Eden Prairie High School, is one of Minnesota's largest high schools with nearly 3000 students. Focused on the academic success of each student, an innovative new program was established to lift struggling students and encouraging every student to achieve their goals. The program provides additional academic intervention to those students who need it most. The CORE program, "Centered On Reaching Each", allocates a few days each term for 45--minute lessons where students of all abilities receive help to get a better grasp of difficult subjects.
When the CORE program was first established, it was managed using Google docs, spreadsheets and staff resources. This required inputting nearly 200 CORE sessions per week, then scheduling and communicating sessions to 3000 students. Add mid-week schedule updates and attendance tracking, and the program quickly took a toll on teacher and staff resources.
"Using Google docs and a spreadsheet to implement the CORE program was a scheduling nightmare, leading to inflexible schedules and communication gaps with teachers and students," said administrative teacher on special assignment Sarah Jordan. Less than a year into the new program, the school decided a change was needed to enhance the experience for teachers and students.
VACAVA Inc., an expert in process reengineering and custom solutions, recommended a dynamic scheduling and tracking tool hosted on the IBM Cloud. "An IBM Cloud solution was perfect for this challenge, delivering flexible capacity, anytime-anywhere access, and a price point that matched the school's tight budget," said Terry Bird, Founder and Managing Partner, VACAVA Inc.
The CORE program is now in its second year. The new VACAVA solution has allowed the school to easily input information each week and create more efficient work practices, reducing the burden on teachers and staff. Schedule and update communications with students, teachers and staff has dramatically improved with anytime access from any device or location. The IBM Cloud advantage is especially evident handling the 10 minute class passing periods, when student requests can instantaneously spike to 2000 users. Additionally, their new solution has enabled the school to develop new CORE educational opportunities across multiple teachers to more effectively serve all students. Conn McCartan, Eden Prairie High School Principal, states that "The VACAVA application has allowed us to stay focused on our purpose-- ensuring student success-- rather than managing lists of students for intervention sessions."
The quantifiable benefits Eden Prairie High School has realized from the new application are impressive:
- 85% reduction in Administrator time. Prior to the application 6-8 hours per week were required by one administrator. Now that effort is down to 1 hour per week.
- 66% reduction in the time 150 teachers spend preparing for each week, equating to a savings of 100 teaching hours saved each week. The 150 participating teachers previously needed 1 hour per week for the program, now each teacher requires just 20 min per week.
"We are thrilled with our custom application from VACAVA. This dynamic scheduling tool has dramatically reduced the staff resources required to implement our academic intervention program to nearly 3,000 students. We believe the increased ease of communications and new program flexibility will further increase the positive results we have already seen with CORE," said Jordan.
The custom application developed for Eden Prairie High School is now available to schools of all sizes. AchieveMore by VACAVA® was developed in collaboration with Eden Prairie High School and other Minnesota secondary school educators to reduce the complexity and cost of administering academic enrichment and intervention programs. This dynamic scheduling and tracking tool enables schools to easily schedule, communicate and track enrichment and intervention sessions, reducing the burden on teachers and staff.