It’s Children’s Book Week, an annual celebration of books for kids and teens since 1919. Our schools do such a wonderful job of promoting reading on a daily basis that we were inspired to celebrate by donating to Every Child a Reader, the nonprofit organization behind Children’s Book Week.
In the spirit of Children’s Book Week, we also thought it would be fun to review how Hogwarts, the famous wizarding school in the Harry Potter series, might benefit from Blackbaud K-12’s school management solutions. Here’s to hoping Headmaster Dumbledore has a Google Alert set!
Let’s start with Hogwarts preferred method of admission notifications: sending letters via owls, or, in the case of Harry Potter, a half-giant riding a flying motorcycle. Certainly, email communication and in-product messaging coupled with personalized decision-notification pages is more efficient, sanitary, and less likely to overburden the school psychologist.
Blackbaud’s onBoard enrollment management system creates a streamlined admissions process that even the Dursleys can appreciate. Candidate families benefit from the ability to self-schedule admission tours, plan visits using the Admission Scheduling Calendar that can show quidditch matches, art, and other school events, and muggle families can always check their application status on mobile devices—no fancy spells or potions necessary.
The book series doesn’t address tuition payments, but room and board in the four houses, the bottomless meals, and the snide commentary in Professor Snape’s lectures can’t be free. Connected to the enrollment management system and Blackbaud’s accounting solution for seamless data flow, Smart Tuition provides flexible payment options with safeguards and security to satisfy Gringotts goblins. Blackbaud Smart Aid also helps ensure that families such as the Weasleys receive fair financial aid awards.
In the classroom, Blackbaud’s onCampus learning management system (LMS) provides a hub for student and teacher collaboration. The Assignment Calendar makes it easy for Harry and Ron to see their full workload without always having to ask Hermione, and the Major Assignments feature enables teachers to avoid overscheduling. The ability to share assignments and rubrics across course sections is especially helpful for the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher each year...whoever that brave soul will be.
The LMS fosters communication around extracurricular activities as well. Quidditch captain Oliver Wood will find it much easier to update team Gryffindor’s practice schedule and message players through the application than to chase them down in the corridors. Dumbledore’s Army can also use it to plan clandestine club meetings—if they can finagle a way around the administrative approval, that is.
With Blackbaud’s onRecord student information system (SIS), school administrators don’t need a Marauder's Map to locate students and teachers; the Find Me Now feature shows where they should be according to the schedule. Attendance tracking, online course requests, report cards, and transcripts are all manageable without a wand. And every time a student falls from his or her broom and lands in the hospital wing, the secure medical records provide a quick reference for Skele-Gro allergies.
Let’s face it, a school where the Chamber of Secrets is open, notorious criminal Sirius Black is roaming the grounds, and dementors are patrolling the skies, is in dire need of marketing help. Not even Harry’s Patronus can clean up that mess. Fortunately, Blackbaud’s onMessage content management system provides the communication tools to manage the school’s website. The Emergency Notice pop-up is especially helpful when a dangerous basilisk is loose.
When Lord Voldemort and his followers attack the castle, leaving Hogwarts in ruin, a capital campaign is surely necessary to restore the school to its former glory. Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge NXT is the top cloud fundraising and alumni management solution for independent schools. Use it to increase donor retention, find and upgrade major donors, and empower supporters to raise money on the school’s behalf. Make it easy to give and manage donations, and the phoenix will rise from Hogwarts' ashes.
If Blackbaud can connect Hogwarts, just imagine what we can do for independent muggle schools? Contact us to learn more.
About the Author
Daren Worcester has been a member of the Blackbaud K-12 team for 15 years, assisting hundreds of independent schools through a variety of website development roles. A former copywriter and a published author with an appetite for SEO, Daren currently serves as the senior content marketing manager for K-12.Follow on Twitter More Content by Daren Worcester