init
Case Study

Boston Latin School

Web Application

Founded in 1635, Boston Latin School is America’s oldest school. Although steeped in tradition, Boston Latin looks firmly to the future. They came to Grafton Studio to build a scalable booking and analytics tool for their school’s library, guidance and nurse centers, to be used by students and faculty alike.

Background

We began with the department identified as needing the most help - the library. The tool was to be built with a number of users in mind: students needed to be able to reserve time in the library, librarians needed to be able to track temporary absences by students and allow for student walk-ins, and other faculty needed to be able to see if/when students were booked in the library. Library scanning hardware was to be incorporated into the tool to enable student check-in/check-out.

From the library’s specific use cases, our challenge was to build the tool in such a way that it could easily scale out across other offerings like the guidance and nurse centers (and additional departments/functions in the future).

Our Approach

Identifying the functionality requirement for each user and translating it into a logical user flow was our first task. We broke the student view into a dashboard where they could view their upcoming/past bookings, each relevant department’s (library, guidance councilor) available slots, and also make reservations. The library scanning hardware, which students scan their student card under upon entry/exit to the library, incorporates that detail into their booking profile.

The faculty dashboard has a student locator, where they can pull up the current booking status of a student, or look through their booking history. For walk-ins, we built in functionality for these students to be added on the spot, and an ability to log temporary absences for bathroom breaks, locker runs, etc.

Additionally, faculty have access to a preference section where limits can be set (e.g. maximum 20 10th graders can visit the library during recitation 3, etc) and entire days can be blocked off the booking calendar (e.g. federal holidays, library events, etc).

As the nurse’s office does not accept bookings, that dashboard simply provides digital check-in and check-out, and allows faculty members to check if their student is visiting the nurse in real-time.

The admin dashboard has the same functionality as student and faculty sections in addition to two further tools. The admin owns the user manager list, and can add/edit/delete students and faculty as necessary. They also have a reports section from which they can pull some commonly requested metrics, e.g. how many 9th graders used the library this year?

One of our major considerations during development was making every click act in real-time, so any student bookings made would automatically reflect on the library/guidance center schedules, and so a teacher in search of a student gets accurate data on their whereabouts (be it in the library or having stepped out for 6 minutes to use the restroom). A further consideration in development was establishing  linked permissions, so each faculty member is served the correct student attendance list.

The Result

With the library, guidance, and nurse center functionality approved, a similar structure can be replicated for additional departments as they arise, making this tool easily scalable to multiple uses within a school setting. We are excited to see how this tool, launched in time for use in the 2017/2018 academic year, helps Boston Latin School stay ahead of the curve in realm of education administration technology.

“We were pleasantly surprised to find that Grafton Studio was just as enthusiastic about our project as we were. We needed a complete solution to replace various disconnected systems and building just the right tool from the ground up has been a truly enjoyable experience. Their creativity and adaptability helped us tease out exactly what we wanted and their skill and dedication gave us exactly what we needed.”
Patrick Hourigan, Director of Technology

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