Furnace Woods Elementary
Location: New York | Provider: Parent Teacher Association | Solution: Enrichment Classes
Weeks of Clubs for 3 Semesters
The Furnace Woods Elementary School PTA works diligently to strengthen the backbone of the school through education programs and parental involvement. They push opportunity and are consistent in their efforts to open up new doors for their students in progressive ways.
“FWS PTA is made up of volunteer parents, who help ensure the wellbeing of all the children in the school through enrichment programs,” PTA chair of afterschool activities Renata Smith says.
One of the PTA’s offerings is an afterschool program that the association designed to provide enriching experiences for FWS students in a familiar environment after the school day ends.
“A variety of clubs are offered in three semesters of 8-10 week programs throughout the year and are taught by talented professionals,” Renata says. “We have carefully chosen programs that will encourage a diversity of interests, challenge our children intellectually, and offer new and exciting opportunities to spike their curiosity for knowledge, and teach them new skills while they’re having lots of fun.”
The 15-19 clubs cover all manner of learning opportunities including an aeronautic engineering class where kids build model airplanes and test them, and “Social Sensory Detectives”, in which kids use their senses to identify emotions and solve social mysteries.
Over 200 Students Using Paper Forms
Collecting Payments Was Time Consuming
The afterschool enrichment program at Furnace Woods consists of three semesters of programs, and their enrollment process was an inefficient and outdated paper system in which more than 200 students used “backpack mail” to transport written registration forms to their parents.
Next, collecting payments was difficult to track because the process involved handwritten checks. The students carried the checks and their completed registration forms back to the school so that the PTA could complete enrollment. Renata says the process was time-consuming and hard to keep organized.
Furthermore, class maximums were difficult to enforce when using a paper enrollment system. For example, each afterschool club had a limit to the number of students who could enroll, in order to keep class sizes manageable. With paper registration, it was nearly impossible to enroll students on a first-come, first-served basis.
We at SimplyAfterschool knew we were a perfect match for the FWS PTA’s needs because we had just the right tools to implement an updated system that complemented FWS’s innovative afterschool program.
First, paper registration is a difficult operation to manage, but we provided a system for enrollment that is a fully web-based paperless registration. Not only is it user-friendly, but it requires no head counts or manual data entry. Our software creates a no-hassle roster, where program administrators can view fully, up-to-date class attendees with one click.
Next, we helped FWS PTA update their system for collecting registration fees. Our real-time transaction tracker monitors all payments 24/7, so that the PTA can instantly see who signed up for each class, and issue refunds if needed.
Finally, the PTA’s class maximums are now easy to manage because our software uses an automated waitlist when a club reaches its capacity. In real-time, administrators can see who is enrolled and who is on the waitlist.
Renata says that SimpyAfterschool’s solutions are a tremendous time saver that makes the process for program enrollment and payment easier for parents. Large enrollment numbers followed the implementation of the software.
Parents say they love the new process, according to Renata, and administrators enjoy the fact that there are no monthly or yearly subscriptions to use the SimpyAfterschool technology.
Renata also finds it easy now to create new clubs, email parents, monitor transactions and give refunds. In addition, she says the customer service is great.
Before the SimplyAfterschool’s solutions were used by the PTA, Renata spent hours sending out registration forms, gathering the enrollee’s information and payments, and manually creating rosters. Now, with a few clicks, she can complete the process, so that she can focus more of her time on the students and parents of FWS.