South Washtenaw County, Michigan
984 students served
3 school sites
115 faculty and staff
The Manchester Community School District is a thriving, high-achieving center of learning. The district takes genuine pride in the well-rounded opportunities it offers for students and the high levels of support provided by parents and the community at large.
We are a small district and many faculty and staff members wear multiple hats and often work at more than one of our school sites. We absolutely needed the flexibility to change schedules, split days, and in some cases, split accounts to accommodate the way we assign staff and place our substitutes. Before Red Rover, our previous system made all of that so complex and time-consuming, and we found ourselves doing a great deal of manual data entry. It just wasn’t working for us.
Manchester School District
Laura Neal, the district’s Human Resources Coordinator, made the decision to introduce the Red Rover K12 absence management solution in the early spring of 2020, just as schools around the country were grappling with the sudden transition to remote learning. She explained, “We needed a better level of customer service and support, and we needed an absence management system that was more modern, more streamlined, and just easier to use.” She added, “The transition was remarkably smooth, and I have to say, we experienced a level of customer service that was and still is, second to none.
In the face of the pandemic, the Manchester Community School District found itself dealing with teacher shortages, as some faculty members elected to teach only in a remote setting and others decided not to return.
Further, many substitutes throughout the larger Southern Washtenaw County area have now found full-time teaching positions. The good news is that the district has filled its open positions, and according to Neal, using Red Rover has helped them maintain strong substitute fill rates as well, thanks to the system’s text messaging feature and its easy-to-use app.
She noted that teachers and staff members have adopted the new system easily and have found the Red Rover website easy to navigate and use. And, she pointed out that her team of administrative assistants and those at the school site level have found absence approvals and related communications easy to do and easy to manage.
Neal emphasized that the integration features within Red Rover also directly influenced the district’s decision. Neal said, “Our Finance Manager was genuinely excited about the way Red Rover seamlessly integrated with our accounting system. That was huge! And as we bring on new staff members, the notification system embedded within the program helps us make certain that everyone is in the system. I can see the status at glance and that makes it much easier to manage. Another huge advantage!”
With any new district-wide technology adoption, there’s always some worry about the transition going smoothly. Neal was pleasantly surprised by how quickly even the tech-hesitant members of the team were able to start using Red Rover. She pointed out that once the staff used the website and discovered that the “Help” function was actually helpful and intuitive, they were up and running. She said, “Red Rover is so much different from the archaic system we were using. It’s simpler, smarter, and it’s all right there for you.”
Get the latest tips for K12 absence and substitute management delivered straight to your inbox!
Modern strategies for teacher absence and sub shortage challenges
Ways you can increase your district’s fill rates
Ideas for reaching today's "gig economy" substitutes
News | December 11, 2020