Weiser School District implementing new student information system

Weiser School District’s special services administrative assistant Melissa Odoms provided a short tour of the district’s new student information system, Infinite Campus. The system replaces similar technology used by WSD for several years. Tyler Technologies has sold all of its student information systems services line to Infinite Campus, a technology company that solely services schools across the country. Odoms said she believes the new program will be very effective for Weiser’s students and the district as a whole. Photo by Nancy Grindstaff
Nancy Grindstaff
In the first couple of weeks of the new school year, WSD personnel from top to bottom began their own learning curve with a new student information systems program that replaces one the district has used for close to a decade.
 A company that offers technological products and services to the public sector, Tyler Technologies sold its student information systems software and services to Infinite Campus in mid-2022. 
 The companies inked a partnership agreement providing existing Tyler clients a migration path to the new system, and the shift for Weiser’s schools began this summer. At the same time, school districts had the freedom to shop around for a provider other than Infinite Campus.
 “They say it takes a good 30 months to really understand and be able to utilize all of the features available in the new program, but we’ve hit the ground running,” WSD Superintendent Dewlen said.
 He said when they first rolled over to the new system, the district’s mass communication system had hit a short term snag, about which he had posted a notice on the district’s website. As of the middle of last week, the access to sending out mass communications had been restored.   
 “Teachers are responsible for communication with parents,” he said. “Grades, daily activities, tardies, things of that nature. So there’s some part everybody plays, even me. I can look up anything about any student in the school, or I can shoot a message out via Infinite Campus to anybody in the district.  
 “What was supposed to have happened, everything in Tyler was supposed to have rolled over,” Dewlen added. “But, so many things get left out. I think we’re getting better every day, learning more and more. We still have some hurdles.”
 He said there is more training coming up, which gives the staff time with the new system and time to come up with new questions.
 The district’s special services administrative assistant Melissa Odoms is taking the lead as the new system’s coordinator, Dewlen said.
 “I can’t give Melissa enough credit,” Dewlen said. “For Infinite Campus, she is the guru.”
 Odoms confirmed Tyler’s departure from student information systems. 
 “They do student transportation, and some facility management, but not the K12 education any longer,” Odoms said.  “They didn’t make us go to Infinite Campus, but they did introduce us. We were able to shop for others and looked at a few, but circled back. A few people in the district had used Infinite Campus and thought it was fine and had everything we needed.
 “With Tyler introducing, and making sure it would go smoothly, we said ‘why not?’” she said. “It’s going to be wonderful. I like so many things about it. It’s way more intuitive, such as, if you think some information should be in a certain place in the system, that’s where it is.
 “Infinite Campus has some additional classroom tools useful to teachers,” Odoms said. “It crosses over with other technologies they use.
 “We also have the system’s online registration platform,” she added. “That took a little bit of set up this summer, but we had Chrome books at the middle school when registration started, and new families could come in and register all of their kids for all of their schools in one place. We made copies of documents at that time and got them to the appropriate buildings and I was able to import the information into the system.”
 Odoms is certain, once everyone is comfortable with it, they will like the new system.
 “There are so many tools for learning how to use it,” she said. “There’s on demand courses and videos. Most of them are 15 to 20 minutes long, and they also have a huge resource file of how-to information. 
 “All of the student information is built into households, so you can see relationships and addresses, know who’s who and how they are related,” Odoms said. “I use it mostly for my state reporting, so that’s why the data from all of the buildings has to be pretty sound. As best as we can get it.”
 A particularly useful feature in the new system is the ability to transfer student records electronically between schools that use Infinite Campus.
 “It will transfer all of the information to the other campus,” Odoms said. “We still have to send or receive the physical file, but it is helpful to have the records right there.”
Student numbers are up
 Dewlen said he had just received enrollment numbers from each of Weiser’s four school buildings on Tuesday, Aug. 29. 
 “There are 1,590 overall, and that’s up from last year,” he said. “As of Tuesday, Pioneer is at 429 students; Park Intermediate has 204; Weiser Middle School, 374; and the high school has 565 students.
 “I think we’ve had a lot of families move into the area,” Dewlen said. “Apparently with students.
 “I would say by mid-September, we’ll have a pretty good idea on the student numbers for the rest of the year, minus any that may move out, but I think the influx is pretty much coming to an end,” he said.


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