Briya, a charter school with four locations in Washington, DC, faced a mounting challenge: they were rapidly outgrowing their existing, Excel-based school management system, which was a poor match for their innovative adult-and-family focused education model. Tracking the necessary data for their growing student body and utilizing their data as needed, due to the limitations of spreadsheets, was becoming increasingly problematic and taking up valuable time and resources.
Briya needed a customized system that would reduce administrative time, redundancy, and data errors. This new system needed to track all of their students with their corresponding classes, attendances, grades, and program-specific data. It also needed to run custom reports for funding agencies and automatically create and send daily data files to a government reporting agency.
LookThink proposed and implemented a Salesforce-based system that delivered a complete, custom School Management Platform, allowing Briya staff to register, enroll, manage, grade, and track the academic progress of their diverse student base. We architected a comprehensive data model to address all of their immediate requirements and to allow for future expansion as needed, using both standard and custom Salesforce objects to house data for their students, teachers, modules, classes, attendance, grades, and much more.
Workflows, triggers, and Apex classes were used to enhance the Salesforce objects’ functionality in many ways, among which are helping to limit repetitious data entry and to ensure data quality.
We designed and created custom VisualForce pages for attendance-taking and grading to allow Briya’s teachers to accurately record data, reducing user error and giving them an aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly system for entering their student data. Teachers are now able to quickly log student attendance each day, assigning class-credit hours on a per-class and per-day basis, as well as mark canceled school days.
The custom Grade Entry page allows for easy access to assignments and entry of the students’ grades, using filters to display only applicable assignments based on criteria the teacher can set. Our Apex classes and triggers do all of the hard work behind the scenes for the staff, with a custom grading algorithm to automatically calculate students’ cumulative grades based on assignments, quizzes, exams, and attendance hours.
Teachers are now able to quickly log student attendance each day, assigning class-credit hours on a per-class and per-day basis, as well as mark canceled school days.
Under their old system, each day Briya would have to compile student data from various spreadsheets into a specific format and manually upload the files to a reporting agency. We wrote custom Apex code to create five individualized reports that extract student data based on predefined parameters, such as an individual student’s class enrollment date and primary coursework, and to map the data to five different file formats required by the reporting agency. We then set up a daily Apex batch job to run new reports and scheduled dataloader.io to upload the files to the reporting agency each day. What used to be a laborious daily process is now completely automated from start-to-finish. For additional reporting needs that could not be fully automated, we created custom Salesforce reports that would pull all necessary data into the requested format.
What used to be a laborious daily process is now completely automated from start-to-finish.
To ensure effective acceptance and usage of the new management system, LookThink provided iterative training to the Briya staff, helping all levels of users understand how to access and execute the new functionality, including creating data records, setting up custom pagelist views, assigning profiles to users, and running the custom reports that they would need.
The transformation of Briya’s school management system from a disparate and laborious spreadsheet-based system to an integrated, robust application not only provides significant time savings for the Briya staff, but also reduces errors and ensures timely delivery of their required reporting.
Now Briya is able to accurately manage their student information, use their data more effectively, and put their time-and-energy savings to much better use.
LookThink professionals helped Briya harness the full power and potential of Salesforce; now Briya is able to accurately manage their student information, use their data more effectively, and put their time-and-energy savings to much better use.
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