Barrington Community Unit 220 School District in Northwest Illinois educates more than 9,000 students in PreK through grade 12 and encompasses 72 square miles. With its diverse range of students and geographic distance between campuses, the need for better organization, efficiency and proper tracking of educational resources became more critical in 2012, when the district began the initial phases of a 1:1 transformation.
With the goal of eventually equipping every student with a digital device, the district realized it needed to streamline its recording and tracking in order to eliminate lost devices and over ordering technology devices. At the same time, they knew they must be more efficient and accurate in the cataloging, and deployment of all resources in the hands of students – from textbooks, tablets, STEM devices, special ed equipment and more. With their 1:1 transformation in the planning stages, they took a deep look at the systems and processes in place for resource management, and realized they needed a better plan.
“At that time, we were just getting going,” said LeeAnn Taylor, District Media Services Director for Barrington CUSD. “We began our transition to 1:1 with pilot classrooms and teams at the middle school, but during the 2013 – 2014 school year we sent devices home to all 6th-to-8th grade students for 1:1 access.” Taylor further explained how huge this transition was for the district. “The high school also had a team of 16 teachers, and approximately 500 students received a device during the 2013 – 2014 school year, with full implementation to all faculty and staff during the 2014-2015 school year.” The next step, she said, is for ten teams of elementary teachers and 500 elementary students to participate in a district-named LaunchPad program to get ready for full iPad® implementation during the 2015-2016 school year.
To keep its transition smooth and to protect the resources it required, the district decided to centralize the purchase of technology equipment and adopt a new software system. “During the planning stages, we listened to our high school librarian, who spoke highly of Follett and Destiny Library Manager,” said Taylor. “She brought Follett’s resource management to our attention, and after careful examination, we adopted Destiny Resource Manager in the spring of 2013. We knew we needed to make the most of our investment in the devices we were giving to kids, so we made the financial commitment to Destiny as a part of the overall budget and planning to go 1:1.”
Destiny Resource Manager is a universal system for managing all resources throughout a school district for greater organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
The software supports student achievement by getting the right resources into the right hands at the right time. Taylor explained how work continues to evolve at her district, including the decision of who should get trained and how to ensure resources are given appropriate naming conventions and records are not duplicated. “It’s a work in progress,” Taylor admitted, “but one that is truly paying off. We have restructured a position to focus as asset clerk, and we are currently putting more internal controls in place to ensure the work flow is consistent.”
As the district’s 1:1 transition continues to unfold, Destiny plays an integral role in helping the team run the program with ease and confidence. Taylor and her staff are responsible for circulating a large inventory of devices, which serve thousands of students, and Destiny makes their jobs easier and allows greater accuracy, she explained.
“Now, with Destiny in place, we are easily able to track the number of devices remaining in each building so we can transfer as needed rather than purchasing new. The historical record of assets checked out to students and staff is also very helpful.”
Taylor explains why investing in a resource management system was a good use of district money.
“Destiny is a great resource for Barrington CUSD 220. The compilation of textbooks, library books and education resources has greatly increased our efficiency as a district. Not only does Destiny keep track of all of our valuable assets, it helps us generate reports, manage inventories and accurately order more equipment. We are looking forward to using it toward other resources in our school (e.g., musical instruments, lab equipment, etc.).” Taylor also mentioned that she appreciates how Follett listens to customer input on what changes could make Destiny even better. “Our district has put in requests for improvements we believe will not only help our school district, but other school districts as well.”
Her advice to other districts? “The power of this inventory system is that it is patron driven and allows you to track things by the patron. Other asset management programs (e.g., business office software or technology device inventory systems) are not friendly for checking in and out devices on a user/patron account. If you use Destiny Textbook Manager or Library Manager, adding Resource Manager should be a no-brainer! To keep track of everything on one student account is simply wonderful.”
This web seminar, hosted by District Administration, showed how a district uses resource management software to maintain a centralized inventory and to identify all district resources and services.
Bruce Hamilton and Jason Lasiewicz from Follett School Solutions Destiny Product Management Team present changes including the ability to bring your Destiny Textbook Manager data into Resource Manager and an expanded list of standard reports.
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Robust solution will manage textbooks, laptops, tablets, equipment, much more