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 attendance, booking, and analytics tool for their school’s library, guidance and nurse centers, to be used by students and faculty alike.

Context

The tool was built to consolidate some of the school’s most important systems, with a number of users in mind: students need to be able to reserve time in the school departments with limited spaces, like the library; staff of these departments need a real-time digital attendance list and to track temporary absences by students; and teachers need a student locator, whereby if a student doesn’t show up for class, they can search a student’s name to see where they last checked in at school - the library, the nurse’s office, the guidance counselor, etc.

Our Approach

Identifying the functionality requirement for each user (students, faculty of one department, faculty of another department, and so on), and translating it into a logical user flow, was a natural priority.

We broke the student view into a dashboard where they could view their upcoming/past bookings, each relevant department’s (library, guidance counselor, etc) available slots, and also make reservations in advance.

Our first rollout was the library section, but the design needed to be able to easily scale across additional departments/functions in the future. 

If a student has reserved a spot in the library, they can simply scan their ID card at the library entrance to check themselves in and out, without the librarian having to manually enter a student’s name or ID number. For walk-ins, we built in functionality for these students to be added on the spot. There is also an ability to log temporary absences for bathroom breaks, locker runs, etc. And, because every ID scan, booking, or manual entry is in real-time, this data is automatically reflected in faculty attendance logs and student schedules. 

The faculty dashboard has a student locator, where a teacher (e.g. in search of a student who hasn't shown up for class) can pull up accurate data on their most recent check-in status (be it in the library or having stepped out for 6 minutes to use the restroom).

Additionally, faculty have access to a preference section where limits can be set (e.g. a maximum of 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 (because you can’t schedule feeling sick!), that dashboard simply provides digital check-in and check-out, and allows other faculty members to check if their student is visiting the nurse in real-time.

The admin dashboard houses the user manager list, and is where administrators 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? Which recitation is most popular at the library?

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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