In the ever-evolving landscape of educational technology, Somerville House stands as a beacon of innovation. By adopting Clipboard, a comprehensive Extracurricular Management System (EMS), the school has improved parent experience, reduced double-handling by integrating its systems, and improved child safety.
This case study delves into the experiences of key personnel at Somerville House, Peter Yeates (Director of Technology Services), Will Eager (Director of Co-Curricular of Music), Andrew McCabe (Director of Sport), and Charlie Cox (Sports Admin), following the implementation of Clipboard in their respective departments.
Increasing Student Safety
Acknowledging the potential risks associated with disjointed parent-facing systems, Peter Yeates, the Director of Technology Services, led the implementation of Clipboard to assist with student safety, precise location monitoring, and the streamlined coordination of co-curricular activities.
“Clipboard made a huge difference not only from a technology services perspective but from the sports, music and extracurricular activities that we run. Particularly around the requirements for much more information about where the students are at any point in time in a school, which is legislatively more and more important.”
In addition to significant time savings and process improvements, the primary goal that Clipboard achieves for Somerville is increased student safety.
“All senior staff can clearly identify who is at what session for any activity in real-time. This then reduces the need to call co-ordinaries to chase up coaches who are at their session” says Andrew McCabe.
Charlie Cox further explores how Clipboard has contributed to the increased safety of students in extracurricular activities.
“Once roles are marked, anyone with unexplained absence will get an alert. This is very useful for safety. Fortunately, we have not had to rely on this, but it is important to have in the event that it is needed one day.”
The Integration of TASS, Schoolbox, Digistorm and Clipboard
Prior to implementing Clipboard, Somerville House faced challenges in extracurricular management due to paper-based processes and disjointed systems that didn't communicate effectively. Ensuring the integration of Clipboard (EMS) with Somerville’s existing internal systems of TASS (SIS), Schoolbox (LMS), and the Digistorm App brought significant improvements to the school's operations and was fundamental to ensuring smooth information flow. Peter Yeates, the Director of Technology Services, who led the implementation of Clipboard discusses this.
“We have made some architectural changes in the backend. We've made sure that we've done the correct things in terms of having the information in TASS to then share with other platforms. By making sure that we adhere to communication rules to the way that TASS has those set up so that we can then share them with Clipboard, for example. Then we've made some modifications to our Digistorm edu app, which is integrated tightly with Clipboard and Schoolbox as well, just to keep everybody all nice and tight together. That has meant that we've put some extra buttons on there to make it more user-friendly for our parents. They also get the Clipboard notifications about absentees and other changes as well for extracurricular activities - that's a big thing for us.“
Charlie Cox, Sports Administrator at Somerville House, highlights Clipboard's transformative impact on staff efficiency and communication through these integrations.
“Clipboard has made life much easier for all staff involved. The integration with Digistorm and 'talking' to the school system [TASS] has allowed for better communication channels between staff and parents, as well as increased engagement from coaches.”
Clipboard’s Timesheets and Activity Selection modules
Clipboard’s Timesheets module has emerged as a game-changer, helping to streamline pay for casual staff and saving significant hours each week for Andrew McCabe and Charlie Cox. According to Andrew:
“Clipboard saves hours per week for sports staff not having to manually transfer paper to Excel… Charlie is able to process our timesheets in a much faster time. So in a sense yes it’s saving money as we’re not having staff spend wasted time sitting through timesheets.”
Prior to Clipboard, Somerville were using a manual online form to capture Sport and Co-Curricular signups which caused activities to be over-subscribed and for girls to drop out without warning. Clipboard’s Activity Selection module is now the way that all 1,200+ students sign up for their activities which has been a game-changer for Charlie Cox and the team.
“The Activity Selection module allows us to have up-to-date 'Expressions of interest' for each activity, which saves us time from using generic EOI forms before the signup process even commences. The Activity Selection page also provides communication to parents as we include training, competition, staffing and expectations for the students. Information is available to the parents prior to signing on so they are aware of the expectations of the season.”
Rolling out to the Music Department
Clipboard's impact extends beyond the sports arena, deeply embedding itself in the music department at Somerville House, Will Eager, Director of Co-Curricular of Music dives into the impact of Clipboard.
“Clipboard has simplified the roll marking process, allowing casual staff easier access to the system and incorporating potential for parent communications regarding absences. Automated absence communications, schedule notifications and integration with existing student timetables have been a great benefit.”
Will notes the simplified roll marking process, making it convenient for both regular and casual staff to access the system. Automated absence communications, schedule notifications, and integration with student timetables significantly streamline administrative tasks.
“Time was saved with roll-marking and attendance data analysis. Benefits will increase over time with wider implementation in the program and familiarity.”
Support from Clipboard
Charlie Cox noted the proactive approach to support was evident when Clipboard identified opportunities for an improved setup.
“Clipboard has been fantastic with their support with onboarding and continual improvement. Originally we had set up the system in a less-than-ideal way, and they contacted us with a personalised video showcasing an easier way to manage the system. This was a huge benefit as it allowed for a more streamlined approach.”
From the sports fields to the music halls, Clipboard's impact has been resoundingly positive, resulting in streamlined operations, saved time, and enhanced communication for parents. The experiences and testimonies of key personnel highlight the transformative potential of modern tools in shaping a more efficient and engaging school environment.
As Somerville House School continues to evolve with Clipboard, their experiences serve as testimony for other educational institutions to revolutionise their extracurricular management.
So, why wait? Connect with us to unlock the full potential of your school.
Read our blog about Somerville House's Integrations here.