Editor’s note: Today we hear from Vicki Moore, Founder and Education Director at Living Classroom, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable environment development through children’s education. Every year, Living Classroom develops a master lesson schedule for its school program. With over 300 teachers requesting 1,500 lessons for 9,000 students, the organization needed a custom application to efficiently manage its schedules to assist participating schools and encourage more volunteers to sign-up.
Caspio: Living Classroom’s mission is to inspire children to learn and value our natural world through garden-based education. Can you tell us more about this?
Moore: Living Classroom aims to support a new generation of students that are excited about science, connected to nature, and are equipped and inspired to build a future that is environmentally sustainable.
Our program makes deep connections with the schools we serve. We provide a highly relevant set of hands-on learning experiences in science, math, social studies, and nutrition through school gardens and nature-based learning. We integrate our lessons into the regular school day and support the Next Generation Science and Common Core standards adopted for all California public schools. Students receive multiple lessons per year, from Kindergarten through 8th grade, creating a strong foundation for environmental literacy, which will guide their actions and decisions for the rest of their lives.
Caspio: What challenges did you have in your organization that required a custom application solution?
Moore: In a school year, our staff creates about 1,500 lessons that are being requested by and distributed among 300+ teachers from 3 school districts in California. We schedule these lessons for our 60+ volunteer docents who sign up to teach our lessons. We needed a system that can eliminate the manual development of a master lesson schedule, as well as provide a platform for teachers to request for lessons and for docents to sign up to teach our lessons on our master lesson calendar.
Caspio: Why did you choose Caspio for your mission-critical systems?
Moore: It began after learning about the successful implementation of a scheduling system that Los Altos School District created using Caspio. Their system served a similar purpose to what we needed, although we did have some other specific requirements for our own system. Some of the critical capabilities needed are the following:
- Set the date ranges in which our lessons are taught
- Kick back a lesson request if requested on a day that we do not provide lessons
- Automatically send lesson confirmations, lesson reminders, and evaluation surveys after a lesson is given
Luckily, Caspio was able to accommodate all of our specific needs.
Caspio: What are the major benefits that you gained after turning to Caspio?
Moore: Caspio provides an easy interface, making it effortless for all our users to schedule and sign up for lessons. Additionally, Caspio’s sophisticated authentication features also enabled us to set up multiple user roles and permissions on the system.
Using Caspio’s point-and-click tools, we were able to build our custom application for automating our processes. As a result, Caspio provided us major time savings by cutting our processing time by 90%. Overall, we had a very positive experience with Caspio and its support team. Since then, Caspio’s platform has become an integral part for our organization.