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 NEO.
How did you find a solution?
Carol Gehringer: We needed to find a web based solution for our learning management system. 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. NEO was the best candidate.
What do you like most about NEO?
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 NEO 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 NEO, 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 NEO since I've been connected with it (since the research stage) is the response from NEO for the features that we wanted to see happen.
How have you encouraged reluctant teachers to use NEO for their classes?
Daniel O'Brien: We've encouraged reluctant teachers to use NEO for their classes by acknowledging the fact that every teacher is different in regards to technology and their comfort level. 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 NEO.
What improvements have you noticed since using NEO?
Daniel O'Brien: We've noticed several improvements since adopting NEO here at GRACE. First of all NEO 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 NEO 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.
How GRACE Christian School transformed into a 1:1 school using NEO
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.