Siena College is a Roman Catholic secondary school for girls which provides extracurricular opportunities for its students across sport, music, and performing arts. Siena participates in weekly sport through Girls Sport Victoria (GSV).
James Houghton, Head of Sport, spoke about their experience with Clipboard.
What problems did you experience before Clipboard?
“Before we started using Clipboard, attendance would be via just a hard-copy spreadsheet. And as the students turned up after school for their sports, we would take attendance. And then the coach would return that attendance sheet when they got back to school.
And we also used Schoolbox, which is how we would communicate sports for the students, as well as lots of emails. And that sort of thing was how we used to do it. Obviously, it was quite time consuming.
It did work to a certain extent, but it was quite hard to manage exactly what everyone was doing in terms of the students and the coaches and who turned up, who was injured, and who was unavailable. So before we used Clipboard, it was a very hands-on kind of approach.
It was quite a demanding position to be, to put the man-hours in to try and track everything. There were so many different areas of tracking that we had to do. And so many different platforms I think was probably where we struggled the most.”
How has Clipboard solved these problems?
“It just is a really easy to use program. It's really simple. It's really straightforward. It didn't take too long. We’ve got a lot of staff who, for lack of a better word, are perhaps not overly comfortable with computers and software and all that sort of stuff. And they just found it really handy and really easy to use and really simple.
It's just been easy to track attendance, particularly because we offer non-compulsory sports. We put a lot of emphasis on students committing if they signed up...And to try and track those students and try and make them accountable was quite hard.
Clipboard notifies us when there's a student who might have missed two sessions in a row or something like that...And if there's a legitimate reason, we don't really push it, but it makes them realize that they do need to let us know if they can no longer participate rather than just not turning up.
In some cases we've actually managed to find out a little bit more about what's going on in that student's life, which has been good. So it has helped to locate those at-risk students in some cases.
Financially, at every school, it's a significant cost to run a sport program, and different schools are different sizes, but anything you can do to reduce the time in the administration area is going to help and save money and sell it for us.”
How much time has Clipboard saved?
“I think for me personally, as the Head of Sports, it saves an enormous amount of time...at least a few hours every day.
Because we save time, we can actually spend more time with the students. And for someone who has missed a training session, we have the time to chase up them and chat with them to find out why. If it's a bigger issue, it actually gives us that platform to spend some time understanding what they're going through.
Normally you’re buried under a bit of paperwork and you don't have that time. So it's completely changed the way we do things here, and we're definitely better for it.”
Integration with Schoolbox
“So we use Schoolbox for pretty much everything in terms of our learning and teaching program. That’s kind of the one-stop-shop area for our students.
So we needed to put sport in there somehow. We’ve developed different areas within the program for sport, but being able to link the calendar from Clipboard automatically into the Schoolbox calendar for the students directly has been massive.
It actually cuts out the middleman for us. We have our Director of Operations who manually entered in all the fixtures last year for our school calendars so that students could see it. But with fixtures, they are edited regularly…And we can change that within the sport department [on Clipboard] and in an instant, it updates up on the students’ calendar! So we are always reiterating that students need to constantly check their calendar, because that’s where the latest information is going to be. Rather than having to email or phone the Director of Operations to make a change, we can just do it ourselves.”