First impressions matter at La Jolla Country Day School (LJCDS), an independent college-preparatory school serving nearly 1,150 students in San Diego County, California. It is the pillar on which the professional admissions team stands to admit students for an academic and well-rounded experience that prepares them for success at the most competitive universities and colleges in the world.
“Implementing [PowerSchool Registration] has fundamentally been a quantum shift in providing better service to our students and their families.”
– Inez Odom, Direction of Admission, La Jolla Country Day School
In 2009, La Jolla Country Day School contracted with PowerSchool to deliver online inquiries, applications, and enrollment/re-enrollment services. PowerSchool was able to customize these processes for La Jolla Country Day School in order to provide maximum ease and convenience for families—thus putting the school’s “best foot forward.” The online inquiry form enables admissions professionals to repond to interested families immediately and provides school staff with efficient methods to follow up.
The inquiry process is the way in which many families make their first approach to a school to let them know that they’re interested. “Prior to [PowerSchool Registration], there wasn’t a cohesive way to bring all of the information together to allow staff to see how many people responded and the way in which they responded,” says Inez Odom, Director of Admission at La Jolla Country Day School. Administrative personnel are now able to ask specific questions in the context of an online inquiry form via PowerSchool Registration and it is serving as a very valuable tool for marketing and projections at La Jolla Country Day School.
Online applications are, in today’s digital environment, a “must have” for independent schools rather than a “nice to have.” The development of the school’s online application was a collaborative effort between the admissions department at La Jolla Country Day School and PowerSchool. With seamless integration between the data from online applications and the student information system, administrators are now able to spend more time interacting with prospective families rather than spending time on manual data entry and related clerical tasks. La Jolla Country Day School uses PowerSchool Registration’s “Admissions Tracker Checklist” which allows families to login and see which application materials were received by the school’s admissions office and what items are missing. This is another great time saver for the admissions department.
For enrollment and re-enrollment, staff would previously mail out packets through the U.S. mail. The follow-up process consisted of sending out numerous reminders and emails. “Managing a paper process with a large number of paper forms entailed back and forth procedures that were laborious. With [PowerSchool Registration], we’re able to see if a family has received their packet, opened it, and started it. Alerts are also triggered to our staff if families need extra help. The ability to work with [PowerSchool Registration] allows us to be assured that families have what they need,” says Odom.
“[PowerSchool] built a number of successful solutions for our school,” adds Odom. “In 2013, we decided to use our database provider for online contracts but they were not able to provide us with a customized response that met the needs of both our professional staff and also a response that would interface well with our families.” La Jolla Country Day School quickly came to PowerSchool and added the online contract process to the services delivered to La Jolla Country Day School. The PowerSchool Registration team was promptly able to provide La Jolla Country Day School’s online contract process with all of the features and customizations that the school required.
The administrative personnel at La Jolla Country Day School are reaping many benefits from their customized solutions, but one stands out in particular. “Implementing [PowerSchool Registration] has fundamentally been a quantum shift in providing better service to our students and their families,” says Odom.
Developing custom-built solutions is an interactive process between school administrators and PowerSchool Registration specialists. The implementation team works diligently with staff to build a unique solution tailored specifically to a school’s business process. This method is backed by PowerSchool solution specialists who collaborate with administrative personnel to provide staff with ongoing support.
“The support, flexibility, and professionalism from the [PowerSchool Registration] team are extraordinary,” says Odom. “They are as responsive as if they’re in an office right down the hall. When we have a change, it’s met with a nimble willingness on the part of [PowerSchool] to just ‘get it done’ and to get it done appropriately and where we walk away feeling satisfied.”
Responsiveness is a key element for La Jolla Country Day School when partnering with a provider. “We always want our families to know that we’re responding to them, thinking about their best interests and how to make their lives easier while improving the experience for students,” says Odom. “In the same way that we’re always there for our parents and students, we feel that [PowerSchool] is always there for us.”
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