Established in 1938 in Perth’s inner Western suburbs, Dalkeith Primary School has been supporting the local population with excellent primary education for over eighty years. This proud legacy is matched by an ongoing commitment to progress, particularly where technology is concerned. With the school opting to use Apple products - including iPads - they were often left frustrated with the incompatibility of Department of Education software with the Apple environment they had built within the school, and for a period of time were reliant on stop-gap software as they waited on the release of the Department’s WebSIS system. With the cancellation of this project, staff felt it was time to begin looking for something more permanent and reliable.
After hearing about Compass from some neighbouring schools, a number of teachers and administrators eagerly went along to an information session and found that their requirements were easily met. Compatible with Apple, Compass would feed into the software they already had set up, while providing a number of new options they knew would be popular with parents at the school, including easy payments from the app. While school leaders had previously resisted an app for parents because nothing truly met their needs, they were won over to the idea when they saw what Compass had to offer. Ticking all of these boxes, Compass was a perfect school management match.
Dalkeith Primary’s Principal Suzanne Pekin is quick to identify one area where change was inescapable from the outset: parent engagement. After setting up a school event, for example, four parents had paid from their phones within two minutes of the event being created; compare this process to sending out letters and receiving cash payments, and it’s not hard to see the appeal. From parent-teacher meetings to school fees, staff at the school are excited about the opportunities Compass offers for furthering their connection with parents in the future.
But it’s not just the software that Sarah McCormick, Deputy Principal, is impressed with: it’s the support and resources that Compass offers that has truly won her over. Estimating that ‘99.99% of the time, the help desk has the answer’ for any query she raises, Ms. McCormick says she has ‘probably never dealt with a better help desk’.