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2 Pennsylvania Districts Adopt SME Student Information System

Franklin Regional School District and Waynesboro Area School District, both in Pennsylvania, are moving to a new centralized student information system.

Both have adopted SME, which is developed by Canada-based Harris School Solutions.

SME features real-time, online access to information and reports, dashboard capabilities to customize configuration of content and functionality, capability of the system to adjust to unique business processes, and integration with existing legacy systems.

Other functionalities include security for users based on staff position; census-based demographics to track students and families across schools, dwellings and enrollment areas; scalability for school district size; the availability of all Pennsylvania Information Management System reports for Pennsylvania districts; and parent and student portals.

SME also allows for scheduling, grade reporting, daily and period attendance, graduation standards and testing, special education and case management, disciple information, health details, state reporting, textbook management, fee administration, and system administration.

According to Waynesboro Area School District, the ability of SME to operate on a variety of Web browsers was key to his district's decision.

"We were primarily concerned with making sure the system we selected would meet our needs, and would work well with the mix of mostly Mac and some Windows computers we have in our district," said Roger Lange, Waynesboro supervisor of technology. "Of course, we also needed the system to be cost effective."

Full-feature functionality was an important factor in the Franklin Regional School District's decision to buy SME. Frank Muto, Franklin's supervisor of technology, said a key feature for his district was "one point of data entry for student demographics and for the integrated modules."

Waynesboro Area School District, which serves 4,197 students, comprises four elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. Its 2011-2012 budget is $49.9 million. Franklin Regional School District, which serves 3,700 students from Export, Murrysville, and portions of Delmont, comprises three elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. Its 2011-2012 budget is $13.06 million.

Visit the Wayneboro Area and Franklin Regional School Districts' Web sites for more information.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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