Currently finishing up its 12th school year, Eastside Preparatory, a grade 5-12 school in Kirkland, Washington, knows a thing or two about rapid change. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that the school was just an idea in the heads of school founders Alice and Tom Strong. In the years since, Eastside has grown into one of the most well-respected and academically rigorous schools in the area as they’ve aimed to make good on their mission statement:
We inspire students to create a better world through Critical Thinking, Responsible Action, Compassionate Leadership and Wise Innovation.
What began as a population of just 16 students and 6 employees has expanded into a student body of 350 supported by 78 faculty and staff members. As their enrollment has grown, Eastside’s campus has necessarily grown alongside. The school is currently constructing a 30,000 square foot building that will house classrooms, science labs, and Eastside’s first-ever basketball court that they plan to have finished before they begin the 2015-16 school year. And while it may not be as flashy as a new building, Eastside is also changing the way they do course material fulfillment by switching to MBS Direct.
Eastside’s decision to choose MBS Direct had nearly as much to do with serendipity as it did MBS Direct’s actual features and products. “Last year I was going through our textbooks and I found a flyer from MBS Direct,” said Commons Coordinator Marcela Winspear. “It really intrigued me, so I went online and did some research, and I ended up contacting [Regional Sales Manager] Aaron Beckmann, who came out to talk about MBS Direct with our staff.”
Though the staff was initially reluctant to change from its previous setup of an on-campus bookstore, they quickly came to the realization that MBS Direct was going to be the right solution for the entire school. “We really liked how the MBS [Direct] team responded to us, as well as how the platform worked and its simplicity,” Winspear said. “I didn’t feel like there was anything hidden; everything is very straightforward. Plus, the customer service is really top-notch.”
Eastside’s old method of course material fulfillment was essentially self-run, usually by a single staff member, and their bookstore only offered new books to its students. But recently it became obvious that the school would greatly benefit from another system, and MBS Direct offered the kinds of options that Eastside’s decision makers were looking for, specifically in the form of Guaranteed Buyback, which guarantees a certain price for selling a book back at the end of the term, and used books, which offers savings that their students had not previously gotten access to.
Winspear also said that, in addition to MBS Direct’s services, the cost savings provided by the company are perhaps the most exciting part of the transition, for both the school itself and their students.
“We are looking forward to a lower cost for the school and spending those funds elsewhere other than books. I’m excited for the students to be able to buy used books, and I think they are as well,” she said.