Lexington City Schools Case Study

New Student Access to Electronic Instructional Content Reduced From 1 Week to Less Than 1 Hour.

Lexington City Schools, located in Lexington, North Carolina, was spending about 175 hours per year of IT staff time simply typing updates to their school network directory system. Part of Lexington’s vision is to integrate technology into all classes in every school and to use data to individualize instruction for all students. Digital learning systems must have up-to-date student data and have login credentials for the school’s internet and network. The challenge for all school districts is that the inflow of new students and data changes are continuous.


Needed Improvements

In Lexington’s case, a new student was first entered into their Student Information System (PowerSchool) and then had to be reentered into Microsoft Active Directory to enable students to log in and access the school network and instructional resources. Account provisioning and the retyping of the information previously entered into the Student Information System was a manual process that had to be done for each new student or students moving out of the district.

Celia Gossett, Director of Technology, made the decision to adopt an automated solution based on needed improvements in three areas:

1.  Eliminate Lost Seat Time for new students: New students typically waited from 1 to 3 weeks to login to Active Directory and access instructional content. During that time, students had no access to electronic classroom instructional material.

2.  Recover Staff Time: Lexington on a weekly basis would experience a combination of 30 student accounts being created, updated or deleted.  Data change was requiring a minimum of 175 staff hours per year just to make the data changes manually in Active Directory; this was valuable staff hours that could better be deployed elsewhere.

3.  Data accuracy: The 175 hours of manual data entry changes each year left room for error. Lexington wanted to be sure all data entered into Active Directory was correct.


No More Time Wasted

ReadWrite Digital helped Lexington replace its manual process for data updates with one fully automated using Integrator. Every hour, ReadWrite Digital’s cloud-based Integrator software accepts student records from PowerSchool, searches for changes, and pushes updated student data into Lexington’s Active Directory. Almost as soon as new students are entered into PowerSchool, they are able to log into Active Directory, thus nearly eliminating waiting time to access instructional content.

In addition to saving staff time and granting students access to resources more quickly, ReadWrite Digital enables Lexington to catch and prevent errors before they cause problems for students. Lexington staff receives notifications if there are “questionable” data updates. The system is set up with safeguards in place to flag updates that may be mistakes and to enable Lexington to review those updates and either accept or decline them. Doug Austin, Supervisor of Technology, says:

Using this process, our students are quickly entered into our network with almost no downtime or waiting for access to the programs and the technology that they need. Before this process we had Data Managers and Technicians scrambling on a daily basis to enter students and give them the access they needed.”

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