Our Blogs Our Blogs
Choose your blog! Choose your blog!

Case Study

Perfect Fit for Unique Situations

Find out how Skyward's Fee Management area was tailored to the needs of a Michigan district with six childcare centers.

For a daily childcare center, the magnitude of work involved in tracking attendance, payment, and state reporting data for more than 350 children can be overwhelming. Any attempt to manage all that data with a pencil and paper approach results in a process that is nearly impossible to manage.
Saginaw Township Community School District (STCS) struggled with this situation. The program operates six childcare centers out of five school buildings across the district’s eight campuses. STCS wanted to replace the cumbersome manual method they were using to keep track of the hundreds of children coming and going from the centers.

Saginaw Township Community School District
Enrollment: 5,066
Schools: 8
Implemented: 2006

Skyward's Fee Management

Fee Management reduces time spent generating attendance, payment, and state-required reports; gives business administrators direct access to childcare program data; and enables parents to view payment and attendance information online.
"Parents turn in a schedule of when their child or children are going to attend...the directors all had to maintain this information by hand."

The Challenge

“Every week, parents turn in a schedule of when their child or children are going to attend the following week, as well as their payment,” said Steve Elliott, STCS’s community education director and the head of the district’s childcare program. “Well, the directors all had to maintain this information by hand. Basically, it looked like an accounting ledger that they had to mark in every person’s name and payment for each week, and then they would have to create a chart to show what days the kids were coming.”
Elliott recognized the dire need for an electronic data management solution. He considered numerous options for childcare software programs. However, none of the vendors were flexible enough to accommodate STCS’s program, which offers a broad range of payment plans and costs associated with specific pick-up times and varying schedules. Another drawback to the programs Elliott considered was that none of them offered integration with the Skyward School Management System the district had been successfully using for over a decade.

"It worked. It worked brilliantly."

The Solution

In July of 2006, a Skyward industry specialist in Michigan suggested that Elliott view a demonstration of Skyward’s Fee Management technology. The system tracks a host of fee types by student or family, provides customizable reporting options, prints bills to be mailed to parents, and even integrates with Family Access—Skyward’s online portal where parents can view and manage their students’ accounts.

Elliott was instantly drawn to the extensive customizability of the application, which would easily accommodate the centers’ highly varied payment system. STCS made the decision to implement the Fee Management solution.

"It's doing what we hoped it would do, and more."

The Results

A customized interface

Since the system was so easy to customize, Elliott filed a Request for Enhancement, asking Skyward to add a comment box within the Fee Management interface that would allow childcare directors to enter and maintain attendance records. The enhancement would enable the system to take care of both payment and attendance. “We wanted parents to be able to get in there and at any point in time, see what their payments were, see what their attendance was and what days they paid for,” Elliott said.
“It worked,” Elliott said. “It worked brilliantly. Then we just kept going. We took the Skyward payment entry, and using Crystal Reports—template or customizable reports within Skyward’s School Management System—we wrote a deposit report. Now, instead of the daycare directors having to do all of that by hand, after they enter everything into Fee Management they can just run the Crystal report in Skyward and bam! All of their checks and the check totals for the day are right there.”
“With Skyward, [payment is] easy,” Elliott concluded. “You just go in there and put your own dollar amount in. Most programs want you to pre-code a dollar amount for people to register for. They don’t allow variability in those fields, so this has really been the perfect solution for us.”

Increased efficiency

The system has greatly increased efficiency at the centers. Elliott can pull data from Fee Management to generate DHS reports for reimbursements from the state for families who qualify for financial aid. In addition, the tax reporting process has been simplified. “You can only imagine how it was in the past when it came to tax time,” Elliott said. “Every director had to add up all of the payments for every kid and prepare a statement by hand. Now, we go in and it literally takes us five minutes to run all of the sheets for all of the kids.”

The Skyward system has proven to be a success, even at the childcare level. But the benefits do not stop with the administrators. In the end, the kids win. When childcare directors spend less time on administrative tasks, they can spend more time improving kids' experiences. 
According to Elliott, “It’s doing what we hoped it would do, and more.”


Clovis Municipal School District (New Mexico)

“We were able to use the Skyward solution to save our district approximately $30,000.” –Todd Ulses, Information Systems Coordinator

Deerfield Public School District 109 (Illinois)

“Our parents and students are very engaged, and that helps us maintain excellence in all areas.” –Michael Lubelfeld, Superintendent

Dickson County School District (Tennessee)

"I absolutely would recommend the PDC." -Randy Brison, Student Data Manager

Escambia County School District (Florida)

"Skyward is focused on the mission of providing an adaptive ERP system so that we can stay focused on educating students." –Linda Lewis, Director of Payroll and Benefits Accounting

Fort Bend Independent School District (Texas)

“We are so excited about New Student Online Enrollment... It allows you to customize the registration process to meet your district’s needs.” –Lisa Mirza, Director of Student Information Systems

Hudson School District (Wisconsin)

“I know the time savings in completing state reports alone is well over 200 hours.” –Nancy Toll, Instructional Technology Coordinator

Lewiston Independent School District (Idaho)

“[Salary Negotiations] allows me to work ahead and have the work completed earlier instead of having to do everything all at once in the summer.” –Kathy McPherson, Director of Business Services

Menasha Joint School District (Wisconsin)

“Skyward is the type of company that actually listens to their customers and develops around that feedback, which is very important.” –Brian Adesso, Director of Business Services

Mountain Home School District (Idaho)

“I wish we would have switched to Skyward years ago. We are such a better organization with it than we were before.” –Cliff Ogborn, Director of Fiscal Operations

Muskego-Norway School District (Wisconsin)

"Skyward was there for us every step of the way." -Scott Ecker, Director of Business Services

Nicolet High School (Wisconsin)

"Knowing that Skyward was responding to a need we had was a really powerful thing." - John Reiels, Director of Technology

Oak Hill United School Corporation (Indiana)

“Oak Hill USC is a more attractive place to work for people in their field because we have the tool in place they want to use.” –Brandt Lynch, Technology Coordinator

Pekin Community High School District 303 (Illinois)

“The transition to paperless has gone a lot smoother than I expected.” –Amy Hubner, Assistant Principal for Operations

Pekin Community High School District 303 (Illinois)

"I have noticed that there has been an increase in communication between myself and parents.” –Samantha Bledsoe, Teacher

School District of La Crosse (Wisconsin)

"I find it user friendly, and we know the support is there.” –Joyce Smalley, Business Manager

Wilson County Schools (Tennessee)

“We hope Skyward will be around for many years to come. We are looking forward for opportunities to grow our long-term partnership.” –Cristian Ionita, Database Administrator

.  .  .  .  .  .  .


K-12    |     Municipalities    |     Support  

Our technology is developed and supported in the USA