VNN’s Katelyn Kasella sat down with Scott Rosenberg, rSchoolToday’s VP of Sales, to get a demo of their top four products for high school athletics. Here is an inside look at the first product, the Activities Scheduler.
Scott Rosenberg: So thank you. I’m about to show you guys our amazing award-winning activity schedule. This is what athletic directors use really on a daily basis to stay organized, to inform the public about all the events taking place, both athletically and pro activities. That’s one of the differentiators, I feel like between our product and many others, is just the ease of scheduling clubs and activities, outside groups, and things like that, all within this athletic platform. Because, let’s face it, most of those things are tied to facilities, and those facilities are used not only by athletics, but also by these clubs, activities, and outside groups.
So it’s really important to have everything in one place as you take a look at my screen, what you’ll see is today’s events. This is my school, and this is what’s going on today at Kinnelon High school here in New Jersey. You can see some things crossed out, you can see some things in bold. So, for example, anything that’s bold is a home event, as opposed to anything that’s not bold being an away event. And then anything that has changed or been cancelled will show in red, so you can see here that today’s game was moved from a couple days ago when we had a rain out.
If I was to go back and take a look at two days ago on the 28th, what you’ll see is that that game was moved here from the 28th to the 30th, so it also lets you sort of track the history of where games came from, where they moved to. So again, when I take a look at today’s events, I can easily see what’s going on at home as opposed to where I can look at these events and look for more detail of these events. So if I was to take a quick look at this event here, I can see who the officials are, I can see their phone numbers.
This is great information. It also goes right over to our amazing app, so if as a site manager, as an athletic director, if I was at an event and the referees hadn’t shown up yet, I’d easily have the ability to quickly look, see their phone numbers, make a phone call right from the app or from this web version, see their phone numbers, and make a quick phone call. You would also see any location details, any bus times, or comments associated with this event as well. So you have everything sort of all in one place. I wanted to take you quickly through a couple things that I think make this the magic, make it wonderful and easy to use.
One is the advanced view. And so the advanced view is something that I use weekly where I send out a report to my entire staff letting them know what’s going on in my building, in their classrooms. Teachers often take ownership of their classrooms, so they want to know, hey is there an SAT class in my room that night, do I clean up that room differently, do I erase the chalk board, whiteboard, things like that. So I’ll run a quick report here for this week. I’ll show maybe some extra space between events, and then I’ll also look to see some other more detailed options here.
And also, so I might want to show my bus company name right. We will have like seven different buses lined up outside my school to pick up some different teams sometimes on a daily basis, and so it’s great if my coaches would know, let’s say what company, or even the bus driver’s name or who’s going to pick them up. This way they know which bus to go to, and they’re not kind of trying to figure out which bus is theirs.
I can also show things like game workers. I can show officials cell phone numbers, game workers, I can show their cell phone numbers as well. So when I run that report, what you’ll see here is what I would actually email out to my staff every single week. And so this has literally everything going on in my building. It would also encourage my teachers and staff to maybe come take a look at their student athletes playing in some of the games. So they get this every single week, again, you can see some details here like the officials, the bus.
So here’s an example I have of Kinderland.edu, board of education, but for my JV golf team going to this location, there’s a 3 o’clock bus. Here is a situation where my JV lacrosse team is traveling with the varsity team, so that we know they’re on one bus from O’down at 2:45 on a specific day. So that’s just a great report that I can go ahead and click print, email out, whatever I need to do, and I do that usually every single Monday morning. And that’s really helpful to our staff.
A couple other great features are the ease of adding events. Here’s an example of adding a club activity, practice, and what I do is I go to what we call rSchoolToday only area, and so if I wanted to schedule let’s say test dates in my building, and I had a list of them for the entire year, I can say listen, I want to go and schedule it from 8 o’clock a.m. until 2 o’clock p.m., and then I can choose locations that we already have built into the system within my school here. We can choose multiple locations so I could say I’m going to be in room 211, 103, 105, 107, and 206. This is going to reserve that space and make sure it’s open and make sure that nobody else later can go ahead and grab that space for those dates. So I can say listen these are, we’re going to have these on the first Saturday of every month, and I can add those dates.
And if I want to move forward even to let’s say the next three months, I could come and move forward and add the next three months as well. So I could literally do a year’s worth of ACT testing just on one screen. I also can send an invited to anybody associated with that event. So if I had Alice Kiblon as the person who’s running the ACT testing, I can send her an invite. She would receive an email, she’ll be able to drop these dates right into her phone to her calendar, and we can also even add attachments.
So if you had a fundraiser or something like that, you wanted to include an attachment, you’d be able to do that from the screen as well. So what this would do is take these six dates, save them, make sure that nothing else is going on in those classrooms that I was reserving already on those dates and make sure there’s no conflicts. So just a really easy way to add tons and tons of events with just the click of a few buttons. I do that for almost everything. I have outside groups using track practices, I have inside groups like chess club using a room every couple weeks, things like that.
Adding games is really simple through our platform as well. We have the ability to basically present locations. So for example, when I was, if I was to add a schedule it would allow me to come on and say, hey, if my baseball team plays at a park in town and on a specific park in town, it would recognize that. As I was creating a varsity baseball schedule, so I really quickly wanted to take you through what that looks like, and let everybody know how easy it is to schedule a sport. So I’m going to give you a schedule for 22 and 23. I would create a new schedule for the spring of 23, I would choose softball let’s say in this case, I might say girls, and I’ll say I’m going to choose a varsity schedule. This also allows you to record the history as you’re scheduling it. So this will let you know, hey what date did you schedule these games, if your administrative assistant came on and your administrative assistant scheduled games, it would say that the administrative assistant added this game, as opposed to you. Just a really nice way to track back to make sure you know who did the scheduling.
I don’t know, my life gets crazy and sometimes I’m like where did this game come from, I don’t even remember scheduling it. And it lets me really do a quick look and audit of who added that game and when. So here’s just an example of adding a schedule or a game I should say. My best practice would be to add home games first. So I might add my first home game for a season of 2023. We have a drop down menu for event types, as you can see we have games, scrimmages, tournaments, specific names of tournaments, all in there for you. We also assume that you’re both, I’m going to be either the home team or the away team. So we’re going to just say we’re going to put you as both, and then you only have too come and change one. Again, we will pre-load all these into the system for you, but you can easily add them on the fly.
When I come in and I first schedule and I know that this game is going to be at Kindeline Recreation Park, and I find that location, what you’ll see is that automatically it popped up that it’s going to be at Kindeline Recreation Park. But we’re going to be on the varsity softball field, and you’ll see it already defaulted to 4 o’clock til 6:30. So these upside down triangles allow you to save this for every game that you schedule subsequently. So what I mean is as I hit save and add another, I’ve scheduled my first home game. It saves all this information already. Hey, where are we playing, what fields are we playing on, what time is a game, so literally all I need to do is come on and type where’s my next home game. This is going to be on a Saturday, just change my opponent, and literally I can move forward from there, hit save, and add another.
So if you really think about a 20 game schedule, let’s just say 10 home and 10 away games, how easily you can do this, so I would do my home schedule that way, then I would come on and I would quickly say well here’s my first away game on 4/8. That then lets me come on and choose the away team, keep myself as the home tam, keep myself as the away team, then choose the location where we are playing that game.
Let’s just say it’s at the White Mar High School, save the time, and hit save and add another. Now I’ve scheduled two home and two away games very quickly. And then the beauty of this being able to take this varsity softball schedule and make it, let’s say the JV schedule, or even change it into the baseball schedule or move it forward for a year or two of a schedule. So let me show you what that looks like.
If I go into this 22/23 season, you’ll see this varsity softball schedule that I just created, what I can do is I can use our copy feature. This copy feature is amazing, again to say change this schedule to JV or make it the spring of 2-24, or make this the varsity baseball schedule, but maybe just come in and swap home and away as opposed. Because that’s what usually our schedules look like, and then just make some quick edits. So let’s say independent games, so let me give you a quick example. I can come on, I can say I want to take the schedule, make it the JV schedule, but I want to use what we call the activity parameters, so what I’m really trying to do here is say I’m not going to flip any dates or game or locations, but all I want to do is use what I’ve set, which is going to be the JV softball team, plays the same day as the varsity softball team at the same location. The only thing that will change though is the field. So they’re not going to play in the varsity softball field at that park, they’re going to play on the JV field by setting these things in advance.
It’s going to let me come and create a JV schedule the same as the varsity, but just change the field location. So that’ll just take a second, but here’s what you’ll notice before, it would have showed varsity softball field, now it’s showing JV softball field. So literally I don’t have to change the schedule at all. Yet, if maybe for some reason Jackson Liberty didn’t have a JV team, I could come in and just delete this one. Sorry I’m having a hard time clicking it. But I could come in and literally just delete the one JV game and keep the integrity of the rest of the schedule, so that lets me create varsity, JV, freshman schedule really quickly and save those.
I could also come on as I mentioned and I could go ahead and I can copy that schedule again and make it that baseball schedule. In that case what I might do is say hey, let’s take that schedule from this year, make it the varsity baseball schedule. But I just want to swap women away, and so I can quickly take that change, make it varsity baseball, send it to the opposite locations, and then like I said just maybe change up the independent games or delete any games that the varsity baseball team doesn’t play that’s the same amount of the softball team. So that’s just another great feature of the program.
Let me quickly show you transportation. Transportation can be a headache for a lot of people. Our best practice is to get your games into the schedule first, and then you can drop your transportation or you can give it to your transportation director. You can give them a login that just allows them to work on transportation. We’re going to assume that for games, it’s away, but if you had a softball team like I showed you where they played out of parks and you needed busing, you would go ahead and say we’re going to play. We need a bus for both home and away games.
So here’s a great example. I’ll take a look at my soccer schedule, I’ll look at my varsity and maybe my varsity boys schedule from this year, and take a look at our transportation. What you’ll see here is here were all my varsity boys soccer games where I needed busing for this year. And I don’t know about you, but most schools kind of, we leave at the same time. My school gets out at 2:30, we try and be on a bus for 2:45 for the vast majority of our games. And most of our games are 4 o’clock, so this really allows me to come on here and choose 2:45, click this upside down triangle, and choose that as my default time. 2:45 for all games for the entire season, then if I had a game where hey, here’s a Saturday or here’s a 7 p.m. game, but I had to come in and just change one, I could come in and just change that one game, make that 5:45.
You can also choose things like different bus companies, we can set them up so I use a company called First Student or Jersey Kids, or I use my own busing, and as I was mentioning, this allows your coaches to quickly see when they’re outside the building waiting for bus, what bus they’re supposed to take. Maybe the name of a bus driver, so I’ll throw Diane as our bus driver, and that will show up on the report for the week. And it’s very simple to change and edit that. Let me just run back through a couple other amazing features.
I love our coaches area. Most of us have coaches that have to be certified in order to be able to coach. That could be a CPR, and AED certification, that could be concussion certification, it could be heat illness, that kind of stuff, prevention certification, there’s so many different things.
So what this does is it lets you come on and let you say hey, what makes a coach eligible here in my school or in my state, and it lets you set parameters for how long that certification lasts, so here’s a great example of what I’ve set up for my school for us. We use CPR, AED from American Heart Association, it’s good for two years, so we’ve set that as a two-year number so that the system will understand when it runs out and when coaches need to be re-certified. Our NFHS concussion class is good for one year, our NFHS coaching course is good for their career, so that’s just a check box. So in that case we would have a check box and once it’s checked once it’s good and it carries forward for their careers.
So once we set that, we go into our coaches area and it lets us basically type in or put in when our coaches expire, when their certifications expire. And let me show you what that looks like. It also lets us set up coaches to be able to use our app to put in schedule, scores, practices, and things like that as well. Let m just run back and show you from our coaches info side.
And when we look here at Marissa, who was coaching varsity volleyball for us, you can see the heat and illness, when it ran out, concussion, CPR, AED, and things like that. That then allows me to run amazing reports right at the beginning of each season. So I’ll come on and I’ll do an eligibility report prior to my season. It also sends out automatic alerts to myself and to my coaches when their certifications are going to run out. So I can come here and say listen, I’m going to go back to the fall of 2020, I want to show any notes and any expiration dates for all my coaches for the fall of 2020. This kind of replaces having to do this on an Excel spreadsheet.
And so here’s just a great report I would run. I can email it, download it, or print it. You can see all my coaches for the season and you can see when they took their CPR, AED, moving it ahead two years, concussion, heat illness, first aid, things like that. It’s just a really really efficient way to stay organized.
Let me jump back to our main control panel. Message center is another really great contact management system for us. So this allows you to send email messages to any kinds of different groups, to coaches, to parents who have signed up to be notified about game changes. It allows you to utilize our activity registration platform and if parents have registered their students for participation, it allows you to choose by group. So for example I can say I want to send a message out to just parents of a specific team. So I can say for the 2021 school year, I can quickly look and say hey, I just want to send a message out to let’s say my baseball team.
So again, if we had a big game coming up, kid’s going for his 20th win, kid’s going for his fifth career home run, who knows. You can just say I want to send out a message to everybody associated with baseball, run that report and send an email out just to that group. So just a really smooth, easy way to send out messages to anybody associated with your pipeline.
We have the ability without going into too much detail, to set up our officials, to set up game contracts, to use game workers, to send our game workers contracts, to send them reminders if they’re, if I have somebody doing our football announcing, site manager, security, we even have a program coming out this summer that lets them sign up to be game workers from themselves as opposed to us registering them for that as well. So that’s just a really quick overview of our amazing scheduler. And I’d like to move on and show you some of our other programs.