Scarsdale, New York
The Scarsdale Public School District, located in Westchester County, New York, serves 4,700 students. In 2006, Scarsdale decided it was time to search for a new, integrated student information system (SIS) that went beyond simple data collection. Administrators wanted a system that would facilitate forward-looking decision making while increasing efficiency. Scarsdale found the solution with Infinite Campus.
Scarsdale recognized that efficient and accurate information-gathering was essential for providing a modern education. In order to predict trends and improve instruction, Scarsdale needed a system that could be customized, has an open database, and is Web-based, not just Web-enabled.
“We were struggling just to get accurate data for simple things like emergency contact information,” said Rachel Moseley, Scarsdale School District Chief Information Officer. “Often the same information was stored in several different schools and offices, but it was not in sync.”
Administrators needed reliable information for decision-making, counselors required accurate student academic histories for effective scheduling, and teachers wanted an SIS that would make data entry efficient to give them more time to teach. The inherent inefficiencies of this system cost Scarsdale both time and money.
In 2006, Infinite Campus was chosen as Scarsdale’s new, Web-based solution. “We picked Infinite Campus because it has a comprehensive set of functionalities that met the various needs of each of our district users,” Moseley said.
After more than three years with Infinite Campus, routine data management is no longer a problem and Scarsdale can focus on analyzing data to improve education.
The ability to access this data from a single source gives Scarsdale the ability to analyze potential trends in student learning and identify and replicate effective teaching approaches. Moseley noted, “Scarsdale now uses Infinite Campus to analyze data to improve instruction. Questions of correlation and relationship are being explored. For example, the district is trying to determine if there is a correlation between math performance in ninth grade and success in the tenth grade chemistry class.”
Scarsdale hopes to answer these questions, use the information and create individual learning plans to give students the best possible opportunity for success. With the efficiency and functionality of Infinite Campus, there is time and opportunity for analysis and planning without additional personnel cost.
Scarsdale saves a huge amount from the Infinite Campus state reporting solution. Campus Business Analysts work closely with Scarsdale and its New York channel partner, Custom Computer Specialists, to ensure that changes are included in a release prior to Scarsdale needing them. Through these efforts, Scarsdale always meets state reporting requirements.
“State reporting as it is mandated today, would have been absolutely impossible to accomplish with our old system,” Moseley said. “It would have required an enormous amount of manual labor. With Infinite Campus, it’s pretty much a non-issue. As long as we collect all the data when students enroll, state reporting becomes a relatively smooth event. This allows us to focus our energy on other projects.”
Teachers now have the ability to view and analyze comparative and collective experiences of their students through the Campus Grade Book. With this information, new goals can be set and new assessments can be put in place to track student progress. As teachers continue to access and utilize this information, students will realize new levels of success through individual learning plans (ILP).
Describing the use of ILP development for Scarsdale students, Moseley said, “I’m impressed by the vision of Infinite Campus, and how it plans to transform K12 education. The whole idea that every child should have a learning plan, not just special education students, is very interesting.”
Scarsdale has set high standards for the district, and its staff and students. The district is trying to determine how it compares to some of the best performing school systems in the world.
“Gathering information and predicting trends will help us reach our goal of being counted among the top performing schools worldwide,” said Moseley. “We are at the beginning of this journey. The next generation of Infinite Campus will give us even more opportunities to improve instruction.”