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Boulder Valley School District: Managing Complex Student Enrollment

7 min read
May 21, 2024 8:00:00 AM

Location: Boulder, CO
Website: Boulder Valley School District
Enrollment: 30,000+ students
Size: 56 schools
SchoolMint Enroll user since 2022


From the snow-capped peaks of the Continental Divide to the suburbs of Denver, Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) serves approximately 30,000 students in 56 high-performing schools.

Yet within this picturesque setting, BVSD faces stiff enrollment competition across the Denver Metropolitan Area from:

  • 144 charter schools
  • 322 private schools
  • 17 neighboring districts

This competition has pushed the district to innovate their programs and services to keep BVSD’s schools attractive to local families. These efforts, however, have come at an operational cost, creating application, lottery, and registration processes that are far from simple.

And for years, all was well. BVSD had an enrollment platform that was tailored to their needs and perfectly suited the district’s enrollment complexity.

“Everything in that system was custom,” says Mike Wilcox, Director of Enrollment at BVSD. “We had multiple systems, and they were totally catered to our needs. The integration was seamless, and the cost of it all was low. It was the best deal ever.”

But as BVSD’s customization requirements grew, they encountered growing resistance from the vendor, who forced the district to make a decision: forgo their customization needs — or find a new enrollment management software.

“So we came to SchoolMint with a simple question,” says Wilcox. “‘Can you recreate the capabilities of our old enrollment system?’”


When BVSD began their search for a new enrollment platform, one factor reigned above all others: functionality.

While other vendors in the RFP process lacked the district’s system requirements — or met the requirements but came with an exorbitant cost and extensive development resources — SchoolMint Enroll offered the perfect middle ground.

“SchoolMint Enroll came in at a good price point, though we were initially unsure of its ability to manage our complex enrollment needs. But the SchoolMint Enroll team rose to the challenge and made it happen,” Wilcox explains. “We’re a central enrollment district with lots of rules to meet. The speed and openness SchoolMint has had toward meeting those requirements has been a big reason why we’re successful.”

Today, the district uses SchoolMint Enroll to manage enrollment from end to end — from gathering applications during open enrollment to running their student lottery, managing registration, and flowing the information back into their SIS.

“Now we’re looking into how we can maximize SchoolMint Enroll, so we’re going to leadership to show how we can use features like seat tracker, constant counts, and auto roll-up,” Wilcox says.seat tracker feature inside schoolmint enroll

Above: SchoolMint Enroll’s Seat Tracker report lets districts view seat availability by campus and filter results to display schools that fit your designated criteria.

Additionally, in 2023, a year after implementing SchoolMint Enroll, BVSD’s enrollment team decided to integrate two additional systems with SchoolMint Enroll:

  • SchoolFinder, a “school search engine” that helps families easily compare schools side by side and make informed decisions.
  • SchoolMint Insights, a predictive enrollment analytics platform that helps districts understand trends, family preferences, and more.


Since 2022, BVSD has seen their enrollment processes become easier — for the district’s enrollment team as well as current and potential families.

From decreasing the enrollment office’s phone call volume to improving their open enrollment processes, these are the six big benefits BVSD has experienced with SchoolMint Enroll.

1. Zero Angry Phone Calls

Going to a new student enrollment system is nerve-racking even under ideal circumstances.

But for BVSD, switching systems inspired more-significant-than-usual apprehension. As Wilcox recalls, “A long time ago, I was hired to take the district from paper enrollment to electronic. And on day one, our customized open enrollment system crashed.”

That ordeal loomed overhead as open enrollment approached and amplified the district’s wariness around implementing a new application system.

“The morning we rolled out SchoolMint Enroll, we had no calls. Zero,” Wilcox says. “And we thought, ‘Whoops! It’s busted. No calls? Something’s wrong.’”

But things were indeed exactly as seamless as they’d appeared. Wilcox and his team’s initial anxiety transformed into relief as SchoolMint Enroll proved its ability to easily process the district’s thousands of student applications despite the district’s complex processes.

As Wilcox notes, “Quiet is better.”

2. Faster Student Application Processing

Another win on the student application front? Increased efficiency. “I have a team of six,” he says. “We’re kind of overburdened all the time.” 

Now, with SchoolMint Enroll, BVSD is processing student applications faster than ever. “I used to hire four temp workers to help us get through summer registration,” Wilcox says. “This past year, we needed only one.”

3. Easier Enrollment Experiences for Families

On the parent and guardian side, BVSD has witnessed a remarkable reduction in families needing hands-on assistance from the district’s enrollment staff. “The feedback we’ve gotten on the system has been solid,” Wilcox notes with satisfaction.

SchoolMint Enroll’s intuitive interface has been particularly well-received by younger families. “They just ‘get it.’ Our young families already expect to do everything online, so SchoolMint Enroll lets them handle things themselves without needing our help.”

Consequently, SchoolMint Enroll has empowered BVSD families to independently navigate open enrollment — freeing up the enrollment team’s valuable time, energy, and resources. Those efficiency gains have translated into providing more one-on-one support for families who need it most: those facing language and literacy barriers.

“When we have families who don’t speak English or families who can’t read, SchoolMint Enroll is easier for them, and we can help them in person,” Wilcox says. “Their experience overall is easier, and we can be more accommodating for them.”

This enhanced accessibility ensures families can navigate the enrollment process with greater ease and efficiency, ultimately expanding access to enrollment within BVSD.

4. Lottery Transparency

The lottery is one area in which they’ve been particularly innovative.

“Families weren’t thrilled about how we previously did our after-school childcare lottery. They would tell us, ‘You should run this like your K-12 lottery.’ They wanted to know their waitlist position and understand why it seemed like all seats were filled in 20 minutes,” Wilcox explains. “So I reached out to [SchoolMint] and asked, ‘Exactly how many forms can I put in SchoolMint Enroll?’”

That number, Wilcox learned, didn’t exist. Like all SchoolMint Enroll partners, he could create unlimited forms in the system.

“SchoolMint Enroll has brought much-needed transparency to our school-age childcare lottery,” he says. “Families have been very happy with it.”

5. Improved Open Enrollment Processes

Typically, SchoolMint’s SchoolFinder partners use the platform to help families easily “shop” for district schools at their leisure — i.e., at home, whether that’s at 1:00 P.M. or 1:00 A.M., from their preferred device online.

schoolfinder compare schools feature

Above: SchoolFinder lets parents and guardians easily compare schools and favorite their preferred campuses. Districts control 100% of the information displayed to families.

However, BVSD took SchoolFinder’s capabilities a step further.

“Before SchoolFinder, it was up to each school to plan events for parents to come in and learn about their options,” Wilcox says. The district saw a way to improve that, so Wilcox and his enrollment team got innovative. 

The team leaned into SchoolFinder’s potential for expanding enrollment access within BVSD — by taking SchoolFinder from being an online-only solution and using it for a practical, real-world application: an open enrollment fair.

Last October, BVSD gathered representatives from all 56 schools and hosted a district-wide open enrollment fair inside the basketball stadium of their local university.

The district’s enrollment team set up three kiosks with six laptops, where families could use SchoolFinder to learn about BVSD’s programs, easily compare selected schools, choose their favorites, and start an application within SchoolMint Enroll.

“We loaded the platform with data for each school,” Wilcox says. “With SchoolFinder, we have control over the information shared about each campus, and parents can click through the platform and learn about our schools, which helps them make informed selections.”

Ultimately, the event — the first school choice fair of that scope BVSD had hosted in more than 20 years — was a resounding success. “We expected maybe 100 new kids,” Wilcox says. “We got more like 1,000.”

schoolfinder guided search feature

Above: How parents and guardians can initiate a search for schools inside SchoolFinder.

6. Data-Driven Enrollment Decisions

In the coming school year, as the district further customizes SchoolMint Enroll and refines their open enrollment processes, Wilcox anticipates diving further into using SchoolFinder and SchoolMint Insights to drive district decisions and make BVSD schools more competitive.

“For example, in SchoolFinder, we can see if a STEM program at an elementary school is getting a lot of clicks despite the school being full,” he adds. “Knowing that helps us think about adding new sections to that school or expanding the program in another area.”

schoolmint insights report modules for programs and demand by neighborhood

Above: SchoolMint Insights helps districts understand enrollment trends, such as demand for programs by neighborhood. This information shows districts where to allocate resources.

Looking Toward the Future

Today, BVSD continues to streamline their internal enrollment processes while also significantly easing the experience for all families.

Further, the integration of SchoolFinder and SchoolMint Insights will soon empower BVSD with invaluable data-driven insights, enabling informed district decision-making and strategic planning for future programs that’ll meet parental demand.

As BVSD continues to explore the full potential of all three of their enrollment platforms, Wilcox and his team have set a compelling example for other school districts striving toward excellence in enrollment management and easy family experiences.

Supercharge Your District’s Enrollment Process

Visit our website today to discover the transformative power of SchoolMint Enroll, SchoolFinder, and SchoolMint Insights — and get one day closer to sustainable, seamless student enrollment in your district.

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