Category Archives for "Featured Posts"

School Budget – Free E-Book on Managing Tight Budgets

Are you struggling to manage school budget cuts?  Simply fill out this form, put free e-book in the comments section and we will email you the free e-book “How K-12 Schools Can Improve Efficiency on a Tight Budget.??? 

Schools spend a lot of money on registration, yet this cost is “under the radar??? of administrators. Most schools and districts have a difficult time answering such fundamental questions as: How much paper do we use for registration packets? What is our total cost per student for each packet? How much time does staff spend on registration procedures and data entry?
Despite this lack of clarity, traditional registration processes happen annually while schools are consistently going through cutbacks and looking for ways to save money.
Find out the secrets to Unlocking the Power of Online Registration, how to make a system work for you, what to look for in a system, and tips on improving efficiency while decreasing costs.

Visit our website to receive a free e-book: How K-12 Schools can Improve Efficiency on a Tight School Budget.

5 Ways Online Registration Supports CA School Funding

In 2013, California adopted a new formula for deciding how much money each school district gets, called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Under this new school funding system, schools will receive a base grant for students in grades K-12. In addition to the base grant, a supplemental grant of 20% of the base grant will be offered for disadvantaged students: those who are classified as English Learners (EL), Low Incidence (LI) disability, Foster Youth (FY), or eligible to receive a Free or Reduced-Price Meal (FRPM).  Additionally, districts with more than 55% of their students identified as disadvantaged will be granted school funding at rats of 50% the base grant.

Each dollar granted to school funding will help improve programs and services in the areas where they are needed most. However, many schools have difficulty capturing the data required to ensure that they receive the greatest amount of funding for each student.  Whether it’s due to parent insecurities, student embarrassment, or lack of proper reporting, districts are “losing out??? on thousands of available state LCFF dollars due to students being misclassified.

So how can schools make certain that they capture accurate data for maximum school funding? Well, using an online system like K-12 Online helps:

  1. Optimize data while at the same time safeguards privacy.
  2. Parents can identify residency information, language, or disabilities in a way that maintains their dignity, is safe and non-threatening.
  3. Parents feel a sense of anonymity because all registration and enrollment information is completed online, and hard copies are not circulated through volunteers, etc.
  4. Only administrators who are required to know classification information have access to it, adhering to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws.
  5. Using an online system increases reporting accuracy and allows for data to be easily sorted, saved, and sent to the district.

Online registration helps maintain the parents and students’ dignity and privacy while ensuring that the maximum amount of funding is allocated to a school or district.

Why Catholic Schools are Drawn to K-12 Online

A recent poll showed that 1 in 4 parents are considering switching their child(ren) from a traditional large public school environment to a Catholic school. Many parents feel that smaller schools have a clear academic focus and vision for high quality successful learning, while in a public school, children can easily get lost in the large, impersonal system.


With this change in mindset from parents, comes an increase in student applications for small schools.  Unlike the public school system that is required by law to accept all children, Catholic schools typically have an admission and acceptance process. Traditional procedures for handling applications and enrollment can be one of the most burdensome, costly, outdated and environmentally wasteful processes.  For that reason, many schools and districts are turning to online registration.  Online registration has proven to be extremely valuable, saving time and money, especially for Catholic schools.


Many small schools believe that online registration is just too costly, however, K-12 Online is the first company to offer affordable online solutions that cater to small schools.  Although the web-based application is designed for schools large and small, public and private, the product offers a solution for those districts and schools that otherwise would not be able to afford it.


Catholic schools are drawn to K-12 Online, not only for its affordability, but also for its assistance in increasing school donations.  Most Catholic schools rely heavily on fundraising in order to provide their teachers and students with the best learning environment possible. Therefore, a registration system that incorporates fundraising can prove valuable, help make money for the school, and in many cases, even pay for itself. K-12 Online offers several options for donations to be collected through the school web store or by linking a “Donate Now??? button from the school’s website. Schools that have used K-12 Online as a method of collecting donations have seen an increase in overall donations by 30%!


K-12 Online offers a complete online student registration software application that transforms the student application & enrollment process by eliminating expensive paper-based methods. They even offer payment plan options to small schools, making it an AFFORDABLE option to helping schools save money, time and resources!

A Healthy Me is Drug Free

Red Ribbon Week, America’s oldest and largest drug prevention campaign, is coming up (Oct. 21-29)! Not only does this campaign teach children K-12 the dangers of drug abuse, but it also honors those who have made sacrifices while fighting against drugs. K-12 Online believes in doing all that we can to help brighten the future of students. What is your school doing this year to celebrate Red Ribbon Week? Here are some ideas that we thought would be fun and beneficial:


  • Door decorating contests
  • Plan a Red Ribbon Rally for your school where students can take the pledge to live a drug free life.
  • Organize an educational program for parents
  • Encourage your students to enter one of the contests offered by the Red Ribbon Campaign. These include: Creating the 2014 Campaign theme, and a chance to win an iPad along with $1,000 for your school!
  • For high school age, make it the theme of that week’s football game! Have the athletes incorporate red ribbons with their uniforms and take a moment before the game to honor those joining the cause.


For more ideas on how to incorporate Red Ribbon Week into your school visit the Red Ribbon Campaign or

Connect, Collaborate, Conduce: October is Connected Educator Month

One of the most important factors in student learning is the educator.  That being said, how can you, as an educator, maximize the impact that you make on your students? The answer is to get connected! Thanks to the Internet and constant improvements in technology this is becoming easier and easier for educators to do.


In an effort to increase the amount of educators that participate in online social learning and collaboration the Department of Education is supporting its second annual Connected Educator Month (CEM). This can be utilized on an individual level, as well as on school, district, and state levels.


One of the best ways to learn is by collaborating with other professionals who share the same passion as you. CEM offers educators an easy way to connect with other educators from around the nation through holding hundreds of events and creating online discussions.  Last year’s CEM hosted over 450 activities, presented more than 2,200 speakers, and delivered over 90,000 hours of professional development to those who participated.  And this year they plan to gain even more momentum.  So get connected and learn more than you ever would on your own!


Some of this year’s themes include:


  • Integrating Social Learning into Formal PD
  • Connected Leadership
  • Personalized Learning
  • Innovating STEM and Literacy
  • From Connection to Collaboration
  • 21st Century Classroom Management


Learn more about CEM:


Get involved:



Is Your School Conscious of Its Conscience?

Does your school have a conscience? Is it aware of its own conduct, intentions and character? Everyday decisions can have tremendous and often unseen potential to do good or harm to students, colleagues, the community, society and the planet. Often, the most important decisions and actions seem routine at the time they’re made. But have you ever stepped back to look at the impact of those decisions?

Think about the values, social responsibility and sustainability lessons being taught. A school’s responsibility is to prepare future leaders with tools to successfully confront social and environmental issues, as well as ethical and economic challenges.

Schools that do this well, do so because the lessons provided that lead to one’s conscience are discovered, not taught. These schools deliver an ongoing values development and self-discovery experience that is internalized by students and colleagues alike.

Through a constant process of action learning and unconventional classroom techniques, self-discovered values become more resilient than those that come from a book. Once these values are discovered, it leads to inheritance, and ultimately creates opportunities for an individual to do good.

Take, for example, a simple lesson such as recycling and reducing your carbon footprint. Activities such as online registration, which helps to reduce paper consumption, composting programs, and service to the community, can help a school transform itself into a place that develops socially responsible young adults.

In 2007, Ethical Culture Fieldston (ECF), an independent school located in New York, joined the Green Schools Alliance, a global network whose mission is to empower K-12 schools to lead the movement toward environmental sustainability, and pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by at least 30 percent in five years and achieve carbon neutrality (i.e., a net-zero carbon footprint) by 2020. In April 2013, ECF learned that it had fulfilled the pledge and had reduced its carbon emissions by 31 percent by reducing its paper consumption, electricity, fuel, and solid waste. Other factors that helped lower the school’s carbon emissions included the expansion of composting efforts and retrofitting all cafeteria kitchens with more energy-efficient appliances. According to Sightlines, a facilities management firm, ECF has the lowest carbon emission rate per student and per gross square foot among peer institutions.

Stepping out of routine and starting with a simple act like online registration can help change the culture of a school. Schools that wish to build socially responsible attitudes and skills in students must commit to this task by rethinking school culture, designing programs, and integrating technologies that enable parent involvement and action learning for students. A comprehensive emphasis on developing social responsibility will enable students to make a difference in their schools, families, and communities—and will churn out young people with the skills and empathy that this disrupted world needs.

What are your plans for the next school year? How do you foresee the year in terms of values, social responsibility and sustainability? Each summer is an opportune time to look ahead and develop an implementation plan for developing your school’s conscience.

First Impressions Are Lasting Impressions

First impressions are lasting impressions.  It takes just one-tenth of a second for an individual to make a judgment about someone or something and most likely, that first impression will never change.  Making good first impressions is incredibly important because in most cases, you’ll only get one shot at it.

In the case of a school, how can you ensure that you are being judged accurately?  How can you make good first impressions on parents? Successful schools do it all the time. They make themselves distinctive and memorable.

More and more, school choice is becoming a powerful element for parents, students, and teachers.  It is the reason that a parent will travel across town, to a different neighborhood daily, for their child to attend a school outside of their immediate school zone.

So what do successful schools do to create good first impressions and make travel across town compelling enough for parents? Here are a few tips:

Your website is your school’s welcoming center

A school’s website is usually the first thing a visitor sees. A good website is cohesive, informative and easy to navigate. Keep it simple and appealing with a logical flow of information and messaging.  And most importantly, make sure your website is providing timely, up-to-date information.  A schools’ website should reflect the schools strength and character and speak to its audience appropriately.  It must be reliable and load quickly.  Here are some examples of school websites that have an eye-catching homepage and are fun to explore.

Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Durham County Public Schools

Westwood Charter School

Larchmont Charter School

Mt. Carmel High School

Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Your frontline should be a pleasure

There is nothing more frustrating to a potential parent than to call a school for information and hear an unfriendly, unenthusiastic, unknowledgeable voice on the other end. On the phone or in person, your front line staff should be courteous, helpful and if needed, empathetic.  Make an anonymous call to your school’s Admissions Office and see how you are treated. Email the Admissions Office and see how promptly you are answered. Note the quality of the response and if it represents the atmosphere and feel you wish the school to portray?

School tours and visits weigh more than you think

Nothing sways a prospective parent more than a school tour. Your best people should be put on this important part of the public relations process. Make sure your tour guide is extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the school.  Parents like to see students in action.  Plan tours during the time of day that most closely portrays “a day in the life??? of a typical student.  Have examples on hand that show accomplishments, events, or activities that set you apart from other schools.  First impressions ARE important and often lasting. The effort a school puts into the campus tour really does pay off.

Rehearse the entire experience so that you get it right. Take a tour with your designated tour guide with the eye of a parent. When inspecting a school, parents don’t miss a thing and are easily impressed by enthusiasm, knowledge, and courtesy. Ask questions as if you were looking for a school for your own child.

Below are a few parent resources that educate parents on things to look for when visiting a school. Take a look at the list to see if you address these questions during your school tours.

The school visit: What to look for, What to ask

Ask the right questions, Find the right school

Questions to ask before enrolling your child in a new school

Making good first impressions with parents is key 

First impressions count in marketing your school just as much as they do in any endeavor. Are parents spending hours waiting in long lines to register?  Are they required to fill out stacks of paperwork before ever setting foot on your campus?  These types of activities set a negative first impression. No wonder parents aren’t excited about signing up for the PTA, volunteering as room mom, or contributing to your annual fundraiser.   You’ve given them a bad first impressionso for the rest of the school year, they do whatever it takes to stay away.

Not only does an online registration system help increase enrollment and streamline the application and registration process, but it also can portray a stress-free, open, inviting environment for your parents. Are you thinking about online enrollment, applications and registration? Don’t reinvent the wheel!  Learn how others are benefitting from K-12 Online’s secure system.  They’ve worked with many districts, charter, private and independent schools to provide an affordable alternative to paper pushing.

An Open House with welcoming arms

Good first impressions make a big difference! Your first open house or Back-to-School night gives teachers an opportunity to create a personal connection with parents, gain parents’ support, and establish ways for continued communication throughout the school year.

Before deciding what to do for your school’s open house, walk through your school building and classrooms with the eyes of a parent. Pretend you are walking in for the very first time and think about what would make great first impressions.  Do your hallways offer a welcoming presence?  Are your restrooms clean?  Are your classrooms colorful and reflective of students work?

Most parents want to see an organized building/classroom with friendly and welcoming teachers and staff.  They are not typically concerned about how many science tests are given, or what materials you use to teach math.  Parents generally want a good understanding of what their child’s school year will be like, how issues will be communicated and handled by teachers/staff, and what they can do to help ensure their child has a successful school year. Here are some ideas to incorporate into your next open house.

Open house School Ideas

Five Ideas for Open House

Tips for Open House and Back to School Night

60 Ideas for Open House


When it comes to schools, choice is a powerful element that can help create the conditions for a successful school. Families make relocating and home purchasing decisions around which school they want or don’t want their children to attend.  Don’t pass up an opportunity to show your best side.  Put your best foot forward in the beginning so that parents receive authentic first impressions.   What are you doing to make positive first impressions and portray a stress-free, open, inviting environment to your parents?

Fundraising Made Easy: Best School Practices

In addition to being educators, public school teachers have the never-ending task of hand wringing and scrounging to provide the simplest classroom needs.

So when, a fundraising website, launched in 2000 to engage the community and provide individuals a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequality, teachers and PTA’s across the nation were ecstatic. is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. It connects public school teachers with people who want to support classroom learning.

Public school teachers from across America can post classroom project requests; anything from pencils for a poetry writing contest to instruments for a school recital, balls for P.E. class, or iPads for online book access.

Donors can then browse project requests by location or subject, or even search for a particular school, and give any amount to the one that inspires them. Once a project reaches its fundraising goal, delivers the materials to the school.

A gift of as little as $1 gets the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback as someone who gives millions. All donors receive photos of the project taking place, a thank-you letter from the teacher/students, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent.

It’s that easy! Post your need and start fundraising for your school or classroom today!


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