A Flex Period Scheduler That Encourages Students to Reconnect With Education
Explore how Edge High School skillfully organizes student schedules, helping at-risk kids stay in class longer and take charge of their own flexible learning paths.
About Edge High School
Recording the Comings and Goings of Students on a Self-Paced Schedule was Overwhelming
Edge High is an alternative charter school that supports at-risk youth by focusing on dropout and credit recovery. Its flexible, self-paced schedule aims to assist students’ varied needs in relation to home life, mental health, and skill development.
Students have a 5-hour school day — and provided they are not late or absent, that’s their full day. However, if they are late or they’re absent, they need to stay extra and do additional academic time. But the school was challenged by a lack of accountability, with a number of students regularly missing class or make-up lessons, and no effective method to monitor their attendance.
Additionally, scheduling and managing so many customizable schedules was difficult — even for a small school of 190 students. Recording and reporting attendance, absences, tardiness, and make-up time was all done manually — relying on paper slips and binders that were not only time-consuming but also error-prone and easily lost. The Dean of Students spent most of her day engulfed by a sea of paperwork, instead of focusing her attention on her crucial role in supporting student success.
KEY PROBLEM AREAS:
Our Dean of Students is in charge of attendance but her role in our model and mission is not to just be paper-pushing. Her role is to have real conversations about the root cause of, ‘Why aren’t you at school? What can we do? What’s the barrier?’ Instead, she was staying late dealing with the paperwork [of managing student schedules]. It was easily six to seven hours of an eight-hour day that she was just paper-pushing.
The Power of Digital Tools: Complex Tasks & Schedules, Made Easy
In search of a platform to manage their ever-changing student schedules, Edge High discovered Minga and was instantly attracted to the Check In module. It was also an added bonus that the software offered other features such as digital hall passes and behavior management.
The school rolled out the check in system but quickly learned that the FlexTime module, specifically designed to cater to personalized student schedules, was better suited to their needs. The advanced scheduling and roster management allows admins to easily register students for make-up classes, add any additional lessons to their block schedules, and monitor whether they are actually attending the lessons they have been booked into.
In addition, Minga has empowered Edge High to streamline other day-to-day operations. Digital hall passes provide a deeper understanding of how students are moving around the school,
Automating processes has also helped to ease administrative stress. For example, students now scan their digital IDs upon arrival, and if they are late, the system will automatically assign tardies and make-up lessons. This new, digitized method has quickly done away with the big binder that previously kept track of which extra classes students needed to attend because they were tardy.
What Minga Offered:
Now, everything is very automated. Students are just scanning in and it automatically assigns them a tardy and records whether that tardy has the need for a make-up class or another consequence. All of that has just made the process much smoother and more efficient. The student gets notified immediately, and there’s no paper to lose.
More Time in Class, Increased Student Engagement, and Smoother Administration
Increased Time in the Classroom
Now that it’s easier to schedule flexible classes and make-up sessions, more students are completing their required amount of lesson time. In just eight weeks, there’s been a 40% jump in students completing their make-up lessons.
A FlexTime Manager That Boosts Accountability
The FlexTime Manager has sparked a new level of accountability among students, encouraging them to actively manage their schedules and make-up responsibilities. Students are now proactively taking charge of their schedules, with one kid even requesting an extra period each day to account for their tardiness.
Time Saved on Admin Tasks is Now Spent on Students
By significantly cutting down on admin time with tools like digital check ins and hall passes, staff have been able to redirect their focus on student support. This newfound operational efficiency gives staff more time to focus on teaching and guiding students towards graduation.
Clear Oversight of Student Movement
The digital hall pass system allows admins to see where each student is meant to be, at a quick glance of a dashboard. Staff can also easily see who’s overusing or abusing their hall pass privileges, helping to manage behavior and maintain campus safety. The ‘No Party Groups’ feature has also prevented troublesome groups of students from meeting up with each other in the hallways.
Better Control of Attendance and Tardiness
Getting rid of paper records for daily attendance and tardiness has really helped the school to get a clearer idea of student punctuality. Tardy automation now makes it easier for teachers to schedule make-up lessons for late students. Plus, tardy check ins and hall passes quickly record any latecomers, getting kids back to class as quickly as possible.
Enhanced Communication with Parents and Guardians
Notifications in the behavior module have improved communication with parents and guardians. They can now receive real-time updates about their child’s behavior and any resulting consequences. This has fostered a more connected and informed school community.
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