Hancock Place K-12 School District Met Their Evolving Needs With a Modular, Interconnected Platform from SchoolPass
Michelle Dirksen likes solutions that make sense. She likes things that work. She likes to partner with people and organizations that support her. And she LOVES her district’s students and families. Michelle is the Director of Technology for Hancock Place School District in St. Louis, Missouri, a relatively smaller district where staff wear many, many different hats, and the pressure is on to make the most of every resource they have. As a result, Michelle is a big proponent of having one solution solve multiple problems.
With 26 years in the district, she knows the Hancock Place School District inside and out. In 2019, Michelle was in the market for a Visitor Management system and knew that the SchoolPass functionality would streamline and modernize that process in her district. What she didn’t foresee was just how many ways she would be able to stretch the full SchoolPass platform of solutions to meet the flexibility needed within her district.
Unexpected and Evolving Needs
Michelle initially introduced SchoolPass to her district for the Visitor Management solution module just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her first thoughts were of improved operational efficiencies and relief for her front-desk teams. What she didn’t know was that her new system would be a gateway into a series of interconnected applications which would help the district with everything from carline pickup to a smoother dismissal to after-school activity management.
Michelle and the team implemented the visitor management software, and almost immediately COVID impacted her district. Michelle had to adapt and adjust their visitor process. “We needed to cut back on the foot traffic that was coming into the school. And SchoolPass Visitor Management helped us do just that,” she explained. The system gave them greater insight into who was in the buildings, and allowed them to limit visitors as requirements and restrictions quickly changed.
Also, and without delay, they needed to provide a better way for parents to safely drop off and pick up their kids. She saw the benefit of expanding their use of the SchoolPass platform, and they were able to activate the module to improve their carline and student dismissal processes.
Parents received hangtags with unique student numbers, and during carline pickup (and even during in-person, walking pickup), they were able to easily identify which parents had arrived and where they were in line, allowing them to regulate the number of students in hallways and in pickup areas and reduce the overall number of people in the buildings. A tangible benefit – the new technology significantly improved the speed of their carline and dismissal process.
It was brought to Michelle’s attention that the high school’s guidance counseling office needed a better solution for tracking students that were in the office throughout the day. She was confident that the SchoolPass technology could solve the problem. Again, with a reimagining of the visitor management application, Michelle implemented a new scan-in process at the guidance office, and now staff can track and report on which students scanned into and out of the office, complete with timestamps.
And on, and on it goes for Michelle. More issues, more solutions. The district’s before and after-school program needed help. “With our small staff, the school had difficulty effectively tracking when students were checked in and checked out.” They needed to ensure that proper policies were in place, the rosters were accurate, and payment records were sound. “The system allows us to better hold parents accountable for signing their children in and out of the program each day so that we can accurately report on which children attended before-and-after school care,” noted Michelle.
The Support of SchoolPass
Michelle doesn’t shy away from pushing the boundaries, and she knows that complex solutions can create challenges. She also knows what to expect from a good partner. When she and her staff encountered some hiccups as they got up to speed with the SchoolPass technology so quickly, she leaned on the support and guidance of the SchoolPass team, and they were able to maneuver over any hurdles they encountered. “The SchoolPass team is always so accommodating and knowledgeable. They have been immensely helpful as we continue to find new ways that SchoolPass can optimize our district’s processes.”
One Comprehensive Tool
With SchoolPass, Hancock Place School District has built confidence that students and visitors are accounted for throughout the day, at dismissal, and in before and after-school programs. As the unique needs of the district evolve, SchoolPass has continued to be a flexible solution to meet these needs, and has allowed the Hancock Place School District to be able to stretch this beyond what they imagined this would be. “So many of the solutions on the market today are really good at just one piece of the K-12 school solution puzzle,” said Michelle, “we continue to find that SchoolPass is the most comprehensive tool, allowing us to use it in ways we hadn’t initially even planned on using it throughout the district.”
With SchoolPass as a partner, Hancock Place School District has streamlined a multitude of processes and is now able to manage critical operational data in one place, without the hassle of navigating to different systems. The robust logistics solution has alleviated a lot of administrative work, reduced the burden on teachers, and empowered district parents.
Michelle Dirksen is happy. She has a partner she can trust. She has a solution that meets multiple needs. She keeps finding new solutions as needs arise and change. And Michelle has relief knowing that her district administrators and teachers have visibility into the student’s movements for easy oversight during the school day. Most importantly, Michelle is confident that she has made the district better for her families. According to Michelle, “if we can make our parents’ lives a little easier with these technologies, they will spend more time with their kids. And that is what matters most.” We couldn’t agree more.