This Tasmanian school is leveraging the EdSmart platform to deepen school partnerships.
Launceston Christian School (LCS) opened in 1976 with 37 students and two teachers, and has grown to a school of nearly 700 students and over 100 staff.
LCS joined our Smart School community in January 2018 under the watchful eye of EdSmart Champion Katrina Barracu. Katrina is the Executive Assistant and Daily Planner at LCS, which means she keeps the school running and firing on all cylinders. She has been instrumental in driving EdSmart success in her school community.
We spoke to Katrina to learn more about her journey and asked for her tips to help other schools in the process of transformation.
Tell us a bit about your history with LCS?
I have worked at Launceston Christian School since 2008, and have worked up from School Secretary to now running the office, as well as being Personal Assistant to the leadership team. The school is a great example of one that prioritises a strong parent partnership and Christian community.
What drew you to EdSmart?
We have always struggled with students returning written permission for excursions and parents saying that they never receive the excursion form from the student. Seventy-five percent of our forms would sit in student’s lockers and not reach home.
Having a system that could allow us to send forms electronically was exciting and, after investigating, EdSmart was the best choice for us to do this, and merge it with SchoolBox.
How have you found the experience of EdSmart onboarding process and support?
I have received great support. If I have any questions, I just send an email knowing that someone will be in touch to assist. Rizad is wonderful.
EdSmart has reduced our admin immensely. We no longer have to print and photocopy and follow up returns for permissions. We can send electronically and then monitor the returns daily. Our overall admin around these processes has reduced by 50 percent.
Being able to see which parents have responded and remind them of this when they call to say they knew nothing of an excursion is great. It has given us greater confidence to act.
What are some unexpected benefits and outcomes of using EdSmart?
The take-up by parents and staff. As admin staff, we knew this system was great but convincing others that change is a good thing is always a bit difficult. Parents, in particular, have been very encouraging and excited about EdSmart and the way we can now communicate in a much more effective way with them.
It’s also helped us running other events, such as our yearly Twilight Fair. Communication is instant and parent involvement has increased.
What advice would you give other EdSmart schools, particularly those who are new to digitisation or automation?
Do it! It will take awhile to work out how things will work best for your school’s needs but the ability to monitor more closely, store records and get quicker response results from parents far outweighs any negatives in change management.
Parents will embrace this system, so roll it out with some parent sessions to help inform of changes and work together. EdSmart has reduced our admin immensely... Communication is instant and parent involvement has increased.
In your view, what's the biggest challenge facing schools today?
Being able to provide fun, engaging and different learning experiences that are not always in the classroom but that meet all legal requirements and are safe.
Effective communication is a key to a strong partnership with parents, something the Launceston Christian School sets as a priority. EdSmart helps greatly to facilitate this.
What excites you most about the way schools are evolving?
The Launceston Christian School sees communication with parents and our school community as a key to a positive and productive future. It’s exciting that new programs are being created to fuel this goal and help us achieve our aims.
We are here to serve each other in a lasting partnership that directly affects families and students. How great is it that technology is being developed that enhances this experience? Well done, EdSmart, for your help in this ever-growing jigsaw!