Schools Revamp Student Information Systems

School districts in Tennessee, Michigan, California, and Ohio are overhauling their student information systems, moving to Web-based technology.

Four districts--Milton-Union Exempted Village Schools in West Milton, OH; Ingham Intermediate School District in Mason, MI; Westside Union School District in Quartz Hill, CA; and Greeneville City Schools in Greeneville, TN--have all gone public with their adoption of Pearson PowerSchool Premier. PowerSchool Premier provides a variety of student data functionality, including reporting, communications, and access to up to date information about individual students.

Milton-Union, which serves about 1,650 students and employs about 100 teachers, deployed the new student information system in order to provide location-independent access around the clock.

"It gives teachers the ability to access information about the students, for the students, so they can customize instruction," said Mick Nealeigh, Milton-Union district technology coordinator, in a prepared statement. "More information will now be readily available to all our stakeholders. With more and better information, teachers, administrators, parents and students will now have the tools they need to make better decisions for student success."

"The 24/7 access will increase convenience and productivity," said Scott Bloom, director of curriculum and and student services. "We think it will be something people want to use. We want it to be a destination for teachers."

Milton-Union's district-wide deployment is expected to be completed by the fall.

Ingham Intermediate in Michigan is a consortium of six school districts with 7,800 students and about 400 teachers. Ingham had previously been running several student information systems but decided to consolidate them onto a single platform.

"Bringing several districts onto a common platform will allow for a higher level of support between districts," said Daryl Tilley, supervisor of information systems for Ingham Intermediate.

Ingham will also use PowerSchool Premier as a communications tool to reach out to parents and provide access to real-time data.

Most of the deployments among the six members of Ingham Intermediate are expected to be completed by fall 2009, with the remainder being completed by spring 2010. According to Pearson, more than 200 other districts in Michigan are already using PowerSchool Premier.

In California, Westside Union School District is migrating from SASI to PowerSchool Premier. Through the SASI Customer First program, the district will have access to PowerSchool Premier with no license fees.

"After looking at the competition, it was obvious that Pearson had the best student information system on the market," said Westside's Suzanne Banks, SIS coordinator. "PowerSchool Premier is user-friendly, Web-based, centralized, and fully customizable, four major features that we were looking for. Couple that with their experience in the education field, and we believe they have met all of our needs. Communication between our parents and staff is so important today, and we feel that Pearson has provided the perfect tool we need to make this happen."

Westside serves about 9,000 students. Its implementation is expected to be completed by fall.

Greeneville City Schools in Tennessee serves about 3,200 students and employs around 200 teachers. The district had previously used Pearson's SASI student information system but was looking for greater flexibility in terms of accessing data.

"I'm thankful for the SASI Customer First program; it was the only way we could have made the move to PowerSchool Premier," said Beverly Miller, Greeneville chief technology officer, in a statement released last week. "SASI has been a great product for us, and PowerSchool Premier's Web-based interface will give us more flexibility and affordability."

Greeneville's deployment is expected to be complete by next month.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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