School administrative staff faces a number of challenges each day, from chasing down fees and forms to gaining parent approvals. Manual, error-prone processes slow administrative staff down and prevent them from focusing on more meaningful work. There are many ways to ease the workload —it requires having the right plan and resources in place to make it happen. In this article, we share five different ways to help ease the workload of the school’s administration office.

1. Eliminate paperwork with digital forms

Digitizing school forms helps eliminate paperwork and the need to chase down paper forms—not to mention that digital forms are more organized, with less room for error. For example, when a school field trip is coming up, teachers and administrative staff are often tasked with distributing paper permission slips, collecting them once they’re signed by a family member, and then ultimately keeping track of which students still need to turn one in. Digital forms eliminate the need for this entire process.

2. Set up automated approval workflows

Automated approval workflows reduce manual work and remove internal silos that make it hard for a school’s administration office to collaborate and get work done. Sending automated notifications to reviewers supports them in approving activities in a timely fashion, improving efficiency and helping avoid delays caused by slow approvals. For example, field trip forms typically require a disclaimer from a risk-management team.  Getting this disclaimer adds another step and can cause delays.

3. Offer digital options for fee collection

An increasing number of schools are moving to cashless payment systems, investing in technology that allows them to offer mobile payment options for collecting school fees. Mobile-friendly online credit card acceptance eliminates the need for cash collecting and counting, as well as the risks associated with cash handling. Automatic reminders, eliminate the need for administrative staff to chase down payments or track who owes and who are paid in full. In addition to reducing the workload for the school’s administration office, online payments also improve security and ensure compliance with district and accounting policy.

4. Enable parent notifications and messaging

Contacting parents and answering their phone calls and emails can take a significant amount of time—but that can all change with the help of a system for managing parent communications. By enabling parent notifications and alerts, school administrative staff can send automated reminders, announcements, and event notifications to students and their families. This reduces the number of parent calls and emails, helps schools meet OSHA/OH&S standards for emergency notifications, and improves parent-school communication.

5. Utilize a school management solution

A school management solution like ActivityRight allows schools and districts to manage all of their activities in a centralized, mobile-friendly location. ActivityRight helps eliminate manual work and effectively frees the school’s administrative staff up to focus on tasks that can’t be automated. You can also integrate a school management solution with existing data sources such as school information system or general ledger—meaning no more silos and no more tedious, manual processes for reconciling student data between systems.

By following these recommendations, your school’s internal processes will align with parent preferences and modern standards easing the workload of your school’s administration office. Download our free guide, How to Help Your Organization Become a Cashless School, to learn more about aligning with parent preferences, improving efficiency, reducing errors, and easing the workload for administrative staff.

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We regularly share guidance and insights on parent-school communication and fee management.