Online, on-campus: Using technology to improve student retention
April 24, 2018
Commentary: Student-facing mobile technologies bridge the administrative communications gap and optimize student satisfaction.
The student enrollment platform is in 17 school districts and 250 charter schools in The Golden State.
Corinne Lestch is a staff reporter covering education for EdScoop and its affiliate public sector technology news websites, FedScoop and StateScoop...
Student enrollment platform SchoolMint is expanding its services in California public and charter schools.
Seventeen school districts and 250 charter schools in the Golden State have partnered with SchoolMint, which is based in San Francisco, to use the company’s cloud-based student enrollment and operations software. The company was recently acquired by Hero K12 and BV Investment Partners.
Los Angeles Unified School District, Mountain View Whisman School District and Redwood City Elementary School District are just a few of the California districts that have recently adopted SchoolMint’s platform and software solutions.
Carmen Ghysels, chief human relations officer for Mountain View Whisman, said SchoolMint will enable the district to conduct yearly attendance verification — proof that families live in the districts where their children attend schools. Ghysels said as housing in the state has become more expensive, there is a greater need to make sure that families live in the district where they send their children.
“There is a growing need in our area to have parents verify that they live in our district zones,” Ghysels said in an interview. “Something we’re considering is how we can do it efficiently, appropriately and digitally. That’s something SchoolMint can help us with.”
The district — which is in Santa Clara County and serves about 5,000 students in grades K-8 — will pilot SchoolMint Nov. 1, and then fully implement it during the 2019-20 academic year, Ghysels said. The district so far has been using a paper-based registration process, where parents would schedule in-person appointments to enroll their students.
Ghysels added that she hopes to use the software to streamline student registration as well as the district’s lottery system.
“Because it’s a cloud-based system, it will help us implement new school enrollment priorities, and also provide us with a transparent way to communicate that with our parents in a timely manner,” she said. “We can customize what the software offers us.”
SchoolMint’s services include solutions in teacher workflow management, family outreach and marketing, school application and lottery, student registration, digital forms and school choice, and unified enrollment.
The resources provide multilingual access on mobile and online platforms for parents navigating their children’s enrollment process. SchoolMint is integrated with Aeries and other popular student information systems, so school data does not have to be re-entered every year.
Jinal Jhaveri, founder and CEO of SchoolMint, said the company is well positioned to meet the demands of the expanding market in California.
“California’s large and diverse student population of 6 million-plus, along with tightening budgets and expanding school choice and open enrollment options, are driving the need for a better enrollment process,” said Jhaveri.
“School systems are searching for a simple, efficient, automated enrollment process so that all of their families have the ability to make the most informed choice for their children.”
Charles Wilson, executive director of enrollment and registration management at Oakland Unified School District, which has been using SchoolMint since 2015, said the solutions work for a diverse district.
“SchoolMint has helped us make the student enrollment process more equitable and accessible,” Wilson said. “Using an automated, mobile-friendly, and multilingual system has eliminated the need for parents to wait in line and spend hours enrolling their child. Completing the process online is more efficient and reliable — and less intimidating — for all of our families regardless of their socio-economic status.”