Best Practices

FastDirect provides a framework for Best Practices in schools not only through our online school information system, but through our support as well. We believe it's important for schools to incorporate Best Practices in order to facilitate continuous improvement, self adjustment, and to meet well defined educational and spiritual goals. We aim to support schools and help them develop in seven critical areas:

  1. IT, Information Technology
  2. Professional Development
  3. Effective Communications
  4. Reporting and Record-keeping
  5. Collaboration and Visibility
  6. Academic Success
  7. Leadership in Academics and Faith

IT, Information Technology

We have developed this "school portal" application with 3 database design objectives: data integrity, security and privacy of your information. As an Application Service Provider, we apply practical "best practices" to ensure data integrity, security and privacy of your information

Schools that have had extensive damage to their facilities due to catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina never had to worry because their data is stored with FastDirect.

Professional Development

An important part of professional development for a school is technological. When a school and its teachers truly embrace computer technology, it reinforces its importance for students as well. FastDirect provides a way for teachers to learn and utilize computer technology daily.

Even a 7th grade teacher who entered the training session announcing that computers break when he touches them, was posting grades and communicating with parents almost immediately. He loved it and wanted to learn how to do more.

Effective Communications

Communication is at the heart of FastDirect. We provide the framework for building community by providing several means of communication within one secure system.

A school that closed for months after Hurricane Katrina held itself together using FastDirect. Families kept in touch with other families all over the country and teachers kept in touch with their class even though all of the school's computer equipment was destroyed.

An incredible means of communication between teachers and parents is the GradeBook. When teachers commit to updating their GradeBook at specific intervals, such as once per week, parents know to check FastDirect and see how their child is progressing. GradeBook becomes a useful communications tool! The school community can support each student by following his or her progress, providing encouragement when needed, and providing intervention or extra study when needed, thus eliminating surprises at parent/teacher conferences.

Reporting and Record-Keeping

FastDirect's database is secure and integrated which allows schools to record and report important data: academic, disciplinary, health, personal information, attendance, financial, and more.

The "Make Your Own Report" tool provides Administrators flexible options for reporting. It allows one to choose a desired combination of Student Data or Parent Data such as name, address, date enrolled, grade level, baptism dates, birthday dates, etc. Data can even be updated within this report — a huge time-saver!

Collaboration & Visibility

The school community benefits from a collaborative process where everyone is able to access necessary reports and information according to assigned permissions. FastDirect is a gateway to information for all groups in the school community.

Margo at St. Paul's explains how they missed a lot of school this year due to severe snow storms, but kept in touch and kept learning active through collaboration on FastDirect. Administrators and Teachers sent messages to parents on FastDirect to remind them to ask children to view their Bulletin Boards and to keep active. Teachers also posted additional assignments and links to educational websites on their Bulletin Boards.

Academic Success

All aspects of FastDirect either directly or indirectly aid schools in developing their academic success. Our solutions support administrative facets, provide communications that build community, and track academic progress.

While GradeBook and Report Cards are useful tools (especially when posted online), there are also many other reports that aid schools in fostering academic success. One report in particular is the "Palmer Eligibility Report," which shows the GradeBook computed average for any course that is below the selected percent (70%).

Leadership in Academics and Faith

As schools develop best practices with FastDirect, leadership in both academics and faith follows. Guiding and inspiring the school community is facilitated by FastDirect.

Many schools utilize their Bulletin Boards and Links section to both guide and inspire their school community. Inspirational messages, educational/spiritual documents, and helpful website links are posted on both.