For K-12 independent schools, enrollment season can be a hectic time of year. As prospective students and parents submit applications, schools need a streamlined and efficient enrollment process to ensure a smooth transition. One approach gaining traction in the education sector is the phased implementation of a school information system (SIS).  

In this blog post, we will explore how a phased SIS implementation can significantly benefit a school’s enrollment process and make it easier for everyone involved. 

The Challenge of Enrollment 

Enrollment is a critical aspect of school management, impacting both the administrative team and prospective families. Traditional enrollment processes often involve stacks of paperwork, manual data entry, and time-consuming communication with parents. This can lead to administrative bottlenecks, errors, and, at times, a less-than-optimal experience for prospective families. 

The answer? An SIS that works for your admission office. By harnessing data from your SIS, you can fuel enrollment efforts with accurate information, actionable insights, and even streamline manual tasks. 

The Benefits of a Phased SIS Implementation 

A phased SIS implementation is a strategic approach to introducing a new SIS system in a step-by-step manner. Rather than attempting to implement all SIS features at once, schools focus on specific departments or processes. Many schools choose to begin a phased implementation in the fall to coincide with the impending winter enrollment season. Here are a few advantages of this approach. 

Streamlined Admission and Enrollment 

The first phase of the implementation typically centers around admission and enrollment. By implementing this department first, schools can make a great first impression with prospective families and provide a heightened enrollment process. A robust admission solution like Veracross empowers school staff to use one system for everything from application review to data entry, reporting, and communicating with students and parents. It’s more efficient on the back-end and a better user experience on the front-end — win-win!  

Example: A K-12 independent school decided to implement Veracross as their SIS. In the first phase, they focused on revamping their admission and enrollment procedures. This involved automating document collection, digitizing decision letters, and providing an online portal for parents to track the progress of their applications. As a result, the school saw a significant reduction in administrative workload and improved communication with applicants’ families. 

Data Accuracy and Security 

Phased implementation allows schools to gradually migrate their data into the new SIS, ensuring accuracy and security. This minimizes the risk of data loss or discrepancies during the transition. 

Example: Another independent school chose a phased implementation approach. By starting with admission and enrollment, they could carefully transfer applicant data, ensuring that no essential information was lost or corrupted in the process. This meticulous data handling bolstered their confidence in the new system. 

Staff Training and Familiarization 

With a phased implementation, staff members have ample time to become proficient in using the SIS for specific tasks. This minimizes the learning curve and allows for a more gradual adaptation to the new system before the hustle and bustle of enrollment season.  

Some SIS vendors, like Veracross, also provide in-depth training resources to help your team continue learning and progressing with the new system. Veracross University is a free platform with thousands of training tutorials, knowledge articles, and discussion forums to learn from Veracross experts around the world. We also host live webinars on specific training topics throughout the year, to ensure schools are always getting the most out of their SIS.  

Example: The admission team at a K-12 school received comprehensive training during the admission phase of the implementation. This ensured that they were well-prepared to utilize the SIS effectively for enrollment purposes. The gradual introduction of features made it easier for staff members to become comfortable with the new system. 

Improved Communication 

Enhanced communication tools within the SIS facilitate seamless interaction between the school and prospective families. This includes automated email notifications, status updates, and real-time access to enrollment progress. 

Example: The same school that focused on admission and enrollment utilized Veracross to automate communication with parents throughout the enrollment process. Parents received timely notifications about application status, document requests, and important deadlines. This improved transparency and reduced the need for manual follow-up. 

Future-Ready Solutions 

A phased SIS implementation also sets the stage for future enhancements. Once the initial launch is successful, schools can expand their use of the SIS to cover other areas, such as academics, development, and accounting, in subsequent phases.  

For schools that launch during enrollment season, this means that all post-launch enrollment tasks and data will happen directly in Veracross including contracts, student and family data, and bill payments, to name a few. All activity will live directly in an individual’s system of record in the SIS, making the data clean and the new family experience smoother than ever.  

Example: Having successfully streamlined their enrollment process, the independent school is now planning to extend their use of Veracross to improve academic management and streamline fundraising efforts. This phased approach allows them to tailor their SIS utilization to their evolving needs. 


Incorporating a phased SIS implementation can revolutionize a school’s enrollment process, making it more efficient, accurate, and user-friendly. By initially focusing on admission and enrollment, schools can create a strong foundation for future SIS expansion, ultimately benefiting students, parents, and administrative teams.  

If your school is considering a new SIS or looking to enhance your enrollment process, a phased implementation starting in the fall and winter could be the key to achieving your goals while minimizing disruption and maximizing success. Get in touch to learn how to start your Veracross implementation today!