Blue Ribbon Schools Assessment

Update: May 2017 - The Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellent tool has won a Global ACE Award from the Business Marketing Association, winning runner-up in the category of Digital Sales Enablement! This category is for digital online materials that help facilitate the sales process for companies.

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence (BRSE) is an organization that provides a comprehensive school self-assessment, used to measure, develop, and support educational policies that improve student performance and enable comprehensive school reform. Students, teachers, parents, and faculty all participate in online surveys designed to measure their school's performance in a number of areas.

In July 2015 they encountered an issue where their existing assessment tool was becoming too inadequate to function properly. The tool utilized Microsoft technology that was over a decade old and no longer supported. The software was near-unusable, slow, incomplete, buggy, and unable to provide reporting/metrics. Considering most schools in the Blue Ribbon program give assessments at the beginning of the school year, BRSE needed a solution and was running out of time.

BRSE submitted a request for proposal, and the company that won the bid approached me with a daunting task. Can you design, create, develop, and implement an entirely new system to be completed by the beginning of the school year, in under 2 months? Always up for a challenge, and for a great cause, I accepted the contract and went to work. After regular 4 AM nights and very little sleep over the course of 2 months, I managed to complete the assessment tool. It was one of the more satisfying projects I've worked on, and contained the following:

  • Modern Symfony framework
  • 30+ MySQL tables
  • Customizable assessment/survey
  • Ability to pause/restart survey automatically
  • Fully responsive design
  • Backend Admin CRM
  • 20 distinct reports
  • 3 fully customizable charts/graphs
  • Automated PDF/CSV exports of all reports
  • Automated upload/importing data tools
  • Custom user roles, access levels, and assessor functionality
  • Caching, sub-0.1 second page load speeds

Here is an example of a sample survey, and how it might be viewed from a mobile device:


This project was so satisfying because I was able to control every aspect of the development. I designed the front-end and back-end user interface, designed the entire database schema, wrote all of the code, and set up the web server and hosting, all while dealing directly with Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellent. It was also satisfying because the project was for such a good cause, helping schools and students across the country better their education and curriculum going forward. To date, this system has handled:

  • 25,000+ assessments
  • 60,000+ users who have taken an assessment
  • 1.5 million+ questions answered

Admin CRM/Reporting/Backend

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence


Project Dates:
August 1, 2015 - November 1, 2015

My Role(s):
Lead Developer, Team Lead