Years ago, your district kept itself running by seeking out different vendors for online grade books, attendance, discipline, etc. Recently, the trend is becoming more and more geared toward a Student Information System (SIS) that behaves as an all-in-one platform - where administrators, teachers, and the community have a single login to integrate as many school operations as possible.
Schools districts like Belleville Public Schools in NJ have found a huge advantage in seeking out a SIS that not only tracks state compliance data, but that also has powerful add-ons for staff evaluation, SGOs, curriculum, and lesson planning.
Tom D’Elia, Belleville’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction, talks about his choice to partner with OnCourse Systems for Education as the “all-in-one” Student Information System for 2016 and beyond.
1) How long has your school been with OnCourse?
Tom: “We’ve been with OnCourse for 6 months.”
2) Why did you choose OnCourse over other Student Information Systems?
Tom: “We chose OnCourse because they offered a complete package. We were initially looking for a system that would provide teachers with online curriculum, but when we discovered OnCourse, it turned into so much more.”
3) What OnCourse product has made the biggest impact on your school district?
Tom: “In terms of the OnCourse products we use, I would say that the one that made the biggest impact, from a teacher’s perspective, is the OnCourse Lesson Planner. It gives teachers the ability to share information and communicate with fellow teachers, principals, and supervisors. That articulation is essential, and OnCourse provides us with that opportunity.”
Insider Note: The OnCourse Lesson Planner and Student Information System work in tandem to improve efficiencies in your school district and reduce your administrative burden. Implementing both solutions at the same time is not required, but will move your school one step closer towards creating a powerful, all-in-one system.
4) Where do you see OnCourse making the biggest difference for your district in the future?
Tom: “I can see OnCourse making the biggest difference with our evaluation process because we receive immediate feedback from OnCourse’s Evaluate. Instead of waiting for the post-conference, our teachers now have the ability to see their ratings, understand why they’ve fallen into a particular rating category, and begin to enhance their teaching practices accordingly before the post-conference. And once we have a chance to meet, we have the flexibility to change ratings based on evidence.”
5) From your teachers’ perspectives, how do OnCourse products offer significant value to your school district?
Tom: “According to our teachers, the most valuable feature of OnCourse products is their user friendliness. Not to mention that customer service is always available. Our staff also utilizes the online university tool which offers step-by-step directions and answers all of their questions.”
6) What aspect of your relationship with OnCourse makes you the happiest?
Tom: “I’m most pleased with OnCourse’s willingness to listen to our concerns. The OnCourse staff is very accessible. Phone calls, email, whatever the need may be, they always have an ear for us. This helps our school district improve upon our existing system and to meet future requirements.”
7) Is there anything you would like to add?
Tom: “One recently discovered attribute is that you don’t have to be tech savvy to figure something out because the products are so user-friendly.
This has allowed our teachers to embrace OnCourse products on their own. Two or three people can get the same result two or three different ways. To them, that’s really important. And to us, as a district, the result is what matters most. We want comfort, ease and flexibility - and we have found all that with OnCourse.”
Work Confidently Towards Extraordinary Education
If school districts want to keep pace with fast-changing state requirements and make active progress rather than maintain the status quo, they need a Student Information System (SIS) that automates tasks and provides actionable school intelligence while managing the entire classroom experience. Learn more about OnCourse’s 100% cloud-based SIS and how it can elevate efficiencies and drive achievement in your school today by visiting the OnCourse Student Information System page.