Green River, Wyoming
In 2005, Sweetwater County School District 2 became the first Infinite Campus customer in Wyoming. Districts that are the first in state to choose Infinite Campus have a vision for creating the best possible schools for the future – regardless of what others around them are doing. They are champions for positive change, confident in their ability to see the benefits of a forward-thinking company.
Sweetwater had used CIMS for 13 years, in which time it had become outdated and offered few updates. They tried four different special education software solutions within six years with minimal success. Sweetwater needed a quality system that could provide a one-stop-shop solution. They also wanted the flexibility for customization and advanced reporting to improve processes.
Sweetwater chose Infinite Campus and has realized significant benefits. When students enroll at Sweetwater, the district collects a lot of data that does not have corresponding fields in the Infinite Campus core product.
“We created special tabs for all these specific needs and it works great,” said Dalene Smith, Sweetwater’s Data Management Supervisor. “The activities department also wanted to track specific information, so we made a tab for them. Creating custom tabs gives us valuable information easily.”
Smith finds this a tremendous benefit. “All the information is in one place and appropriate parties can view it without having to call the secretary or head down to the office and thumb through a notebook. We can also run ad hoc reports that include the information from these custom tabs. It’s just like they were built into the product,” stated Smith.
Campus Special Education completely modernized Sweetwater’s process. They totally abandoned the paper and pencil method of tracking special education information and relied on Infinite Campus to track their data.
“We highly encourage the schools to abandon any paper records and most have complied,” said Smith. “We look to Infinite Campus as the only source of information.” As mandated by the state, one permanent paper copy is kept in the district special education department.
Having the Individual Education Plans (IEP) within the base product has many advantages. A teacher can see at a glance which students in each section have an IEP and/or another learning plan, saving lots of time.
They also use the alert function to notify the case manager when an IEP is due. Another big plus of this system is the ability to create PDF forms with interactive fields and upload scanned documents. If the state makes a change on a form and demands immediate compliance, they can “create” a form and start production use immediately.
When Sweetwater was audited by the Wyoming Department of Education (DOE), Special Education Division in July 2008, they were the first district to have all electronic data. “We told the DOE to bring their laptops,” said Smith. “Everyone else was still using the old recording methods and the DOE would stay for at least a week, wading through the reams of paper. With our audit, they were out in two and a half days because everything was accessed electronically with Infinite Campus. On the September 2010 compliance audit, the state was able to look at all student information, not just special education (e.g., behavior, grades, attendance, etc.) electronically and were able to spend more time out in the district speaking with case managers.”
Campus Special Education has also helped Sweetwater save money. “Because we’re not buying a special education package every few years, we have saved tens of thousands of dollars on the hardware, software and training,” stated Smith.
Infinite Campus has given Sweetwater a proven advantage. The one-stop-shopping approach, the ability to customize, integrated special education, intervention, scheduling and state reporting capabilities have been significant benefits to the district.