2018-06-01 02:45:28

EdSmart Case study: Mount Carmel College

By Emma Westwood
Writer | Editor | Content & Digital Strategist

Young school children at Mount Carmel College

Learn how Mount Carmel College uses EdSmart day-to-day and in emergencies.

The Tasmanian college is a Catholic school for girls from Kindergarten to Year 10 founded by the Sisters of Charity, the first group of Women Religious to come to Australia in 1838. They are a power user of EdSmart and, after only six months, were recording 94% of their school forms returned by parents within four hours of sending!

But a recent emergency showed the true value of the EdSmart/Mount Carmel relationship.

Hannah Legge, Mount Carmel College Database Administrator, explains:

"Due to severe weather conditions, power outage and flooding in some buildings at the College, we needed to close for the day. We had to get this message to all of our families and staff urgently."

"We normally access EdSmart through our staff portal, which authenticates against our local authentication severs. But our servers weren't running due to the power outage.

"Thankfully, we were able to access EdSmart because of our Office 365 cloud-based tenancy. Once logged in, we sent our urgent communication to families and staff using EdSmart, which was a huge relief."

How has EdSmart improved school administration?

"Previously, we were sending permission slips out for every activity the students were doing. It was time-consuming for admin staff and the students’ home room and class teachers, who were manually managing it all. Then we had to ensure the permission slips were collected and the parents received all the information. 

"EdSmart has saved us. We have our time back! We can also see that parents have received a communication. Just yesterday, I had a parent call and say they didn’t know about something. I could reply that 'You actually responded to this on x date and you’ve read it'. I love having the confidence of knowing!"

"We've also been able to share our work. It used to be our admin staff doing everything. Now teachers can use EdSmart directly themselves, using school templates."

Mount Carmel 1-254 (Large)

What else are you using EdSmart for?

We are now using it for staff and internal school forms, like professional development, staff social events, transport management, class information - lots of different things!"

Do you have any advice for other EdSmart schools?

"Get your staff onboard from the very beginning and you'll get the most out of the platform. You need to have a clear vision of how and when you want to do things, and the Administration staff need to get their head around the full potential of the system right from the start."

If the magic teacher fairy granted you three wishes, what would they be?

"More time for the teachers to be energetic and learn about new things!"

"Our parents love the immediacy of EdSmart and we now average between 95% and 97% response rate within a week of sending out a notice. The last few stragglers will be because they haven’t updated their email address with the school or they are away on a family holiday. Lost paperwork is almost unheard of now, but if a parent has accidentally deleted a slip it is very simple to resend it." Burnside Primary, South Australia

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