Walled Lake Consolidated School District Case Study (Skyward User)

About Walled Lake

Walled Lake Consolidated School District is located 35 miles east of Detroit in Oakland County, Michigan. The district has 14 elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools. Walled Lake has a comprehensive educational program for students of all ages, including early intervention programs and reading recovery programs. The district has long been on the “cutting edge” both instructionally and technologically.

The Problem

The Walled Lake Consolidated School District was using a site-based enrollment process for each individual school. The process was so labor- and paper-intensive that it had become almost unsustainable—an ineffective use of staff resources with an unacceptable level of data inaccuracy. Many forms were completed in triplicate, and parents had to rewrite a child’s vital statistics multiple times. Once completed, registration data was sent on paper via interoffice mail to a number of other school departments, including:

Direct Integration
Registration Gateway is an approved integrated product with Skyward®. Additional integrated modules from SRC Solutions include:

  • Teacher Contracts & Observations
  • HR On-boarding
  • Discipline Reporting
  • Transportation
  • Special Services
  • Basic Skills
  • English as a Second Language
  • Information Technology

Research & Due Diligence

In December of 2009, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools started a review of their current registration process. Walled Lake uses the Skyward® student module to maintain student records, so the district first contacted Skyward® to inquire about additional modules that may be available the enrollment process. Skyward® directed the district to SRC Solutions, whose Registration Gateway product
directly integrates with the Skyward® system. Following due diligence, Walled Lake staff contacted the Wilkes-Barre School District in Pennsylvania, a current Skyward® client already using Registration Gateway for enrollment. Encouraged by Wilkes-Barre School District’s exceptionally positive feedback, Walled Lake staff contacted SRC Solutions for more in-depth analysis. Working with SRC Solutions, Walled Lake staff did an extensive review and testing of Registration Gateway, concluding that the product met or exceeded all of their critical goals:

  • Reduce staff time spent on the enrollment process
  • Increase data accuracy
  • Eliminate redundancy in form completion
  • Reduce costs and free up money in the school budget

Preparation

SRC and Walled Lake worked hand-in-hand to re-engineer every form in the registration process to meet the specific needs of that department—at the same time painting a clear picture of the business rules that would automate the entire process. In addition to Registration Gateway, the SRC team installed a digital signature pad and a scanner for capturing documents such as birth certificates and proofs of residency. The system was also equipped with a digital camera to take pictures of students as well as driver’s license scanner to capture the parent’s state ID, all at the time of registration.

  • Anti-Bullying Training Certification

Automating the Process & Eliminating the Paper

Today parents enter the child’s name and other vital information one time only—using web-based forms instead of paper. Through the Registration Gateway online interface, parents can also review school policies, download affidavits and other necessary documents, and schedule a registration appointment. When the parent arrives for registration, information is verified online and the school registrar adds the district-supplied data. Supporting documents—immunization records, birth records, proof of residency—are digitally scanned and an electronic parent signature is captured. Registration Gateway then populates all remaining system-generated forms, which later becomes the completed registration packet. Once a child’s registration is complete, email notifications are automatically distributed to internal school departments. The electronic documents are stored as PDFs in a separate electronic collection for each child. The data is then automatically uploaded to Skyward® in real time. Any missing documentation is flagged by Registration Gateway for follow-up—either through automated email or phone calls to the parent or district employee. Bar code technology is also used to track and enter new documents as they come in.

Training the Staff

Despite the tremendous number of processes that Registration Gateway manages, training needs for Walled Lake employees were comparatively minimal. SRC spent two hours training the registrars on the software, and another two hours on practice runs enrolling a student with Registration Gateway. SRC then facilitated a “train the trainer” system, using Walled Lake school employees to help with ongoing training as SRC deployed Registration Gateway throughout the school district.

“Thanks to Registration Gateway, we are now able to offer our parents one-stop shopping when it comes to enrolling the kids
in Walled Lake Schools.”

—Manager of Child Accounting for Walled Lake Schools.

The Results

Walled Lake realized an immediate savings of 15 minutes per enrollment—saving staff time and improving parental attitudes toward the registration process. Drop-down menus dramatically reduce the amount of information being keyed, reducing both
time and errors. This data now flows directly to Skyward® without concern for typos, mistakes or missing data. “Parents are now coming fully prepared and ready to register,” said the manager of Child Accounting for Walled Lake Schools. “This makes the registration process quick and easy. Thanks to Registration Gateway, we are now able to offer our parents one-stop shopping when it comes to enrolling the kids in Walled Lake Schools. And we are now fully confident that the data going into our student information system is accurate and correctly formatted for
our state reporting.” The Walled Lake I.T. Department quickly established a close working relationship with SRC Solutions, which enabled implementation and startup to move forward seamlessly. “The two groups maintained a regular dialogue which allowed us to implement and launch with the program well within our desired timeline,” said the manager of Child Accounting.

Walled Lake School District and Registration Gateway

  • Direct Integration with Skyward®
  • Full ROI in less than 6 months
  • Data entry reduced by 80%
  • 90% reduction in errors
  • Multi-lingual capabilities
  • Automated document archiving
  • Streamlined communication between school and parents

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