As part of our continuing fireside chat series, we interviewed John Umekubo, Director of Technology at the St. Matthew’s Parish School in Pacific Palisades, CA. A QuickSchools customer since July 2013, the St. Matthew’s Parish School has 350 students in grades Preschool-8.
Prior to purchasing QuickSchools, the St. Matthew’s Parish School had been using a homegrown system that included three different systems to meet their school management needs. As Director of Technology, John Umekubo had first hand experience with these tools. “They were not web friendly and it was not ideal to use three systems and now QuickSchools does all of that.”
When asked what he would tell other schools that are considering purchasing an online system, John Umekubo said that it is most efficient to have a “system that can do a lot of things.”
“Some companies can do one thing really well, but it becomes difficult when you have ten tools that does things really well.”
John elaborated that you then have to negotiate with those ten tools. After discovering the extent of QuickSchools’ features, St. Matthew’s Parish School was pleasantly surprised.
John Umekubo and the school administrators appreciated QuickSchools’ willingness to get them “up and running before we really even decided on the product.” QuickSchools allowed the school to put in their student data and try it out before making a decision. This process was “tremendous for the St. Matthew’s Parish School to get to try it and make sure they were making right decision before jumping in.” The St. Matthew’s Parish School was looking at other products; there was just “no other vendor that could offer those same types of services at that time.”
The biggest benefit of QuickSchools for John Umekubo and the St. Matthew’s Parish School has been the small chat window. John Umekubo tried to encourage teachers that they could use the chat feature rather than get internal support from the school. To have immediate “access to QuickSchools support and it’s not normal.” The teachers have loved it and are getting used to it. Now the school has found that they are getting to know the first names of the support team and recognize who is on the other side of the chat window. Another benefit of QuickSchools is their “willingness to listen and take suggestions.” If the St. Matthew’s Parish School is using a report that other schools aren’t using and can benefit from, QuickSchools will review it and incorporate it into the tool.
During the fireside chats, we ask if the school has tracked any specific metrics since using QuickSchools around time spent on activities or more qualitative metrics or direct results or improvements. St. Matthew’s Parish School did not have quantitative results. However, John Umekubo shared positive feedback from faculty after using QuickSchools.
Finally, John Umekubo would “highly recommend QuickSchools.” The St. Matthew’s Parish School was “using multiple systems that were doing multiple things and QuickSchools offered the solution.” The school has a 1:1 iPad program at the middle school level for grades 5-8 and students are using tools and other mobile technology.
“Most schools at least independent schools are all going through something like this right now where the tools, the technology tools specifically, are available at all times and a product like QuickSchools fits like a glove in this regard because you need something that allows your students and parents to have feedback at any given moment and it really fits the bill.”
Thank you to John Umekubo, Director of Technology for participating in our fireside chat.