Trinity Christian School of Fairfax is a private K-12 school based in Fairfax, Virginia. Founded in 1987 with 41 students, Trinity has now reached its enrollment capacity of 750 students. They relied on a legacy student information system (SIS) provider for many years before searching for a new solution in 2017.
Trinity Christian School of Fairfax was ready for a change. After a lengthy run with their legacy software system, the school wanted a unified solution that could streamline academic workflows and improve teaching and learning.
The main criteria for their new SIS included:
- Improved user experience
- More tools to empower learning
- Accessibility to grades, assignments, and school calendars
- Better communication with parents and stakeholders
Together with a team of colleagues, Jennifer Fletcher, Dean of Enrollment, led the search for a new student information system through a combination of research and product demonstrations. Findings were shared with the academic leadership team who was heavily involved in the decision-making process.
After narrowing it down to Veracross and two other prominent SIS solutions, Trinity Christian brought each vendor to campus for an in-person demo. They were particularly impressed by one vendor whose demonstration showcased a robust LMS for faculty. As academics was the driving force behind their search for a new SIS, Trinity Christian felt that this product would be the best fit for their school.
They signed a contract and began implementation over the summer — it was a challenge. Much of the workload was placed on the school who, at the time, didn’t have an in-house database manager to support the initiative. Additionally, the SIS vendor didn’t provide much tech support. School staff struggled to understand the process and keep up with the amount of work required during implementation.
Trinity Christian ended up hiring an external database manager to help them through the transition. While this additional cost was unexpected, it was the “individual help we really needed and expected to have [from our vendor], that we just didn’t,” says Jennifer. Additionally, it was a challenge to create routine academic documents, reporting tools were complicated for basic users, and the communications tools were not intuitive. The school was unhappy with their new system and, after just a few months, it was clear another change was needed.
The Veracross Solution
In February of that same academic year, the school held a large meeting and admitted their new solution wasn’t working for the institution, as a whole. After being impressed with Veracross in their initial research phase, they decided to switch to the SIS for multiple reasons:
- Several faculty and staff members had positive experiences with the SIS at previous institutions
- Veracross is specifically designed to support private and independent schools
- As a smaller company, Trinity Christian felt they would have better customer service
It’s smaller, and it’s for independent schools. We realized we are better served with a product who better matches who we are — and is intentional about it.
Trinity Christian completed the academic year with their “new” vendor and began the Veracross implementation the following summer. On the software side, the transition to Veracross was much smoother than with their previous vendor. Trinity Christian viewed Veracross as a true partner during the implementation, not just a vendor. The Veracross team provided the support they needed to feel comfortable with their school software.
Having to learn another new system — two in two years — was a challenge for faculty and staff, students and parents. But as the first year moved along, the school community quickly adapted, pleased with their new system.
Trinity Christian School of Fairfax and Veracross Today
Implementation was completed in fall 2019. Several years later, Trinity Christian relies on the Veracross SIS for academics, communications, development, admissions, and tuition management.
Pretty much everyone at [Trinity Christian] uses Veracross every single day. It’s integral to every department and meets the needs of all constituents across campus.
Compared to their previous system, the Veracross solution provides a much better experience for faculty, staff, parents, and students. Everything is well documented which makes it easy for users to learn and troubleshoot any issues. Veracross portals have improved communication and access to school information in a user-friendly way. Portals are especially helpful for new students and parents during their transition to Trinity Christian.
For faculty, the Veracross grade book provides visibility into students’ progress. The student grade detail report is helpful for teachers, students, and parents to clearly see a student’s grade and understand why it is what it is. This transparency helps eliminate confusion and improve communication between parents and the school.
Most important of all, Veracross has helped Trinity Christian keep their data clean and organized through its single-record database. Luke Wilbur, Database Manager, says:
Not having to worry about where you’re updating data or how that data is synced across different systems… the whole flow from prospect to alum is just a beautiful thing to me.
To learn how Veracross can help unify your school community, get in touch for a personalized demo of our industry-leading student information system.