It's a new year on the calendar. The flip of the calendar year has many administrators, like yourself, taking stock of the first half of the school year and considering ways to improve processes and better serve stakeholders. As you know, numerous behind-the-scenes tasks take you away from being in it as much as you’d like. One of the most time-consuming tasks can be scheduling students for flex periods. If you are a middle or high school administrator spending hours creating forms, sheets, or documents to manage this process, you may want to consider using Edficiency and get some time back in 2024.
Edficiency is very different from other flex period scheduling software. The benefits lie in the automation, intelligence, and responsiveness in which we assign students. This is where the magic happens for you and your school community. Let’s look at how automation, intelligence, and responsiveness can help middle and high school administrators like you.
Automation Benefits of Edficiency
Edficiency can be fully functional with as little as two to five hours of initial setup, and thereafter, only a few minutes daily for most administrative teams. After a few clicks, Edficiency will do the work for you. It allows teachers and students to submit requests and assign students to sessions based on the most important requests for students and staff. There will no longer be a need to manually assign students or review lists to ensure they’re all assigned, much less any more confusing documents, notes, or post-its to shuffle through for scheduling logistics. And, the system will automatically notify students via email nightly, so you and your staff don’t have to. With Edficiency doing most of the time-consuming tasks related to flex time logistics, you will have more time for classroom visits, check-ins with staff and students, and the countless other tasks on your to-do list. In fact, 91% of teachers and administrators that use Edficiency report it saving them time when compared to other methods and software they’ve tried.
Automatic Student Assignments
We understand the importance of knowing where all students are at all times and that it is a core piece for administrators, teachers, and your school community. Edficiency recognizes that and assigns all students for flex periods every day, never leaving a student accidentally unassigned. Requested students are assigned first, based on where they are most needed, but even unrequested students are assigned by the system without any effort or human action. The system will even match students to teachers they know whenever possible to facilitate a better experience for everyone. And when last-minute needs arise, staff can easily go into the system and reassign the student if they choose to.
Real-Time Attendance & Student Accountability
Now that the system has assigned students meaningfully, all teachers have rosters of the students assigned to their sessions. This allows teachers to easily take attendance, providing administrators with real-time access to attendance data for all staff and students. Real-time reports are then accessible by administrators to know who did and did not show up where they were supposed to during flex time so that they can take immediate action (like hall sweeps) or have historical records to share with students and families as needed. Additionally, all staff can look up where any student is assigned, so they can help students ensure they know where they need to be or ensure they know where to find any student in the event a parent calls or comes to pick up a student.
Automating Max Class Sizes
When assigning students for flex time, a key concern is ensuring the safety of your students and fairness across your staff. One key place this matters during flex periods is by enforcing a maximum number of students able to be assigned to each session (even if it varies based on what is happening in that space). Because of this, Edficiency will automatically recognize maximum class sizes for each location proactively, meaning staff will never get more students assigned to them than they can take. Further, depending on the type of session the teacher has planned for the day, the maximum class size can be adjusted easily by the administration or the teacher. This means you can easily offer a large study hall in the library with 100 seats while a teacher can provide intervention in their classroom with a limited session of 20 seats. The system can assign students accordingly and enforce the limits without the need for administrators to intervene, providing a hassle-free experience for everyone involved.
Balanced Class Sizes
When managing a team, it's crucial to ensure that everyone's work is purposeful, fair, and equitable. To achieve this, Edficiency not only enforces maximum class sizes but also ensures balanced class sizes when assigning unrequested students. This means that the system can determine what a balanced classroom looks like by calculating the average capacity of each session and what percent of it should be filled. Then, it can take that information to ensure a session that already has more assigned students (based on intentional requests) will not have more seats filled, ensuring that each session has a relatively equal number of students assigned to it. For example, if Teacher A requests 10 students and has 20 available seats while Teacher B requests only 5 students and also has 20 available seats, and each session should be half full on average, Teacher A will not receive any extra students. In comparison, Teacher B would likely get another 5 (or so) students assigned to them in addition to the 5 they requested, resulting in both teachers having 10 students assigned out of their 20 open seats. Additionally, the system also knows which teachers each student has to ensure that, whenever possible, an unrequested student is assigned to a teacher they know from their regular schedule.
Elimination of Scheduling & Room Conflicts
Edficiency is designed to make sure that there are no conflicts. With the system, each teacher is assigned to a single session and location for that session. Plus, they can only have one session per day. And what's more, each location can only be used by one teacher at a time, unless it's approved by an administrator to split a location between two teachers. This means you don't have to worry about overlapping schedules or double bookings. Once the sessions are created and locations are assigned, they're no longer available as options on dropdowns in the system. So, you can breathe easier, knowing that the system takes care of everything without the need for constant oversight.
Intelligence Benefits of Edficiency
Students Assigned Where Most Needed
Edficiency intelligently assigns students to sessions using different priority levels based on their needs. An algorithm ensures students are assigned to sessions where they are most needed, with nine different request priority levels to determine what is most important for any student at any given time. Administrators can override all teacher and student requests to ensure students go where they are needed, most often for important tutoring activities or required assemblies. Teachers can also choose to override student requests whenever they’d like to, or make requests intentionally giving students the choice to go elsewhere if they want. Even if students do not make an intentional request, they are still intentionally assigned by matching them with teachers they know whenever possible, while maintaining balanced class sizes and ensuring the maximum class size is not exceeded.
Google & Microsoft Single Sign-On
For your convenience, Edficiency provides a hassle-free experience to users by offering single sign-on for schools that manage their email through Google or Microsoft. This means there's no need to worry about managing (or remembering!) separate passwords for your staff and students. And, if single sign-on isn't an option for your school, all users have the option of setting up a password during the first login in a straightforward process.
Responsiveness Benefits of Edficiency
Edficiency scheduling software is designed to be responsive to your school's needs. Students aren’t assigned until midnight, the night before your flex period. This allows teachers and students to make requests based on after-school grading, homework, and reflection. In addition, day-of changes can be made easily. For example, if a teacher calls out sick in the morning, and a sub is unavailable, an administrator can delete the session, and students initially assigned to that session will be reassigned within 15-20 minutes. When reassigning students, the system knows what other teachers also requested the students, if the students submitted any requests, and where there are still seats available in other classrooms, taking that burden off the administrators. Moreover, students will automatically receive an email with their new session assignment from the system immediately after the new assignment is confirmed.
Access Anywhere with the Internet
Completely web-based, Edficiency can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. It is designed to be user-friendly and feel native on any device, whether a computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can easily stay on top of things for your flex period no matter where you are, whether from your desk, while roaming the halls, or from the comfort of your own home.
There are several ways to notify students of their session assignments in Edficiency, which can be beneficial for you and your staff. The system can send daily assignment emails to students informing them about their sessions, including their assigned teacher, location, session title, and any notes from their teachers. Additionally, students can log in to the site to view their assignments on the homepage from anywhere through a computer, tablet, or phone. Many schools even have their teachers project assignments on the board for their periods right before flex time through a curated list of students in that class that shows them the room and teacher they are to report to next. Some schools even choose to use the scrolling assignment list that can be displayed in common areas such as the cafeteria, study hall, or homeroom classes. We’ve even heard from many schools that, as a bonus, students tend to check their emails more frequently when Edficiency is used in the school.
We know how challenging it can be to manage flex period logistics in middle and high schools, especially for administrators who already have a lot on their plate. That’s why at Edficiency, we help you manage your flex periods more efficiently. If you're interested in seeing how it works, we’d love for you to schedule a demo here so you can learn more and decide if Edficiency could be a good fit for your campus.