GRACE Christian School is an academically rigorous TK through 12th grade school, that teachers from a Christian worldview. The school is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. GRACE has the highest ratings of accreditation from the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and AdvancEd (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). Currently, they have 83 teachers and 603 students using CYPHER's LMS.
How did you find a solution?
Carol Gehringer: We needed to find a web based solution for our learning management system (LMS). We had another system that tracked our grades and attendance. We researched three possible options, then we tested them with a small group of teachers, our IT team reviewed those results, and made the final decision. CYPHER Learning® was the best candidate.
What do you like most about CYPHER?
Daniel O'Brien: One of the aspects we like is the ability to access it via the web which is essential for our one on one learning environment. When we don't have school due to bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances, teachers, especially AP teachers can still hold classes online to complete the instructions that they need to do to be compliant with the guidelines set forth by the college board. Also, we like the flexibility that CYPHER offers, not just in terms of what you can do with classes, but what it offers in terms of group functions. Many of the extracurriculars student councils have their own groups on CYPHER, where they're able to push announcements, discuss upcoming things and interact in an online environment to get that essential information out there.
Carol Gehringer: One of the other things that I've enjoyed about CYPHER since I've been connected with it (since the research stage) is the response from CYPHER for the features that we wanted to see happen.
What improvements have you noticed since using CYPHER?
Daniel O'Brien: We've noticed several improvements since adopting CYPHER here at GRACE. First of all CYPHER has provided a go to platform for all students, teachers and administrators to have as their online learning management system. Before, when resources were scattered across different platforms it was hard to know where to go to find things. But now CYPHER acts as our online presence so that teachers and students can truly interact and learn skills that are compliant with a 21st century world and education.
We acknowledge that every teacher is different in regards to technology and comfort level and we try to meet those teachers where they are, we celebrate small victories with them, and we also encourage step-by-step development and learning throughout the year as they try new things with CYPHER.
How GRACE Christian School transformed into a 1:1 school using CYPHER
As the educational landscape shifts into a pedagogy that incorporates 21st century skills, the 4 C's, and individualized learning, transforming into a 1:1 school has been an important change for GRACE Christian School. Daniel O'Brien - Media Specialist, tells us about the many factors that were involved in making the shift to digital.