Your 2022 Guide to Blackbaud’s K-12 Conference

Blackbaud’s virtual K-12 Conference, July 19–20, 2022, will bring together thousands of K-12 professionals and industry-leading experts for two days of thought leadership, shop talk, and shared learning experiences. With opportunities for virtual peer networking and small group discussions, there will be tracks for admissions and enrollment, the business office, student and learning management, and technology and innovation. Attendees will walk away knowing the latest on best practices and trends and how to leverage technology solutions and partnerships to connect the entire school. Best of all, the conference is entirely free!

We asked members of Blackbaud’s K-12 Executive Advisory Board—experts with boots-on-the-ground experience—which sessions they would recommend most.

Top Sessions Recommended by a School Registrar

Tracy Dodge is the director of student information and registrar at Washington International School, where she oversees the student information system, learning management system, and other integrated solutions. She has expertise in academic record management and reporting, student data privacy, implementing technology solutions, designing and delivering training, and developing policies and procedures. During her tenure, she has led the creation of the school’s privacy policy, record retention schedule, and gender inclusion policy.

If you love student data as much as Tracy does, she says you won’t want to miss these sessions:

  • Custom Dashboards and Insights Driving School Decisions: Traci Holinger, data and software administrator at Regis Jesuit High School, will showcase the custom insights she built to help guide the school’s direction on student support, teacher mentoring, student body inclusion (by gender, ethnicity, and religion), student engagement (in clubs, retreats, immersions, and athletics), and tuition projections. This is an excellent event for administrators and data lovers alike.
  • Shop Talk: Blackbaud Student Information System™: Join Jacqueline Koca, product manager at Blackbaud, and Michele Lobdell, technical solutions engineer, to learn about exciting updates to Blackbaud Student Information System and get a sneak peek at future releases.
  • Use the Tools. Improve the Process: Washington International School used multiple, disconnected means for collecting, storing, and communicating student information. They had Google forms and docs, emails, databases, digital files, and even hard copy binders. They needed to consolidate data, streamline practices, and improve consistency. Blackbaud’s education management portfolio provided the tools required to achieve those goals. Tracy Dodge, director of Student Information and registrar, will share how they used Official Notes, Conduct, Forms, and Learning Profiles to save time, advance data privacy, and better support students.

Top Sessions Recommended by a Finance Professional

Susan Wayland, the founder of Strategic Finance Advisory, LLC, provides interim CFO/COO services, strategic financial planning, and consulting to independent schools on best practices for business offices. Susan has more than 30 years of experience leading the finance function in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

These are her top three Blackbaud K-12 Conference session recommendations for Business Office attendees:

  • Non-Tuition Expenses and the Impact on Financial Aid: The Cost of Attendance (COA) for an independent school usually neglects to include non-tuition expenses and does not equal the true expected family contribution (EFC). In this session, Hiram Cuevas, director of information systems and academic technology at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, VA, will explore those expenses and demonstrate the overall impact on a school’s financial aid model. Participants will learn actionable strategies to address these additional expenses and ensure a financial aid program aligned with the school’s goals.
  • Shop Talk: Blackbaud Tuition Management™: Join Katie Turner, CPA, former controller for Miss Porter’s School and current Blackbaud senior solutions engineer, for her conversation with Jamie Lyons, product manager for Blackbaud K-12 Solutions™, about the latest developments and future plans for the Blackbaud Tuition Management product roadmap. Bring questions for the Q&A session immediately following their discussion!
  • Excelling with Expense Management: Join Amy Reaser, director of finance at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School in Houston, TX, as she shares her experience in successfully implementing Expense Management with Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT®. This session will be moderated by Elizabeth Bottonari, senior customer success manager at Blackbaud, who spent more than ten years working in K-12 education.

Top Sessions Recommended by an IT Professional

Hiram Cuevas, director of information systems and academic technology at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, VA, is the executive director of Blackbaud’s K-12 Advisory Board and, in 2021, was recognized by the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS) as a Pillar Award recipient. He has personally led the journey of integrating technology into the curriculum and deploying the school’s student information system and website.

According to Hiram, “If you are in IT and/or live in data, I would not miss these two sessions.”

  • The Power of Advanced Lists: Dive deep into the building of advanced lists with a Blackbaud school client. This session is led by Carolyn Stevens, information systems administrator at Cranbrook Schools, and Matt Clemmons of Clemmons Consulting, who has provided expertise on information management to independent schools and nonprofit organizations for over fifteen years.
  • Harnessing the Powers of Insights, SKY API® & Microsoft Power BI: Join Jimmy Cudzilo, chief information officer at Miami Country Day School, and Alex Orr, senior principal solutions engineer, for a quick look at Insight Designer and how you can start gaining business intelligence right away. They will also demonstrate how to take your reporting up a notch using SKY API and Power BI.

And there’s so much more! With dozens of breakout sessions, featured speakers, and opportunities for virtual networking, July 19-20 will be packed with valuable insights and takeaways. Plan your personal session agenda, block off time on your calendar, and be ready to take notes.

We look forward to seeing you (virtually) at Blackbaud’s K-12 Conference – register for free today!