With so many schools and students, the Wellington Catholic School Board was using a ton of paper and printer toner to send forms out to parents. Additionally, their front-office employees were literally working overtime answering hundreds of calls from parents to schedule parent-teacher conferences and to perform data entry for tasks like enrollment processing and permission slips. "It really was so much extra work for our front-office staff," says Dallas Schlitt, Client Services Supervisor for the school board, "and data accuracy was also a problem, with our staff having to decipher penmanship and go back multiple times to ensure accuracy."
"[Ecollect] really ties into so many things in regards to the reduction of costs."
In 2017, after an initial trial period, The Wellington Catholic School Board adopted Ecollect to allow parents to easily input data into PowerSchool and schedule meetings with teachers and to collect forms like permission slips.
The most dramatic change after the school board adopted Ecollect, Schlitt says, was in the amount of time saved by the office staff. "The biggest thing, and I know our administrative staff will agree, is it's much less work. It's less data entry for them." Schlitt uses the example of parent-teacher interviews: "When letters go home to parents about teacher interviews the parents would start calling constantly to book them. Now, the parents go online and they can see their students' teachers’ availability and choose a time that works for the teacher too, instead of the front office staff getting 300 phone calls."
Another benefit Schlitt has found has been in parent engagement. "Using [Ecollect] is inviting parents to be more of the process. By putting the onus on them to enter information, it also showcases the school a bit more, so instead of coming in cold to the school, it makes them part of the process from the get-go," he says. Schlitt also points out that Ecollect has helped with even seemingly small details. "Nothing frustrates a parent more than when a form goes home and a child's name is misspelled, so we're now able to give the parents the responsibility of entering that information directly into PowerSchool, and that's how it will appear everywhere."
Schlitt is also a fan of the accuracy Ecollect brings to the system. "Another huge piece is data accuracy and consistency, " he says. "Because the fields are consistent with the fields in PowerSchool, there's nothing being missed, because we can make [important data] required fields."
When it comes to the impact Ecollect has made on his school board's budget, Schlitt has a long list: "It's a reduction in secretary coverage for data entry, a big reduction in overtime, a huge cutback in paper and toner for printers, and it's even a cutback in having our technicians drive to the schools to fix things like paper jams or replace printers. It really ties into so many things in regards to the reduction of costs."
Schlitt also has praise for the service Ecollect has provided throughout his school board’s transition to and usage of the product. "The working relationship we've had with our customer service manager has been a close and very positive relationship, and the technical support we've received has been great as well. They touch base with us on a regular basis so we know that they care. We think it's going to continue to get better and better for our users and our schools. We're just starting to scratch the surface."
“They touch base with us on a regular basis so we know that they care."
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