St Catherine's School is an independent day and boarding school for girls, located in Toorak, Melbourne. All students are encouraged to immerse themselves in co-curricular activities on offer, from Debating, Writers and Art Club to Sport, St Catherine’s Aquatic Swimming Club, Outdoor Education and a wide selection of Music performance groups.
Nick Racina, Head of Sport, spoke about their experience using Clipboard.
What problems did you experience before Clipboard?
“So the main challenge that Clipboard has allowed us to overcome is that, previously, we'd have say six tennis teams go out, for example, and you might have two going to the school up the road, two going to another school, and two playing at home.
And, as happens with interschool sport, it'll get to the time to jump on the bus and you might need to quickly reshuffle your team, and grab a couple of girls and go, "Oh, you need to go over here." Just to change up the pairings as someone hasn't turned up.
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.
One of my roles is to sign students off for colors. So I'd have students come to me, and ask for me to sign them off. Part of that is an attendance check. I make sure that they've been attended training sessions and matches. 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.”
How has Clipboard solved these problems?
“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.
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.
The great thing with Clipboard is if staff they 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.
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.
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.”
“I think the best thing that Clipboard brings...is that it assists with our risk management. 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.
So 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.”
Returning to sport during COVID-19
“A big part will be having accurate roles of who was at a certain session. So, touch wood it doesn't happen to us, but 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.”
Ease of use
“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.”
How have you found the Clipboard team?
“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!”