As an athletic director, your list of demands, responsibilities, and requirements is exhausting. This summer must hire coaches, clear athletes, inform parents, and prepare venues... and those are just a few to-do's on your list.
The time commitment and communication requirements are daunting, but every year you do it. And, education-based athletics will continue to thrive based on the herculean efforts of people like you.
Social media is now ingrained in the fabric of our society. According toPew Research, “95 percent of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45 percent say they are online ‘almost constantly.’ ” Further, theAmerican Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry states that 90 percent of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 have used social media, while 75 percent have at least one active profile. Social media use isn’t confined just to teens either; another report in theJournal of Educational Technology & Society found that 17 percent of kids use social media by the time they turn 9!
Online student registration delivers a number of benefits to school districts of all sizes. Not only does the technology help you simplify the registration process, increase compliance, and unlock additional efficiency gains, but it also reduces your impact on the environment as you use considerably less paper and ink. Beyond that, online student registration platforms can help your district improve school safety and security while reducing errors and saving time.
The benefits of online student registration technology speak for themselves. But not every student registration platform is the same. Picking the wrong platform can expose you to a number of problems—such as frustrated employees, inaccurate data, and more. Let’s take a look at some indications that it might be time to upgrade your student registration management process.
We get it. Reopening plans are tough. There are contingencies upon contingencies. You're faced with requirements, recommendations, and a polarized public.
We're here to help you set the basic foundation for a process every school will either nail or fail this Fall.
They nailed it!
What did 250 school districts do to implement successful health screening plans?
1. They Chose Where and When
Every school is unique. Defining where and when to conduct screenings helps determine the best plan.
Daily Arrival: In-car? Entrances? Homeroom?
Extracurricular Activities: In-car? Upon arrival?
Sports: In-car? Alphabetical lineups? Small groups led by coaches?
Events and Field Trips: Before boarding the bus? Gate/location entry?
2. They Chose the Best Tool
The most successful school leaders choose proven technologies to empower their staffers with mobile technologies to manage student health screenings.
Is it mobile and secure?
Is it easy-to-learn and easy-to-use?
Can it automate notifications to parents or medical staffers?
Can it meet state or local requirements?
Can we generate reports?
3. They Established Standards
Providing standards for even the smallest tasks requires less on-the-spot 'thinking'. It may seem crazy, but standards allow your staffers to focus on the big picture rather than minutia.
What questions will we ask?
Who do we notify if a student is symptomatic?
What are the return-to-learn or return-to-play requirements?
Will a daily clearance be enough or will extracurriculars require a second screening?
How will we break down our student population into small, manageable groups? Great question, here's how:
FinalForms allows you to create groups from any set of students, and then conduct COVID-19 health screenings. In this example, we show how you may create classes within the 2nd grade at the elementary school. If you prefer to screen students prior to entry, you may create groups consisting of students who enter at a certain point at an assigned time.
In this graphic, we show you how you may break down a sport, football specifically, into smaller groups by class or by coach assignment.
We get it. New national, state, and local guidelines land on your desk every day. Plus, you can't forget all those other issues. Coaches, communication, concussions, clearances, and compliance... yeah, they'll all be issues again too.
Before you unlock the gates, be sure that you have the procedures in place to establish evidence-based records providing support for your reopening decisions. Create a plan that includes a centralized database of evidence to help confirm and justify decisions. Because as you know, every decision will be scrutinized and questioned.
Many districts still rely on legacy school management systems they’ve been using for decades, often combination of spreadsheets and software to organize and distribute student data. While these systems might work well enough, they leave much to be desired. Tracking down information can be difficult and time-consuming, the process lends itself to human error with illegible handwriting and data-entry mishaps, and the parent experience suffers as families have to fill out the same information over and over again, among other things.
The good news is that—in the age of disruption—new digital school management systems have emerged that largely solve all of these problems.
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.
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.
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.