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Virginia Episcopal School

VES creates a safe and healthy campus environment with Orah

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School Type:
Boarding and Day
VA, United States
"We have greatly appreciated the simplicity that Orah has provided in helping us create a safe and healthy campus."
Marcia Yochum
Dean of Students
Virginia Episcopal School

What was the biggest challenge before you used Orah at your school?

Student accountability involved a cumbersome, decentralised system of paperwork

What was the process of getting started with Orah like?

The Orah staff walked us through the process of system set up and helped guide us in creating accountability systems that worked for us. We chose to make very few changes to our accountability processes, for example calling leaves consistent names and requiring the same input for leaves, which helped our community easily adjust to the new systems of accountability.

What has the success/support team at Orah been like to work with?

The support staff at Orah has been very helpful and responsive when we have had issues or questions, and they look for customer input on ways to improve their product. The staff certainly helped us figure out how to tailor the Orah system to meet our specific needs.

What was it like to get the rest of your team up and running with Orah?

As we involved key faculty in feedback and decision-making along the way, we had support and enthusiasm among most stakeholders, and a team of people who could help those students and faculty who struggled with changes at first. After a period of time, everyone came to greatly appreciate the advantages and ease of use that Orah provides.

What has allowed you to be so successful with Orah?

Having an administrative team that is comfortable with technology, knows the school's accountability systems, and can think through how to structure a successful roll out has been very beneficial. Also having a team of faculty and staff who own the success of implementation made a huge impact, and making sure roll out was timed so that people had the knowledge they needed at that particular time was helpful so that folks were not overwhelmed. 

Also, having a team of administrators who debrief and review how well systems are being used on a regular basis is important to maintaining accuracy and integrity in accountability processes.

Has there been a particular Orah feature that has helped you the most?

We have greatly appreciated the simplicity that Orah has provided in helping us create a safe and healthy campus. The simple process of sign ins at meals and on dorm have actually allowed faculty to get to know new students more quickly, and facilitated more student and faculty connection as Orah requires less time to account for where students are. 

The weekend leave process has helped us partner more seamlessly with parents, and transparency in town permission sign outs has helped VES and parents reinforce and ensure safe and healthy boundaries for students who go off campus on weekends.

What would you say to other schools looking to implement Orah at their school?

Orah provides a great number of resources for enhancing your accountability systems. Having all of those systems centralised and easily accessible from any computer, iPad, or cell phone certain helps faculty and administration at VES care for our entire boarding student population outside the  academic day.

What made you choose Orah over the other options out there?

Orah seems to understand the needs of a Boarding school community, and provide the systems for accounting for students outside the class day.

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