Bayside Saves Thousands of Dollars with Edline
Schools of all sizes, whether public or private, constantly seek out ways to improve their academic experience both inside and outside the classroom. But especially during these difficult economic times, school administrators face the challenge of budget cuts rather than the luxury of extra dollars to allocate.
Administrators at Bayside Academy, an independent, co-educational college preparatory school in Daphne, Alabama, however, have found a simple way to save nearly $10,000 each year. How did they do it? Bayside's leaders knew that getting school news and announcements in the hands of parents was essential but that the labor and production expenses involved with vital informational mailings of this sort were using up precious resources. So Bayside turned to Edline, the world’s leading web-based communication solution for K-12 schools. And in its first full year of using Edline, Bayside has seen its annual mailing and labor costs to the 550 families it serves decrease by almost $10,000.
Before partnering with Edline, Bayside's routine contact with parents mostly involved sporadic monthly mailings. These included such school news as sporting events, camps and other extracurricular activities, lunch menu options, as well as students' homework assignments, attendance, quarterly and semester grades and other progress reports.
With Edline, Bayside now has a coordinated and systematic method for sharing information with parents via a private and secure website customized for Bayside. When something new is posted or when important details change, parents receive an email alert encouraging them to access that information.
“There’s a fine line between overwhelming parents and keeping them informed,” says Mills. “Edline helps us walk that line — and parents appreciate it.”
The savings from moving to a web-based solution come in many forms: fewer sheets of paper and envelopes used, reduced postage, less wear and tear on copy machines and other equipment, and decreased maintenance and labor costs.
“But it’s important to realize that we are seeing value beyond that in many ways that aren’t so easy to quantify,” notes Mills. As an example she cites the extra work created by having to quickly alert groups affected by canceled sporting events or activity time changes. Urgent announcements such as these, when time is of the essence, now can be sent directly to those who need to know via an email alert system, dramatically reducing the workload for school personnel.
That’s right: no more time-consuming, last-minute calling trees. “I really don’t see how we ever could go back to the old way,” says Mills.
Edline has become an essential element of the Bayside experience for both parents and students. Beyond simply sharing information, this web-based solution helps engage parents and their children by encouraging dialogue among all members of the school community.
“We’ve stressed that it is as important to activate their Edline accounts as it is to enroll,” adds Mills.
And there's more good news: saving money with Edline's web-based communication solution allows Bayside to reallocate funds toward improving access to technology, purchasing books and teaching supplies, and enhancing extracurricular activities — areas that enrich the Bayside experience for students.