Manitou Springs School District 14
Manitou Springs School District 14 is home to 1,400 students, and many of them participate in their district’s Arts14 initiative, an afterschool program that provides students of all ages with a great resource to explore their artistic side.
In collaboration with the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, the Fine Arts Institute at Manitou, and the Manitou Springs Art Academy, the student population in the community plays a substantial role in the vibrant art scene within the community, which lies at the foot of Pikes Peak in central Colorado. Art professionals and a younger generation of aspiring artists team up through an assortment of afterschool classes in music, dance, theater, visual art, film, and design.
The district’s afterschool art program has become a vital part of what the District calls a “small town” educational environment that its administrators, teachers, the community, and students maintain through solid relationships, rigorous curriculum, and an abundance of opportunities.
With more than 100 afterschool art classes available in two, nine-week sessions per year, the district was looking to update their outdated enrollment processes. After a six-month-long investigation into ways to improve their system, the Manitou Springs School District contacted us at SimplyAfterschool because we had the tools the district needed to become more efficient.
For starters, the district had an outdated enrollment system that included a paper registration process, which was costly in time consumption and resources.
In addition, the enrollment process was cumbersome because it involved “hundreds of bits of paper,” according to Sherri Barbarick, the afterschool program assistant coordinator.
“We relied on students to bring the bits of paper home in order to get the information in the parents’ hands,” Sherri says, “and then relied on them to get all the paperwork and money back to us safely.”
Furthermore, the district was worried about using an online registration process because of privacy concerns, and Sherri was unsure whether any system was user-friendly enough for all of the parents to use.
We at SimplyAfterschool knew that we could turn around the district’s outdated processes quickly because we had a suite of tools that matched their needs perfectly
First, paper registration is a difficult operation to manage, and involves multiple forms and manual data entry, so we provided a system for enrollment that is a fully web-based paperless registration, which allows the district to rid itself of unnecessary clutter, and become more efficient and organized.
Next, our automated roster permits the district to view, download, and print updated rosters 24/7. Instead of “100 bits of paper”, SimplyAfterschool provides the district with a convenient and easy-to-use dashboard, so that program administrators can see who has enrolled and who is on the waitlist with just a few clicks.
Finally, parents never have to worry about the privacy of their personal information or the security of their children. SimplyAfterschool is PCI Level 1 compliant, which is the highest security available to ensure the safety of any data collected while processing transactions. In addition, we are COPPA compliant, which protects their student’s online privacy. Parents can sleep well at night, knowing their family’s information is secure and protected.
Since implementing SimplyAfterschool’s technology, the district’s art program has reduced paperwork and copying costs by 75 percent, according to Sherri,
“Our overall costs to our program decreased by 22 percent, largely due to SimplyAfterschool,” Sherri says. “We have reduced the time involved in advertising and receiving registrations tenfold.”
Because SimplyAfterschool’s software can handle unlimited classes, the district was also able to increase the number of courses offered to the students by 75 percent, and the number of enrollees by 98 percent.
In addition, the security issues quickly dissolved.
“The easy access and security of student information on rosters for attendance were invaluable!” Sherri says.
The district also uses the system to email parents and guardians about changes, updates, and cancellations in its art program.
“Our parents are thrilled,” Sherri says. “They realize that the system is more equitable and fair to all registrants. It is also much easier for them to navigate all the offerings in a timely manner.”