SharePoint Case Study - Miami Dade Schools


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SharePoint Case Study - Miami Dade Schools

  1. 1. The People-Ready BusinessCase Study Miami-Dade County Public Schools School District Improves Education by Linking Teachers, Students, Parents OnlineThe fourth-largest public school district in the United States needed aconsistent way to deliver information to more than 1 million students, parents,teachers, and administrators. Miami-Dade County Public Schools built aWeb-based portal to give all these constituents a single point of access forrelevant information, services, and applications. The district has improvedlearning potential for children, enhanced parents’ ability to participate in theeducation of their children, and improved the effectiveness and productivity ofteachers and school administrators.OVERVIEW SolutionCountry or RegionUnited States The school district built an enterprise Web- “Teachers and administrators based portal that provides students, parents, are more productive andIndustry teachers, and administrators with a single effective; parents areEducation point of access to district technology participating more actively; resources. and students are moreCustomer ProfileFlorida’s Miami-Dade County Public Schools empowered to help manage, Benefits(M-DCPS) includes more than 400 schools,  Improved access to information influence, and direct their ownencompassing roughly 345,000 students  Enhanced productivity and educations.”and 50,000 employees. decision-making Deborah Karcher,  Improved collaboration Chief Information Officer forBusiness Situation Information Technology Services,M-DCPS needed to provide more than 1  Rapid time-to-benefit, at reduced cost Miami-Dade County Public Schoolsmillion people (teachers, parents, staff, andstudents) with improved access to multipleinformation systems and applications usedto educate Miami-Dade children.The People-Ready Business Case Study 1
  2. 2. The People-Ready BusinessSituation but we needed to give people a better way to take advantage of them.”Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is the fourth-largest school district in Also, paper-based systems were athe United States, with some 367 public hindrance to teacher effectiveness. “All ourschools and 40 charter schools. Serving an student data and lesson plans were onarea of more than 2,400 square miles, M- paper, and we had papers all over the place.DCPS has 345,000 students, 50,000 I had to manually input data, whichemployees, and an annual budget of more presented a huge administrative burden,”than U.S.$6 billion. says Dr. Alice F. Quarles, Principal of Greynolds Park Elementary School.In late 2005, the M-DCPS published aComprehensive IT Blueprint that provided a Linda Eason, Fifth Grade Teacher atframework and plan of action for using Greynolds Park Elementary School, saystechnology to help provide the highest- that paper systems hindered teachers andquality education for students. The five-year parents, too. “To communicate with parents,plan included objectives to encourage I would phone home or send a note homestudent use of technology to manage their with the child. Occasionally the child failedown learning, provide parents with the to deliver the message, and it was two oropportunity to participate in their children’s three days before we could resolve theeducation, and give teachers the tools and issue.”information needed to maximize theireffectiveness. The plan also aimed to “We realized that to communicate effectivelyprovide administrators and operations/ with parents and the community, we would “I’m able to be moresupport staff with the tools and information need tools that permitted our stakeholders creative as a teacher,needed to make informed decisions, to move decisively in support of their because I have morecommunicate effectively, and optimally children—our students,” says Rudolph F. time to find resourcesdeploy resources. “Rudy” Crew, Ed.D., Superintendent of M- that can supplement my DCPS. “These tools had to work together in instruction. I’m also betterTo realize those objectives, the school such a way as to convert a parent’s need to able to share ideas withdistrict needed a more consistent way to know into the ability to act.” other teachers.”deliver the information in its many systemsand applications to stakeholders. “In the Linda Eason,past, people had to look in many different Solution Fifth Grade Teacher,places to get information,” says Deborah Greynolds Park Elementary School A Web-based portal was the obviousKarcher, Chief Information Officer for solution. “A Web portal would allow us toInformation Technology Services at M- push relevant information to all usersDCPS. “Teachers used one system to through one communication channel, ratheraccess e-mail messages and calendars, and than having users navigate a maze of stand-another for teaching resources, and had to alone resources to find what they need,”ask someone in the school office for data Karcher says. “We wanted to make all ourfrom our student information system that applications and data sources available in aruns on the mainframe. Similarly, school single place, and tailor that information toprincipals had to use five or six different each user’s role.”systems in a normal day’s work. We haveseveral very good systems and applications,The People-Ready Business Case Study 2
  3. 3. The People-Ready BusinessThe district considered several options for All these users can customize theimplementing the portal but selected appearance of their portal pages to displayMicrosoft® software, because of its cost information of interest. For example,advantages and its ability to fit with the teachers can include links to video and textdistrict’s existing IT infrastructure and skill used in lessons, and students can addset. The IT staff worked with teachers to content for research and homeworkrefine the vision, then built a functional pilot just eight weeks. The district continued toexpand the portal over the next several Using extensive collaboration features suchmonths. Today, the M-DCPS districtwide as online meeting spaces, team sites,portal provides a range of functionality to a discussion groups, instant messaging, andrange of constituents: alerts (available in the 2007-2008 school year), staff, educators, parents, and Students. From any Internet students will be able to work together more connection, students can view their closely. To alleviate information overload, class list, grades, stored documents, users will be able to take advantage of school announcements and events, and extensive search capabilities to quickly and a district calendar. The portal also links easily find the information that they need. to the district’s instructional content, an Executive Biography online student-advising system, and an Deborah Karcher is the Chief online resource that reinforces reading Benefits Information Officer at the Office of Information Technology for Miami- and math skills. With its new Web portal, Miami-Dade Dade County Public Schools. Karcher Parents. Parents can view their child’s County Public Schools is helping all has also worked at Amadeus and class list and grades, assignments, stakeholders in the district influence student Motorola in customer support, school bus information, state graduation achievement, by giving users the tools and training, quality assurance, and requirements, immunization guidelines, information needed to collaborate more program management. She earned a and links to many other resources. effectively, work more productively, and Bachelor of Business Administration Teachers. Teachers can view their make more informed decisions. “Teachers and a Master of Public Administration personal information; e-mail messages from Florida International University. and administrators are more productive and and calendar; stored files; class lists; a effective; parents are participating more roster of students in each class; actively; and students are more empowered detailed data from the Student to help manage, influence, and direct their Information System; and a graphical own educations,” Karcher says. “These “student scorecard” that shows each capabilities have a strong, positive impact child’s current performance and on student achievement.” whether that performance is improving, holding steady, or decreasing over time. Instructional content and lesson plans Improved Access to Information Students can now monitor their own grades are on the portal, tailored to grade and access a wealth of educational levels. resources ranging from instructional content Principals. Principals can see personal to the district library system. “Students can information and documents, calendars, access instructional content to enrich their weekly district briefings, reports from class experiences,” Quarles says. “It’s a way key district systems, and links to other of engaging the class in more critical and relevant resources. creative thinking. We’re empowering students to teach each other.” Parents areThe People-Ready Business Case Study 3
  4. 4. The People-Ready Businesspresented with similar information, so they so that the portal saves me each day is acan get more involved in the education of huge benefit.”their children. “Principals now can easily accessTeachers can use a single point of access to operational reports, monitor keycommonly used applications, and to performance indicators, and viewinformation that was previously unavailable. attendance and suspension data—all things“I’m able to be more creative as a teacher, that they’re held accountable for,” addsbecause I have more time to find resources Karcher. “In addition, they have access tothat can supplement my instruction,” Eason weekly briefings, which are how the districtsays. “I’m also better able to share ideas communicates with administrators on issueswith other teachers.” of importance.”School administrators can easily access the Improved Collaborationforms, tools, and reports that they need to The district is improving studentkeep everything running smoothly, to Executive Biography achievement by using the portal to facilitateoptimize their use of resources, and quickly collaboration among parents, students, andidentify any issues that need their attention. Dr. Alice Quarles is a 23-year veteran teachers, including both the provisioning of of the Miami-Dade County Public“A couple of clicks, and I can get all the student assignments and the dissemination Schools, having served as teacher,information I need on a child,” Quarles says. of performance data. “We’re encouraging district administrator, and school site“I’m empowered with the information I need administrator. Dr. Quarles is currently parent involvement by making parents moreto make decisions about classrooms at all the principal of Greynolds Park aware of the resources that are available tolevels. I can also make decisions faster. The Elementary School. Her primary goals them,” Karcher says. “Parent use of theportal empowers teachers to make are to ensure ready access to the data portal is greatest in the early morning, whendecisions for their children. They don’t have and tools teachers need to maximize they would otherwise be unable to connectto come to me to get information. They can each child’s potential and to make with teachers directly.” sure each child has the skills neededaccess it themselves.” to successfully compete in the future. “I’m able to remain very active in the schoolEnhanced Productivity and and in my daughter’s life. All the informationDecision Making I need is right there at my fingertips. Before,Consolidated access to information is I had to hang out in the hallways to catchimproving productivity for the district’s teachers,” says district parent Coletteteachers, helping them to more easily Satchell.access and make use of student data. “Ihave everything that I need in one place, Teachers and students can use digitaleliminating the need to switch between workspaces to share files, parents can viewdifferent systems as I work,” says Lauren their children’s homework assignments, andGraper, First Grade Teacher at Miami district staff can share documents andHeights Elementary School. “I can read and prepare for meetings. People will soon beanswer e-mail from parents, prepare a able to use the portal’s built-in workflowlesson, enter grades, or get ready for a capabilities to work together more effectivelyparent meeting without ever having to leave by automating the routing and approval ofthe portal. I have only a few hours in the forms and documents.early morning and late afternoon whenstudents aren’t in class, so the half-hour orThe People-Ready Business Case Study 4
  5. 5. The People-Ready Business“Collaboration is key to success in Customer Details:education,” Quarles says. “We need to Miami-Dade County Public Schoolsshare ideas. Our teachers use the portal to Web site: www.dadeschools.netlook at the variety of resources that theymay never have thought of using—best The People-Ready Business.practices from all around the country.” A people-ready business is one where people can apply theirRapid Time-to-Benefit at Reduced unique skills, insights, andCost experience to create new products“Everyone is very pleased with how fast and services, work responsivelythings came together, and a lot of that is due with customers and partners, andto the extensive prebuilt functionality drive operational excellence inprovided by Microsoft software,” Karcher every aspect of the business.says. The district’s decision to use Microsoft People-ready businesses support people with knowledge, practices,software also is providing significant cost and tools so that they can add thebenefits. “Not only are we delivering a extra value that helps differentiatesolution that will serve more than a million successful organizations in apotential users at a far lower cost than what competitive, fast-moving globalmany other districts have done, but we’re economy.also doing it with minimal risk,” shecontinues. “Considering how many users the will serve and the many ways in whichit’s helping improve the education of Miami-Dade children, we believe that we’re getting Software & Servicesan excellent return on our investment.” Windows Server® 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition Microsoft BizTalk® Server 2006 Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003 Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published June 2007The People-Ready Business Case Study 5