Landmark Christian School

Uses Online Admissions & Re-EnrollmentTM to Streamline Processes, Save Time, and Reduce Frustration

Landmark Christian School equips college- bound students to become life-long leaders in their communities and in the world. The school partners with families to pursue and nurture excellence in the spiritual, academic, artistic, physical and social growth of its students. The school offers a comprehensive, rigorous K-12 education within a non-denominational, Christian worldview.

Challenge

In January 2010, Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, Georgia was still using paper registration forms. A team of two staff members would spend over 40 hours — more than a week — compiling registration forms packets and other necessary documents. The school would then spend $350 on printing and $250 on postage to mail these packets to students' parents.

Each year, the school would host a registration day during which parents would wait in long lines at the school to turn in the required registration paperwork for their children. The day would often result in frustrated parents, who felt that there was a better and more efficient way to handle registration and re-enrollment.

Once all the paperwork was in, staff members needed to enter it into the appropriate system and disseminate it to other relevant staff such as teachers, nurses, and other administrators. Entering data for approximately 795 students into the admissions application would take anywhere from three to five weeks. However, the database wouldn't yet be updated with other pertinent data, so any information needed by other departments would take even longer to receive.

The headmaster for Landmark Christian School realized that the process could be simpler, faster, and paperless.

Solution

Landmark Christian decided that the process needed to be transitioned to the web, and they selected Blackbaud's Online Admissions & Re-EnrollmentTM for The Education EdgeTM to do just that. It was an easy decision, but the school did consider other options. In their search, school staff members quickly realized that other solutions would simply provide an online version of a paper form that would still have to be printed out and manually entered. The new solution needed to integrate with the school's current systems, save staff time, and make the process more efficient.

Online Admissions & Re-Enrollment allows applicants to create, save, resume, discard, and submit applications online. Additionally, it utilizes existing information to pre-fill forms for returning students, enabling quick and easy online re-enrollment. Parents simply review the information and make any necessary changes. Parents can also get an automated email response regarding their accounts and applications. These features provided Landmark Christian School with the online process it desired and helped eliminate the endless process of paper pushing.

Online Admissions & Re-EnrollmentTM is the most recent addition to Landmark Christian's arsenal of Blackbaud products. Early on, the school realized that having a single database with one vendor would improve data integrity, streamline processes, and reduce vendor management issues. Because Blackbaud offered a range of solutions to meet the school's various needs, Landmark Christian selected the company as its technology partner. Other solutions the school uses, including The Raiser's Edge® and The Financial EdgeTM, have helped the school consolidate and centralize information, gather better information, and better share information with staff and parents.

Results

Using Online Admissions & Re-Enrollment, Landmark Christian School has saved significant time and money. Right off the bat, it increased parent satisfaction. For parents, the ability to conveniently register students online has been extremely beneficial. One parent proclaimed, "I really enjoyed the online registration process this year! It was comforting to know that the forms with personal, confidential information were delivered to the correct person, and not by the hands of a nervous child on the first day of school!" Because the process is now online, the school has made registration day optional, giving parents the power to choose whether they attend. The school combined its parents' night and registration day and parents have reacted with appreciation.

Norm Dunkin, registrar and database administrator for the school, states that the greatest benefit has been the ability to more effectively collect and disseminate information to staff throughout various departments. For example, Mr. Dunkin can easily gather data on food allergies, pick-up rights, emergency information, bus riders, etc., and merge it into a single document that can be given to teachers, nurses, and other staff that need to know such vital information.

Other key benefits the school has experienced:

  • Registration process has been reduced from 16 days to 6 hours
  • Time required for registration data entry has gone from 3-5 weeks to only 3-4 days, working a few hours a day
  • $600 has been saved annually on postage and printing • Wasted hours and paper have been eliminated, saving 40 hours of time previously spent compiling registration packets
  • Parents can read and sign off on academic and discipline agreements online — no paper copies to sort through or keep filed

"The solution is very flexible and very easy to use," Mr. Dunkin said. "We can collect any data we want. It isn't restricted to data in the database. We can put what information we want in the database and use the other information however we see fit. This makes it much easier for us to meet the needs of our parents and students."

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