Education Enhanced with Microsoft ExpertiseAgora Cyber Charter School, established in 2005, is an online public school for Pennsylvania students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Through personalized, online learning, its certified teachers provide an innovative and intensive academic preparation to prepare students to become lifelong learners. With more than 7,000 students enrolled, Agora also offers online and in-person activities to ensure a well-rounded educational experience, replete with accompanying social activities.
As a public online school with more than 7,000 students enrolled throughout Pennsylvania, Agora relies heavily on a digital ecosystem to ensure the school runs smoothly. The volume of data Agora manages daily includes class attendance, test results, enrollment and withdrawal information, and more. While most information flows into Agora’s information environment via their Student Information System (SIS) platform, from there, it may travel to other systems and locations. This might entail simple tracking and reporting or it might kick off additional workflows and processes.
Some of the integrations between SIS and other systems were stable and automated; others were not. One specific instance was a process where data was pulled, but not interpreted correctly. To remediate this issue, Agora had a dedicated full-time employee focused solely on data entry — but they knew there had to be a more efficient way.
Agora Cyber Charter School and Weidenhammer have worked as partners extensively for several years; some of which is highlighted here. Our efforts have consistently sought to improve the student-teacher experience, increase operational efficiency, and reduce risk through improved data quality and security — all of which was achieved through the Microsoft ecosystem of products.
Once again, Agora turned to our experts at Hammer Dev to help them identify a solution to this particular data entry issue. After reviewing the problem, we were able to identify a solution using Microsoft Power Automate. We could build an automation that would convert the data into a format that was easily interpreted. And by converting it from a process where a single employee manually entered the data to an automated one, we could preserve data integrity. Now, that employee was free to work on strategic initiatives, and the school’s administrators could relax knowing that the data would be accurate for reporting purposes.
By implementing Microsoft Power Automate, Agora Cyber Charter School can run this process automatically every day with 100% accuracy. There is now zero data loss, and the tracking and reporting process has been simplified. Agora can redirect the employee’s skills into other areas, offering an opportunity to grow professionally and add to the employee experience. Best of all, it is a low-cost solution to implement, making it a win-win all around.
Weidenhammer is an instrumental component of Agora Cyber Charter School’s development into a Microsoft centric organization. As our go-to developer and consultant, Weidenhammer has been key to our ability to meet seen and unforeseen demands placed upon our organization as they occur.“Mike Rublesky, Chief Technology Officer – Agora Cyber Charter School