Solutions

Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences, LMG Data Group, New York City Department of Education

"FileMaker Go has brought up-to-the minute, actionable student information right into the classroom."

New York City schools succeed with in-classroom student information systems based on FileMaker Go for iPad

Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences (www.lmghs.org) achieves 98% graduation rate, generates income

Overview

  • High-performing school for the sciences in Brooklyn; contract provider of student information systems for other New York City schools

Industry

  • K-12 educator and provider of mobile-enabled student information system

Solutions

  • Developed comprehensive student information system that aggregates multi-source data into a single screen; extended to iPad in days with FileMaker Go

Benefits

  • Identified strengths and weaknesses of each student within the school, bringing progress report from B to A rating; improved student outcomes; made $250,000 in profits to benefit the school.
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Instant access to students' level of understanding helps teachers keep them engaged.

When teachers at Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences (LMGHS) in Brooklyn need a complete picture of each student – learning styles, behaviors, assessment scores – they don’t flip through a sheaf of papers or dig through an unwieldy mainframe for data after they leave the classroom. All 50 teachers reach for iPads running APO Office (Assistant Principal of Organization Office), a student information system based on FileMaker Go, the best-selling business database app for iPad and iPhone.

When asked, teachers say APO Office is a driving factor behind the 1,000-student school’s impressive 98% graduation rate. They have in-classroom access to hard facts like student test scores, as well as to observations such as individual student strengths. They can see whether or not students have grasped topics such as algebraic expressions, and immediately review or advance to the next level to match instruction to students’ current level of understanding.

Insights are applied on the spot to group students for assignments, employ illustrations to connect with visual learners, or share anecdotes to help eager listeners. And, if “Sally” has not been completing her homework, teachers can share this information and discuss better methods of instruction or intervene as a team.

“FileMaker Go enables us to know each learner,” says Michael Weinstein, Assistant Principal of Organization for LMGHS. “Teachers can share information in real time, enabling them to make more informed instructional decisions and support the unique learning needs of each student.”

FileMaker Go has brought up-to-the minute, actionable
student information right into the classroom.

— Michael Weinstein, Assistant Principal of Organization, Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences
Weinstein and Zaza
Principal Joseph Zaza and Assistant Principal Michael Weinstein

Goodbye, learning curve

LMGHS created APO Office in-house, starting five years ago. The school Principal, Joseph Zaza, sat down with Weinstein and together they brainstormed ideas to give teachers better access to student information. Weinstein was charged with heading up a new student information project. “Honestly, I panicked,” he recalls. “I had no formal training in database development, nor am I a math or statistics person.”

In-depth research led him to FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server software as the best way to aggregate, disseminate and present information, as well as – later on – extend it to iOS devices. He found development intuitive, despite the system’s sophistication.

APO Office consolidates data from the New York City Department of Education mainframe, as well as tens of individual administrative, assessment and instructional information systems, presenting it all in one easy interface. Whether they need to query student progress or create a graph for reporting purposes, both administrators and teachers have the tools and information they need. Student information is offered up based on users’ roles and kept secure through password protection.

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FileMaker Go for iPad keeps these teachers and their students on the cutting edge of pedagogy.

Educational entrepreneurs

Upon seeing the early results of APO Office, the Department of Education designated Goldstein High an official internal service provider and encouraged development and sales of the system to other city schools. The high school then formed LMG Data Group, a profit-making government enterprise, to equip other schools with APO Office or other customized student information systems.

All profits from sales funnel back into LMGHS coffers. A quarter of a million dollars richer, LMGHS has acquired iPads, computers, books and other educational resources that have further enriched the school’s teaching and learning environment.

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LMGHS has a 98% student graduation rate, thanks to the benefits of FileMaker Go-based system.

On iOS in days

APO Office was initially desktop-based and accessible only from a few computers in areas like teacher rooms or principals’ offices. But with the advent of smart and relatively inexpensive mobile devices like the iPad, it became apparent that schools could benefit from a mobile component to the FileMaker solution. Many schools don’t have the funding or space for desktop computers. And, from a teaching standpoint, the goal was to place student information in the immediate hands of teachers all over classrooms in New York City, where it could be applied to improve student outcomes.

According to Weinstein, the addition of a mobile component, like everything else FileMaker, came easy. “Thanks to our choice of FileMaker, we were sharing information on the iPad within days. With an existing FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server database, extending the information to iOS devices isn’t a huge development project – it’s a matter of a few simple refinements,” he says.

By using FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPad, schools can connect to databases hosted on FileMaker Server for instant access to the most current information. Any changes to data while on the go are immediately accessible to the entire educational team. Teachers and administrators can connect to FileMaker Server using a local wireless network or over the Internet using Wi-Fi or 3G.

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FileMaker Go gets an "A" from teachers at LMGHS.

Straight “A”s

Hundreds of additional New York City schools touching thousands of students have since adopted APO Office or customized systems. And today, with FileMaker Go, most are sharing student information on mobile devices like iPad. Several schools have bypassed desktop computers altogether, simply using FileMaker Server and FileMaker Go running on iPad to help overcome budget and space constraints.

And Goldstein High School? The school’s New York City Department of Education progress report rating, which is based on student outcomes and peer comparisons, has soared to the top, moving from a “B “to an “A”. Says Weinstein, “FileMaker Go has brought up-to-the-minute, actionable student information right into the classroom. It’s making all the difference in supporting teachers in their mission to improve student achievement.”

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences and LMG Data Group:

Michael Weinstein
Assistant Principal, Organization
Leon M. Goldstein High School
718-368-8522
mweinst4@schools.nyc.gov
http://www.lmghs.org