries and slowly in others — in an effort to reduce costs and improve productivity. Our K-12 school system is one area of relatively slow growth in this digital revolution, due in large part to the massive number of students and the even larger number of files, forms, and documents that these students need. Most student-related documentation has traditionally been done with paper and pen, meaning that an enormous number of forms and documents need to be tracked and maintained during and after the enrollment process.

The process of school admissions and enrollment — including application, lotteries and assignments, and registration — 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. For all of these reasons, school admissions and enrollment are great candidates 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 manage school enrollment, saving time and money and enabling better planning. By conducting school registration online, 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.

Many charter and choice schools use a lottery and waitlist in their enrollment process, and with a paper-based system, this process is error-prone and high risk. 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 waitlist 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. These data include 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 after 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.

INTERESTED TO LEARN MORE? Contact us or visit our webinars here. Our platform can assist schools with mobile and online enrollment, student registration, managing lotteries, managing waitlists, communications, and more. Enrollment data can be conveniently integrated with your Student Information System. 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.

Application and Lottery
Data and Evaluation
Enrollment Management

What’s paper registration costing you?

What’s paper registration costing you? Printing form after form. Sorting through packet after packet. The costs of paper-based student registration just keep stacking up. With online registration, the hard costs of paper are eliminated. And days of valuable staff time are saved, too. A district or school system creating 5,000 packets annually, for example, could expect to see a $170,750 return on their investment with us in one year. Use this interactive calculator to see how much online registration could save you.
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April 17, 2018
Diversity and Inclusion
Enrollment Management
School Choice

Organization is the New Integration

There’s change stirring in San Antonio, and it has the potential to reorganize the educational system as we know it. See how SAISD Chief Innovation Officer is working to bring equality back to San Antonio schools with a new enrollment policy that is 'diverse by design'.
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March 16, 2018
Diversity and Inclusion
Enrollment Management
Outreach and Engagement

When Enrollment is Declining, How Do We Step Forward?

When enrollment numbers are declining, school districts must find a better way to engage families, provide transparent enrollment options, and market their schools across communities. See how a strategic approach to enrollment management provides a competitive advantage.
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March 14, 2018
Enrollment Management
Outreach and Engagement
School Choice

Empowering Families Through the School Choice Journey

The concept of choice might vary from district to district, but the growth of school options is a reality for families. As a result, more school districts are recognizing the need to empower families to search for, find, and choose a school best fit to their child's needs. Discover how districts nationwide are leveraging technology to elevate the parent experience, increasing parent engagement and promoting equitable access to available school options. 
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February 6, 2018
Application and Lottery
Data and Evaluation
Diversity and Inclusion
Enrollment Management
Outreach and Engagement
School Choice

Oakland USD: Promoting Equity and Access for Families

With school options in Oakland expanding beyond neighborhood and even district schools, the school market has become more complex and competition for schools has intensified. View this blog and download a copy of a presentation given by Charles Wilson, the Executive Director of Enrollment and Portfolio Management at OUSD, during which he shares the steps that they have taken to promote equity and provide better access to high-quality school information for their community through the use of tools and systems for parents and staff.
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December 18, 2017