Five years ago, the leadership team from Macon County Schools never imagined what was ahead for their district as they embarked on their Skyward implementation. The small, rural school system serves approximately 4,000 students, and was facing a serious disconnect between schools, which had no unified approach to grading and attendance. Parental involvement had decreased, with communication challenges magnified by economic stress—for example, parents were forced to take time off work to register their children for school, a 30- to 45-minute process that could only be completed in person at the school. 

Macon County implemented Skyward solutions and set in motion big changes to combat these challenges. Online gradebooks from Skyward provided a unified gradebook across all schools, and Family Access made real-time grading information available to busy parents. Although the support staff in the district is quite small—supervised by David Flynn, technology director—these changes were manageable.

The Skyward mobile app gave families a greater connection with teachers. Over 2,000 parents used the option the first year Skyward was available. This summer, Macon County added food service and online registration to their Family Access offerings. Parents have instant access to balances and purchases on students’ lunch accounts. Online registration eased the burden of having to miss work to register a child, and slashed the time requirement from over half an hour to just a few minutes—a huge PR success for Macon County. 

Macon County’s accomplishments have generated buzz in the Upper Cumberland region, where they are recognized as a pioneer in Skyward—a source of great pride for the district. They’ve set their sights on adding online food service payments next year, to keep the momentum going strong.

“Skyward has changed our district for the better,” remarks David Flynn, technology director. “I am always looking for the next piece to keep us moving forward.”

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