Addressing parent feedback with Veracross

After 47 years of offering a Montessori education, parent feedback was nothing new to the professionals at The Montessori School of Raleigh (MSR). The insight from families, including their questions, is what ultimately helps academic institutions like MSR improve their online experiences and continue to effectively recruit and retain new students.

MSR is a private, accredited Montessori school with an enrollment of 350 students from toddlers through twelfth grade, with campuses in Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina.

At MSR, one of the most common themes among feedback from families was about the enrollment process. Parents were getting stuck in the admissions and enrollment journey, becoming unsure of how to proceed with online applications. But even after enrollment, some problems persisted. Parents continued to question how to add household information and make simple changes to their child’s profile. Though none of this was necessarily complaints, the questions that continued to be asked by families were signs that their SIS and portals were not as user-friendly nor streamlined as they could be.

We looked at our processes and tools as new users much like a new parent would through the enrollment process. We wanted to make sure we not only made changes that would make using Veracross more intuitive for parents but also changes that better represented us as a school and how much we value our parents’ experience.

Nora Ostler, Database Manager, Montessori School of Raleigh

It’s easy to assume that things are working well, Nora also emphasized. But going through the process as a fairly new member of MSR allowed her to see the enrollment process through the parents’ eyes and better understand what needed to change.

A Three-Pronged Approach

The team at MSR identified three main areas of improvement: emails, the parent portal, and event registration.

“Solutions like more dynamic emails, additional resources in admissions and parent portals, and offering more parent education via event registration,” were part of the solution cited by Nora. They also wanted to incorporate parent needs into the student information system depending on where they were in the admissions, enrollment, or re-enrollment process. 

Veracross was able to help MSR create more inviting and cohesive emails that included less text, more images, and colors and fonts that reflected the school’s brand. Major changes were also made to the parent portal. “We wanted to create consistency with where parents could find things and what resources would be available to them,” said Caroline Farrell, Director of Enrollment Management at MSR. “We are treating the new parent and family portals as the information hub,” she continued. “We have directed parents to the portal where they can find everything, which has improved their familiarity with the portal at a faster rate and streamlined communications across the board.”

The final piece of the puzzle was to utilize the Veracross event registration module. Rather than relying on Google to manage calendar invites, the team at MSR switched to an online event registration and management system—the change has already benefited the parent association as they plan events and follow up with prospective families.

With the use of a web-based school information software like Veracross, The Montessori School of Raleigh has noticed a decrease in parent questions and an increase in user satisfaction with the family portal. The team at MSR is excited to continue making improvements with Veracross by their side.

To learn more about how The Montessori School of Raleigh utilizes the Veracross platform today and their plans for the future, watch the complete webinar.