Onboarding with an Expert

Most of our customers start on QuickSchools on their own with a little help from support from time to time.

But onboarding into a new school management software can be quite intimidating if not at least a little confusing at times. Even the most experienced school admins might find themselves frustrated if the new product do not have the same menus or options that they are used to in previous systems.

I just want to start taking attendance!! Where are my classes? How come my students are not showing up??

For schools which are on the small side and fairly new, starting on QuickSchools could not be any easier. You can add students, teachers and subjects on the fly and using the ready templates available, you’re firing on all cylinders on Minute 3 of your journey. 😉

However, if you are a school with a few hundred students and more and have established many core processes to manage your day-to-day operations, things might need a little bit more organization in order for you to experience QuickSchools more smoothly. We recognize there is a need for a more structured approach to the onboarding process and we want to help!

We have since established a highly collaborative process to onboarding for schools who need it. We work with you to discuss your objectives so that we can prioritize the areas that should come first, second and so on.

We will use a common checklist that contains all the documentation and the timeline that starts from kick off through training and going live. What is great about this approach is the clarity that it brings you and to the team at QuickSchools right from the start. Any questions are dealt with at the beginning and in a very timely fashion so that we are both always 2 steps ahead during the implementation phase.

The line items that we review look a little bit like this:

THE BIG CHECKLIST!!
School logo
Add Teachers/Staff
Will the school need to separate teachers and staff as a category?
Configure Settings
A lot goes on here once you start exploring options.
Enable Features
Always exciting to see the features come to life!
Configure Access
Never granular enough! 😉
Add Students/Parents
Will you be using student id numbers, naming convention, access? The list goes on…
Add Subjects
Have more than one section in a grade? We support that!
Add Enrollment (subject enrollment)
And here’s where it all comes together.
Additional Setup/Customizations
Report Cards
So many to choose from and of course, we customize to you!
Transcripts
Ditto for transcripts.
Scheduling
Easy straightforward scheduling for elementary right through complex master scheduling can be implemented in QuickSchools!
Advanced Config.
More configuration. This one is usually for the most complex of schools. We do have many obscure capabilities that we deliberately hide from the stock account as we think that will just confuse the bulk of users most unnecessarily.
Other (See Notes)
Historical Data/Additonal Imports
This is probably the most costly part of onboarding whereby we assign an engineer to work exclusively on your data sheets and importing those in.
Attendance
How do you like it? Daily? By period or subject? Any other rules. This is when we find out.
Gradebook
The centerpiece in many SIS is the gradebook. Ours have plenty to offer from grading scales edits through fancy formula customizations.
Fee Tracking
Another area that could and maybe should be a standalone software on its own!
Others
Yes, we have a place for the catch-all others. 🙂
Training
Session 1 – Admin
We recommend working with a team of 3-5 people who can then help all other users use QuickSchools more effectively.
Session 2 – Teachers
Here’s when we do a direct training for the rest of the team.
Project Management
Frequent, regular touch base
We work with the person in charge at the school to track the progress of how things are going on a weekly basis. Progress, issues are highlighted at these meetings.

In closing, if you think your school will require a more programmatic approach as you onboard with QuickSchools, let us know and we can craft a plan out for you. Prices start at a super affordable $2,000 for the base case.

Could you help us out?

It’s been a wonderful journey for us at QuickSchools working with educators in over 30 countries, trying to make the lives of teachers and school admins a little easier.

We know we don’t get it right all the time but boy I tell ya, we sure try.

For me personally, to this day, I feel blessed that I get to work with passionate teachers and school leaders doing their best for students and parents. To be honest, most times I feel like I’m the student again and all I’m trying to do is to stay out of trouble until school is out!

Moving on.

In the coming days and weeks, I will be reaching out to you to request your help to give us a (hopefully 5-stars) review so that we can bring QuickSchools into more schools and classrooms. God knows how much all of us at QuickSchools appreciate and value your feedback.

I hope you can spare a few minutes to respond to the campaign and of course, I totally understand if you wish to not participate or just plain swamped with your students.

That said, if you have any feedback about QuickSchools and how we can make your experience a little better, please feel free to reach out to me. I trust you know my email by now.  🙂

And last but certainly not the least, thank you for being our friend.

 

QuickSchools.com website makeover

After some 4 years of the previous version of our website, we thought it was time we gave QuickSchools.com a makeover! Though the previous version was a pretty effective website, we thought that being a SaaS company, we really should be more current in terms of style and design of our one and only “storefront”.

The new website project pretty much came out of the blue. We had commissioned our designer to have a go at coming up with some new designs. The early mock-ups struck a cord with everyone and the rest, as they say, was history. Below are images of our previous website and the 2 initial designs that we considered.

 

After getting feedback from some 40 people, the final design came out as a blend between the 2 versions. We hope you like the new look. Tell us what you think in the comments below – we’d love to hear your views.

Vote Franklin Burns for QuickSchools Teacher of the Year 2012!

Help Franklin Burns win the inaugural QuickSchools Teacher of the Year awardTo all teachers out there, we salute you! QuickSchools.com is a fully-online school management system.


Franklin Burns is a Rockstar Teacher!

Here’s what Cindy, a colleague of Mr Burns at Saint Tower Academy had to say about him. Truly amazing!

Franklin L. Burns is an exceptional teacher and person. He opened up his own school in 2007 to aid the community and those families in need. He did not even take a paycheck the first 12 months because he believed in the cause and saw the vision of the school. He is dubbed the “child whisperer” by his peers because he can take a child that every other person has had difficulty disciplining and educating and make that child thrive in all academia. He holds seminars regarding child behavior and positive discipline in the community. He has undoubtedly the most positive attitude and has done many hours of community service. He deserves Quickschools Teacher of the Year Award.

Mr Burns – you rock!

We then asked Mr Burns a few questions…Read More »

Thank you for your nominations!

We just want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate their favorite teacher(s) for the QuickSchools Teacher of the Year award. The nominations we’ve received were truly heartwarming. We can’t wait to share these with you as soon as we can.

We’re reaching out to the nominees this week to get each candidate’s confirmation of their respective nomination. We’ll be posting their profiles on our blog soon so watch this space!

Share the love!

Did you ever notice the “Share the love!” link near the top right of your screen? If you think you know of a fellow educator who would benefit from using QuickSchools at their school, simply send them a message via the “Share the love!” button and we’ll do the rest.

We hope through your recommendation, they’ll give QuickSchools a try and fall in love with us, or more like with our our sweet attendance or smooth gradebook modules. 🙂

And should everything work out and they subscribe at the end of their trial, your school will get 50% off it’s monthly subscription for 2 straight months. And we think your principal should share those savings with you for a fun activity for your class. But hey, that’s just our opinion… 🙂

With all sincerity, thanks so much for helping spread the word about QuickSchools. We just want to keep on delighting more schools around the world by giving them the best online student information system they’ve ever experienced!

Continuous improvement

It’s the summer season again and we’re revving up efforts to help many of you setup your very own QuickSchools account for the new academic year. Like last summer’s ‘batch’ of schools, many of you seem to have done plenty of research on student management systems or student information systems and we’re absolutely thrilled that you’ve decided to go with us!

There is also a handful who’ll be migrating from your previous school information system provider and we’re gonna do our best to make sure that you will be happy with this decision for months and years to come. 😉

As we take a moment to reflect on the past year, the biggest milestone for us must be our new version which was launched just under a year ago. Our fully online philosophy has been gaining tremendous traction and we’re encouraged further by your kind support and of course invaluable feedback. The entire QuickSchools suite has gone through multiple tweaks and slowly but surely, we’re getting better and better – again thanks to the great feedback and patience form everyone. I think by now, everyone totally appreciates that QuickSchools will always be a constantly evolving student information system that strives to respond effectively to our customers all over the world.

Many if not all of you guys have seen this first hand. Just take our attendance module for example. It was designed to be a simple attendance tracker at first in that we thought you guys just wanted to know if the student was simply present or not.  Alas that was a bit too simple! So it’s gone through a few iterations and you can now take attendance by class, by homeroom, by subject and by period and you can also start taking attendance on behalf of any teacher in the school. It was an absolute pleasure for us to see how the software was adapting to your needs and the best compliment for us is when you started using the new features!

We have recently released the upgraded Mass Parent Messaging feature too. I’m not gonna spill the beans here just rest assured that it is slick and the parents will be impressed… we hope you will be too.

There are also many other improvements, small and big which have been well received by you. That being said, we are fully aware that we have our journey ahead of us. But if the past 12 months is anything to go by, we’re confident that the next 12 months will be even better, smoother and more polished – especially with the unveiling of the Athena plan later this Fall.

It has been such a pleasure working with our partners this last 12 months and we at QuickSchools look forward to another fantastic 12 months!

Team building activities for middle to high school students

There was this one chapter in Tuesdays with Morrie that struck a chord with me. It was mainly this test that was described to measure trust. A simple test where one person stands up on a higher ground, for example on a table, facing away from the crowd and letting oneself fall backwards trusting the friends behind to catch the person before they fall. Letting students experience firsthand the importance of being a team player in such activities makes them personally appreciate the value of trust.

Now we’re not encouraging that you try the same activity, because honestly, it can be a little dangerous, but we did look around for some team building activities or games that you can put into action with your group of middle school students. You can try these whether you’re on a camping trip or even during your next Physical Ed. lesson:

1. The Toxic River – This is a group activity. Get everyone to group up at one side of a space – a hall or a field would be fine. Measure a strip of 5 feet next to your line of students and name it “the toxic river”.

The objective is to get the whole group to cross the river as fast as they can – you can set a time period based on the number of students in the group. The catch is that they are not allowed to cross the river without wearing a pair of magic boots. Each person can only wear the pair of boots once and the boots can’t be tossed over the river once a person has crossed over. If they do step on the toxic river without the magic boots, the whole team must start all over again. Hint : Carrying people over is the key. To avoid the same person having to carry the group, you can set a rule that no single person may cross the river more than 2 times.

2. Human Letters – Divide your students into groups of 4 to 5 people. This is a game of speed. The teacher calls out a letter in the alphabet and each group has to quickly form the required letter. They can do this lying on the ground or even while standing. The group that forms the letter fastest wins the game. This game requires students to quickly communicate which part of the letter they’ll be & therefore promotes clear communication as well as clear leaders in the group.

3. Minefield – This is quite an entertaining game and it’s best played in a big field. Form 2 or more teams and get each team to select a single person who will be blindfolded.  Each team then gets an obstacle course through which they need to navigate their blindfolded team-mate through. The objective for each team is to get their team mate to the finish line without stepping on any of the mines. If the blind folded team mate does bump into or step on one, the team has to start all over again. To make this game safe, it’s best to use soft toys and hoops as ‘mines’.

Have fun!

QuickSchools.com Web Traffic

QuickSchools had it’s soft launch in Albany New York last November at the CAIRS conferenceWe’ll be there again this year, so definitely look us up.

It’s been roughly 11 months since Albany 2008 and I was thinking that it’d be interesting to look at some web traffic statistics of QuickSchools.com

QuickSchools web traffic in the last 11 months
QuickSchools web traffic in the last 11 months

From the Google Analytics graph, we can see that right after Albany, we managed to get some interest from the conference and experienced our first bunch of visitors in November-December 2008.

During this phase, we learned what worked and quite frankly, what didn’t! Thanks to some honest and frank feedback from our customers, we continuously improved our value proposition, from concept to features and our pricing too.

All this culminated in our release on Aug 17th this year. And what a difference that made. We’ve gotten more than 100 sign-ups since Aug 17th compared to a grand total of about 30 schools before that date. The Aug 17th release transformed QuickSchools.com to be FULLY ONLINE. That means schools can go from “being interested” to “go-live” on QuickSchools.com in a matter of minutes and they do this all by themselves.

Of course, we have a long way to go but the vision is clear. For the smaller schools out there who are looking for a good solution to their schools’ administrative needs, QuickSchools.com is for you!