PowerSchool replaced

BY CELA MIGAN —

The Shorewood School District will be switching over from their current student information system (SIS), PowerSchool, to Infinite Campus starting with the 2016-2017 school year.

The three most common and used SIS in Wisconsin are PowerSchool, Skyward and Infinite Campus.

“Infinite Campus is a student information system … it’s teacher’s grade books, it tracks student demographics, health logs, discipline and behavior stuff. Lunch accounts can eventually be run through Infinite Campus, basically anything that we do that involves student information, that’s what it entails,” said Joe Patek, assistant principal.

Shorewood has been using PowerSchool since 2006, and with the use of Infinite Campus the district will be able to shrink the number of systems it currently uses.

In 2012 the state of Wisconsin wanted all of its schools to use the same SIS. Multiple student information systems were reviewed and scored based on their ability to meet the needs of Wisconsin school districts. Infinite Campus won with a score of 29/31 in terms of use and ease.

“When you access the Infinite Campus portal, it’s not just accessing your grades. It’s accessing your whole student profile, so you can access a ton of different stuff,” Patek said. “If you’re a parent you can see lunch balance, attendance, you can see all of this in one spot.”

Infinite Campus will also allow the district to look into the settings for how much access a student has.

“If [Infinite Campus] going to be better for us and the school’s going to have more say, I think it’ll be better,” said Melissa Mora, freshman.

PowerSchool was sold by its company a year and a half ago and then sold again. It is now owned by an investment group. According to Patek, the school district wants something more stable.

“Every year it seems like there are settings in PowerSchool that we lose control over or that just don’t work very well, or that have lost functionality,” Patek said. “Every time that happens it gets more concerning for people that have to use it. It’s a student information center, that’s something … every school needs and it needs to be working and working well.”

“One element of PowerSchool that is a particular stressor is its feature that tells you when your grade increases or decreases,” said Aaron Wilder, freshman.

“My sister went to Rufus King, so she talks about Infinite Campus, but it wasn’t as much as a stressor for her,” Wilder said.

Infinite Campus is used by all Milwaukee Public Schools, the School District of Waukesha, the Madison Metropolitan School District and the Racine Unified School District, among many others. The program currently serves 7.5 million students in 45 different states across the nation.

“I want to assure everyone, from everything I’ve seen, it’s a very good program. There will be an adjustment period, but I think in about a year from now we’re going to be thinking, ‘Gosh, this was hopefully a healthy and good change for the better,’” Patek said.

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