Years of Satisfaction
January 28, 2019

Years of Satisfaction

Kathy Webster | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Blackbaud Education Management Solutions (formerly Blackbaud K–12 ON Solutions)

We use all of the solutions provided by Blackbaud's education management suite: Academics, Enrollment Management, Extracurriculars, and School Website. In addition, we use Smart Tuition, Raiser's Edge, Financial Edge, and several integrations with other products, such as Magnus Health, Turnitin, and Blackboard's Connect 5. We use it across our whole organization, which includes students from preschool through high school, the admission office, the business office, the nurse's office, and the school website. It has solved the huge problem that we had in supporting multiple databases across campus. The flow of information among various divisions and departments is basically automatic now.

Pros

  • From application to enrolling students into classes, Blackbaud allows management of the admission and enrollment process to flow easily and quickly. It allows everyone to receive timely, accurate information about where applicants stand on their journey to becoming students. It also provides an easy mechanism for communication with applicant families.
  • The grading system in Blackbaud's education management solution is totally customizable. We have used the system for twelve years and it has allowed us to make changes requested by new administrators while retaining the historical records for report cards and transcripts.
  • Blackbaud's integration of its school website software with the rest of the education management solutions allows for entering information once and pushing it to various locations as needed. It is a huge time-saver while ensuring accurate, timely information available wherever you need it.

Cons

  • Sometimes administrators request data that is in the system, but difficult to extract. For example, if we need numbers of students enrolled in specific classes going back for several years, it would require running a report for each year one at a time. Reporting is improving, but I feel that, if it is in the system, we should be able to extract it.
  • Teachers would like a friendlier interface in creating course pages. Google Classroom is simpler for them to use, so it's hard to get them to buy into creating a course page only in Blackbaud. Parents, however, wish that they would stick to Blackbaud only, so they can learn one system and be done.
  • Athletics (extracurricular solution) could use some improvement, making the interface easier for coaches.
  • Time savings has allowed us to stay at the same staffing levels in admission, registrar's office, and main office in spite of a large increase in enrollment.
  • Communication between teachers, students, and parents has vastly improved. Institutional communication with constituents is also much better.
  • The Blackbaud-designed public pages have attracted numerous potential families. We estimate that approximately 20 families per year are here because of the site, which means that it more than pays for itself.
When the software was with WhippleHill, tech support was the best, bar none. As the smaller company was fit into the larger Blackbaud landscape, it has changed in terms of how we access it and the time involved in getting responses. We also have to pay for a lot more training now than we did in the past. However, the tech support people do a good job, and answers usually arrive fairly quickly.
It works well for an independent school. I do not know that it would work for a large, multi-campus organization or a large school district. It has allowed us to survive many years without adding staff in several areas. It lets staff do more in the same amount of time.

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