The biggest problems with extra-curricular management and how-to fix them

The biggest problems with extra-curricular management and how-to fix them

With students starting to return to school, kids can't wait to get active again after being cooped up at home. It may take a while before all activities are functioning normally, so now is a great time to start planning for when it does!

The Alpha School System asked an Advisory Group of 7 schools to help us understand the complexities around the coordination of Extra Curricular programs, and how they manage them. This is what they said:

1. Extra-curricular overload

There’s no question that extra-curricular is a huge part of a student’s school experience; however balancing home, social and school life with added extra-curricular commitments can often cause a responsibility overload.

It’s therefore important for your student’s mental and physical wellbeing to find a healthy balance between extra-curricular activities and schoolwork.

Avoiding clashes with class time is sometimes not an option, but even if a lesson needs to fall during class time, there’s still plenty to consider such as:

  • A student’s preference on which class to disrupt
  • Not disrupting the same class on a regular basis
  • Upcoming assessments and exams
  • Availability of after-hours transport options

2. Duty of care

Class attendance and the confusion that conflicting extra-curricular commitments can cause is a common problem.

Teachers have a duty of care to their students, and have an obligation to find out why one has not shown up to class.

To avoid inundating your student office with calls, consider consolidating your extra-curricular schedules with your curriculum timetable in a common database, to ensure staff can immediately verify attendance and identify student whereabouts.

3. Maintaining student privacy

Maintaining security around student data is everyone’s job, and the level of access each staff member has to student information should be carefully considered.

When examining what information should be available to tutors and coaches consider:

  • the exposure that each person has to students
  • limiting visibility of student records to only the students they work with
  • what student information is necessary and how much information do people need

For example, access to medical alerts and emergency contacts, while keeping all other medical details private.

4. Sign-up processes

With hundreds of students signing up for extra-curricular activities every year, managing the data that needs to be collected can get a bit hectic.

Replacing paper-based forms, permission slips and excel spreadsheets with online sign-up options will not only modernise the process but also minimise the administration of collating and approving applications.

An online approach will provide greater control over:

  • the mandatory data and documentation collected
  • the maximum number of students per activity, creating a ‘first in first served’ approach
  • verification of student medical details
  • acceptance of the school’s sporting codes of conduct and terms and conditions.

5. Up-to-date data

Spreadsheets are one of the most common methods for organising student extra-curricular lists, however updating a spreadsheet will not update the school’s records and main central database.

Using one central database for this information will ensure accuracy across faculties, prevent double handling of data, miscommunication, data consistency errors and a whole lot of effort.

Using the school’s contact database (instead of Excel-maintained contact lists) also makes dissemination of information much easier.

In summary, extracurricular activities have seemingly endless benefits to student development, so it’s a no-brainer that your sport and music programs stay organised, up-to-date and well managed.

Take a look at The Alpha School System’s Extra Curricular Management solution.