Jackrabbit’s Staff Portal is a Powerful Asset for Employees of Youth Activity Centers

Managing your classes and running the front desk of your school, studio or gym can turn into quite the time-consuming tasks. Making these manageable tasks would be awesome, wouldn’t it?

Jackrabbit provides a way for you and your staff to be equipped with all the tools needed to manage classes: login to the Staff Portal.

If that sounds too good to be true, read on. You’ll learn how much power you and your staff have at your fingertips.

What is the Jackrabbit Staff Portal?

The Staff Portal is a mobile-friendly, secure feature created to give staff members of dance studios, swim and music schools and gymnastics and cheer gyms tools for taking attendance, entering time and updating skills without having access to Jackrabbit.

Think of the Staff Portal as separate access from your Jackrabbit application. To streamline your staff’s workflow, employees with multiple roles at your dance studio, gymnastics gym, or swim school will have the same login credentials for both, Jackrabbit and the Staff Portal.

The Jackrabbit Staff Portal was introduced in 2016 and since then has been enhanced with features that include even more than the My Schedule, My Time Card, Manage Classes, and Attendance Button that you may notice right away.

Who Gets the Most from Using the Staff Portal?

Every employee of gymnastics and cheer gyms, dance studios, and swim and music schools should use the Staff Portal and experience the benefits of doing so.

Because they can access the tools that support their job responsibilities, employees find that managing attendance and skills, as well as their work hours, viewing lesson plans, sending emails, and staying informed about what’s going on at the youth activity center is easily accomplished in one place!

The Staff Portal helps its users save time, increase accuracy, and basically enjoy a better experience while at work.

What are the most popular features of the Staff Portal?

We (virtually) sat down with two Jackrabbit clients – Angela Floyd Schools for Dance and Music and Gypsy Swim School – to discuss the benefits of the Jackrabbit Staff Portal. Three popular features offered in the Staff Portal are the Time Clock, Skill Tracking and Attendance.

Time Clock

Our clients take advantage of the Time Clock to simplify their payroll reporting process – only requiring a couple of steps to put payroll details into their accountant’s hands. Time consumed to run payroll reports can be reduced from 8-10 hours to 20 minutes per payroll period. Read that last sentence again!

And because administrative staff are not required to be the middlemen in entering payroll data, far fewer entries require confirmation.

Employees entering payroll information into the Staff Portal have a vested interest in making sure they are accurate in what they enter. This is perfect for owners who see fewer inconsistencies and errors in the payroll information they no longer have to key in.

All things (Improvements and time-savings) considered, implementing the Time Clock is a no-brainer.

“I can do two weeks of payroll in 20 minutes – and from home if I prefer,” notes Jackie. “And because our employees are entering their own hours, they make sure it’s accurate.”
– Jackie Sheffield, Director of Gypsy Swim School

“In a true lightbulb moment for us, we realized how many unnecessary steps were in our time tracking and payroll production process. Using Jackrabbit’s Time Clock simplifies this process by leaving the data entry part of this process in the hands of those with the most to gain from its accuracy – our staff – and is a tremendous time saver for everyone who has to touch payroll.”
– Molly Jackson, Assistant Director at Angela Floyd Schools of Dance & Music

Skill Tracking

Both clients utilize skill tracking within the Jackrabbit Staff Portal to keep parents better informed of their student’s progress. It’s easy for parents to see when skills are achieved and when their student’s progress may need to be evaluated.

The level of skill detail that parents can see becomes a significant differentiator for gyms, studios, and schools using Jackrabbit’s Staff Portal. The flexibility of skill tracking makes it possible for practically any organization to track skills for many types of classes. Skill tracking enables parents to review instructor notes and gives administrative staff an efficient platform for keeping parents informed about their student’s progress.

“When parents are informed about their child at such a granular level, they have fewer questions about their billing and stay engaged in what their child is doing. Sharing skill tracking with parents can be a powerful tool for retaining students and creating parents who advocate for your school. They wouldn’t consider changing swim schools because your level of sharing reflects your level of caring – and they don’t want to test the waters at the school down the street who may not share or care as much.”
– Jackie Sheffield, Director of Gypsy Swim School

“Each year we learn new ways that we can tweak our process for sharing students’ skills progress with parents. Dance and music are driven by different skills at different levels. Jackrabbit’s Staff Portal enables us to share important skills information with parents – regardless of the type classes their students are in.”
– Molly Jackson, Assistant Director at Angela Floyd Schools of Dance & Music

Attendance

Angela Floyd Schools for Dance and Music and Gypsy Swim School depend on attendance features in Jackrabbit to manage who is in class – but actually more important to administration – who is not.

Taking attendance quickly is critical for instructors because teaching time is precious. Staff Portal users complete attendance in the Staff Portal using either a smartphone or tablet from within the classroom. Swim schools that have a front desk person available during lessons will take attendance from the deck while the swim lesson is taking place.

Jackrabbit’s Staff Portal also gives instructors (especially substitutes) multiple ways to confirm important details about their students.

“When we started off using Jackrabbit, we dove directly into the attendance feature. We quickly saw how much time could be saved with this feature alone and realized that other features in Jackrabbit would compound these savings for both our dance and music schools.”
– Debra Hall, Office Staff at Angela Floyd Schools of Dance & Music

Jackrabbit’s Staff Portal delivers many benefits

Operational processes are not the most exciting component of teaching children to swim, dance, or play a musical instrument, but they are critical to keeping the doors open so classes can be provided.

The more efficient processes are, the more quickly staff can take care of them and move on to more business improvement and growth-oriented strategies.

Operations are made more efficient by Staff Portal features in:

  • Eliminating manual aspects of business processes so human errors are greatly reduced.
  • Entering information directly into software so data accuracy and speed for every process is heightened so staff members are not rushed or overwhelmed.
  • Reducing steps so staff can accomplish more in less time.
  • Working in conjunction with the Parent Portal so even greater time-savings can be enjoyed.

For clients, the benefits of the portals are significant.

Use of Jackrabbit’s two portals (Staff and Parent) can save organizations in man-hours – in Angela Floyd Schools for Dance & Music’s case the sayings are at least 4 hours per week – plus 10-15 hour savings bi-annually. And the savings in paper, envelopes, and postage cannot be ignored. It all adds up to a significant impact on the bottom line.

“We pride ourselves on organization and professionalism which are qualities that attract parents to our schools. Jackrabbit’s Staff Portal totally supports these traits and has been a transformation component for this business.
– Debra Hall, Office Staff at Angela Floyd Schools of Dance & Music

About the Author:

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After studying graphic design at the University of Georgia, Jill held several positions in media and marketing including Art Director, Editor and Marketing Director. As a student of dance, she has spent plenty of time in children’s activity centers and puts that experience to work for her in the work she does with Jackrabbit. In addition to her interest in dance, Jill also enjoys sports, gourmet cooking, entertaining, singing and spoiling her five grandchildren.

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