Writer Name: Joel Levin
Customer Details: Leonteios Patision, Athens, Greece
Customer Website: http://www.leonteios.edu.gr/
General Information: 170 employees, 135 teachers, 1,350 students
Founded in 1924 by the Marist Brothers, Leonteios Patision guides students age 3-18 to acquire a wholesome, comprehensive education and to develop the skills and talents to live meaningful, loving, and responsible lives with others, especially those in need.
Customer Social Sharing Details:
EPAFOS is the leading provider of IT solutions for the education sector in Greece. EPAFOS uses Microsoft technologies to create innovative solutions to help educational institutions develop in all areas, from teaching and learning to organization and administration.
4Schools web platform deployed as a cloud service on Microsoft Azure.
"Edu4Schools is not just an administrative system of our schools. It allows us to start working in a completely new and modern way. It offers students and parents as well as the school administration, the secretariat, the educators, and all staff of the Leonteios Patision a proper working environment and the necessary tools that successfully correspond to the needs of today's digital era in the field of education.” – Angela Sestrini, Principal, Leonteios Patision.
“The edu4Schools platform increases the efficiency of our customers by giving them a new and reliable way to extend the whole educational process. We help them expand their services to students and parents and also offer to them an innovative and flexible environment for further growth.” - Christos Chaldeopoulos, Co- founder, EPAFOS.
Founded by the Marist Brothers in 1924, Leonteios Patision in Athens, Greece is dedicated to finding creative solutions to educating young people in the 21st century. Saddled with an inefficient and fragmented student information system, the school turned to Microsoft Partner EPAFOS and its edu4Schools web-based platform, deployed in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Now the whole school community benefits from anytime, anywhere access to important student information.
Staff struggle with an ineffective student information service
Until recently, IT services to students, parents, teachers, and administrators were inefficient and cumbersome. The primary and secondary schools each had their own local systems and software, and client-server applications relied on unsynchronized local data sources. Parents, students, and teachers did not have remote access to a centralized student information system.
Data redundancy was another challenge. If parents had one child in primary school, another in junior high, and a third in senior high, the three students were registered in three separate systems. The parents’ contact information was similarly replicated three times. In addition, the transportation office had its own separate records of students and their addresses.
IT support was particularly complicated and time-consuming. There were more than 15 separate systems for academic activities in the different schools, serving more than 80 computers with their own applications. Moreover, the separate systems were configured differently to handle similar tasks.
Teachers and staff faced technical problems that they could not solve on their own, the school IT staff was burdened with more problems than they could handle, and outside technical support was costly. Frustration and friction among various staff were growing.
EPAFOS web-based platform simplifies student information management
Leonteios Patision was searching for a unified, easy-to-use student information system (SIS). It turned to Microsoft partner EPAFOS, which specializes in IT solutions for educational institutions. EPAFOS began deploying, configuring, and testing its edu4Schools web-based SIS at Leonteios Patision in 2014, and launched the application at the beginning of 2015.
The school had evaluated two other platforms before selecting EPAFOS. The first one did not employ web-based technology and the second one was a non-Microsoft solution. Leonteios Patision believed that its staff’s extensive and positive experience with Microsoft technologies justified the choice of the edu4Schools platform.
The edu4Schools SIS solution manages all activities of educational institutions and is deployed in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Its architecture was designed with simplicity and efficiency in mind. The solution consists of two cloud services, two Azure SQL databases, and an Azure Storage repository. Internal and external users access the system through the Internet. Internal staff access the backend and portal subsystems through a web browser on desktop computers. External users, such as parents and students, access the portal through desktop or notebook computers and mobile devices.
The edu4Schools solution offers information services to the entire school community: teachers, students, parents, and administrators. Teachers can enter grades online and send formative assessment and comments to individual students. Students have online access to educational materials, such as books, manuals, and other resources at any time. Parents can view their children’s records and attendance data online, and make online appointments with their children’s teachers. Administrators have online connection to students’ records and personal details, and can print, email, or text student information for administrative purposes. School principals can access student data to observe and assess academic achievement against education standards.
The EPAFOS solution benefits the entire school community
With the deployment of edu4Schools, teachers at Leonteios Patision are freed from disruptive technology malfunctions in the classroom. Administration staff now have role-based access to student data in and out of school. And parents can access their child’s records anytime from their mobile devices. IT support is easier to plan, adjust, and modify in-house rather than through an external IT services vendor, dramatically reducing expenses.
EPAFOS co-founder Christos Chaldeopoulos explains the solution benefits this way: “The edu4Schools platform increases the efficiency of our customers by giving them a new and reliable way to extend the whole educational process. We help them expand their services to students and parents and also offer to them an innovative and flexible environment for further growth.”
The solution has reduced time and effort on the part of teachers and administrative staff. Many devote their saved time and energy to work out suggestions for further technological developments that can add, expand, and advance the current capabilities of edu4Schools. An integrated system for creating tests and quizzes is expected to roll out later this year, as well as a student transportation management system.
And EPAFOS has more enhancements of edu4Schools on the way. Because edu4Schools already integrates with Office 365, EPAFOS created a single authentication system so an edu4Schools user can authenticate via Office 365. Planned capabilities include integrating OneDrive and Outlook calendar. EPAFOS also wants to tap into Skype for Business functionality, which will give edu4Schools new communication options for members of the school community.
It’s no wonder that Leonteios Patision principal Angela Sestrini considers edu4Schools more than just a managerial convenience. “Edu4Schools is not just an administrative system of our schools,” she says. “It allows us to start working in a completely new and modern way. It offers students and parents as well as the school administration, the secretariat, the educators, and all staff of the Leonteios Patision a proper working environment and the necessary tools that successfully correspond to the needs of today's digital era in the field of education.”