St. Raphael Catholic School is a Pre-K-Grade 8 school with an enrollment of 160 students in the suburban Minneapolis community of Crystal, Minnesota. Carrie Nelle, St. Raphael’s Student Information Coordinator, handles responsibility for all communication between families and the school.
St. Raphael’s Catholic School nurtures the development of each child through faithful Catholic Education that stresses the love of Jesus Christ.St. Raphael’s Catholic School responds to the call of the Church to provide a Catholic education through teaching our children that they are made in the image of God and have been created to love and be loved matched with a thorough curriculum that seeks to instill Christian values, cultivates spiritual formation, and develops intellectual and personal excellence.
To learn more about the St. Raphael’s Catholic School, start here: https://srsmn.org/
St. Raphael’s was introduced to TADS in 2015 when TADS purchased and rebranded Cornerstone, St. Raphael’s report card solution. At the time, other school processes, including admissions, enrollment, tuition management, financial aid assessment, and billing, were all executed with paper methods. Soon after Carrie started her position, St. Raphael School was directed to move all school management processes online. It was a daunting yet necessary process in moving forward, and there was some concern that families and staff might not easily adapt to the new methods. “I knew it had to be done, but I was skeptical as to whether it would be a smooth process,” said Carrie. “I had worked with a tuition management company at my previous school, and it was not a good experience.” The school already worked with TADS for report cards, and since TADS also offered the necessary online solutions needed by the school, the decision was made to transition everything to TADS as an all-in-one provider solution.
TADS enables schools to have cloud based solutions for Admissions and Enrollment; Tuition Management and Billing; Financial Aid Assessment; and also offers a Student Management System called Educate. Although schools can implement one or more modules “a la carte,” many schools such as St. Raphael School have discovered what can be gained from adopting the TADS Complete Suite. St. Raphael is in its fourth year of using TADS exclusively, and Carrie’s experience with TADS has been an extremely positive one. “The onboarding process went smoothly, but we were starting from scratch and I had a lot to learn while getting everything up and running. Whenever I had a question, I just picked up the phone.” Carrie developed first name relationships with the people at TADS, who were always ready to answer her questions on the phone, reply to her emails, direct her to webinar tutorials, or simply talk her through the necessary steps until the online methods were routine. Carrie soon came to realize the benefits of an all in one solution. “With TADS, the transfer of information, such as an address or contact information, is automatic from module to module. It’s so easy,” said Carrie. “Everything communicates. It just works together. Whether the topic is billing, projections, budgeting, or communicating with families, the information is all there and it’s seamless. I’m surprised that any school would choose to do it differently.”
“TADS provides everything we need,” says Carrie, “but what really keeps me as a client is their customer support. It’s considerably different than what I had been used to at my previous school. Before TADS, I was used to a company that gave me the go-around, communicated only by e-mail, and sometimes didn’t respond at all. TADS customer service is incredible, and I love that I can actually call on the phone with only one number to call no matter what the question.”
Another feature Carrie appreciates is that in addition to enrollment, tuition, etc., TADS also takes care of after school care billing, a benefit she says saves her several hours each week. Family communication is also improved. “We have a lot of weather announcements in Minnesota,” said Carrie, “and with TADS, all I do is click on the communication icon and send families a text or email based on their preference. After it’s sent, TADS sends me a report back regarding whose information was successfully messaged. No matter the topic, those reports come in handy when a parent says they didn’t receive information from us. We can tell them exactly what time and date the message was received.” Families adapted immediately to the online user experience, and their feedback has been positive. According to Carrie, they much prefer the online experience to shuffling papers, and so does she. “Thank goodness for TADS! From the very first day, I discovered that TADS was not like other companies I had worked with before.”