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Limestone District School Board in Ontario, Canada, offers their students an education that is enriched with diverse program choices. Over 800 applications are submitted every year from grade 6 and 7 applicants who apply to a variety of the district’s program offerings. Managing this process was cumbersome until an intuitive solution from PowerSchool increased efficiency, transparency, and communication—improving the application experience for staff and families.
“It’s important to have the ability to go back and track the process of an individual student, whether it’s during the application stage or post-registration. PowerSchool Registration provides us with a foolproof method. Everything is documented so that we remain transparent at all times,” said Tanis Fairley, Choices at Seven Registrar at the Limestone District School Board.
A database was previously utilized by Limestone District School Board to collect applications and run the district’s application and registration process. Although the privately developed software was useful, it lacked the infrastructure as well as the family and administrative support required to be an effective system.
The auditability component of PowerSchool’s registration solution is a valuable resource for the staff at Limestone District School Board. Once the customized online application captures student information and choice preferences, emails are sent out and tracked. An audit trail keeps accurate record of the interaction between administrative staff and families. Robust tools allow staff to better monitor applications with more than one program preference selected.
“Our old solution wasn’t current and didn’t match well with other systems and procedures we have in place,” notes Fairley, “Additionally, with PowerSchool Registration, we’re able to flag potential duplicate records, view when applications are submitted, and monitor each applicant’s status. We’re provided with accurate numbers so that we can efficiently run our application and registration process.”
The logic built into the solution for Limestone District School Board includes a flexible prioritization and rules engine to meet their procedures. Sixth grade students have the option to select from five different programs to apply to. After applications are received, the selection process runs in a matter of minutes, and staff can quickly and easily send offers for chosen students to accept and register. If a student declines the Board’s offer of a seat, the intuitive waitlist management tool will prompt administrators that there is an open seat for that respective program.
“I would previously have to look at each program individually to locate students. Now, it shows on a student’s profile which program they were accepted into. PowerSchool Registration has helped facilitate better communication all around which has positively impacted our level of efficiency,” said Fairley.
PowerSchool’s ability to overcome logistical roadblocks proved that experience and responsiveness are key to launching a successful online application solution. “We were in a tight time squeeze and presented the PowerSchool Registration team with a challenge to have us up and running by a specific date and they rose to the occasion. One of the things I appreciate most is the helpful and consultative approach that our solution specialist consistently provides us,” notes Fairley. “I’m used to relying on our own IT department, so I was initially apprehensive about the response time that we would receive. However, the PowerSchool Registration team was always readily available and far exceeded our expectations.”
Families immediately noticed the difference and expressed their happiness to school staff about switching to PowerSchool Registration. “Launching a customized, auditable, and transparent solution has impressed the entire school community. We have a solution that displays a friendly user-interface and is backed by exceptional customer service. We view PowerSchool as a valued partner who has helped us achieve great success,” said Fairley.
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