New student information system produces significant change for schools

The School District of Palm Beach County, announced last school year to teachers and administrators, that the Grade Quick System, would be replaced by the new Student Information System (SIS).   All around Palm Beach County, teachers and administrators tried to figure out how to maneuver this new system.

“I think once we learn everything it will be good, but it is still a learning process,” Friedel, said. “Reports that I knew how to run before, I have to ask people and relearn how to do them now.”

This new system, was implemented in August 2017. The program improved the level of technology used in the school district.

“We live in the 21st century,” Celena Rossello, Single School Culture Coordinator at North Grade Elementary School, said. “They had a program that was old and it looked old, it handled old, it was just very archaic. So now this is much more efficient and streamlined. It is simple. It is quick. It is fast.”

People, including Friedel, IT specialist, Sean Ache, and Rossello, have said that they supported the district’s decision to change the system because of the age of Grade Quick.

“The other one was a dinosaur. It has been around forever. Everything is so much faster now and this is going to be so much better once we know it,” Friedel said.

The benefits of SIS have already started to show, through “the usability, the ease, and the ease in which the program runs,” Rossello said.

“It is very user friendly, and any information you would need to know about anyone in your school is right there,” Rossello said. “You can pull all kinds of reports and save those reports, which is very convenient. So, once you make a report it is very easy to go back to that report.”

With advantages come disadvantages.  Yet everyone has different opinions on the types of disadvantages.  While Rossello saw no issues, Friedel felt slightly different.

“Right now, they still do not have the system perfected,” Friedel said. “Like with progress reports that just came out, because of the numbers of the courses the classes are not showing up. So, it is all a learning process.”

The SIS system has had issues mostly because the system was new, Rossello said. Teachers have also had problems, because they had no way to post conduct grades, until the report cards came out. Ache mentioned that he hoped that the problems were resolved over time.

“There have been some problems with the new system,” Ache said. “One of the problems is that there are two ways to take attendance and one of the ways is through the seating chart where it shows student photos. That sometimes does not work.”

The district announced to all teachers and staff that they would be implementing the SIS program, last year so it would give them plenty of time to prepare.

“Scared,” Friedel, said when explaining her initial reaction to the new SIS system. “I had just learned the other system, the other system I had cheat sheets and things I could go to right away.  I don’t have cheat sheets with this.”

The SIS program had shown improvement in the speed in which teachers were able to submit attendance and grades Friedel said. Rossello and Ache both believe that improvement will increase with time.

“I think this system is much more user friendly. It is much easier to get into, it’s convenient, and its one place for all the information,” Rossello said. “But, of course it’s getting to know the new system that’s just a little cumbersome. I can tell it will be a much better system once everyone gets a swing of it.”