Marist Catholic High School Bolsters Digital with MBS Direct
Committing to technology
Marist Catholic High School has roots dating back nearly 100 years. The school, which is located in Eugene, Oregon, boasts a 99.9 percent rate of graduation within four years, with 99.5 percent of those graduates continuing on to higher education. To continue to see results like these, the school is committed to a technology initiative that will eventually require the majority of their course materials to be digital.
"It's the 21st century," said Assistant Principal Stacey Baker. "Technology is here to stay, and part of our job is to help our students learn ethical usage and management of it." When it came time to launch their initial pilot program after years of planning, the administration at Marist decided to try a different provider. It wasn't an easy decision to make after 10 years of a successful partnership with MBS Direct, but the other company seemed to fit with the school's original plan for their digital program.
"We were planning to launch a 1:1 iPad program, and another company had different implementation tools that we thought would work with our mobile learning program," said Baker. "We thought they could help us through the transition, but our needs changed and their program no longer met our needs."
The initial pilot program launched in 2014, with every teacher receiving an iPad and an iPad cart made available for classroom use. Despite the enthusiasm of the teachers and the success of the pilot, the new provider could not meet their needs. The administration decided to look at what other schools in the area were doing with their digital programs.
"We realized we wanted an in-house program instead," Baker said. "Consequently, we knew we needed a different partner. MBS Direct had been really great with our parents and we knew they could fill our customer service needs when we transitioned to mostly digital books."
MBS Direct has been great with transitioning our Online Bookstore to a one-stop-shopping center and communication tool. This will make everything much easier, both on our families and on the school.— Stacey Baker
Now the administration and staff can focus on what will lead to the success of their program, including faculty training and increasing their exposure to digital educational materials. Luckily, most of the teachers at Marist are already adapting very well to the changes.
"You hear the horror stories from other schools about the teachers who are set in their ways or just not fans of technology in general, making it difficult to start a program like this," Baker said. "But everyone here has been really open to the process — quite a few teachers jumped right on board immediately. Staff support has been great!"
As to why digital is so important to the school's future, Baker said it came down to a few key factors.
"First, digital gives us mobility and keeps everything (like notes, the actual texts themselves and support) in one place. This will make it easier for students who struggle with organization.
"The second factor is the amount of weight that will be lifted — literally — from our students' backs," she continued. "For some reason, the freshman class have the heaviest books. They are actually hunched over under the weight of their backpacks.
"The last factor is cost. Nine times out of ten, the digital version will be cheaper than the new print copy. This is a big bonus for our parents who also have to consider the cost of tuition. We're helping them save."
Beginning in Fall 2016, students, students and families will be able to use their Online Bookstore as a central hub for information, as well as a convenient place to purchase their course materials.
"MBS Direct has been great with transitioning our Online Bookstore to a one-stop-shopping center and communication tool," Baker said. "This will make everything much easier, both on our families and on the school."
About Marist Catholic High School:
- FTE: 500
- Founded in 1918 and located in Eugene, Oregon
- Uses a 1:1 iPad program for their students
- Opened an MBS Direct Online Bookstore in the Fall of 2015
- Provides schools a branded, online bookstore where students can affordably and conveniently get their course materials
- 24/7 Customer Contact Center with email, live chat, phone and social media options
- Variety of purchasing options for students (digital, rental, new and used books, Marketplace, etc.) that allows families to save in whatever way works best for them