By Deanna Davis, LCS Communications Coordinator
This past fall the administrative team became whole again welcoming Operations Director Amanda Zagelbaum and Communications Coordinator Deanna Davis. Consequently, the team also began figuring out how to work together toward the mission of Lake Country School. As we began to find a collaborative workflow, our team began exploring, researching, discussing, and discerning the operational & administrative technological needs of the school.
We are thrilled to tell you about this process and its end result.
Based on our own observations and what we have gathered from community feedback, these needs came down to a few key goals:
- Aesthetically impactful website with a clear, concise LCS identity and call to action for prospective families
- Improved communication between LCS and families—a platform that distributes relevant, key information to families and staff which supports a recommendation given to LCS by ISACS
- Easy-to-use, intuitive admissions & enrollment process with one login for families
FIRST, the admin team compiled a list of websites they loved that communicated some key points we think are missing on the LCS website. Here are a few examples:
SECOND, admin researched the companies these institutions use and invited a handful of them to give sales pitches, of which three contenders were decided:
- Blackbaud: An integrated platform built for fundraising, nonprofit financial management, education, CSR, and more—essentially a one-stop shop for all LCS tech needs.
- Veracross: Another integrated platform that specializes in its Student Information System solution (great for admissions & enrollment)—a high priority for LCS.
- Finalsite: Another integrated platform that markets, manages communications, enrollment, and strengthens schools' online presences—multiple high priorities for LCS.
THIRD, we had three in-depth conversations with these three companies to help us discern which company might be the very best solution for Lake Country School. A few noteworthy items that have been brought up by prospective families, current families, faculty, and staff that were communicated during sales pitches were needs for:
- One log-in for all Lake Country School portals including:
- Application process
- Enrollment process
- Billing portal
- Family portal
- An easy, accessible billing process
- Intuitive Broadcasting platform (weekly newsletters, periodic email communications & emergency broadcasting) that circles users back to the LCS website from which the content originates (i.e. all communication can be found in one place)
- A Family Portal that is intuitive, informative, and helps families manage all aspects of the education experience at LCS
- Affordable solutions for LCS that are equal to or less than the total sum of our current tech solutions
- A reasonable learning curve for families, faculty, and staff where user-friendly navigation is key
FOURTH, we weighed the pros and cons of each integrated platform, including which one would have the highest benefit for LCS families. We are very excited to announce that right before Winter Break, we signed with...
We are excited to begin the transition process, set to launch August 1, 2024 with a:
- New website
- New family portal experience
- New weekly communication and emergency broadcasting experience
- New billing process