Skyward Launches Free Online Calculator to Estimate Savings Generated By School Management Software

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Two school districts offer real savings examples to illustrate efficiencies.

[Skyward's] estimate is really way under what we are actually saving when you take into consideration both resources and time.

Skyward, Inc., a leading provider of K-12 administrative software, recently developed a free online calculator to help districts estimate savings generated through implementation of its school management software. According to Skyward, a district with 4,600 students (including 1,250 high school students) and 500 staff members has the potential to save more than $68,000 per year by employing its software solutions. The Money Tree calculator is now available at http://www.skyward.com/moneytree.

“In this time of tight budgets and leaner support staff, districts need tools to help fill in the gaps,” explains Cliff King, CEO of Skyward. “At the same time, districts must be able to justify the cost of implementing these tools within their schools. The Money Tree tool provides estimates that can be helpful in costs versus benefits discussions for districts considering school administrative software.”

By entering a few parameters in the online tool, including total number of students, number of high school students and staff size, the district can view a projection of potential savings generated by implementing Skyward.

Money Tree calculator projects savings in 10 categories
The tool is dubbed the “Money Tree” because it calculates savings by district size in 10 categories and displays the results in a tree graphic. Categories include per student savings for things like online report cards and online registration, and per employee savings for paperless paychecks and online time off reporting. Each branch represents savings in one of the categories and a grand total savings is shown at the top of the page.

To develop the calculator, Skyward product specialists interviewed customers from across the country, gathering information about the savings these districts had experienced since implementing Skyward. Because the company wanted to provide a conservative baseline for savings in the calculator, it used figures that represent half of the average reported savings.

Savings exceed calculator estimate at Pennsylvania district
The Spring-Ford Area School District in Royersford, Pa. has been moving toward a more paperless school management system for several years with the help of Skyward’s Student Management and School Business
suites. This has improved the district’s efficiency, resulting in impressive cost savings. The Skyward Money Tree calculator savings estimate for the District is $27,000 annually. And according to Sarah “Sally” Sacks, they’re actually saving quite a bit more.

“Our overall annual savings is probably between $35,000 and $50,000, including the cost of physical documents we were sending out before, compared to what we send out now,” says Sacks, software specialist at Spring-Ford. “Skyward has enabled us to move forward with our paperless efforts, but there is still a lot of opportunity to become even more electronic in our processes.”

Sacks adds that most of their school management tasks − from student report cards and lunch program low balance notifications for parents to human resources and staff paychecks − have been moved online. Spring-Ford is continuing to move forward with some of the other options on the Money Tree. Their next step is to implement online registration for students, which will provide the district additional savings.

Texas school district improves efficiency, cuts costs with software system
Dripping Springs Independent School District in Texas also has been able to realize significant cost savings and increased efficiency using Skyward’s School Management System.

“We started using Skyward’s electronic attendance system in 2002 and then added electronic grades,” says Kathy Leopold, technology director at Dripping Springs I.S.D. “We’ve made some great strides in efficiency, cost reduction and paper savings over the last few years.”

According to Skyward’s Money Tree calculator, Dripping Springs is saving at least $43,170 per year by using its School Management system. And the estimate the Money Tree calculator provides is a very conservative projection as most districts report higher savings than the tool calculates.

“Our Skyward sales representative and I have talked about the dollar amount Skyward estimates we save,” Leopold says. “But that estimate is really way under what we are actually saving when you take into consideration both resources and time. The amount of hours we’ve saved translates to much more.”

About Skyward
Skyward is a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software that surpasses districts’ needs in state reporting, improves operational capabilities, and opens communication between schools and families. Today, you can find Skyward’s School Management System™ in more than 1,500 school districts worldwide, ranging from districts with as few as 50 students to state configurations supporting more than 800,000 students. Founded in 1980, Skyward serves school districts with its integrated student, finance and human resources suite of products and is proudly made and supported in the U.S.A. http://www.skyward.com

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Ray Ackerlund