Wolf Creek Public Schools

Automating absence reporting and substitute placement

Division Snapshot

  • Over 800 employees
  • More than 7,200 students
  • Manages 33 schools
  • Approximate operating budget of $65.2 million
  • www.wolfcreek.ab.ca

Wolf Creek Public Schools is recognized as a leader in technology integration. After a successful year using our services a collaborative effort was made that saw the introduction of a revolutionary new absence reporting and substitute teacher placement module in Breeze for Teachers.

Problem: How do you automate absence reporting and substitute teacher placement to increase productivity, while providing a positive user experience?

Mark McWhinnie, Assistant Superintendent for Wolf Creek Public Schools and the Dreamstalk team began discussions about the problem in the Spring of 2013.

We began the project with specific goals:

  1. Reporting an absence had to be fast, easy and familiar for a teacher
  2. Substitute teachers needed an easy way to find and accept the daily job postings
  3. The process needed to be monitored by administration

As the Dreamstalk team began to prototype a solution, a sandbox environment was set up that both parties could access in order to better coordinate discussions and testing.

Case Study: Wolf Creek Public Schools

In September of 2013 Wolf Creek successfully launched the new module. Prior to launch we are seeing a consistent 98% of absences filled - on the spot and free of intervention. An intuitive web-based interface with e-mail and text message notification made it easy for substitute teachers to know when a job was available and accept or decline the position. Over 150 substitute teachers were able to apply online and an integrated workflow process allowed the Wolf Creek People Services team to quickly approve or decline applications.

"Wolf Creek Public Schools is very pleased with the ongoing working relationship we have with Dreamstalk Studios. Since our early pilot process and subsequent long term contract with using Breeze for Teachers, we have found a supportive and adaptive structure to work within. Our teachers have quickly and easily embraced the product tool, and our parent communities see strong value in our school websites. Dreamstalk’s responsive approach to meeting our evolving needs and collaboration, provides a valuable partnership to us when it comes to leveraging the web in current and relevant ways." said Mark McWhinnie, Associate Superintendent.
"It's impossible to build a quality solution without being an expert on the problem. Wolf Creek are the experts -- they work through the daunting tasks every day. We understand how to apply technology to solve a problem, and in a limited scope we can see the problem, but never as clearly as the people experiencing it. This is why it was critical to coordinate our development efforts," said Brad Leitch, Creative Director for Dreamstalk.
"We're very thankful to have school divisions that are as collaborative as Wolf Creek. Mark McWhinnie and his technology team have been outstanding to work with and very patient with us as we learned about the process," said Brad Leitch.