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Bryan ISD

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How Bryan ISD Overcame Digital Access Issues Districtwide

End the struggle to access digital resources

In 2018, Bryan Independent School District in Bryan, TX, had a long list of access woes. Students and teachers were losing instruction time because they couldn’t find digital resources or forgot their login details. Rostering was so time-consuming for IT staff that students sometimes had to wait for access to resources. 

And those were just the instructional challenges. 

Parents struggled to remember login details for apps to top-up lunch accounts, check grades, or track bus routes. Board meetings were even unnecessarily long. Members lost meeting time trying to find and log in to resources to access test scores or past meeting minutes. 

Despite having plenty of digital resources to support the entire school community, accessing those resources (and their benefits) wasn’t always easy.

ClassLink saves time and ends frustrations

ClassLink's platform offered Bryan ISD an education-focused single sign-on solution to their access issues. 

Now, students, teachers, parents, and board members use ClassLink’s LaunchPad and MyFiles features for tailored access to all the digital resources and files they need with just one set of login credentials. Logging in to those resources takes only seconds.

Superintendent Christie Whitbeck says, "When ClassLink came along, it was like it was dropped down to us from heaven because it saved so much time and frustration. It saves me 90 percent of the time I used to spend hunting things down." 

ClassLink's rostering and provisioning solutions (RosterServer and OneSync) also help the district cut the amount of time spent setting up new resources. Jana Wenzel, Assistant Director of Instructional Technology, says now, IT staff don't get bogged down with managing spreadsheets for rostering, and a lengthy rostering process isn't holding students back from accessing resources. 

"With those key components set up for rostering through RosterServer, we can add new resources to that list quickly. Teachers aren't waiting for us to upload rosters. And with classroom rosters set at the beginning of the year, teachers can get students using critical resources within the first week of school.”

"With ClassLink, we're guarding that instructional time and expediting access for our students," explains Wenzel.

The solutions just keep coming

Wenzel says having ClassLink in place as their single sign-on solution also made switching to remote learning far easier when schools closed due to the pandemic in the Spring of 2020.

“It was literally let’s go to ClassLink and just seamlessly log in,” she explains.

Rob Hayes, Director of Technical Support, says giving every student a ClassLink Quick Card made that seamless login possible and saved his team from being overwhelmed with support calls. Hayes says with Quick Cards, students simply scan a QR code using their device's camera to log in to ClassLink—a tremendous help to support staff.

“Having the one easy troubleshooting step of ‘Have you logged in with your Quick Card?’ answered so many of the support questions that we got from students and parents,” explains Hayes.

Julea Johnson, Executive Director of Technology Services, says using ClassLink Analytics, the district could also better understand if students were engaged and participating in remote learning.

“We were worried that we weren’t going to see all of our kids logging on. We were watching our ClassLink Analytics, seeing a very high rate of activity from our kids going online and participating,” explains Johnson.

Hayes says ClassLink knocks down barriers at every level throughout Bryan ISD. "ClassLink makes so many things easier for the parents, board members, students, staff, and my technical team."

"Today, students can access instructional materials from anywhere—from home, from school— and regardless of device," he says. "It's allowed us to diversify our devices too. It doesn't matter now if you're on a Mac, a Chromebook, or an iPad, those online resources are available, wherever the kids are."

"When ClassLink came along, it was like it was dropped down to us from heaven because it saved so much time and frustration. It saves me 90 percent of the time I used to spend hunting things down."

Dr. Christie Whitbeck
Bryan ISD