The Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recognized the advantages of establishing a data management system that was uniform from state level to the smallest district. KDE wanted ready access to current and historic information, reliable and consistent data input from districts and real-time state and federal reporting capability. Infinite Campus, through its Web-based Infinite Campus State Edition (ICSE), provides KDE with the functionality of vertical interoperability and real-time state reporting.
Mutual Benefits of Uniform Data Management
Accessible, consistent and reliable information is the heart of KDE’s success in data management. KDE is utilizing Infinite Campus as the authoritative source system for student-level data and has processes in places for data sharing between other enterprise-level systems that maintains integrity between systems.
“Infinite Campus gives KDE and its 174 districts real-time communication,” said DeDe Conner, Director, KDE Division of Enterprise Data. “Through the Campus Portal, teachers, administrators and parents have access to necessary state and district level information.”
Students and parents have embraced the Campus Mobile Portal app. The easy-to-use, fully-integrated app displays schedules, upcoming assignments, attendance details and grades. Users can subscribe to the ‘push notification’ feature that automatically sends alerts whenever an update is posted. Additionally, the app has allowed parents to have Portal access at their fingertips, directly on their smartphones.
All Kentucky districts use the Infinite Campus District Edition and appreciate the functionality of horizontal integration, which enables them to provide KDE up-to-date information.
With KDE having direct access to district information, districts save time and resources are better spent on instructional activity for the benefit of students.
“Having the same student information system (SIS) across our districts allows us to aggregate data efficiently,” said Conner.
As new procedures and reporting requirements are developed at KDE, they are passed directly to districts without concern for incomplete upgrades in any district. Best practices for data management may be implemented in all districts without delay.
“Consistent data flowing seamlessly from the districts to state is critical, especially now that we are using
Infinite Campus to meet longitudinal data needs,” said Conner.
Reporting and Public Communication Made Easy
KDE operates under mandates to inform the general public and commonwealth legislators regarding the state of education in Kentucky, as well as providing data to federal agencies that secure funding for KDE and its districts.
At the federal level, KDE must respond to a variety of reporting criteria on a number of different initiatives including No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). These criteria change and KDE must be prepared, often at short notice, to respond with flexibility and speed. Thanks to the functionality of Infinite Campus, when inquiries from the general public or the media are made, answers are readily available.
The versatility of Infinite Campus reporting tools allows KDE to respond to changes in reporting requirements, public information needs and district communication.
Hosting for Access and Efficiency
In its commitment to statewide uniform data management, KDE has chosen Infinite Campus to establish a server farm at the state level for the benefit of smaller districts with limited staff.
While larger districts have on-site hardware and staff, smaller districts, with limited local support, have the opportunity to use Infinite Campus technology. This practice of hosting for small districts at the state level allows uniformity without fiscal burden to small districts.
“The hosting options we have chosen ensure consistent implementation across the state, regardless of the size of the district and their available technology staff,” said Conner. “We can always be sure that every district is on the same release with the same operating system and configuration.”
To better fulfill its commitment to its customers as part of the annual subscription fee, Infinite Campus performs SIS maintenance and upgrades in Kentucky districts and to KDE. Whether the need for change is advanced development or procedural and reporting upgrades requiring new reporting formats, Infinite Campus makes it happen. From the state level to the smallest district, consistency is maintained and money is saved.
“If there is an operating system upgrade, Infinite Campus remotes into that server and performs the maintenance. There is no need for any state or district resources to be used,” said Conner. “This has freed-up district resources to be repurposed for instructional technology. Districts can focus on student achievement rather than back office chores.”
Infinite Campus: A Growing Community
Infinite Campus functionality provides Departments of Education (DOE) agencies across the country with continuously upgraded and refined technology for managing statewide data. Through the customizing capability of Infinite Campus, states using ICSE can develop strategies and features that address their unique needs. ICSE states may then share their communications to their districts through the Campus Community.
Kentucky, along with South Dakota, Montana, Maine, and the Bureau of Indian Education, has chosen ICSE for economy and efficiency. Whether it is sophisticated student tracking options, client services, flexible functionality or reliable and accurate data accessibility, these states rely on Infinite Campus to provide a cost-effective, uniform education data management system for their DOE and their districts.
Excellent communication and ongoing training are important in the dynamic relationship that exists between KDE and Infinite Campus. Designated client executives from Infinite Campus serve as ombudsmen, providing an informed communication link between departments of Infinite Campus and KDE. Client executives are assigned to a specific state and become experts on the unique needs of that DOE. They organize user groups to assist Infinite Campus customers in maximizing
“Regional user groups are a great learning experience for everyone,” said Conner. “Infinite Campus staff has done a great job of bringing these groups together so everyone can benefit.”
Infinite Campus recognizes its role as a partner in an ongoing process with KDE. Through training classes, webinars, and the activities of client executives, a healthy, synergistic partnership is created and maintained.