From Stressed to Satisfied
Prior to joining Evergreen, Dr. Laurie Barron was a district administrator and an active SIS end-user in a Georgia school district that selected Infinite Campus.
“While in Georgia, I was initially stressed because I didn’t understand the functionality of Infinite Campus as compared to our old system,” said Dr. Barron. “But, Infinite Campus was easy to learn and it was a positive transition. I was soon using Infinite Campus for everything…grade book, messenger, parent portal and point of sale. And, I learned the power of Campus ad hoc reporting; I could write, run and get every necessary query and I knew how to drill down deep for data.”
To Montana... and Multiple Systems
In 2013, Dr. Barron became the superintendent at Evergreen School District in Montana. Evergreen was familiar with Infinite Campus because the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) selected it in 2007 as the statewide system. Districts using Infinite Campus District Edition experience true integration by managing student information locally while ensuring it’s available in real time to the OPI. Using District Edition also makes sense financially as the OPI pays part of the license fee per student, per year.
Upon arriving, Dr. Barron noticed that Evergreen used separate systems for SIS, state reporting, grade book, parent portal, point-of-sale and emergency communication.
“We had six different systems and at least 10 people entering information into them,” she said. “It was inefficient and accuracy of information was an issue. For example, every reporting period someone manually transitioned our SIS data to State Edition for OPI, which allowed for errors. Our goal was to find one system that could do everything we needed.”
“I knew I was biased about Infinite Campus based on my experience in Georgia; my SIS background, knowledge and understanding were all Infinite Campus,” said Dr. Barron. “To be totally fair and objective, our selection team did extensive research on student information systems.”
Evergreen contacted the OPI and learned which system each of the Montana districts was using. Then, they looked closely at a handful of systems and created a detailed matrix of their respective features, costs, and pros and cons. In the end, Dr. Barron said Infinite Campus District Edition was the easy choice as it meant one system for Evergreen that seamlessly integrates with Infinite Campus State Edition used by the OPI.
One System; Many Benefits
“Infinite Campus provided a strong, comprehensive system for everything we needed,” Dr. Barron said. “And OPI’s financial contribution meant that choosing Infinite Campus was both a systematically and financially responsible decision.”
As expected, a single, integrated system has improved data accuracy, streamlined processes, and increased efficiencies. “Everything communicates with each other now; I can’t even quantify the number of hours Campus has saved us,” said Dr. Barron. “Having a Web-based solution is a huge benefit. Teachers can now enter grades from home, which they could not do before.”
A Great Implementation Team
Dr. Barron credits Evergreen’s Board of Trustees, teachers, and staff and Infinite Campus for a smooth implementation. Great teamwork between district personnel and Campus gave stakeholders the tools they needed to learn the product.
“Teachers are a district’s largest ‘consumer’ group and grade book is their primary conversion-related fear,” said Dr. Barron. “So, our board approved for a Campus trainer to be onsite for the first week of school, which contributed to our success. Campus did great at determining what type of training would happen when.”
Definitely Worth It
“It’s been a great transition for us and it was definitely worth it,” said Dr. Barron. “Our staff sees the benefits of one comprehensive system that does more than we could before and in a more effective, efficient and accurate way. I would definitely recommend Infinite Campus to any district.”