"Clipboard felt like the icing on the cake for us after we implemented the Digistorm and Schoolbox platforms because Clipboard actually further enhanced how we communicate by bringing co-curricular information to the forefront."
St Aloysius’ College, an all-boys independent school in the heart of Sydney catering to 1,300 students from years 3 to 12, grappled with challenges in effective communication across its community. In response to the need for a more cohesive communication strategy, the school undertook the implementation of three key EdTech solutions: Schoolbox, Digistorm, and Clipboard.
This case study delves into the experiences of key personnel at St Aloysius’ College, Susan Ali, Director of Communications, and Mark Tannock, Principal, following the implementation of Schoolbox and Digistorm in 2019, and Clipboard in 2020.
Addressing Communication Fragmentation: One Source of Truth for All Communications
Susan Ali, the Director of Communications at St Aloysius’ College identified communication fragmentation and the necessity for a unified communication platform following parent feedback. Mark Tannock, the Principal for the past decade, recognised the need for an internal portal to rectify the lack of effective communication.
"We were still handing out paper newsletters on Friday mornings, and so, along with a significant review of communications, we developed a strategic plan to modernise our approach to communicating with our community." - Mark Tannock, Principal.
The communications team collaborated closely with IT to implement and maintain Digistorm and Schoolbox, aligning the platforms with the school's broader strategy of creating a single source of truth for the community. Recognising the changes in modern technology requiring an app that families could utilise as their primary way of receiving communications from the school, the school aligned their communication portal, Schoolbox, with EdTech app Digistorm.
"Within a very short timeframe of six months, we were able to build both and implement them, and it's really transformed the way we communicate at the college." - Susan Ali, Director of Communications.
Tying in Co-curricular Communication at the School
Building on the success of Schoolbox and Digistorm, the IT and Co-curricular teams implemented Clipboard in 2020 to streamline co-curricular activity information. The integration with Schoolbox and Digistorm commenced in 2021, providing parents with an even better enhanced communication experience, having access to their son’s co-curricular information.
"Clipboard felt like the icing on the cake for us after we implemented the Digistorm and Schoolbox platforms because Clipboard actually further enhanced how we communicate by bringing co-curricular information to the forefront." - Susan Ali, Director of Communications
Principal Mark Tannock emphasised the importance of co-curricular activities and noted how Clipboard, along with the other applications, complemented the school's comprehensive sport, drama, music, debating cadets, public speaking, and other co-curricular programs.
“Like many schools, we believe in a holistic education that is not just an education in the classroom, but outside of it as well. And our co-curricular programs provide for that.” Mark Tannock, Principal.
Parent and Student Experience
The integration of Schoolbox, Digistorm, and Clipboard has transformed communication at St Aloysius’ College. Students and parents now interact with the system daily, receiving personalised push notifications.
“Prior to implementing Clipboard, sports personnel were often found on the sidelines updating spreadsheets with information. Now, all this is seamlessly done through one platform, fundamentally changing how internal staff communicate information and the speed at which it happens. We weren't expecting students to love the app and the system as much as they do. It's been quite remarkable; students really use the platform.” - Susan Ali, Director of Communications
These EdTech solutions have efficiently brought co-curricular information to the forefront, streamlining and enhancing the communication of activities such as music lessons and drama productions. Principal Tannock highlighted the school app's enormous benefits in achieving strategic goals, providing a reliable source of truth for families, and the surprising level of engagement from students.
“In implementing the communication strategy, our focus was primarily on parents and staff. While we had considered our students— the 1,300 boys attending this school—we were pleasantly surprised by the level of engagement from the boys once we launched our platform.” Mark Tannock, Principal
Recommendations to other schools
Susan Ali, Director of Communications, stressed the importance of understanding the products and collaborating closely with EdTech providers.
"To schools considering Clipboard, you'll see the difference when you start building internal processes. Experience cost savings, increased productivity, and streamlined work—efficiencies that make Clipboard highly recommended."
Principal Tannock emphasised the need for a well-thought-out plan and distributing ownership across the school to foster a culture of communication.
"I'd tell other schools who are considering this type of approach that you need a plan, and you need to distribute ownership across a school so that you're not just creating a system, but you're creating a culture of communication."
The integration of Schoolbox, Digistorm, and Clipboard at St Aloysius’ College has resulted in a transformative communication strategy. The collaboration between the communications team, IT, and the entire College has led to increased efficiency, streamlined processes, and improved engagement from both parents and students. The success of the initiative underscores the importance of a well-considered communication plan within educational institutions.
From the sports side of things, I find it handy to have everything all in one place. And when you're on the move, just to have that access from your phone as well. So you get a phone call from someone, and you can make changes on the spot in real-time...It’s also handy for our coaches to have that incident reporting at their fingertips so that it can be done on the spot, not having to come back and fill in paperwork after the fact.
Charmaine Ferguson, Head of Sport, Mount Alvernia College
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