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Flying Solo to Soaring with a Crew

Franklin-McKinley School District, San Jose

I started as a school secretary 20 years ago…that’s when my experience begins. SASI was the district’s student information system back then and it was…comfortable. It was an easy-to-use system because in all honesty, there was not a whole lot you could do. SASI was not a sophisticated system.”
Patricia Hernandez, Student Information Systems Specialist

WE WERE ON OUR OWN.
Hernandez acknowledged that change was needed. “The district was absolutely outgrowing SASI. We couldn’t store much information in it and there were no reporting capabilities. In terms of support, we were on our own. As a secretary, I had nowhere to go. To learn how to do things in SASI, I had to reach out to someone else doing my same job and hoped that they knew it.”

SEEKING A K12 PARTNER.
Hernandez said FMSD wanted more than a vendor relationship, they wanted a partner committed to K12. And, the district wanted a powerful, single solution. FMSD selected Infinite Campus after a thorough search. “The district looked at many systems…at least 10,” she said.

CAMPUS IS UNIVERSAL.
Hernandez said users quickly experienced the many benefits of Campus. “There’s so much information and to pull it from one place is just amazing. Infinite Campus is universal. Meaning if a student has an attendance problem, I can look at their sibling in another school and see if there’s a pattern. With SASI, I couldn’t do that…I could only see one school’s information…that was it.”

CAMPUS COMMUNITY: MY LIBRARY.
“Initially, there was a lot to learn! But in Campus Community, users can look up everything…I call it my ‘library.’ We have so many users taking advantage of the free Campus Community accounts…it’s incredible. Information is at their fingertips; users create bookmarks and some print information to put in binders.” District Funds. “From the system, we pull many valuable ad hoc reports. I then make sure everything is accurate for state reporting…that process was challenging before Campus. The data translates into funds for the district, funds that directly benefit students.”

DISTRICT FUNDS.
“From the system, we pull many valuable ad hoc reports. I then make sure everything is accurate for state reporting…that process was challenging before Campus. The data translates into funds for the district, funds that directly benefit students.”

25 PERCENT.
“Two years ago, I thought I was knowledgeable of Campus. Then I went from being a secretary to an SIS Specialist and realized I only knew about 25 percent of what Campus could do. I’ve learned so much and now I’m an even bigger fan of the system.”


I enjoy often hearing ‘I didn’t know I could do that!’ Mariah (Campus Trainer) and I have hosted multiple workshops for teachers, scheduling workshops for administrators, and others for new counselors. Hearing it from the expert is often better than someone translating it to users. And, the Campus experts are available for questions."

PEOPLE I KNOW.
“We added Online Registration (OLR) and from beginning to end, I had Campus people holding my hand to make sure all questions were answered. Nate came out to do the OLR training for me; I gave him a hug because I felt like I knew him! That’s how I feel when I call…that I have people I know. Shelby, Joe…anybody I reach is just awesome. I cannot say enough about the wonderful people at Campus…anytime I need someone, they are there. I have worked with Custom Development…they think at a whole new level. That team tells me what’s possible; they always find a way for me.”

CAMPUS LISTENS.
Hernandez appreciates receiving information each month on new releases. “I read about the enhancements first so I can help users get ready and prep them on what to expect. I can’t think of an enhancement that we haven’t been appreciative of.   Campus listens and their product changes make our lives easier. Districts need to start doing Civil Rights Data Collection and before I knew it, Campus created a Federal reporting area. I’ve already signed up for the Campus class…having people tell me what I need to know is awesome.”

MY NUMBER ONE FAN!
“I think the problem with most administrations is they get compartmentalized and don’t ask questions of the actual SIS users. I am fortunate that our superintendent, Juan Cruz, came to FMSD knowing how to use Campus because he was a principal in the East Side Union High School District. When I want to host a workshop, he is my number one fan!” “Luckily, I have someone like Patricia who knows the Campus products very well,” said Juan Cruz, FMSD Superintendent. “When she asks about training, my answer is…absolutely! Campus helps us transform education from an information standpoint – the more info we have and the easier it is to get, the easier our jobs are and the more we can focus on what’s important…students.”

WE'RE ALL CONNECTED.
All Campus customers are assigned a Client Executive (CE) to ensure they have a primary point of contact and receive state-specific information and updates. Bob Gits, the California CE, also leads spring and fall California User Group meetings. “I love Bob…he’s been absolutely wonderful,” Hernandez said. “Our User Group is great for collaboration. Someone brings something up and before you know it there’s all this conversation going on and often I think, good idea…I’m going to do that! Bob connects California users on a monthly call...it’s a great time to get questions answered by him. We know that every state’s districts have unique needs, so the California calls ensure everything matters to us.” Hernandez said the meetings and calls unite users and create a community. “I have never reached out to an Infinite Campus district that didn’t want to help me. I knew San Jose Unified was using OLR so I contacted them to see if I could see their process…so helpful. We’re all happy and it feels like we’re all connected.” 

IT WILL SELL ITSELF.
“I can’t say enough about the Infinite Campus SIS; it is so usable. The product has so many amazing features that you WILL use! Non-Campus districts just need to see it…it will sell itself. My advice: Contact districts that are using Infinite Campus or just come see us, we’re happy! Once you have Campus, don’t be afraid of it. You can’t break it; anything you do can be fixed. I called Campus to say ‘I accidentally did this’ and they said, ‘no problem, don’t worry…we’ll take care of it.’ And they did…just like magic.”

Two years ago, I thought I was knowledgeable of Campus. Then I went from being a secretary to an SIS Specialist and realized I only knew about 25 percent of what Campus could do. I’ve learned so much and now I’m an even bigger fan of the system."


Full 2019 Travel Issue available here.