Communication

Warwick Valley Central School District:
A Fully Integrated Communication Solution

Case Study
Case study with a photo of a graduating student and graph with decreased time spent on administrative tasks.

Warwick Valley Central School District is saving staff hours, engaging families, and increasing its intake with a fully automated and integrated registration process.

Located approximately 90 minutes northwest of New York City, Warwick Valley Central School District (WVCSD) serves more than 3,500 students from grades K-12 across five separate buildings. 

WVCSD maintains a strong focus on “providing students with the necessary skills to thrive in the 21st century.” The same is true for its operations: The WVCSD team is continually looking for new ways to modernize and improve the way the district operates and has always believed strongly in interoperability. During the pandemic, Warwick Valley saw a need to automate the registration process for its families, a game changer that continues to optimize operations to this day.

“All Familys of our incoming kindergartners are using [SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows]. Feedback from Familys has been fantastic.”

Digitizing and Automating the Entire Registration Journey

Before the pandemic, WVCSD worked with Illuminate Education and its student information system, eSchoolData (eSD), to manage its student registration process. Many aspects of WVCSD’s kindergarten registration process still relied on face-to-face steps, manual intervention, and paper-based forms.

This outdated system required cumbersome steps, such as staff calling families with further instructions after they submitted the initial registration form, then manually sending follow-up emails with required forms. Families then needed to print and complete those documents, and either mail them back to the school or submit in person. 

In addition, families needed to make appointments with the district office to provide and verify certain legal documents. Managing and tracking this system, through hundreds of email threads and face-to-face enquiries, was an overwhelming, difficult, and time consuming task for WVCSD staff.

Frustrated by the ineffective process, WVCSD administrators looked for a solution to reduce the day-to-day administrative workload and enable families to seamlessly go through pre-registration, submission, acceptance, and onboarding in one integrated digital workflow. WVCSD staff members identified SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows as the perfect partner for this project.

Interoperable, Flexible, and Intuitive

There were several important functional considerations when assessing technology options to transform WVCSD’s kindergarten registration process. District administrators needed to have confidence its new solution would quickly become fully operational and be embraced by users with minimal training.

An Integrated, Interoperable Approach with One Digital Workflow

The SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows platform’s integration with eSchoolData was one of the major technical capabilities that made the project viable and valuable. The exchange of data between the two systems facilitated the reliable outcomes and levels of automation WVCSD required. The process now starts in eSD then continues through SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows to distribute and collect all subsequent documents and forms in one digital workflow. 

Ease-of-Use to Facilitate Fast Adoption

WVCSD needed to implement an automated solution for kindergarten registration in an extremely short amount of time, requiring a solution that was quick to deploy and easy for families and staff to use straight out-of-the-box. SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows was able to help meet these two criteria, resulting in rapid adoption and none of the anxiety staff and families normally have about using new software.

Another aspect that allowed WVCSD to get up and running quickly was customizability. Standard school, district, and DOE forms are all pre-built within the SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows platform, and administrators can easily tailor additional forms and approval workflows within the system to meet the district’s existing processes and specific needs.

In addition to enabling seamless data flow between SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows and WVCSD’s student information system, flexibility, attention to feedback, and a feeling of partnership was important to the district. The SchoolStatus team collaborated closely with WVCSD staff to absorb their real-world experiences and adapt the platform to better meet their specific requirements.

Mobile accessibility and multi-language translations

In terms of features, mobile device compatibility and multi-language translations were chief among WVCSD’s functional needs. The ability to allow incoming families to access and submit all registration and onboarding forms from their device of choice and in their language of choice played a key role in driving strong system uptake and fast response rates. 

Automated Actions

When it comes to automating the flow of information and subsequent actions based on data requested and received from incoming families, WVCSD highlighted SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows Smart Groups as a central tool. 

Smart Groups allow staff to dynamically move prospective students into, or out of, certain groups based on the answers they give to certain eForm questions. This means it’s easy to separate pre-registered and registered students within Warwick’s systems of record, while ensuring the right forms are always delivered to the right people throughout the registration process.

Trigger Actions enable users to build on Smart Group and eForm automations, setting up entire chains of automated actions based on the way recipients do—or don’t—respond to requests for information.

Examples include automatically sending push notifications or text messages, distributing reminders for missing or incomplete information, placing prospective students in new peer groups, or issuing additional eForms.

Once new student applications have been accepted, SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows automatically links all validated form submissions to each newly created student profile, programmatically triggering student onboarding requests upon enrollment.

A Robust, Reliable Registration Process that Evolves in Real Time

By creating a 100% digital, fully automated registration workflow for WVCSD staff and the Familys of incoming kindergarteners, the district was able to:

  • Help drive and manage a larger than-normal kindergarten intake—250 students compared to the usual 215
  • Keep all stakeholders safe by providing a completely contactless student registration experience
  • Facilitate better, faster response rates from prospective families
  • Save hundreds of staff hours by reducing the amount of time spent on each registration application, which can now be repurposed to more value-generating district initiatives 
  • Provide superior data-based insights as well as overall process dependability and repeatability

A New Normal

By automating processes, integrating with existing systems, and securing early family and educator adoption, the Warwick Valley Central School District saved hundreds of staff hours while encouraging greater family engagement. The WVCSD plans to automate more operational processes with SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows.

WVCSD administrators see the openness and malleability of the SchoolStatus Forms & Workflows platform as key to future growth, allowing staff and Familys to come together to create and optimize digital tools and resources that serve to make everyone’s life easier.

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