Current Industry Trends in Extracurricular Management

May 12, 2023

Why is Extracurricular Important?

When we say “extracurricular”, we mean everything beyond the curriculum - everything outside the classroom, from music to sports, to coding club to debating, to performing arts and well, beyond.

Extracurricular activities (ECAs) set a student up for success. They are an essential part of a student's holistic education. Countless studies link participation in ECAs to improved academic and mental health outcomes. These activities also teach important life lessons and give students access to fantastic opportunities.

What is Clipboard?

Extracurricular activities are often the highlight of a student's school experience, but managing these activities can be a challenge for schools. That's where an extracurricular management system (EMS) like Clipboard comes in. Developed by former coaches who experienced the problems of extracurricular management firsthand, Clipboard is a tool that helps schools manage extracurricular activities and processes in a seamless and efficient way.

We’ve been in the EdTech space for the better part of a decade now, and in recent times have observed a few key trends in the extracurricular management space.

Current Industry Trends

  1. Trend 1: A single place for extracurricular management

Many schools use many different siloed systems and processes, like Google Sheets, Excel, third-party apps, pen and paper, and beyond. This leads to:

  • Poor visibility over data for your ECAs (like student attendance and participation);
  • Data security vulnerabilities (more places means more risk);
  • Inconsistent information (everyone doing things differently);
  • More complexity for your staff and parents (too many systems and logins).

With a single EMS like Clipboard, schools can overcome these challenges and have a centralised place to manage ECAs while still maintaining their "single source of truth", which is usually their Student Information System (SIS).

  1. Trend 2: Improving the student and parent experience

The goalposts of parents’ expectations of your school’s communication are constantly moving. The second trend is the increasing demand for a better student and parent experience.

Poor communication is a very common issue with ECAs, as schedules and information can change frequently. Without a dedicated platform for schools to communicate extracurricular information with their community, schools often end up sending out inaccurate, generic and delayed updates.

With an EMS like Clipboard, schools can very easily communicate with parents, students, and staff about schedules, changes, cancellations, and a whole lot of other important information seamlessly, reducing the workload on administrators and making their school community a lot happier.

  1. Trend 3: Integration with key systems

One system simply can’t do everything effectively, so more and more schools are moving away from the monolithic, single-system architecture, and towards a few specialist systems for key areas, like learning and extracurricular.

As a result, integration between key systems is another important and growing trend. In the past, just syncing data from the SIS was passable. But the bar for integration has rapidly risen. It’s important that your EMS integrates directly into parent portals (e.g. Schoolbox), mobile apps (e.g. Digistorm), incident management systems (e.g. CompliSpace Assurance) and also provides an open API.

In conclusion, extracurricular activities are an essential part of a student’s education and your school’s offering. Having a dedicated system to manage your school’s extracurricular program is becoming more of a necessity than a nice-to-have. By investing in an EMS like Clipboard, your school will not only be addressing these trends but also providing high-quality extracurricular activities that benefit your parents, students, staff and the wider school community.

Ed Colyer
Head of Product

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