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How Memphis School of Excellence keeps students safe, supported, and engaged in learning

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Keeping students safe and on-task on school-issued devices

Memphis School of Excellence (MSE) is a Title 1 public charter school that operates across four locations, serving students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Offering a rigorous, STEM-focused curriculum, MSE is committed to providing a safe and inclusive learning environment that gives students access to the resources and education they need to succeed in college and career.

Providing students with school devices and technology training is essential to preparing them for the future. However, this doesn't come without challenges. Teachers were complaining about older students bypassing the school's firewall to access unrelated and distracting websites during class. MSE also needed to make sure it was keeping its younger students protected from harmful online content.



One integrated platform for school web filtering, classroom management, and student wellness monitoring

Technology Coordinator Kadir Koken led the search for a technology solution to help teachers keep students on task and focused on the right content. As a budget-conscious school with limited resources, Kadir needed a platform that would be easy for him to administer and for his teachers to use.

Kadir evaluated Securly and another provider. Securly stood out for its flexible and easy-to-manage cloud web filter and its seamless integration with classroom management tools. The combination of Securly Filter and Securly Classroom solved MSE's initial requirements. However, when Kadir also learned about Securly Aware, he knew MSE needed to expand their Securly suite.

Kadir explains that it's always a challenge for a school like MSE to find the budget for educational technology. However, the case for Aware was easier to make because it gives MSE's student support staff invaluable insight into which students are experiencing safety or wellness concerns so they can intervene quickly.

He shares, "We serve 100% underprivileged students, and we have students who are struggling with depression, family life, and other issues. Aware catches early signs of these issues and alerts our support staff, so they're able to proactively reach out to a student and communicate with their family before things get worse."

"In schools across the country, there are worries about students carrying guns and school violence and bullying. Aware can identify when students are talking about things online or searching for information that is concerning. It brings those things to our attention early, and we can have the right resources address them quickly. With Aware, we are prepared."

—Kadir Koken, Technology Coordinator, Memphis School of Excellence



Students are being protected online, staying focused in class, and receiving proactive support thanks to an easy-to-manage, all-in-one platform

With Securly, MSE has consolidated on a single provider for web filtering, student wellness monitoring, and classroom management. Having all of their tools in a unified platform makes things much easier for MSE's support staff and teachers, as well as for Kadir. Because of MSE's under-served student population, they were also able to take advantage of Securly's partnership with Verizon for web filtering.

When sharing how things have changed at MSE since implementing Securly, Kadir stresses the peace of mind that comes from being able to proactively identify and support students who are struggling. He also highlights smaller victories, like being able to have more granular control of YouTube.

He explains, "YouTube used to be difficult to manage because it has educational content that teachers want students to access, but there's also so much other content that is distracting. It was creating a conflict between the technology and academic teams. With Securly Filter, we can categorize content within YouTube and even give students access to only certain videos. It's one of the most powerful tools we use."

As sometimes happens with technology deployments, Kadir admits that there were some bumps in getting Securly Classroom up and running. MSE was having issues with students switching networks and their screens not being visible to teachers. However, he brought the issues to his dedicated Securly customer support manager (CSM), and they're now fully resolved. Kadir adds that whenever he reaches out to his CSM, he gets a quick response. "Our CSM is really helpful. We get really great support."

By partnering with Securly, MSE is:

  • Protecting younger students from harmful content
  • Defeating digital distractions and keeping older students on task
  • Intervening quickly when any student demonstrates distress signals
  • Customizing filtering requirements to meet individual teacher needs
  • Quickly resolving issues with responsive customer support

When asked what advice he'd give to other K-12 technology teams looking to implement technology to support student safety, wellness, and engagement, Kadir says it's crucial to have a well-thought-out plan for training so everyone understands how to use the technology.

He also recommends clearly defining administrative privileges to only give the right people access to the right resources. Ultimately, he stresses the importance of keeping things as simple as possible, adding "With Securly, we can manage web filtering, classroom management, and student wellness monitoring all in one platform, which simplifies management and reduces complexity."

Filter Logo

Simplify student safety with cloud-based web filtering

Filter, a cloud-based web filter designed specifically for schools, helps you keep students safe with powerful features that make your school safer and your IT team happier. Get visibility into online activity, download or email reports, and block inappropriate sites instantly.

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Aware Logo

Intervene quickly to safeguard students against self-harm, suicide, bullying, and violence

With Securly Aware, you know how your students are doing so you can focus your resources on the students who need support the most. Don't worry about your students' wellness. Know for sure with Aware.

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Classroom Logo

Experience the power of simplified classroom management for yourself

To keep students productive and engaged in a technology-first world, teachers need simple and powerful classroom management tools that give them their power back. They can't combat what they can't see. Give them the visibility and control they need with Securly Classroom.

See for yourself how Securly Classroom helps teachers improve student engagement.

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