Location: Encino, CA
Type: Private, Solomon Schechter Day School
Size: 258 students
Grades: K – 6
Contact Person: Elana Vorspan,
Director of Communications
Every summer, Valley Beth Shalom Day School (VBSDS) went through a very complex process to prepare, sort, mail, collect, track, and file the required student forms that trickled in throughout the summer and first couple months of the school year. As families returned information to the school, the office manager spent countless hours sorting through the forms, ensuring their completeness and accuracy, and making follow-up phone calls to parents.
The task “consumed so much time that the three or four school employees responsible for the project would often request the help of recent graduates,” said Amy Fogg Hirschfeld, former VBSDS Communications Director. Because some forms went to only select students and others to the entire student population, careful attention was required to ensure that each mailing was in order.
VBSDS was also sending identical forms from one year to the next that were used to populate an emergency card for each student. Those cards were then stored on campus in fireproof boxes and would have to be retrieved in the event of a natural disaster.
Amy Fogg Hirschfeld
“The VBSDS website is our primary means of communication with parents,” said Hirschfeld. “My job is to keep them happy and to make sure things are running smoothly for them.” With this goal in mind, Hirschfeld viewed a WhippleHill webinar that gave an overview of the newly released single sign-on integration with Magnus Health. “At first glance, I felt like [SMR] would alleviate a lot of the problems that we experience every year and it would streamline our process,” said Hirschfeld.
The integration between WhippleHill’s Podium and Magnus Health’s web-based SMR (student medical record) and the substantial efficiencies that would be gained by collecting forms online were both pivotal in the decision to move forward with Magnus. VBSDS was excited by the prospect of driving parents to the website more often, improving communication, and going green by eliminating excessive printing.
“The biggest asset for us is visibility over who’s complete, and who still has forms outstanding,” said Hirschfeld, also noting the reduction in printing, elimination of costly summer mailings, and time saved in collecting and tracking down missing information. “The nurse can take care of kids now because she has more time to just be the nurse,” Hirschfeld stated.
Now that some forms are good for the duration of a student’s enrollment at VBSDS, next action dates remind parents to update information as needed, instead of on an annual basis. Because parents submit student information online, Magnus911 cards are immediately populated with emergency details, eliminating the need to manually complete an emergency card for each student. In addition, VBSDS has access to the most current information thanks to email notifications, which alert parents when action is needed or information is missing. Because the school is located in an earthquake area of the country, “This is a helpful feature because the school conducts a full disaster drill twice per year, complete with search and rescue,” said Hirschfeld.
Not only does the school benefit from Magnus911, but parents appreciate it too because now, everything is secure, and accessing the site is easy via the single-sign on integration between Magnus and WhippleHill. There was some push back from
Amy Fogg Hirschfeld
Tired of the same time consuming problems dealing with student medical forms each summer, Valley Beth Shalom Day School sought an answer, and found it in Magnus Health’s SMR. The new approach to managing student medical forms has proven to be more efficient, more secure, and more thorough, and provides VBSDS with previously unavailable visibility over the process.