Pennsylvania School Districts Select Skyward Student Management Suite
Decisions highlight growing role of peer references in implementing new technology
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Oct. 21, 2015) – After collaborating with Gettysburg Area School District to evaluate its Skyward Student Management Suite, two Pennsylvania school districts, Dover Area School District and Central York School District, chose to implement the student information system. Using peer references to select new technology partners has been a growing trend for districts and was a contributing factor for both Dover and Central York when making the decision to switch student information systems.
With 3,700 students and six schools, Dover Area School District realized its current student information system no longer satisfied their long-term goals. Tasked to lead the search for a new system, Brad Perkins, data specialist at Dover Area School District, began by personally visiting every school district within reasonable distance to see what systems were available. After narrowing the search down to two providers, stakeholders chose Skyward for its integrated system, communication solution for parents and robust scheduling.
“I have learned that the best information comes from speaking directly with the customers using the system,” said Perkins. “Gettysburg offers a similar career and technical education program as us, which led me to speak with the district about their experience with Skyward. After our visit with Gettysburg, we knew that Skyward was a provider we needed to consider. We were very impressed by the capability and the ease of use of Skyward.”
Gettysburg Area School District has five schools, 3,000 students and a 1:1 program where every secondary student has a laptop. Gettysburg has used Skyward’s Student Management Suite for five years and is extremely pleased with the comprehensive state reporting, Skylert parent notification system, Gradebook and integration into the 1:1 program. The district hosts neighboring schools that are searching for new technology providers, including Dover and Central York who were impressed by Skyward.
“The educators have really taken to the online assignments feature from Skyward,” said Lynn Schoppaul, administrative educational software specialist at Gettysburg Area School District. “The students can log in to the system and complete the assignment online, which is automatically graded enabling students and educators to view the grades instantly. Skyward saves educators and students time and offers parents the ability to continuously see how their children are progressing.”
Communication and collaboration between districts doesn’t end after the initial implementation. All three districts continue to be involved in the Skyward state user group where they keep in contact through emailing each other questions and attending user group conferences. Once Dover Area School District begins using Skyward, they will then host other neighboring districts and step into the mentoring role for administrators.