The implementation of our new Student Information System has not allowed us to uphold the service standards we expect to deliver and our families expect from us. We apologize for not providing a smooth transition into this new product and for the inconvenience this has been to start the school year.
- The Student Information System (SIS), a product known as eSchoolPlus provided by a company called PowerSchool, is the central hub for all student data to be securely accessed, stored, and shared among teachers, counselors, principals, students, parents, and guardians.
- In the Home Access Center (HAC) tool, the parent-student portal of our SIS, parents, and students will be able to access grades, attendance records, contact information, and other student-specific data.
- The decision to update our legacy student information system was due to the age of the product being over 20 years and a desire to provide more modern functionality to our staff, students, parents, and community
Focus on Teachers and Staff
Our focus has been and continues to be supporting teachers, counselors, and principals in our new Student Information System.
- On Aug. 8, we were on schedule to implement the new SIS and Home Access Center (HAC) when eSchoolPlus shut down, preventing registrars, counselors and principals from finishing schedules for students. We could not register students in the system through our registration process and validate data configurations need for launching HAC.
- While PowerSchool focused on restoring services to its cloud-based platform, LISD supported teachers and school employees. PowerSchool sent an engineer to Leander and we worked with them to make sure our staff could access our data in their system. Our technology and counseling teams worked nights and weekends until we regained functionality for staff on Aug. 16.
- We are continuing to send technology team staff to schools to support registrars and principals through this transition.
Implementing the new system is about unifying parent data with student data with seven different data fields.
- Through the old system, every student was a unique record with a unique log-in. Through eSchoolPlus, student records are assigned to parents based on verification of their records.
- We wanted to merge the old system with the new by transferring existing student data from the old system into the new. This process was called Registration and required a Snapcode for returning students. In doing so, we switched from a per student data model to a family model to connect a parent’s account with his or her students. Because of inconsistencies across one of seven data fields, we had about 10,000 misaligned contacts that require one-to-one support.
- Student and parent records may not have matched for a variety of reasons. For example, in one student’s record, the parent’s name may have been listed as “Jennifer” whereas, in her second student’s record, her name was “Jenny.” If the email address was entered in both cases, the system did not allow a duplicate entry, so it reformatted the email address from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com.
Three-week progress reports
In an effort to provide additional visibility into student grades at the three-week mark, LISD will be printing and mailing all middle and high school students’ progress reports on Wednesday, September 11 to the student’s mailing address. We know that some families are still working with ITS on reviewing data and ensuring Home Access Center accounts for all students and want to provide an alternate way to view grades.
Moving forward, we are working hard to get this right.
- Our top priority is to unify student data with their verified parent or guardian. This is a time-consuming process that will require us to work through dialogue submissions in Let’s Talk.
- We will continue to pay staff to work nights and weekends to help resolve this issue as quickly as possible. With our additional teams and crews, we anticipate having all Home Access Center (HAC) issues for individual users resolved by Sept. 15.