Florida’s Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) had used the same student system for over a decade. When Tim Harper, the district’s chief information officer (CIO), learned that the system had reached the end of its life, he was understandably concerned. Harper realized he faced a tall task in finding a system that would be easy to learn, could manage the district’s more than 64,000 students, and would be efficient when it came to state reporting.
SCPS chose implement the Skyward Student Management Suite, a decision they made based on the solution’s real-time monitoring capabilities and the improved home-school communication it offered.
"SKYWARD GETS BACK TO US IN A VERY REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME WITH SOLUTIONS..."
Helpful and timely information
It didn’t take long after implementation before the district was impressed by Skyward’s state reporting. SCPS appreciated the way Skyward is constantly monitoring state requirements and notifies staff of changes in a timely manger.
Harper noted that state reporting assistance is especially helpful for SCPS and other districts that call Florida home. “I think most people in other states would agree that we have the most complete state reporting system,” he said. “We send data all 12 months of the year. [When a change occurs,] Skyward gets back to us in a very reasonable amount of time with solutions and a realistic timeline for implementing the necessary changes.”
"IT'S ABOUT TEAMWORK, WHICH IS HOW IT SHOULD BE BETWEEN THE VENDOR AND CLIENT. WE DIDN'T GET THERE WITH OUR FORMER VENDOR, BUT IN LESS THAN TWO YEARS WE ARE THERE WITH SKYWARD."
SCPS benefits from both the student information system itself and the service that Skyward provides. Harper said his staff “absolutely loves the product.” He is pleased with what he refers to as Skyward’s key strengths: personal attention, a collaborative partnership, and a streamlined process.
Implementing Skyward has allowed SCPS to become a more efficient district. The eight-person team devoted to reporting has been cut nearly in half. Three programmers who used to build workarounds for the previous vendor’s inadequate fixes are no longer needed. Today these repurposed staff members focus their efforts on other areas, such as web development.
A lasting partnership
SCPS and Skyward are working together to provide the most effective, efficient solution. “We’re pretty good about monitoring the state’s changes together,” said Harper. “It’s about teamwork, which is how it should be between the vendor and client. We didn’t get there with our former vendor, but in less than two years we are there with Skyward.”
Follow-up resource: State and federal reporting
To learn more about Skyward's commitment to helping districts with state and federal compliance requirements, check out our State and Federal Reporting page.