Any school administrator or Headteacher knows the headache involved in scheduling a class timetable for a whole school. It’s an intricate web of ensuring available teachers and appropriate classrooms for subjects. Then there’s covering extracurricular supervision time and allowing enough time for lesson prep and student grading. That doesn’t even cover the additional requirements around admission interviews, parent-teacher conferences and guidance counselling. Taking additional school scheduling online, with the cooperation of all parties, means a more efficient system for everyone.
Then there are the “extras” such as seasonal events, after school activities, and even PTA membership. How can you keep on top of everything?
Online Scheduling in Schools
For the sake of this article, I’ll stick to the use of online scheduling for middle and high school settings. Among other things, pupils at this level will have more interaction with their educational development and the direction it takes. What’s more, at this point you’ll also have more interaction with parents taking an interest (and maybe a guiding hand) in the way their child is progressing.
It’s in middle and high school that consideration for future studies and a career path begin to take form and require some guidance in achieving these goals.
Scheduling Lessons Without Conflict
A class schedule is crucial. Your students need ample access to all subjects. When you create a plan for classes, you need to know that all of your students have access to most, if not all, topics. Once you have a schedule you don’t want anything to mess it up with demands for alteration.
Displaying a class schedule online, so that students and teachers can easily see the information, means that students choosing optional subjects can select the right course dates and times for their chosen subjects. It also gives them a taste of what it’s like to balance their time and routines.
Admission Interviews & Parent Meetings
There are times when only an interview with the Head, Principal, or Administrator will do. Some examples might be academic or sports scholarship students, mid-term transfers, gifted programmes. Alternatively, struggling or disruptive students might warrant an appointment between parents and the school administration team.
Rather than sending a specified time for a meeting, the appropriate staff member can send a link to their booking page, and ask the parent to schedule an appointment that fits them. The slots available on the calendar are set by the teacher or staff member in question as acceptable, it’s merely up to the parent to select an available time slot. It removes the hassle of arranging visits between work and being able to find childcare if the parent books their favoured space.
Scheduling Lunch and Breaktime Supervision
Much as they might be growing into functional human beings, 11-16 yr olds cannot be trusted to self-regulate their behaviour, especially en masse. So It’s always necessary to have staff members around to ensure appropriate action in between classes and at breaktimes.
When your system shows the availability of your teachers, and where they are located – science building, language labs etc. – you can assign break time supervisory coverage more efficiently.
This happens at least once every year. There are always problems scheduling all of the parents at a time that suits them and allows to fit in everyone for their five minutes with appropriate teachers. And you still get those who want to see EVERY teacher, despite only having a maximum of 8 allowed. Lets not even mention the kids that take the letter home and it stays in the bottom of a school bag until the last minute…
By sending out an invitation directly to the parents to schedule an appointment – Let’s be fair everyone with a smartphone has access to email these days – you get the immediate attention of the parents, and you let them know that the facility to arrange their parent-teacher meetings to discuss the academic performance of their children.
The “special day” function allows services to occur on a single day. Using the special day feature parents’ evening will occur, makes it easy to restrict parent-teacher bookings to that date. For specific year groups and classes, arranging a one-time event in the school calendar is no more difficult than arranging any other appointment type.
School is not just about academia. Sports, fitness, debate, strategy, have all long been the subject of extracurricular study that enhances the educational achievement of many who go through them.
You can arrange this in separate categories, assign the appropriate teachers and coaches to each activity. When students sign up for theses clubs and associations, they can receive the updates and reminders for them.
PTA Memberships & Attendance
The PTA, the Governors, depending on your location they all have different names, but perform the same function. People must be members to attend meetings and events that are for the sole use of the PTA.
You can assign membership status within the booking system to the associate member of the governing body of the school or the PTA. With Membership, they can book associated meeting types which non-members cannot. Members of the PTA or School Governors are often busy people, with more than just work and child commitments. On taking school scheduling online, you simplify the process of booking your attendance at a meeting or buying a ticket for a fundraiser.
Seasonal Events – Summer Fayres, and Winter Productions
Every school uses these events to showcase student growth and progress, and also as a fundraising enterprise for the school. Seasonal fayres at Christmas and Summer where people can book a stall to sell things increases school revenue. Alternatively, other events might require prepayment for entry.
When performances such as annual plays from the drama club occur, it’s a way for the school to sell tickets. The ticketing feature within SimplyBook.me is perfect for this purpose. It’s a simple tool and is effective for any event requiring prepayment or authorised access.
Guidance and Career Counselling
Around 13 years old is when students begin taking an interest in the future path of their education. This period is when they will start to need some additional guidance on their educational choices. When Students begin to take more interest in their future careers, they want to have more control over how they manage it. Allowing students to make their career counsellor appointments by themselves is part of that growing process.
Alternatively, if you have a school nurse and/or mental health worker, students in need of help want to make those appointments alone. It’s not unusual for teenagers to feel uncomfortable sharing their problems. If they have to share with several people, merely to make an appointment, they are less likely to ask for help.
With student confidentiality at stake, there are significant data security features inherent in the SimplyBook.me system. Security enhancements like 2-factor authentication, password complexity requirements and SOAP with encryption, all work together to maximise the safety of your student data.
Growing Popularity of School Scheduling Online
Using online scheduling with the student-side booking is becoming increasingly popular in many schools. Reducing the load on staff to arrange and negotiate appropriate times with other teachers, support personnel, parents and students.
The increasing popularity doesn’t just apply to the teachers and administration staff in educational centres. Parents and adolescent students also appreciate the growth potential behind school scheduling online. At a time when teenagers feel particularly out of control, putting the onus on them to make appointments puts some power back in their hands. Being able to make decisions about their future is crucial to helping them become effective adults.
Parents love the ability to book appointments online because they needn’t fight to make an appointment with the principal. It can be something of an obstacle course: Getting past the school secretary; Negotiating time; Confirming appointment. And all of it via phone calls or emails. It’s tough to navigate all of that.
A Single Platform and Effective Integration
School software systems are often either proprietary or determined by a committee at a district or even national level. With that in mind, we have an efficient API. Our API enables communication from the scheduling system to any other system that is required to run a complex school environment.
By reducing the daily scheduling away from the administration of the school, you streamline the process by eliminating pointless tasks. On incorporating additional elements, like guidance, seasonal events, and more, there is a web of connections between systems. On the other hand, some systems never interact and need to be kept separate.
The school environment is intricate and needs a streamlining and simplifying system to reduce conflict. At the same time, improving ease and encouraging parents and student interaction. What’s more, it enables teachers more time to teach effectively.