Announcement: Curacubby now under new leadership

Curacubby Team
December 4, 2023

7 Ways to Streamline OST Program Administration

7 Ways to Streamline OST Program Administration

Navigating the complexities of OST program administration can be daunting, but this article aims to make that journey smoother with seven key steps. We'll walk you through each phase using the hypothetical example of HarmonyHaven Music School to offer practical strategies that are easy to implement. From enhancing parent communication to automating tuition management, these steps are designed to help you save time, increase engagement, and create a more enriching experience for everyone involved. So if you're looking to streamline operations while maintaining a focus on what matters most—music education and student success—read on for actionable insights.

Streamlining Attendance Management

Let's tackle attendance first. Suppose our hypothetical school, HarmonyHaven, has a manual attendance system that is a drag. Volunteers mark students in and out on paper sheets. Eventually, errors creep in - especially when the music is loud and kids are everywhere. In a setting where you want the focus on fine arts, attendance shouldn't be a chore.

To make life easier, switch to a digital student check-in system. A good one, like Curacubby's, will let parents check their kids in and out with a tap. This time-stamps every entry and exit, ensuring you know exactly who attended the violin or vocal performance classes and who didn't. No remembering is needed.

So, what's the win here? When you have precise attendance data, billing becomes a breeze. The system can automatically generate invoices based on who showed up. That's especially handy if your OST program offers a variety of classes that might be billed differently. You save time and keep the focus where it belongs: on the music.

Elevate Parent Communication

Effective communication is crucial, especially in the OST program world. You're not just sending memos about the dates and times; you're forging a connection between the program, parents, and young people. According to research, better family engagement can directly affect a student's success, both in school and in life.

Engaged parents are more likely to take an active role in their children's education and afterschool activities. When parents are well-informed and feel connected, they're more likely to help with homework, encourage practice sessions, or even volunteer. This level of involvement doesn't just make your job easier; it actually predicts better outcomes for students. Today, achieving this level of communication is easier than ever, thanks to digital tools that facilitate timely, effective, and even proactive interaction between schools and families.

To boost communication, consider having a dedicated app for parental communication that can capture both the big and small moments. Whether it's documenting a student's first successful solo performance or a minor classroom incident, these details create a fuller picture for parents and encourage more active involvement. With capabilities like photo-sharing and real-time updates, you can make sure parents feel like they're part of their child's educational journey, even when they can't be there in person.

Pairing a specialized communication app with a system for mass emails and text messages further elevates your reach. For example, have you got an upcoming ensemble event or changes in the schedule? Shoot off a text or email to the right parents at just the right time. It's an integral piece of a thriving OST program and one you can easily implement to set your program up for success.

Health & Safety Measures

Health and safety can't be an afterthought. Every student who comes to your programs needs to know they're in a safe environment. Right now, HarmonyHaven's screening process involves manual temperature checks and a symptom questionnaire, usually handled by a staff member. It's not the most efficient way to start your music-filled afternoon.

An automated health-tracking system changes the game. Parents or staff can log daily symptoms and temperatures via an app. It standardizes the process, adheres to health guidelines, and, importantly, keeps everyone safer.

Now, combine this with your digital check-in system. As students arrive for their afterschool class, you can quickly confirm they've passed the daily health checks. It's peace of mind for everyone involved, from the music teacher to the parents.

Streamlined Enrollment with Online Software

Next up is enrollment, and it's a big one. Every school year, HarmonyHaven dreads the influx of paper applications, phone calls, and the juggling of waitlists. Add to that the complications of managing tuition for different music classes, and you've got a logistical nightmare.

It's time to digitalize the whole enrollment process. Curacubby's Enrollment Management Software provides an online portal where parents can submit applications, pay fees, and even upload required documents. No more sorting through stacks of paper in the office or missing out on potential enrollments because the process is too cumbersome. Even better, it offers waitlist management and tuition billing features. So, not only can you track who's next in line for that popular intro to music class, but you can also handle all billing in one centralized system. 

Easy Form Management for Arts Administration

Let's talk about forms. Whether it's permission slips for a field trip to a museum or applications for summer camps, paperwork is endless in OST administration. HarmonyHaven still relies on printed forms for everything. We all know what that means: lost papers, unreadable handwriting, and endless filing.

Switching to an online form builder makes a huge difference. It lets you create digital forms with customizable fields and e-signature capabilities. That means no more digging through filing cabinets looking for that one consent form. In the context of a music OST program, think about how this could streamline your admission process or registration for special music sessions. Parents can quickly sign off on a new technology course offering or confirm their child's attendance in the summer jazz ensemble, all from their smartphone or computer.

Automated Tuition Management

Managing tuition and other fees is a central part of running any OST program. The traditional way involves invoicing parents manually and tracking payments across different systems. It's cumbersome and prone to errors, especially when dealing with diverse classes with different pricing.

A tuition management system automates this entirely. It integrates with your attendance and enrollment data, generating invoices and processing payments without the need for manual intervention. Imagine how this could revolutionize your music business, particularly if you offer various course options with different fee structures. Say goodbye to those late-night sessions reconciling accounts and chasing unpaid invoices. Your administration team will have more time to focus on enriching the program and creating more opportunities for youth involvement in the performing arts.

Don't Overlook Fundraising Opportunities

Lastly, let's touch on fundraising, an often underutilized aspect of many OST programs. Maybe HarmonyHaven holds an annual bake sale or car wash, but these traditional methods are limiting and labor-intensive. With an online fundraising platform, you open up a whole new world of possibilities. Customizable donation pages can be created for various needs, whether you're raising funds for new music publishing resources or for scholarships for under-resourced students. 


There you have it—seven game-changing strategies to take your OST program to the next level. No more wrestling with paper forms, late-night invoice reconciling, or disorganized communication. With the right software and a digital-first approach, you can simplify administration, engage more meaningfully with parents, and, most importantly, provide a richer, safer educational experience for your students. So, why wait? Start implementing these strategies today and set the stage for a harmonious school year.