There’s nothing better as a school leader than a student looking at the television waiting for their picture to scroll across the screen. We need and MUST acknowledge our students! – Lucas Ptacek – Principal
Franklin Middle School is comprised of nearly 650 students in 6th-8th grade in addition to nearly 90 staff members. The school quite possibly best represents the city with the diverse makeup of their student demographics. Lucas Ptacek is in his third year as Principal at Franklin Middle School in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. While operating in a nearly century-old building he is looking for innovative ways to bring his building into the twenty-first century while maintaining the historical structure. Lucas recognizes the need to integrate technology to better incorporate student voice along with student recognition.
Lucas and Franklin Middle School are constantly working to improve their communications with their stakeholders that go beyond students and faculty and include families. They look at communication in a number of different avenues: announcements, schedules, daily happenings, and acknowledgements. Lucas has certain methods to impact all these, but struggles to have it done consistently, effectively, and in an engaging manner to get the students’ attention. Add in the school’s diverse student population, it makes it a unique challenge to communicate with all of the students. Lucas was looking for a way to bring all of the communications into one platform that was easy to manage and would help engage and motivate all of the student population and be informative for the faculty and staff. The school also needed the solution to be cost effective, easy to integrate into the old building and be reliable for the limited IT staff to maintain.
ARREYA provides us the platform to communicate and showcase the amazing things our students do along with the happenings in our school. – Lucas Ptacek
Through ARREYA digital signage suite on managed Chromeboxes, Lucas is able to digitally and visually communicate with all the students, faculty and parents. He is able to publish school announcements and showcase what’s going on in school along with the wonderful things students are doing. Franklin Middle School students are more engaged and motivated to do better. Lucas says “There’s nothing better as a school leader than a student looking at the television waiting for their picture to scroll across the screen. We need and MUST acknowledge our students!”
Lucas has found the solution easy to use. He says, “We’ve found..Arreya, to be an all-in-one tool that encompasses all we want to do.” Lucas finds it easy to make changes to the content. The remote access and built-in content creator and editor enables Franklin Middle School to change posts instantly and everyday without interruption or the need for dedicated staff. New student recognition photos, daily happenings and announcements get changed every morning for the students and faculty to view instant up-to-date information. School events, such as concerts, graduation, and sporting events are recorded and rebroadcasted on ARREYA with Chrome platform. Franklin Middle School and Lucas find that Chromebox and Chrome Device Management are an affordable and most importantly, reliable, platform. Keeping up with the daily school communications was difficult before installing digital monitors throughout the school. With ARREYA and Chrome keeping the signage running and relevant is easy and seamless. Lucas says, “Throughout the process, Arreya has been there every step of the way to provide the assistance and customize to meet the needs of our building. There’s no need to look any further than Arreya for all your digital signage needs..”
With the consolidation of communications into the digital platform, the school has reduced the staff and time used to keep up with all the different forms of communication. The daily updates are easy for the staff to implement and instantly deploy to all the digital monitors throughout the school. The school tracks the health of all the monitors remotely with the use of the Chrome Device Management. Lucas keeps track of all of the digital communications by remotely accessing through his secure online ARREYA subscription. He no longer has to walk the halls to verify if all the devices are working or update content.
The biggest and most powerful change Lucas and Franklin Middle School has seen since installing the new digital signage using ARREYA with Chromebox and Chrome Device Management is the student engagement. Lucas has seen an increase in students wanting to do better so they can get recognized for their achievements. The school takes photos of all student achievements and posts them to the ARREYA digital content.
The school’s student population is made up of a wide range of income levels and family structures. Some Franklin Middle School students are considered “at-risk” students. The school has to continually find new ways to encourage these students to not only attend school, but motivate them to do better. The ARREYA with Chrome digital signage platform is another tool that assists Lucas and his faculty to break through to these “at-risk” students. The school focuses on the future of all it’s students and since most students have access and embrace technology the introduction of digital signage was a natural fit as another way to reach everyone.