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When managing student and staff accounts, and technology access, the time spent approving what data is shared with vendors, activating and deactivating accounts, and updating data when information changes adds up quickly. For Estill County Schools, this meant time-consuming, manual identity and access management that took away crucial time from IT staff.
With ClassLink, Estill County Schools transformed their ability to support students and staff. The district improved student access to learning tools and allowed IT staff to focus on other issues like data security instead of rostering applications and manually connecting students with new resources.
Serving 2,300 students, and comprising 450 staff, Estill County Schools technology leaders needed a more efficient approach to Identity and Access Management (IAM).
“Regardless if you have 100 students or 10,000 students, every school district has a database for maintaining student information with multiple vendors and multiple products. You have to have some way to make sure all those pieces of software work together,” says Estill County Technology Coordinator and Chief Information Officer, Jeremy Simpson.
Without a tool to automate account provisioning and rostering, “it would take anywhere from two to three hours per day to make sure we were fixing and updating student and staff accounts,” Simpson shared. That’s two to three hours a day when IT staff were unable to dedicate time to solving faculty, student, and staff help tickets or other technical issues that might arise on a normal school day. The problem worsened during the busy back-to-school season when IT staff had to manually enter data for students who transferred, graduated, or entered new grade levels and new staff joining the district.
Relying on ClassLink’s Identity and Access Management solutions for account provisioning and rostering, Estill County Schools quickly noticed a reduction in the time IT staff spent manually provisioning applications and updating student and staff information. With OneSync and Roster Server as their “one stop shop” for maintaining their internal systems, Simpson’s team can customize the student and staff data they share with vendors on a granular level, allowing them to “transform the data and make it work and flow” exactly the way they need—even better, the solutions’ automation removes manual account management from the equation entirely.
ClassLink Roster Server’s 1EdTech OneRoster® certification and compliance with OneRoster™ standards also makes it significantly easier for Simpson and his team to work with outside edtech companies and third-party vendors. “Having a OneRoster solution affords us the ability to work with companies and say ‘We’re going to use OneRoster,’” says Simpson, “then, when companies say, ‘Oh! We know OneRoster,’ because that data already exists in Roster Server, we’re up and running in short order.”
After implementing OneSync and Roster Server, Simpson immediately noticed a change in his day-to-day work, especially at the end of the school year and the beginning of the back-to-school season. “At the end of the year, once we update Infinite Campus to say we’re starting a new school year, OneSync updates attributes in Active Directory, makes those organizational unit changes in Google automatically, and all I have to do is approve it,” Simpson says, “It’s a huge time saver because it was always a manual process in the past.”
The uses Simpson has found for OneSync extend beyond data management to include campus security, too. Having recently implemented district security camera updates, Simpson says that “because of OneSync I can very quickly, based upon job title, automatically give the rights to the security cameras to those who need them because it’s all done instantaneously.”