Customer Story

A powerful app for a busy school

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Toowoomba Grammar School (TGS) is a prestigious Prep-12 institution renowned for its robust co-curricular program, extensive academic offering, and dedication to the arts. As one of the largest boarding schools in Australia, they are busy seven days a week, with communication constantly abuzz between parents, teachers, co-curricular coordinators, students and beyond.

Although some parts of the school retain the rich, 150-year history of TGS, their communication methods are many steps into the future. Since 2013, they’ve been utilising a Digistorm App integrated with TASS, rewriting the standard for connecting with a school community.

The Challenge

With countless activities and changes happening daily, the need for instant communication with families is a non-negotiable for a school like Toowoomba Grammar. A sentiment that few understand better than Tammy Wilson, the TGS Director of Advancement.

“We have so much going on on any given day, even the weekends,” shares Tammy. “So it's really important that we can get communication out in real time either to the entire school community or to the subgroups that need very specific messages. The school app that we use with Digistorm is a central part of our communication strategy here at the school. It forms a core pillar of our communication with parents.” 

“Our parents like the app because it's on their phone,” Tammy continues. “They have it with them 24/7. If they're out and about, they can check. We can notify them if sport training is cancelled due to weather, a bus is coming back late, or there's been change to an event location. And our staff like it because it gives them a one-stop shop to push out messages to all parents in one go rather than having communicate via a range of different channels.”

Toowoomba Grammar School App

Key goals

When chatting with the Toowoomba Grammar team, it’s quickly obvious their app has achieved much more than they ever hoped for. They share that overall, the app empowers them to:

  • Ensure immediate and accurate communication with parents.
  • Enhance day-to-day operations and parent interactions through the TASS integration.
  • Streamline communication for the school's extensive co-curricular program through the Clipboard integration.
  • Decrease reliance on email for routine communication.
  • Establish one central source of information.
  • Reinforce the school's brand through customised design.
  • Foster engagement within the school community.
  • Target communication to either the whole school or very specific groups of parents.

On choosing a Digistorm App

For Toowoomba Grammar, choosing a Digistorm App was based first and foremost by the ability to have multiple powerful integrations working in parallel, making the app a one-stop shop for everything a parent needs to know. Most importantly, the school propels their App with TASS and Clipboard.

“The integration with TASS enables parents to access day-to-day operational details directly through the app,” explains Tammy. “They can jump on and report an absentee. They can approve excursions and event invitations. They can check on their son's timetable, look up teacher contact details. It really gives them everything that they for their son's education, so parents really love that integration with Parent Lounge.”

When it comes to the Clipboard integration, no one has more praise than Steve Fryer, Director of Co-curricular Activities at Toowoomba Grammar. “We have a lot of moving pieces, a lot of boys and a lot of different programs all happening at the same time,” details Steve. “Some days, we have up to 20 buses leaving.”

“I strongly recommend a Digistorm App integrated with Clipboard to be able to increase productivity in your administration staff by making sure there's one central source of information. And, at the same time, making sure the communication is current, live and accurate for your parents. Both Digistorm and Clipboard are very, very good at looking forward and progressing their product in a timely manner.” 

If you are considering a Digistorm and TASS integration, make sure you spend time with the Digistorm staff really getting to grips with the breadth of what the app can offer and the level of integration that is available. There's a lot that it can do that will really help with your parent communications and your school community communications.

Working with Digistorm

According to Tammy, the Toowoomba Grammar School feels like part of the Digistorm family. “We have the Digistorm App. We have their Funnel admission software. We have a Digistorm website. We know the staff; we know who we need to speak to and we know that we're going to get support when we need it. The Digistorm team are absolutely amazing.” 

“I once had cause to ring in a bit of a flap at 5 o'clock on a Friday afternoon when I couldn't figure out something that was happening with the newsletter,” continues Tammy. “Our customer support person was on the other end able to answer that question really quickly. The Digistorm team is always available on the end of the phone, or on the end of an email, providing us with assistance in real time.”

Advice for schools considering a Digistorm App

For schools considering a Digistorm App, particularly one integrated with TASS, the Toowoomba Grammar team offers the following practical advice:

  • Understand the breadth of integration possibilities and the depth of features the app can offer in collaboration with TASS. There's a lot that it can do that will really help with your parent communications and your school community communications.
  • Engage your IT team early in the process, recognising their role as key players in facilitating the integration.
  • Clearly communicate with parents about the purpose and capabilities of the app. Consider providing guides, how-to materials, and visual aids to ease the onboarding process.
  • Leverage the expertise of the Digistorm team. They understand schools, parents, and communication and can offer insights and best practices.
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