Category : Company

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New Add-on Features in Ascendance

Defining a significant company milestone in an unparalleled twenty-five-year journey, Senior Systems significantly extends the reach of its solutions and introduces many innovations that give all Senior Systems users new levels of effectiveness.

Our primary focus at Senior Systems is helping our clients succeed using our all-in-one administrative solution. Several areas we are continually improving is our parent experience in My BackPack and administrative processes in Ascendance. Here are our the latest add-on features in our Ascendance product line.

My BackPack AutoPay

The AutoPay feature is a recurring payment that parents can set up and control in My BackPack. Once they enroll, AutoPay automatically transfers funds from their bank account, debit card or credit card according to the schedule they set up. This new feature will help schools reduce delinquent payments and provide more reliable cash flow, while also providing a convenient way for parents to manage their online payments.

All-in-one Tuition Management

We are excited to be the first K-12 software provider to fuse the best features of both in-house and outsourced tuition management services. In Ascendance 93_3, we are offering an integrated tuition management service to streamline all aspects of the tuition process built into the Senior Systems platform. This means schools and families have one portal to use to manage payments and student records. Schools will get instant access to online deposits and real-time reporting across the platform.

SMS Broadcast Messaging

My BackPack SMS broadcast messaging is a quick and easy method for schools to send relevant messages to families on their mobile devices. This powerful form of communication is a must because 98% of a school’s population has access to mobile devices, and it’s also a preferred communication method by younger parents. You can setup queries in Ascendance to easily target specific student groups, parents, and staff. Create templates for quick messaging and personalize them with merge fields. SMS is consumed faster than any other kind of mass communication, with higher open rates compared to e-mail. This add-on feature will surely enhance our clients’ communication strategy.

Contact Sales for More Information

These add-on features in Ascendance are available now! Contact a Senior Systems Sales Consultant for more information at 1-888-480-0102, or send an e-mail to sales@senior-systems.com.

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Go Green with Paperless Admissions

A Paperless Admissions Process

Blake and his family like what they read about your school online as compared to the other schools they are considering. They love the school colors, the mission statement, sense of school spirit and how easy the website is to use. Mom thinks “This school seems to understand the need to teach students about technology.”

Relieved to have found a solid potential school choice, they excitedly find a tour date and time that fits their schedule and fill out the simple online registration form. Clicking ‘submit’ makes them almost ‘feel’ like a student when they immediately receive a school branded message welcoming them by name and stating that the Admissions Director is looking forward to meeting them.

The Admissions office added Blake to this year’s list of incoming students. The admissions office is now able to electronically track the geographic spread, ages and feeder schools of interested potential students.

Admissions subsequently sends messages to Blake’s family about the school and activities they may attend to become more familiar with the school such as sporting events, plays, STEM events, etc.

Blake and his family feel very welcome when they arrive for the tour. A unique name tag and a welcome packet with his name on it are ready for him when they arrive.

At home that night, they complete the online admissions application branded with the school’s mascot while remembering all of the good things they saw and heard at the school. Blake’s mom makes their initial payment using the secure online payment system.

Upon pressing submit, they receive a warm welcome note addressed to Blake. They discover another email personally addressed to Blake from the Dean.

Go Green with Paperless Admissions

Full Integration Is Key

Accounting opened a record for Blake indicating his initial payment was made, and his account is paid to date. They know his family will not be seeking financial aid because it was a question on the online application that automatically populated the financial aid field in the single database.

Next year’s marketing campaign has begun. Admissions will be able to print a list of feeder schools and know at what age potential students begin the search for their next school. This school year will be spent meeting with teachers to develop age-appropriate activities/demonstrations to interest the demographics of potential students.

Blake and his family excitedly begin shopping for school supplies from the list they printed for his grade from the website.

Go Green with Senior Systems Software

Senior Systems solution electronically transforms how schools operate eliminating the cost of paper, copying, envelopes and postage.

Free your school from the hassle of paper files and redundant labor-intensive messaging with Senior Systems database platform. All of the features above can be added and customized for your school in one comprehensive package. Contact Senior Systems at 1-888-480-0102, x2 or email info@senior-systems.com to discuss what we can do for your unique situation.

ABOUT SENIOR SYSTEMS

With Senior Systems, you only need to enter information once and access it everywhere. Eliminate the complications that come from trying to synchronize multiple copies of data across applications. Easily, seamlessly and securely manage the student lifecycle from prospect to alumni with our single database solution.

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We’re Joining Forces for Independent Schools

Senior Systems, a leading provider of software to K-12 private schools, is excited to announce we are formally joining forces with Diamond Mind and TADS to expand our proven, integrated suite of best-of-breed solutions and superior customer service. With Diamond Mind and TADS, we are joining the new division, Education Brands, under MB Parent Holdings, LLC based in Knoxville, TN which has an extensive track record of integrating leading brands, accelerating product development and valuing excellence in customer service. Mike Barros, former CEO of Diamond Mind, leads the new division and Mike Gustin, 19 years with Senior Systems and Director of Client Success, will be the new General Manager of Senior Systems.

The proven suite will power K-12 private schools with solutions for admissions & enrollment, financial aid, tuition management, school & student/constituent management, and campus-wide digital payment options – all working in concert to empower schools to achieve educational, operational, and financial success.

Due to their close partnership over the last decade, the Education Brands’ companies delight 3,000+ schools and 500,000+ families today. Combined, the businesses have exclusively served K-12 private schools for 90+ years consistently earning client satisfaction survey ratings over 96% year after year. In total, the partners securely, conveniently and transparently handle $3+ billion in digital payments for our schools annually.

“Senior Systems is excited for the opportunity to join forces with Diamond Mind and TADS to deliver private schools a proven, integrated suite of best-of-breed solutions and world-class customer service. Senior Systems pioneered offering a comprehensive enterprise-style platform through storing all the data in a single, central database for a fully-integrated solution. Together, we will deliver a superior experience to students, parents and school staff – while continuing our commitment to unmatched customer service,” adds Mike Gustin, General Manager, Senior Systems.

“As a combined force, the complementary strengths, including an extensive, vibrant partner ecosystem, make us the premier provider of cloud-based software and payment solutions to K-12 private schools – from tuition management and school & student management software to solutions for online giving, admissions, enrollment, summer programs, alumni management, purchase cards, and more,” said Mike Barros, President, Education Brands. “In contrast to other platforms, we offer schools choice, flexibility, control and customer service excellence as we continue to look for ways to augment our proven, integrated suite of best-of-breed solutions.”

For existing Senior Systems schools, your Customer Service contact will remain the same with no change to who you call for assistance. For additional details, please reference the following:

1. See Frequently Asked Questions.
2. Contact us directly at info@senior-systems.com for any general questions or call 1-888-480-0102.

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Senior Systems and Boardingware Partnership

Senior Systems and Boardingware Team Up!

Senior Systems and Boardingware would like to announce an integration partnership to provide mutual clients a better comprehensive service.

Senior Systems is at the center of everything. Our Ascendance product is a single, central database that empowers independent schools to manage data effectively and efficiently.

Boardingware provides ResLife teams with a reliable system to efficiently and securely manage day-to-day student activities, so you can spend less time on administrative tasks and more time doing what you love.

This collaboration provides exceptional support for their shared customers. If you’re a customer of Boardingware and Senior Systems, your services will only get better and easier with this new partnership.

About Boardingware:

Designed specifically for and in collaboration with boarding schools, Boardingware is a world leader in student management solutions and is being used by ResLife teams in more than eight countries to reduce and manage risk, improve communications and efficiently carry out administrative tasks. ResLife teams use Boardingware to process on/off campus leave, check in’s/out’s, track student whereabouts, attendance, student welfare, pastoral care and much more.

To find out how Boardingware can help your school, register for your free, no-obligation demonstration at boardingware.com.

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Senior Systems New Partnership with REACH School Boarding System

Senior Systems and REACH School Boarding System team up to better serve clients.

Industry-leading school software provider Senior Systems has teamed up with school boarding experts REACH to deliver a seamless integration service to mutual customers.

When independent schools need to process and house terabytes of data, they turn to Senior Systems. And when they need to manage specific boarding day-to-day tasks, REACH is the smart choice.

Now, the two companies have teamed up to offer a single sign-on service to their mutual clients. If you’re a client of REACH and Senior Systems, your provision is about to get even more effortlessly effective.

Senior Systems know that schools need easy-to-use systems for tracking financials, students, staff, work and services. Over 23 years’ experience providing comprehensive student information management solutions to independent schools means we bring an intimate knowledge of the independent schools marketplace to the table. And that’s why we know that teaming up with REACH offers a smarter solution for clients. And when REACH’s implementation rests on Senior Systems’ comprehensive, scalable and efficient data management system, the link between users and their data is faster, more reliable and more fluid than ever before.

About REACH School Boarding System:

REACH is an award winning, feature rich student management system developed especially for boarding school in collaboration with leading schools across three continents. It delivers a suite of features that provide the ultimate tool-kit for boarding schools to manage risk, gain efficiencies and improve communications. REACH facilitates boarding schools with the day-to-day student management operations including leave management, student tracking, attendance and roll-call, parent communications and notifications, student welfare and pastoral care, school management reporting and records filing and auditing. Learn more at reachboarding.com.

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HIPAA and How It Applies to Independent Schools

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, enacted, in part, to “improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system through the establishment of national standards and requirements for electronic health care transactions and to protect the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information.”* HIPAA is often mentioned alongside FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which protects student education records. While both seek to protect records and individuals, they differ in the way, and to whom, they apply. It is possible your school is not subject to FERPA or HIPAA, but you need to be aware of the regulations, and strive to provide the utmost security for your students’ records at all times.

To determine if your school is covered by HIPAA, it is important first to determine how FERPA applies. In order to be subject to FERPA, the school must receive funds directly from a Department of Education program, meaning most public schools fall under FERPA. Schools that do not receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education are not subject to FERPA. This generally includes private, independent, and religious schools.

On occasion FERPA will extend to a private school, but it is under special conditions. For example, if a student from a public school is placed in a private school for a reason such as a disability, and the private school is providing services on behalf of the public school district, then that student’s records are still subject to FERPA, while the records of all the other students at the private school are not subject to FERPA.

HIPAA applies only to institutions deemed “covered entities” which means “health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers that transmit health information in electronic form in connection with covered transactions.”* A “health care provider” includes any entity that “furnishes, bills, or is paid for health care in the normal course of business.”* If a private, independent, or religious school, which is not covered by FERPA, falls under the category of a covered entity, then HIPAA applies to the school. For example, if a private school (not subject to FERPA) employees a doctor who does bill for services electronically, then the school must comply with HIPAA.

Again, the exception to this is a student placed by a public school into a private school. That student’s records are covered by FERPA, while the remaining students’ health records at the private school are subject to HIPAA. This is because HIPAA “specifically excludes from its coverage those records that are protected by FERPA.”*

It can be confusing where the laws intersect and which law applies when. These charts, as well as these articles, can be helpful in determining what applies to your school.

Magnus Health specializes in helping schools navigate student health records while remaining FERPA and HIPAA compliant, and has partnered with Senior Systems to offer custom reporting. This partnership allows Senior System schools to export student lists in CSV format, ready for immediate import to their Magnus account. The partnership is designed to save school administrators time by streamlining the account creation process.

*Except where noted, all quotes were gathered from the Joint Guidance on the Application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy ACT (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to Student Health Records (PDF).

Senior Systems would like to thank Magnus Health for their collaboration and partnership.