RDA Corporation

Case Studies

New Teacher Portal for County School System Drives Information Management Efficiency Using SharePoint

Project At a Glance

RDA developed a SharePoint-based portal for this county school system that enables teachers, principals and administrators to manage student-related data and content efficiently and effectively. The new portal environment establishes a single source to go to for a variety of information, which is far more time efficient than the previous methods used.

About Our Client

Our client is one of the largest school systems in the U.S., with 105,315 students; 173 schools, programs, and centers; 17,000 employees, including 8,850 classroom teachers; and 7,300 graduates annually.

Background

Our client was interested in developing a portal that would allow teachers to better manage their student related data. RDA met with our client to help them develop a strategy and the team determined that leveraging Microsoft SharePoint for the portal environment made the most sense, with custom configurations to meet their specific requirements.

Solution Detail

RDA worked with our client to develop the Education, Assessment and Student Information (easi) System, a portal for student information that leverages Microsoft SharePoint 2010.

The easi portal identifies teachers and other users based on their Active Directory credentials and presents them with personalized pages that include specific courses, classes and student details. This tailored display and access to information allows teachers to quickly navigate through the portal in an intuitive fashion.

The easi portal pulls from data stored in SQL Server, which is populated daily from multiple student data systems throughout the school system. This establishes a single source of data for a variety of student information. Custom SharePoint web parts are used to extract data from SQL Server and present this data to teachers in an easy-to-read format.

The system architecture features over 7000 SharePoint site collections of partitioned data on over 108,000 students to support nearly 8000 teachers.  The system is being enhanced to include additional functionality that will help both teachers and school administration staff. These features include:

  • Individual teacher calendars with multiple overlays
  • Principal dashboards that allow administration staff access to teacher portals

Future enhancements of the portal may include special log-on privileges and access for parents and legal guardians. As a natural follow on to the easi system, RDA and the school system are planning to gather requirements for the creation of a Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) document management system that will interface to the easi portal.

Benefits

The new portal environment establishes a single source for teachers, principals and county school administrators to access student related data.  The intuitive and personalized interface enables users to gather information quickly and efficiently.

Technically Speaking

RDA developed custom web parts that enable SharePoint 2010 to pull information from a Microsoft SQL Server database that is updated nightly by different systems. The team also customized the settings to enable our client to easily manage site maintenance, as well as future deployments and enhancements.

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