Here’s how it happened.
Newark Academy is, at its heart, an inclusive, diverse community driven toward academic excellence. The school was founded in 1774 and is as richly steeped in American history as it is tied to the land—an impressive 68 acres. With 675 students in all, Newark Academy is a small but mighty school catering to grades 6 through 12, hailing from 91 communities throughout New Jersey.
Before FMX, Newark Academy was using Blackbaud as their Student Information System and their native built-in calendar. The Blackbaud calendar housed the events for faculty, students, parents, and community members, all of which were visible to anyone on the site. Unfortunately, this meant scheduling details meant for internal users, like the number of tables needed or specific food requests, were publicly viewable.
It also wasn’t easy to sort or categorize events in the Blackbaud calendar. Too much information left the calendar cluttered and rendered it useless for school staff, students, and parents who were unable to filter information to find events relevant to them.
Another problem was the lack of configurability within the Blackbaud calendar. Newark Academy was limited to the default Blackbaud scheduling fields, which was problematic for their operations, Audio and Visual (AV), and food support teams, who couldn’t find the events that required their services. Blackbaud also allowed double booking, so many events mistakenly overlapped.
The Newark Academy maintenance teams also didn’t have a ticketing system and the calendar in Blackbaud was difficult for them to use. As a result, they weren’t always able to respond to required maintenance and facility service requests. When the maintenance teams weren’t aware of event schedules, it often resulted in event scheduling errors and general confusion. Parents and students didn’t use the calendar due to the overload of information.
FMX: The Solution
While the Blackbaud calendar presented issues due to the inability to sort and configure calendars, it was a necessary tool for the management of their SIS and athletic event scheduling.
Newark ultimately chose to integrate FMX and Blackbaud to organize their scheduling requests, allowing them to capture all the relevant details and declutter the community-facing Blackbaud calendar for parents, students, and other community members.
FMX was there from the beginning to ensure data was migrated properly, and both calendars functioned seamlessly for different types of users.
“Data Migration and setup was a real strong point; we had good support with that. We’ve had a number of things where we thought we wanted it set up this way, but now that we’re six months in, we realize we need to ask that question differently or add more things. We got awesome support from the FMX side, getting it just right.”
FMX became Newark Academy’s master calendar, housing all athletics, community events, room rentals, and more. All schedule requests went through FMX, where Newark Academy set up unique user permissions to allow different scheduling access to different roles and set up re-approval processes when event details were changed.
With the Blackbaud integration, Newark Academy can use its Blackbaud calendar to show only community events, like athletics, and a handful of other chosen events that are transferable from FMX, like open houses, SAT testing, club fairs, and more.
FMX became the internal calendar for all staff and faculty. They use FMX to see only relevant events and reservations, like scheduled meetings or room reservations that are only viewable to staff and faculty, not public on their community calendar.
FMX and Newark Academy worked to set custom fields for required operations, AV, and food support staff, making it possible for those teams to view only those events that pertain to them. Those teams also receive notifications anytime event changes occur, which ensures they are always in the loop.
The FMX calendar also ensures they never double book events or deal with unwanted overlap. Newark Academy set up all event time changes with a re-approval process to guarantee events are scheduled with enough time to properly organize and prepare.
Additionally, the staff and faculty who need to see every event use the FMX calendar to view all campus events for any given day, or they can opt to filter down by event category to see specifics.
Newark Academy also uses Trip Requests, a feature especially useful for organizing and scheduling vehicles and drivers for external athletic events. They are able to distinguish between scheduled away games and field trips to more easily schedule trip requests for those outside events.
FMX also became the central location for all maintenance ticketing requests. This gave the maintenance team access to relevant calendar events, making their ticketing process quicker and more direct.
By implementing FMX, the district can now manage room requests, event scheduling, planned maintenance, or transportation booking, all from a single platform.
Results & Benefits
Thanks to FMX’s user-friendly system, faculty can now filter calendar searches for events with customized fields specific to buildings, rooms, ownership, request type, equipment and more.
Now, staff members can view the events they need in the Reservation Finder, and filter out the ones they don’t. By creating all scheduled events in FMX, their Blackbaud calendar has been streamlined for community usage and is utilized as a resource for parents and students.
As a centralized system for all scheduling, transportation, and maintenance requests, FMX saves the Newark faculty time and confusion, and it allows the staff to seamlessly organize events.
Now, Newark Academy students, faculty, and surrounding community members can make the most of the campus and focus on what really matters.
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