Students and teachers across the country are either in the early stages of, or preparing for, the beginning of the school year. Oregon is no exception, and 37,000+ students in the Linn Benton Lincoln (LBL) Education Service District alone will be returning to its 89 schools soon. Luckily for them, the LBL Education Service District, one of 19 Education Service Districts throughout Oregon tasked with supporting the state’s education goals by providing fair educational opportunities for all public-school students, has a commitment to providing high-quality educational services and programs through digital optimization. To ensure that every student has an opportunity to succeed, regardless of the district’s economic status, LBL has implemented its Reaching and Teaching Every Student Through Digital Transformation initiative that allows them to provide equitable, flexible, and effective educational services through economies of scale.
Oregon’s Education Service Districts are different from school districts and designed to help moderate education costs by coordinating services across schools in a particular region. Pooling resources gives all schools in a service district access to services and programs that might otherwise be too costly for a single school. LBL has transformed its digital offerings in order to fulfill the education service district’s mission of providing equitable, flexible, and effective educational services through economies of scale by increasing its online educational offerings. This not only augments classroom instruction, but also streamlines critical school operations.
By centralizing student performance data, LBL enables the schools to improve assessments, develop individualized learning plans, and enhance communication, helping students achieve more. However, as digital transformation proliferates, districts have been challenged with managing expanding data volumes while keeping information available 24/7, all without breaking the bank.
LBL turned to NetApp to build a flexible, scalable infrastructure to help it better manage growing data volumes and support critical applications like their gradebook app. “Our gradebook app contains student grades, files, parent notes, and pictures—everything is scanned and uploaded. A teacher can go into the app to find a student and see any related files. This offers information about the students, like if there are medical directives for allergies,” says Brian Berkley, systems engineer at LBL. “Our schools have a lot of data record-keeping requirements that other districts don’t have. We needed to modernize our data storage to keep up with growing demand.”
The NetApp AFF solution at the heart of the infrastructure provides faster performance, allowing time-strapped teachers to maximize efficiency and complete administrative tasks more quickly so they have more time to spend planning coursework and working in-person with students in the classroom. With NetApp AFF, LBL also can expedite daily backups with integrated snapshots that utilize Veeam Backup & Replication. With fast, always-available access to student data, teachers can create more personalized teaching strategies, more easily monitor student progress, and better communicate progress to students, parents, and administrators.
“As a result of our digital transformation, enabled by the flexible data management infrastructure from NetApp, teachers and staff have improved their efficiency—and we’ve lowered our costs—leaving us more time and money to support our students. Better still, our students now benefit from more personalized attention that gives them the knowledge and skills they need to ultimately achieve their dreams,” shared Brian Berkley Systems engineer, Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service District.
Read the full case study here.