Sentral forms a critical foundation for the multi campus structure of Callaghan College.
Multi campus challenges
With two senior campuses, one junior campus and enrolments of over 2000 students, significant challenges emerge when building an administration system. For Callaghan College there is also a significant impact on the city of Newcastle when considering what is known as the Callaghan Education Pathway (CEP) which represents Callaghan College’s partnership with 15 local primary schools. For a school with this much impact, its systems need to be scalable, reliable and secure. As described by David Summerville, the Callaghan College ICT Administrator, systems across the campuses need to deliver a consistent experience to the whole school community. Sentral was the first “piece of the pie” that allowed Callaghan College to build a foundation into which other systems could be integrated.
"Life has completely changed."
Significant Benefits in Moving to the Cloud
Whilst cloud technology is rapidly gaining acceptance, hurdles still exist for some schools in making the transition to cloud-based administration. Being a multi campus school allows Callaghan College to view the benefits from both sides. David recalls the years of administering physical, onsite servers which required time consuming, and often intensive effort. Events like weather, power blackouts and servers simply getting old meant constant attention at all hours. This is in addition to managing users, running backups and the general usability of the system. Sentral forms a critical foundation for the multi campus structure of Callaghan College.
With the move to cloud-based servers, David explains that his “life has completely changed”. Placing his trust fully in the Department of Education, the introduction of Sentral frees up time and reduces burden. The immediate result is more time for effective teaching and learning. Currently, the junior campus is in the cloud with the two senior campuses still operating on relatively new servers. And with the benefits so quickly evident, Callaghan College looks to the future with eager anticipation when the whole college embraces the Sentral Enterprise solution. For the school knows that the current servers will come to the end of their serviceable life, whereas the cloud-based solution eliminates that concern.
The response from teachers has been very positive, most noticeably due to the quiet, smooth running of potentially challenging tasks. For example, according to David, “Reports just happen”. Administrators can set up reports and delegate further responsibility to Head Teachers, empowering them to work effectively with their teams. The integrated Sentral Markbook enables data to be accurately drawn from LMS systems, and then directly into reports creating a substantial time benefit.
Students have reacted positively to the functionality that Sentral enables. The streamlined integration makes their use of the LMS purposeful, resulting in more positive engagement both in the classroom and online.
Meeting the Challenge of Greater Responsibility
Sentral has become part of the fabric of Callaghan College. Recognising that expectations for communication are constantly changing, Callaghan College utilises the Parent Portal and Mobile App for effective and timely communication with parents and caregivers. Direct email with teachers still occurs on occasion, however the functionality enabled by Sentral allows parents to choose the communication method that works best for them.
Building for Future Staff
Callaghan College takes the view that it is building a school for future staff. This means a school that caters for existing staff, and also allows for new staff to enter a school where everything they need is ready and waiting for them. From an active Sentral login, to computers, software and other equipment needed for quality teaching and learning, Callaghan College meets the challenges of today’s rapidly evolving technology. Sentral is an essential part of the infrastructure that makes that happen.