Student Information Systems

Chawanakee USD Deploys New SIS To Ease Info Sharing

Chawanakee Unified School District near Fresno, CA has implemented a new student information system (SIS) to make it easier for teachers, students and parents to access and update information.

The small district, which serves 1,100 students at five schools, had been using another SIS, but found the system difficult to navigate and cumbersome to access and enter data. It also couldn't integrate with the district's learning management system (LMS) or other systems and was difficult to customize.

The school staff members who are the primary users of the district's SIS formed a selection committee to evaluate alternatives. Specifically, they were looking for a system that was easy to use and that could produce clean reports and export data easily. After considering the available options, they selected PowerSchool SIS.

PowerSchool SIS is a Web-based system designed for K-12 schools. It includes a range of district and school-level tools for administrators, a gradebook and other tools for teachers, and real-time access to grades, attendance and assignments for parents and students through a Web portal or mobile app.

According to information from the company, Chawanakee district selected PowerSchool because of its ease of use, clean interface and hosted option, so the district wouldn't need to buy new equipment to support the system. The team was also impressed with the tool's customizable reporting features and application programming interface (API) to support integration with phone systems, learning management systems, special education systems and enrollment systems.

So far the administrators, teachers, staff, students and parents are happy with the new student information system. According to Patrick Wilson, the director of Minarets Charter High School in the district, students and parents in particular have enjoyed the simplified user interface. "We've seen a 20 percent increase in parent logins in just the short time we've been using it," said Wilson in a prepared statement. District staff have also enjoyed being able to move data in and out of the system and navigate the interface quickly.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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