In the 2011-2013 State of Wisconsin biennial budget, Governor Walker's administration worked with the Legislature to pass a law requiring a single, consistent Student Information System for all schools in Wisconsin.
A digital student information system is at the core of how schools track information related to students, including:
· Class Schedules
· Grades and Gradebooks
· Attendance and Discipline
· Special Education Records
· Pupil Health Records
Previous to the law requiring a single software solution, Wisconsin was highly fragmented and frequently at a disadvantage with State and Federal reporting requirements; there were many software solutions used in our State's schools - none of which talked with one another. There wasn't "one voice." Having a single solution across the State will solve many long-standing data issues that took extra time, extra effort, and extra cost.
On Friday, February 1st, the State announced that it intended to award the contract for the Statewide Student Information System to Infinite Campus, which was the highest scoring proposer in the competitive request for proposal (RFP) process. It should be noted that the law firm DeWitt, Ross and Stevens was accountable for conducting an extensive observation of the procurement, evaluation, and selection process. They reported, "The Evaluation Team unanimously recommended the contract be awarded to the highest scoring proposer. The vendor recommendation was fair to all vendors, and consistent with the RFP and applicable state law."
For the School District of Janesville, this means moving to Infinite Campus over the next eighteen months. The transition will involve significant work, but the value in the end will be worth the effort as there are many advantages with Infinite Campus's solution that exceed the possibilities of our current software. We recognize that staff will need to be trained on a new digital gradebook program and that parents will need to learn a new parent portal. The new solution is cloud based, so student information becomes available to staff, parents, and students alike from any Internet connected device.
Led by the Chief Information Officer, a team of principals and staff members will begin to plan the transition from our current software to Infinite Campus. Assuming all goes as planned; we expect to complete the transition to Infinite Campus no later than August, 2014. While the costs for the new software have not been announced, Infinite Campus was the lowest cost bidder and as such, we are hopeful that our annual expenses will not increase.
This is an exciting opportunity for the School District of Janesville. The opportunity to consolidate our disparate databases into a single solution with greater staff, parent, and student access will only benefit our long-term efforts to improve student achievement and increase parent involvement, while creating greater staff efficiencies.