Blue Valley School District
The Blue Valley School District is a K-12 public education institution where students have opportunities for cultural arts, foreign language classes, and the development of solid work habits. Nearly 19,000 Blue Valley students completed the 2003-2004 school year. In a time when public education faces a variety of challenges, students and staff in the Blue Valley School District have continued to achieve a vast number of distinguished accomplishments. The district has a high success rate with less than one percent (0.5 percent) of students dropping out.
Being a progressive school district with a highly customized curriculum, Blue Valley needed an equally progressive system to bring all their unique curriculum and standards information online. Their aggressive approach to curriculum design and improvement warranted a system with a number of unique qualities. They needed a scalable system, which would grow with them as they added information and made improvements to their curriculum. They needed a highly dynamic system, which would be adaptable to many different types of changes to curriculum. They needed a comprehensive system, which would provide a wide range of functionality across the board, allowing any and all desired tasks to be performed efficiently, and reaching beyond other similar products to set a new academic industry standard. They needed an efficient system, which would pinpoint problem areas and allow them to effectively improve their current curriculum. Most importantly, they needed an intuitive system that could not only replicate their paper-based processes exactly, but would allow users complete freedom and awareness within the interface – freedom to make any desired change instantly, and awareness of all the functionality available and how to use it. Having reviewed several other national products, the district decided on AllofE’s eCurriculum, due to its blend of scalability and usability, as the application that would best fit their needs.
Phase One: Curriculum Management
- Bring Blue Valley’s unique curriculum online, with comprehensive functionality for browsing and managing standards, benchmarks, and indicators.
- Automate the district’s unit mapping system, in which each course is divided into units, each of which have a lesson plan associated.
- Customize the system to exactly replicate the district’s existing paper-based processes online using customized forms and approval processes.
- Configure the user interface to be flexible, intuitive, and efficient despite dealing with large and complex data structures.
- Provide the capability to automatically generate course guides to be published online, along with a dynamic web site based on the curriculum, complete with drill-down links based on standards hierarchy.
- Create templates for the generated course guides and web site that would match the district’s existing site design.
- Utilize the most advanced innovations in web technology to streamline the system so that it can efficiently process unlimited amounts of data.
Blue Valley’s new curriculum management system provided them with a more comprehensive array of online curriculum management functionality than any other system available. Educators at Blue Valley School District were especially pleased with how precise the system replicated their original paper-based processes, which allowed them to adapt to the online system with almost no training at all. The system was customized to meet specific needs of end users and was welcomed by district teachers. These factors along with the efficient implementation of the system led Blue Valley to approach AllofE about expanding their system with an integrated Curriculum Mapping solution.
Phase Two: Curriculum Mapping
- Include comprehensive functionality for managing all aspects of courses and course guidelines, down to the level of units and their associated lesson plans.
- Map each piece of the curriculum to specific national, state, or district standards.
- Tie all aspects of the curriculum to decision-making factors such as benchmarks, indicators, and assessment questions, which would then be used to evaluate the effectiveness of each unit.
- Build detailed Gantt chart reports and other tracking tools to determine the effectiveness of the current curriculum in achieving the desired goals.
- Integrate all curriculum mapping functionality and data with the existing curriculum management system.
- Design and implement expanded curriculum functionality that would allow the district to manage data concerning an array of decision-making criteria they use for their curriculum improvements.
- Add comprehensive LDAP integration to use the district’s existing Active Directory authentication scheme for users.
- Integrate the data management capabilities into the existing system by creating customized data entry interfaces.
The solution provided by AllofE was to revolutionize Blue Valley’s curriculum related processes, making them more efficient and more accessible, and taking full advantage of the capabilities of web technology to streamline and improve the district’s processes without sacrificing usability or functionality. Blue Valley were so pleased with their new system that they signed a multi-year contract with AllofE for expanded scope. Educators were ablt to utilize the system to fine-tune, rethink, or redesign their advanced curriculum, to track its effectiveness in the classroom, and to manage curriculum-related and standards-dependent information such as course scheduling, unit mapping, and course content decisions. The product succeeded where many others failed in that it exactly replicated their former paper-based process, which allowed quick and painless adaptation to the use of the new online system. We are confident that the software we have implemented for Blue Valley will continue to grow to suit their needs, and will provide all the necessary means to assist them in their continued pursuit of excellence.