Improved Quality and Efficiency with Aspen SIS

Case Study

Miami-Dade County Public Schools
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY | FLORIDA

In 2007, Miami-Dade County Public Schools needed to replace their aging software used for scheduling in its middle and high schools. Administrators hoped to find a single system that would improve efficiency, be easy to use and allow for scheduling of all 155,111 active secondary students in the district.

With Follett Aspen™ Student Information System (SIS), Miami-Dade County now has all of its data in a single, secure, web-based system. Even though their database contains over 566,660 active and inactive student records and 42,000 staff records, application performance is as fast as at districts with only a few thousand students.

Challenge

With more than 150,000 active students to schedule, Miami-Dade County Public Schools knew becoming more efficient was essential. It was clear their old system needed to be replaced, but district administrators weren’t sure where to start their search. Did a system exist that was customizable, easy for schedule builders to use and powerful enough to handle such a huge volume of data without suffering performance loss?

Solution

After an intensive RFP evaluation among six major software vendors, Miami-Dade County selected Aspen SIS as its scheduler for secondary school. The system’s web-based platform would enable its schools to modify Aspen’s pages to look exactly as needed. In March 2008, Miami-Dade piloted five high schools and four middle schools, beginning with data conversion.

Four months later, the nine pilot schools “went live” on Aspen. The roll out of the Aspen Scheduler to the remaining schools in the district proceeded much faster than anticipated and the imple- mentation team was able to deliver Aspen scheduling to 108 secondary schools by July 2009 – a full year ahead of the planned schedule. Throughout the pilot and full roll out, Aspen was in constant synchronization with the district’s mainframe and data warehouse, ensuring all related systems were accurate and up to date.

Results

Miami-Dade County added even more schools to the implementation, facilitating student transfers, easing support and providing tools that improved the quality of state reporting access across the district. Today, schools continue to take advantage of Aspen’s online student request entry and teacher recommendation features. Via the gradebook, teachers are able to make course recommendations for their students. Those students can log into the student portal in order to request changes to those recommendations, and may choose additional classes. Course options are then checked against prerequisites and graduation requirements to ensure selections are appropriate for a given student.

Together, these features have increased the quality of course requests and eliminated many hours of data entry and request verification.


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