¡hola hp! is a tutoring organization in Highland Park, Texas, catering to students from Pre-K to high school seniors. Founder Katherine Herron, previously a Highland Park ISD Spanish teacher for 9 years, started the organization in 2006 to achieve two goals: to be able to help students at all levels of Spanish feel successful through small group learning environments and to be home for her own small children.
In the beginning, Katherine worked with groups of 8 kids from her house every night. Within 2 years, she and a couple of teachers were tutoring 90 kids, so she opened an offsite location and offered an additional subject. Those changes brought explosive growth. With only 3 classrooms, ¡hola hp! outgrew that location within 6 months and opened another one right behind it with 4 classrooms and 18 tutors, offering not only Spanish but tutoring for AP tests and a variety of other coursework.
"I always wanted to teach and this naturally progressed by filling a need."
Along with the logistical challenges of rapid growth came an administrative nightmare: payment collection. Students signed up via Signup Genius and parents were supposed to send checks at the beginning of the month. It didn’t work well. Chasing payments for over 200 students quickly became unmanageable. “It was horrible,” Katherine says.
Katherine estimates that she now saves 5-10 hours weekly by not having to chase down payments. During registration week (which happens 3 times per year), she saves closer to 20 hours. ACTIVEWorks® | Camp & Class Manager gives Katherine the flexibility to offer pop-up classes at any location, any time, making it easy for parents to register on the spot. It makes it easy, in a program with constantly shifting rosters, to switch kids from one group to another or open up waitlisted groups. For expired card payments, Katherine simply runs a report once a month and sends a quick email. Additionally, the online registration site drives parents to her website, allowing for a greater level of self-serve information retrieval, and freeing up even more of her time.
Camp & Class Manager easily brought order to ¡hola hp!’s chaos, enabling Katherine to manage even more growth. Revenue is directly deposited, which means Katherine has said adios to money-handling and frequent bank runs. Parents also love the ease of digital payment.
"Life is always moving and ACTIVE has helped keep my days with my kids."
¡hola! tutors love being able to contact parents with a quick email. Formerly, they used Google Groups to send out emails. If one student dropped and another student entered, that information had to be managed manually. With the constant ebb and flow of rosters based on kids’ scheduling needs, it was hard to be sure that email groups had been updated. Now, with Camp & Class Manager, groups are always up to date.
Camp & Class Manager also allows Katherine to open groups, add a location and room, and attach the teacher’s name as the title, so kids and tutors can see all the pertinent details in one spot. With two locations (and occasional pop-up sessions at Katherine's home, if needed), the GPS map feature saves on confusion for students and tutors as well.“If I know my husband will be home late and I can’t go to the space, I’ll have the group meet at my house. We have lots of flexibility; we can change location or create a group—wherever, whenever— and send out link," Katherine says.
Katherine finds it difficult to tell her ACTIVE success story without constant references to the assistance she received every step of the way from her account managers, Paul and Sydney. When she decided to offer a special college application class with a SMU professor, she quickly received the help she needed to change the payment plan. Her account managers also showed her how to categorize each season’s courses to keep all tuition from funneling into one shared fund, which had made refunds and course changes messy.
It didn't take long for Katherine's tutors to see new uses for the software. It cost nothing to schedule and promote various adult pop-up sessions (calligraphy, crafts, Spanish) for parents, further enhancing their loyalty to Katherine's programming and empowering tutors' ability to earn additional revenue.
The 5-year plan for ¡hola hp! includes adding tutoring sessions for every course offered in every grade of the Highland Park ISD.No matter the direction Katherine's business takes, she knows ACTIVE Network will be there to support her ultimate mission to put her family first while continuing to serve the students in her area. View Katherine's story here or in the video below.