Interactive School Finders
At Tembo, we care deeply about making school quality and equity information available and consumable for the public. In particular, we want families to have easy access to information about their local school choices.
After years of creating custom school finders and school report cards/profiles, we built configurable products that allow us to more easily create online tools with rich information about schools.
Tembo FIND is an interactive school finder that allows families and the public to search and/or filter schools based on their location and transit requirements, grade levels, school performance and offerings, and other preferences. Tembo EXPLORE is a configurable school profile and/or scorecard, and is a place where families can further explore a school’s performance, personality, offerings, and the everyday details (timings, transit, uniforms, care schedules) that matter.
How can Tembo help?
The flexibility of FIND and EXPLORE allows Tembo to use a single tool to help meet a wide range of client needs. Here are some of the features that we offer:
User friendly design. We rely on research with families and educators to center our designs and ensure our tools allow users to meet their goals. Families approach information about local schools with a very personal perspective. Our job is not just to help them find a school, but rather to help them find the school that is right for them. FIND provides this personal touch by asking users what they value most, and providing rich data that can provide a more complete picture of how schools meet their needs.
Smart visualizations. Our team works closely with clients to help determine not only which data are available for profiles or scorecards, but how to best configure our tools to display that information. Our goal is to create an organization and navigation that allows anyone to easily find and consume information. The end result is a profile or scorecard based on design best practices, accommodating a variety of data types (e.g. text, tables, charts, photos or photo carousels, video embeds, lists, dates and times, links).
Mobile devices. Tembo applications are designed with a mobile-first approach. This means that our applications are naturally responsive to different devices, including smartphones and tablets. Both FIND and EXPLORE are completely accessible through a browser and optimized for smaller resolutions.
Maps, locations, and transit. Users can see schools plotted on a map, and details about those schools (like performance). The tool can also provide information like distance from the user’s home address, what schools are in-boundary, and transit times by public transportation, driving, walking, or biking.
School choice & enrollment. In many locations, clients need an interactive school finder to support a broader system of school choice. Tembo offers our interactive school finder and profiles as both a standalone web application and as an integration with third-party application or enrollment management system in partnership with Acumen Solutions.
What’s our impact?
Versions of FIND and EXPLORE are currently allowing users in Louisiana, Tennessee, Indianapolis, DC, and Camden search for schools and educator preparation programs. These tools allow users to quickly search for schools based on performance, location, and/or their preferences in what they want in a school.
The Council of Chief State School Officers recently released an in-depth case study that details how Louisiana’s Department of Education worked with Tembo to translate their theory of change into an innovative accountability framework and suite of online tools for families and educators.
See some recent work:
Explore schools and early education centers in Louisiana >
Explore schools in Indianapolis >