St Catherine's School, located in Toorak, Melbourne, is an independent day and boarding school exclusively for girls. The school places a strong emphasis on co-curricular activities, offering a wide range of options such as Debating, Writers and Art Club, Sports, St Catherine's Aquatic Swimming Club, Outdoor Education, and various Music performance groups.
Challenges Before Implementing Clipboard:
Nick Racina, the Head of Sport at St Catherine's School, highlighted several issues that the school encountered before integrating Clipboard, an extracurricular management platform, into their sports management process. These challenges included:
- Inaccurate Tracking of Students: Previously, coordinating interschool sports activities involved multiple teams traveling to different locations. Keeping track of students' whereabouts became problematic, especially when last minute changes were required due to absentees or adjustments to pairings.
“We didn't have an accurate idea of where students were going. We were taking paper rolls and our method was to take a photo of the paper roll, and send that photo to one of our directors. Then they would be the only person with knowledge of where the students were.”
- Reliance on Paper-Based Rolls: St Catherine's School used a manual paper roll system to record attendance during training sessions and matches. This method was prone to errors, lost or misplaced sheets, and made it difficult to verify compliance with attendance criteria.
“As soon as those paper rolls go missing, I've got no idea of whether they were actually meeting the attendance criteria. That does happen, one sheet of paper across the term can go missing, or it could be inaccurate. Often they come back to me quite messy.”
- Lack of Team Records: The school lacked accurate records of team compositions, making it challenging to monitor player placements and manage team dynamics effectively.
Impact of Clipboard Implementation:
The implementation of Clipboard yielded the following benefits:
- Real-Time Tracking: Clipboard allowed St Catherine’s to have accurate and real-time tracking of student attendance and locations during interschool sports activities. Coaches and staff had access to the platform, eliminating the need for a single teacher to take roll calls.
“Being able to give access to our coaches is fantastic because it doesn't rely on the teacher in charge taking the role. We can divvy that job up and now coaches are able to take the role as well. So in terms of our risk management, having an accurate account of where students are going, and our record keeping, Clipboard has been really helpful.”
- Elimination of Paper Rolls: With Clipboard's digital solution, the reliance on paper based rolls was eliminated entirely. The system's ease of use enabled coaches to take attendance directly on their devices, improving record keeping accuracy and reducing administrative burdens.
“With Clipboard, we're able to really easily have an account of where our students are when they're off at interschool sports. Obviously we've been able to get rid of all the paper rolls - it's all electronic.”
- Efficient Team Management: Clipboard's drag-and-drop teams feature facilitated easy and efficient student roster management across different teams and groups. This streamlined the process of reshuffling teams or making necessary changes, making it seamless and error free.
“We probably never had accurate records of who was playing in what team. With Clipboard, it's so easy to drag and drop students between teams now. So, again, taking all of that away from paper, in terms of our record keeping it's become much better.”
- Automated Reminders: Clipboard's automated reminders ensured that staff did not forget to mark attendance, enhancing accountability and compliance with sports program protocols.
“The great thing with Clipboard is if the staff don't mark the roll, they're getting a buzz on their phone or an email saying, “come on, you haven't taken the role”. So it's rare that they have the chance to forget or not fulfill that duty.”
- Enhanced Communication: The platform centralised communication, allowing the Head of Sport to disseminate schedules and updates effortlessly to coaches and staff. This eliminated the need for manual email communications, saving time and reducing potential miscommunications.
“So previously I would send an email out each week, which has the schedule for all of our coaches. I don't need to do that anymore. I've got lucky to have an admin person in the office for one day a week. So I get her to set up the weekly schedule for all of our teams on Clipboard, the notifications go out to staff, if there needs to be any changes, I can ask my admin assistant to send a notification out to staff via Clipboard. So all of that communication, again, having it in one place, the easy ability to communicate changes to staff has really helped.”
- Risk Management: Clipboard's accurate record keeping greatly assisted in risk management for the sports program. Having precise information about students' whereabouts and their interactions with coaches provided a safer environment for students and staff alike.
“So, having accurate records of which students are going where, which coach is with them, who's done what. Those sorts of things really assist with the management of our programs. In terms of student wellbeing, we know how important risk management is, and that's where Clipboard really helps us as a school, helps the staff, and ultimately helps the students to be safer in being involved in sport.”
- Pandemic Preparedness: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Clipboard's role in accurate attendance records proved crucial in potential contact tracing scenarios. The school was well prepared to track and manage potential exposures among students and staff if required.
“A big part will be having accurate roles of who was at a certain session… We know it's already happening to a few schools where they've got a staff member or a coach or even a student test positive for COVID-19. If that were the case, we would want to have accurate records of all contacts those people were in contact with. So having our attendance on Clipboard, and accurate roles for every session, will certainly assist in that manner. Having that digital, really accurate knowledge of which coaches were where, will assist us as well.”
Results and Benefits
Nick Racina commended the ease of use of the Clipboard platform, emphasising its user-friendly nature. The intuitive interface made it accessible for both tech savvy and less tech savvy users. Additionally, the Clipboard team's support was exemplary, with responsive technical assistance and helpful training sessions that ensured a smooth rollout of the platform.
“I was surprised by how easy to use it is. Like I said earlier, it's that the system is so intuitive. You know, I wouldn't consider myself super tech savvy or anything, but just by playing around, by clicking into different functions, I got a pretty good understanding of how the system works quite quickly. Sometimes when you go into these things, you get a bit bamboozled with the technical side of things, but Clipboard has been really easy to roll out across a relatively large sporting program that we have.”
By adopting Clipboard, St Catherine's School successfully overcame the challenges associated with sports management and enhanced the efficiency and safety of their sports program. The platform's electronic tracking, team management, and communication features significantly improved record keeping accuracy and risk management.
“The Clipboard team has been fantastic. Phoebe, who's our go-to technical person, has been really easy to contact and is always quick to communicate and really happy to assist with any issues we run into. There haven't been too many issues I've faced, but any questions that I've had have been quickly answered. The couple of training sessions that, yourself, Sam, and Phoebe ran with our staff were great and really got us set up for rolling out the use of Clipboard!”