While your staffers may think "forms" when they hear FinalForms, our stats tell us there is an even more popular use for our online registration system: email communication. Staying connected with staff, parents, and students can be an uphill battle. However, in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, email communication is a critical lifeline. Staffers relied on FinalForms' uninterrupted, zero-delay service to send 4.5 million emails last month.
As a superintendent, your job is to create an educational environment that helps students reach their full academic potential. One effective way to do that is by enacting parent engagement strategies that encourage parents to get involved in the educational experience.
But many parents are busy, and there are only so many hours in the day. To make parent engagement more attainable for your district—and create a better learning environment with stronger educational outcomes—use these 12 parent engagement strategies:
- Move to Online Forms
- Use a Platform Like FinalForms
- Institute a Parent Engagement Program
- Host Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Schedule Events and Assemblies for Parents
- Encourage Parents to Participate in Activities
- Offer Parent-Focused Classes
- Ask Parents to Give Feedback and Share Ideas
- Communicate Regularly
- Publish Helpful Content on Social Channels
- Create an Online Community
- Offer Guidance for Failing Students
Superintendents are focused on education and keeping students safe.
Our team is proud to announce that we've completely revamped our new student enrollment features.
Based on first-hand interaction with customers, we've confirmed that managing new student enrollment is one of the most critical, and potentially stressful, jobs in the school district.
While FinalForms streamlines the parent experience, especially for those with many children, there is a lot more work to do for administrators. The central office staff may need to review student information and decide whether to enroll the student, while building staff must ensure specific student information gets to the right reports and the right hands at the right time. Collecting the right information, determining enrollment statuses, and pleasing time-crunched parents can really create nightmares for your most valuable staffers. Don't worry, we're here to help!
The "Why" Behind the Update...
We listened to your feedback and guidance. Thanks to your insight, we added features and options that truly help your administration save time and eliminate hundreds of headaches and phone calls.
For your staff:
- Approve enrollments before they are included in your student database
- Customize enrollment statuses such as JVS, N, R, O, etc.
- Review RCards with critical enrollment information such as IEPs, District of Residence, and more
- Track enrollment history throughout a student's time at your district
- View enrollment statuses to be relative to specific school years
- Configure school choice options
- Start services immediately for students requiring attention at kindergarten screening
For your parents:
- Reduced workload first-time applicant parents
- Upload required documentation
Intro to Enrollment Records
Many administrators use our academic, athletic, and medical screens to use lists, statuses, and email options. Now, we've added an additional 'enrollment' screen allowing your registrars to view lists, review forms, email parents, and enroll students. Beyond that, administrators may modify enrollment statuses when it's necessary to withdraw, transfer, or archive a student.
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Many districts have the same problems with school registration—even though it’s one of the most critical processes for every school. Getting students to fill out forms is only half the battle. Even if everyone fills their forms out quickly, you often have to manually enter them into a student information system. This isn’t exactly the most efficient and exciting process. Plus, it lends itself to human error.
Partnering with the right online school forms provider can transform your district, bringing more efficiency to your processes while making it easier to achieve 100 percent form compliance and reduce liabilities.
Traditionally, the student enrollment process has frustrated parents—particularly if they have several kids.
Parents must fill out a seemingly never-ending pile of forms and jump through hoops just to enroll their kids in school, ensure they’re eligible to play sports, and give them permission to leave school grounds on field trips, among other things.
Some of these forms are time-sensitive which presents another challenge. Fingers crossed that the parent knows that the relevant form is required and turns it in on time, otherwise their child might not be eligible to participate in a certain program or—even worse for the district—the child goes on a school trip and the parents have no idea where their child is.
Activities that require payments can be especially tricky. Parents often have to trust their kids to keep track of paper checks and hand them in to the appropriate school administrator, which can be a tall order.
You’ve decided to invest in athletic director software, but you know you can’t just buy any old solution and expect incredible results. As with anything else, you need to do your due diligence and research your options in order to pinpoint a vendor that meets your criteria and needs most effectively.
As you begin your search for the best athletic director software, here are seven questions you should ask to narrow down your options.
FinalForms is proud to offer the new version of the pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE) 2020-21 to our Ohio and Indiana customers.
Is your state athletic association updating PPE requirements? Contact us and we'll help you achieve 100% compliance.
In our smartphone-powered world, many schools are still relying on an abundance of paper forms to manage their operations. Paper forms may get the job done, but they create inefficiencies, aren’t convenient, and can get misplaced, lost, or stolen.
Online school forms are the better way forward. Not only do they meet parent, student, and staff expectations, but they also deliver a tremendous number of benefits.
Need some more convincing? Let’s take a look at seven reasons to move from paper to online school forms today.
Athletic directors know full well how tricky it can be to get the signatures needed from students, parents, physicians, and staff on high school athletic physical forms.
When you rely on paper forms only, additional challenges arise, such as illegible handwriting, misplaced files, and a time-exhaustive data-entry process to transfer the information over to your student information system.
Students can’t participate in sports activities until their physical forms are turned in. To improve the student-athlete experience and ensure that all students who want to play sports are eligible, districts need to do everything they can to optimize the form distribution and collection processes.
With that in mind, here are some tips to enhance those processes and, as a result, ensure a higher percentage of students are eligible for sports when the season begins:
If you’re like many athletic directors, you probably spend more time every day than you’d like managing endless paperwork, tracking down students, and parents to get signatures, and reconciling incomplete or incorrect data.
Investing in a modern student-athlete management system can address many of these frustrating daily struggles. In fact, with the right technology, you can also make it easier to keep parents informed, while increasing the likelihood that athletes meet eligibility requirements and are healthy enough to play—not to mention reducing medical, legal, PR, and insurance risks for your school and district.
Here’s how a student-athlete management system does all those things:
What Is the National Athletic Directors Conference?
The NADC is America’s premier annual conference for interscholastic sports administrators. This year, more than 2,000 ADs are expected to attend the event on Dec. 13–17, 2019, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.
What is your definition of registration? Is it tossing papers in a stack? Or, is it a process including collection, verification, and distribution? Historically, “registration” has been associated with completion of paperwork or online forms. But registration has evolved. Athletic Administrators must collect accurate information using a single system for parents, students, and staff; then ensure data rests in the right hands before a deadline or, worse, an emergency.
Do these changing demands require re-thinking registration?
We often receive the following question from district administrators, assistants, and secretaries:
"Do you have any suggestions to drive parent and student action based on your experience with so many districts?"
Excellent question! We understand the dilemma. School districts and athletic departments need specific information to ensure compliance with district policies. Even more important, this information may be used to ensure student safety throughout the day, on trips, and in extracurricular activities. The problem is: Parents are busy and might not realize just how easy it is to complete online forms.
We’re here to help!
We believe there are 3 steps to 100% form completion:
The FinalForms Scholarship, awarded by WSSAAA, provides financial assistance to first-year athletic administrators for the WSSAAA Annual Conference. FinalForms puts forth funds to allow WSSAAA to select 5 athletic administrators attend the conference or participate in NIAAA leadership training courses.
“We consider it an honor to provide the scholarship. FinalForms’ core values revolve around improving education-based athletics,” states Steve Frucci, “By helping these ADs gain education and exposure to best practices, we’re helping to raise the bar.”
“As a first-year Athletic Director, I have been seeking different opportunities to gain Professional Development experiences. The WSSAAA Conference is just one great way for me to learn and make important contacts and connections,” says last year’s recipient Kristin DiJosie of Lakewood High School, “As a result of earning this scholarship, I was able to enroll in a leadership course that counts for credit toward my Certified Athletic Administrator credentials.”
The Quisenberry Service Award, awarded by the Ohio Senate, recognizes special contributions, leadership and service to interscholastic athletics in Ohio as well as the local and state level. It is presented to an individual from outside the profession of athletic administration who has made powerful improvements and offered quality service to interscholastic athletes.
“It’s truly fulfilling to receive the honor. The recognition of FinalForms’ impact on education-based athletics is an unprecedented distinction for our team, product and service,” claims Burnett, “Our commitment to school district compliance and student safety, as well as the integrity of our staff supports our offering, which drives industry standards in education technology.”
Burnett has led the explosive growth of FinalForms while setting new industry standards, annually doubling revenues, and maintaining a flawless client retention record. Today he's fulfilling his vision of building a team, designing a product, and providing a service that dramatically improves both education and athletics.
“You have striven to better the world around you, and your intuitiveness and integrity has earned you the esteem of all who know you. We are certain that you will continue to put forth the same unwavering commitment to excellence for which you have become known, and your accomplishments will encourage your fellow citizens to join together and enact improvement not only for our state’s prosperity but also for the advancement of tomorrow’s leaders,” wrote Senator Larry Obhof, President of the Ohio Senate.
Burnett accepted the award at the Northeast Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administration Association awards banquet in April.
Photo: Left: Clay Burnett; Right: Kevin Leigh, Athletic Director, Padua Franciscan High School.
The FinalForms–ProgressBook certification and integration processes are 100% complete meaning school districts throughout Ohio can now integrate two of their most crucial applications: FinalForms and ProgressBook. The integration connects FinalForms’ premier data collection, verification, and distribution system with Software Answers’ robust ProgressBook Student Information System (SIS).
We love questions. A curious prospect often turns into a content customer. Whether you’re shaking hands at a conference or sitting for a complete product demonstration, your time with each potential service provider is limited. The best way to maximize these meetings is to be prepared.
“One of the most important things Athletic Directors can do is join and participate in their State and National Associations,” claims Bruce Brown, OIAAA Executive Director. “The Annual Conference provides ADs with the opportunity to gain perspective on leadership in the evolving landscape of education-based athletics.”
Here are just a few of the many workshop offerings:
- Mentoring Coaches for Their Personal Growth
- Increasing Student Participation and Retention
- Why Encourage Multi-Sport Participation?
… and a few key courses for every Athletic Director:
When Cross Country Coach Clay Burnett, now CEO, signed the first 12 schools in 2012, he wasn’t thinking exponential growth; he was attempting to solve simple problems.
Now the FinalForms team, comprised of 20+, serves 1,200+ schools in 16 states. FinalForms solves an extraordinary number of problems by understanding needs and deploying data management solutions. Features include automated options to manage parent communication, coach certification, and athlete eligibility as well as specialized solutions for attendance, inventory, and urgent mental health notifications.
“The core vision of FinalForms remains helping our schools collect, verify, and distribute data to guarantee compliance and increase safety,” states Burnett. “We keep things simple and solve the problems that plague every athletic department.”
FinalForms is actively expanding the team by adding ambassadors and salespeople in strategic markets. “It’s all about the people,” claims Burnett. “From a coach’s perspective, we’re assembling a dream team.” The ever-expanding team expects to follow a rapid growth trajectory for years to come.
“We’re proud to be first on board in North Carolina. FinalForms delivers a unique set of features and services previously unavailable in our market,” says Jamie Lee, Athletic Director at Cleveland High School in Johnston County, North Carolina.
1,000 schools and 5 new states may be the story right now, but stay tuned… breaking news is the norm for FinalForms.
The FinalForms Team understands what schools need when they ask for new features. While past payment features covered the basic need to process online payments, there was a level of service that remained out-of-reach.
The most recent round of Summer 2018 updates includes 7 major updates that transform FinalForms into a full service online payment system:
- Payment Documentation
- Multi-School Family Caps
- Partial Payment Status for Payment Plans
- External Payment Mode for Checks and Cash
- Late Fees
- Billing for Missing Equipment
- Improved Receipts for Parents
Julie Renner, Director of Operations, validated the Sales Team reports and Client requests for improvements. “In my 23 years as an educator, payment plans were always a headache. I knew FinalForms could help.” Renner coordinated with the Development Team to plot the plan for optimization. The enhancements are scheduled for delivery in July 2018.
Since 2015, Burnett’s tracksters racked up 6 State Championships, 2 Silver Medals, 2 Bronze Medals and 5 additional podium spots. Remarkably, the feats include a 3-peat in the Girls 4x800m and a 1600m State Record: 4:05.62.
Burnett is a cerebral, charismatic force to be reckoned with in any arena of competition. “My focus is maximizing potential when it counts the most,” states Burnett. His aura visibly brightens when peak performance is the topic.
“Clay’s ability to gauge competition, uncover weaknesses and utilize strengths is unique. He creates capable teams and boosts performance to an exaggerated level. He’s an admirable leader,” explains rival Coach Chris Ickes of Kenston High School.
During the same years Burnett earned statewide respect for his track program, he’s elevated FinalForms to the lead of the education technology industry. The FinalForms team of educators and peerless product quickly create enthusiastic advocates out of every day users. Burnett’s track record for business includes 6 consecutive years of triple-digit growth and a nearly perfect client retention report.
“I’m excited about what’s to come. We have revolutionary ideas on the whiteboard that will really open your eyes in the next few years. Stay tuned!” Burnett exclaims as he walks out the office door, back to the track.