8th Largest US School District Saves $419,000 In 7 Months Using Peachjar

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School districts can now more easily connect parents with valuable afterschool programs and opportunities for their children, all while saving taxpayer dollars.

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“We use Peachjar data as one of our primary district KPI’s (Key Performance Metrics) because of the cost savings we are seeing with Peachjar.” MaryLou Whaley, Director for Community Engagement, Hillsborough County Public Schools

As the 8th largest school district in the US, Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) serves 214,000 students and their families in 215 schools in Tampa. For years, HCPS sent flyers home to parents the way most schools do, in backpacks and student folders. Desiree Marsicano serves as ‎Program Manager of Community Engagement at HCPS, and one of her responsibilities is approving flyers from community organizations. “There are no words to tell you how wonderful it is to approve 7 flyers with 1 click. I used to have to go through them by hand. I processed 1,500-1,700 by hand, and each one would take me 30 minutes to an hour.” As ABC News reported on March 9, the district has saved over 16,000,000 pieces of paper and 2,011 trees since onboarding with Peachjar 7 months ago.

HCPS estimates that their use of Peachjar will save approximately $716,500 for their school district over the 2016-17 school year, having already saved nearly $419,000 after only 7 months of use. Put into perspective, $419,000 pays the average salary of 10 elementary school teachers. Says MaryLou Whaley, Director for Community Engagement, “We use Peachjar data as one of our primary district KPI’s (Key Performance Metrics) because of the cost savings we are seeing with Peachjar.”

For years, school districts have been attempting to provide parents with information about quality programs and afterschool activities for their children. Statistics show clearly the importance of afterschool programs in the growth and development of our youth- through these programs, children build friendships, confidence, leadership, and teamwork skills, among others. Information on such programs has typically been delivered via paper flyer in the notoriously unreliable student backpack. Enter Peachjar, the parent engagement platform that enables schools to send these important flyers home digitally. For districts whom adopt Peachjar, the benefits to schools, parents, and children are massive, and are turning districts into veritable community heroes. Why?

To start, paper flyers cost money, waste paper, and take valuable teaching time away from the teachers who often have to collate and then distribute the many various flyers to their students. That's not good for our students, and it costs taxpayers significantly. Schools also see much greater connectivity and engagement with their parents with Peachjar. Most importantly, the children benefit from their parents having access to all of this information, and to incredible programs. Local and national providers of everything from gymnastics and Girl Scouts to 529 College Savings Plans, pay to upload digital flyers via Peachjar for schools to approve. Once approved, the flyers are emailed directly to parents and posted to the school website.

"School districts get that digital is the way to go in truly enabling connectivity with their communities, but also in optimizing processes and cost savings," says Mike Durham, CEO and founder of Peachjar. "It's exciting to see that a school district can take a process digital and not just save hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars, but also simultaneously ensure that its' students get maximum time with their teachers, and that their parents stay informed about important opportunities for their children. School districts really should be given hero status in this case, as they are enabling such multifaceted change for their communities."

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Cara Aley
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