As private and Catholic schools’ enrollment continues to rise, and as school choice initiatives grow nationwide, it’s important when deciding on a new admissions and enrollment solution to identify the solution and the team that will grow with your school. Picking the right solution can transform your school’s day-to-day processes as well as provide your staff with more time to support families, your school’s ministry, and your students’ educational initiatives.
Another important goal for Catholic schools is eliminating barriers to entry, ensuring every child can access education, and every family is supported throughout the inquiry, admissions, and enrollment process. Families and schools want a seamless, centralized process from their solutions.
Families want a centralized hub to be able to inquire, apply, download, and submit any needed documents for admissions. Families also want to ensure they can access these documents and the portal at the best times that work for them. It’s also important for families to have a secure document management system within the portal so all proprietary information is protected throughout the admissions process.
Our team recently implemented TADS for a large diocese and we’re sharing some of the important questions and results that came through with that implementation. Here are some key items to ensure your solutions provider offers:
- Prior to implementation does your provider understand your overall goals for family, staff, and school usage of the new solution. Are they willing to implement actionable timelines, goals, and progress check-ins with your admin and leadership team?
- Does your provider offer a clear implementation review and talk about how your team will be onboarded for the new solution? Being able to plan and discuss goals that your school has in getting a new system and how the system will impact your school positively is an important component of a provider and school relationship.
- What efficiencies are the new solutions going to solve for you and your team? Will your new system, for instance, ensure your staff has fewer manual clerical tasks?
- Does your provider help you craft a personalized application setup and train you on what they put in place, so your staff can expediently pull reporting, data, enrollment numbers easily?
- Does your solutions provider let you give feedback and provide a way for you to make suggestions for long-term needs or features?
- Does your solutions provider ensure your program integrates with other solutions you are already using? For example, in our most recent diocese project, our team was able to ensure an online QuickBooks integration with the TADS installation.
Implementation behind the scenes can often involve navigating schools successfully through different implementation priorities that must be met. Having a provider that ensures things are moving on time and that any potential integration issues are flagged and solved quickly is the key to a successful installation.
Offering training sessions and information on all the products for families was also a key component of our most recent diocese work. Making sure that families understand how to easily use a new solution and reducing stress are key to keeping families engaged and connected to your school.
Touching on the need for strong communication, a recent diocese superintendent that we worked with noted, “I think that ongoing communication was huge, in both the development stage but also that ongoing early troubleshooting as well.”
Choosing a provider that understands your school’s unique needs and helps you with data gathering, insights, and reporting gives your school advantages in long-term focus planning. Making sure the solution has a simple process for collecting data and ensuring its consistency across a large diocese system is integral to gathering and reporting data insights effectively, expediently, and accurately.
And, as diversity initiatives grow in Catholic schools, the need for multilingual family and staff support grows as well. TADS supports staff, students, and families in both English and Spanish, helping foster engagement and trust with families from diverse backgrounds.
Another key consideration shared with our team from our most recent diocese implementation was regarding the intentionality of ministry and mission and wanting a solution that aligns with this. The diocese superintendent noted during our implementation, “Our foundational intent as well is to say don’t just learn a new tool, remember, every tool is really about the guiding principles to strengthen our ministry, and then we want to show how this tool can help support making that a reality.”
At TADS, our focus is on improving the experiences for families and staff. We are here to power your mission for schools and help continue your growth initiatives.
For more information on how TADS Admission and Enrollment download our Diocese Information sheet here.