Randolph School is a Pre-K through 12th grade independent day school in Huntsville, Alabama. They adopted the Veracross student information system in 2018. 

The Challenge 

Prior to Veracross, Randolph School used Blackbaud as their student information system (SIS). They had used the system for decades and had undergone many transitions with the product over the years: from DOS to Windows-based, locally hosted to cloud-hosted, and numerous product acquisitions in between. 

When Blackbaud acquired WhippleHill in 2014, the school started to question the future of their relationship with the vendor. Deborah Brink, Director of Information Services, knew that if they added another product into the fold, it would muddy the waters of their already clogged database. “The multiple records for a single individual was problematic, to say the least,” says Brink. “I could see if we went with another iteration [of Blackbaud], how that might make it even worse.”  

The school had two options: to double down on Blackbaud and clean up their database, or to find a different SIS. They decided it was time for something new. 

The Process 

Led by Brink and her team, stakeholders came together to identify the school’s requirements and nice-to-haves for a new system. Brink surveyed the market and identified a list of potential candidates. After reviewing the requirements against the SIS candidates, Brink narrowed it down to a select few vendors and moved forward with product demos for each. 

“We unanimously selected Veracross based on the one-record capability,” says Brink. “There were so many different functionalities associated with it. We also got rid of a lot of external tools.” 

Randolph School saw the value of a centralized SIS for not only bringing data together, but streamlining workflows. Veracross implementation began in 2018 and was completed over the course of that year. Randolph School chose to go all in on Veracross and implemented all major modules and then some. “We decided that we wanted to put as much into it as we could,” says Brink. 

Academics came first, followed by Admissions & Enrollment and Development. Other modules like Accounting, Tuition Management, Other Programs, and After Care were rolled out throughout the year in alignment with the school’s operational needs.  

The Impact 

After moving to Veracross, Randolph School was able to access their data in powerful new ways on both the front and back ends.  

On the back end, the query builder in Veracross was a huge selling point. “It was so much better than anything I had seen in Blackbaud, which was so clunky,” says Brink. “It doesn’t do you a whole lot of good to have data if you can’t get to the data… if it’s so black boxed that it’s useless to you.” 

With Veracross, Randolph School’s administrative team can easily run queries on their own and quickly access decades of data in one place. This has been particularly helpful for the school’s support staff. As they work to coordinate student care across campus, they can view years’ worth of progress reports, attendance records, report cards, admission info, and health office visits in a singular location to help inform their support plans. “We can see whole-child information,” says Brink. “We have a pretty good portrait of what a student is going through.”  

The one-stop shop is huge for families, too. With Blackbaud, parents had to navigate multiple different places to make payments, view report cards, or register for events. Now, they can do it all through the Veracross Parent Portal which provides access to everything they need to know or do about their child’s education. Anything outside of Veracross, like the school’s learning management system, can be accessed through a direct link from the portal instead of a dozen browser bookmarks. Students can also log in easily to view their report cards and academic information.  

Another major benefit of using Veracross at Randolph School is the increased efficiency for school staff. “We were able to reimagine a few different positions as a result [of Veracross],” says Brink. “Student billing was extremely manual beforehand but now it’s more automated so our student billing person has been able to add new responsibilities, like paid registrations, to her plate.” 

Veracross and Randolph School 

Years after implementing Veracross, Randolph School has made a one-eighty with their approach to data. Teachers are using the SIS to communicate with families, development staff are using it to identify donor opportunities, and the school is streamlining workflows and personnel across departments. To learn more about their experience transitioning to Veracross, catch up with our on-demand webinar