“This is my first year with RCAS,” said Dr. Timothy M. Mitchell, the district’s superintendent. “At my previous district I was a very active user of the state- sponsored student management system. I know firsthand the difference between the two products, and I am very excited that we are with Skyward. Skyward provides us with a comprehensive, multifaceted solution that truly serves as a one-stop-shop for our district. Unlike the state sponsored system that essentially manages only the student portion of a district’s needs, our Skyward system supports every aspect of our business, from the student side—such as grades and attendance, to the business side—including human resources and accounting, to other areas such as food services.”
A unified database
Together, the Skyward School Business Suite and the Skyward Student Management Suite bring the full spectrum of district opertaions into one database. RCAS administrators benefit from only having to input data into the system once. Not only does the streamlined process ensure more consistent and accurate data, it also increases efficiency and productivity at all levels.
“We are able to operate with fewer administrative employees than other districts,” said Rick Bates, RCAS’s director of technology. “Most require approximately five to six systems to accomplish what we do with just one. And each of those systems has at least one person dedicated to its management. We have three people supporting Skyward; that’s it. So there is an obvious difference in efficiency and cost; one free system doesn't ensure a low total cost of ownership
Industry expertise and valuable partnerships
RCAS recognizes the benefits of working with an expert vendor. “The maturity of Skyward and its technology is a significant advantage,” said Mitchell. “Because Skyward is known as a leader in its space with state-of-the-art solutions, other organizations are eager to partner with them to provide value added services.”
One added service RCAS is using is CRS Advanced Technology’s SubFinder system. The district also plans to use Total Recall’s network user management software which enables the district to make one entry into Skyward that propagates user authentication information across all of the district’s IT systems.
A back-up plan
Skyward’s cloud-based system backs up district data so it can be accessed in the event of a disaster. “There are times when we have network issues on our end and are unable to access any other systems except for Skyward,” said Mitchell.
Beyond the state’s system
Skyward enables RCAS to manage data in ways it could not accomplish with the state-sponsored solution. “For example, let’s say you want to analyze your budget to understand how much it would cost to add a class to a particular school,” suggested Mitchell. “Without Skyward, you would have to cull together various spreadsheets of information and then draw some assumptions and conclusions… [With Skyward] we can report down to a very granular level of information and have concrete information at our fingertips to make truly informed decisions… with the click of a button.”