About the school
Schools play a critical role in shaping students’ lives, and Montverde Academy understands this responsibility. That’s why they have taken up an aspiring mission to inspire students to become leaders with a passion for knowledge, global vision, and innovation while developing character in a nurturing and diverse community.
Montverde Academy is a coeducational independent school that serves grades Pre-K3–12. Their boarding program serves grades 7-12 and post-graduate studies. Orah met with John Weaver, Dean of Students, to know more about how the partnership with Orah has helped them manage their boarding population.
What is Orah used for at Montverde?
The school wanted a tool to manage their boarding population on campus (325 students at that time). Between Reach and Orah, they opted to put their trust in Orah. The price point was reasonable, and the rich feature list could automate some of the processes, helping the school improve its productivity.
Previously, the faculty were dependent on excel sheets and forms. It involved some manual intervention, making it hard to organize the data. Today, with the help of Orah, they can see all their student data in one place. Student profiles, enriched with data from different sources, enable teachers to know their students better and make data-driven decisions about what kind of support needs to be given to who and when.
Here’s a rundown of how the various features are helping Montverde Academy manage and support students:
Manage sign-ups and sign-outs using event passes
The faculty and students use event passes for managing sign-outs and sign-ups for events like a volleyball match or a holiday break.
“I like the ability to be able to put in a pass for say, our big break holidays like Thanksgiving holiday here or Christmas holidays. And every student has to use it to provide details on whether they are staying on campus or leaving along with other details like their travel arrangements,” says John.
Events passes could be of two types: student informed and school informed. A student-informed pass can be customized by providing details of the events and setting when the submissions close. Reminders can be set to be sent out to improve participation. The responses are collected in one place for the staffs' perusal. Any follow-ups can be done quickly and easily.
On the other hand, a school-informed pass is used to manage sign-ups for an event. Students can choose to either opt-in/out of this event, enabling teachers to gauge the participation of the students. Both types of passes are used extensively by the teachers and students.
"I love the feature that lets us know if parents are the ones who are actually giving permission. We know our school's IP address. So if the student approves a request on behalf of his/her parents, it alerts us immediately."
Improve student engagement and collaboration among stakeholders
By enabling students to update their locations, faculty can know who is where in real-time. This, in turn, helps everyone be in the know of student whereabouts (like who is off-campus, or who is on campus, who is late, and such). There are about 85 teachers, staff, and administrators who are assigned to weekend teams. They are responsible for relieving the house parents on the weekends by chaperoning field trips or overseeing activities on campus. With the help of Orah, the faculty members can easily see and get the context quickly about what is happening with the students.
"We all have this information in real-time. So not only does it help us manage students but also understand where the students are at all times. And everyone (be it the house parents or whoever is in charge) can see this information. If there's an issue where the students will be late, they can see the details within the pass."
On collaboration, here is what he had to add:
“It helps them (weekend teams) understand a little bit more about the boarding program. They also get to interact and engage with our boarding students a little bit differently because of Orah. They all have a login. And they can collaborate with my office staff on authorizing leaves, ending passes, and so on. So outside my office staff, the weekend staff also uses the program. ”
John also highlights that it helps provide transparency to students about the school processes. If they need to leave campus, students know exactly what they need to do, and when they need to do it. It has helped improve engagement from students.
At Montverde, the students are encouraged to update their locations when they come to the dining hall. The dining hall services then use this information to know how many meals to prepare each day.
Centralize student data and quickly pull reports
Orah is integrated with their learning management system, Veracross, helping them ensure that their data remains consistent across platforms. Updating dorm tags within Orah with details like student names, where they are from, and which grade they are in helps build a comprehensive database about the students. It also provides the ability to sort, filter, and export them.
"I love the way that the student pictures are shown on the homeboard. When you log in, the first thing you see is the picture of the student. You can filter and sort the student data, which is helpful.
When asked why he would recommend Orah, here is what John had to say:
“Orah is user-friendly. As compared to the other tools, the design and the user experience are good. It definitely serves its purpose and gets the job done.”