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Press Release: With eSchoolPLUS, Hilliard City School District Engages Parents and Students to Personalize Learning

For Hilliard City School District, near Columbus, Ohio, the partnership between home and school is essential to student success.

Since becoming an eSchoolPLUS customer, the district has increasingly leveraged the capabilities of the student information system to inform and engage students and their families. The efforts have not only paid dividends in supporting student achievement by personalizing each student’s education, but also have improved efficiencies and reduced expenses for the district.

Ensuring Data Integrity
Looking back, Jerry Drobnick—Hilliard City School District’s Coordinator of Administrative Technology—says the decision to select eSchoolPLUS met several of the district’s goals for improving efficiency and connecting stakeholders with information.

“At the time, we were using an archaic student information system,” says Drobnick. “Data was scattered around the district in various spreadsheets and databases. So, we made the commitment to invest in a state-of-the-art, next-generation student information system.”

After thoroughly evaluating a number of options, the district selected SunGard K-12 Education’s software as the most comprehensive solution for its growing student information needs.

Part of SunGard K-12 Education’s PLUS 360 suite, eSchoolPLUS is a recognized industry-leading student information system that provides all educational stakeholders with access to the student information they need, when they need it. It has received Gartner’s highest possible rating and was named to District Administration’s Top 100 products list. A cost-effective solution, eSchoolPLUS helps educators manage day-to-day student administration, monitor student performance, and facilitate communications between district staff, parents, and students.

Drobnick believes eSchoolPLUS helps ensure the integrity of the district’s data. “All of our users—the superintendent, principals, building secretaries, teachers, and parents—can access the key information they need,” he says. “We’re confident knowing they have quick, fingertip access to the consistent, up-to-date data they need about any given student at any given time.”

Engaging Parents, Improving Efficiency
Confident in their data, Hilliard City School District staff has moved forward with launching a series of strategic initiatives to engage students and parents and improve efficiency with eSchoolPLUS Home Access Center and Enrollment Online.

“Home Access Center is mission critical to Hilliard City Schools’ ability to connect with parents,” says Drobnick. “In Home Access Center, parents are able to look at relevant student information on a dynamic basis—whether it’s grades, daily assignments, attendance, fees, and so on. The software gets parents involved with their children’s teachers and tightly in tune with the progress they’re making.”

Since its implementation, parents have become acclimated to logging into Home Access Center and monitoring their children’s progress.

“After logging in, parents can see exactly what scores their students achieved on their assignments, tests, and quizzes all throughout the marking period,” he explains. “It’s been really helpful to both parents and students. There has been a very positive impact on student achievement in that both parents and students can keep up to date on the progress of day-to-day classwork.”

As a result, the report card at the end of the nine weeks is no longer a big mystery for parents. And, with the software’s increasing popularity, the district elected to go fully electronic for report cards. “We distribute report cards for all students in grades K through 12 through Home Access Center,” Drobnick explains. “It’s been a real success. The initiative has saved us close to $20,000 per year in just paper and distribution costs.”

In addition, Drobnick says parents update registration, emergency contact information, and their email address through Home Access Center. They also can access and acknowledge the receipt of athletic forms, bus transportation forms, and the district’s student handbook. “Home Access Center is a very efficient and cost-saving way to deliver those documents to parents,” he says.

With Enrollment Online, the district also has gone electronic for enrollment.

“Two years ago we started using Enrollment Online as the sole way for new students to register for Hilliard City Schools. Each year we get at least 1,200 new kindergarteners and several hundred new students,” says Drobnick. “The process is working out very well. Again, it has provided a lot of efficiencies for the district to manage and track new students and the whole registration process.”

Personalized Education for Each Student
With eSchoolPLUS, Hilliard City School District also has established a collaborative process to engage students in personalizing their learning, a hallmark of the district’s brand of education.

“eSchoolPLUS Career Planner and Home Access Center are cornerstones of our initiatives to create personalized education plans for each student,” says Drobnick.

All Hilliard City students, grades 9 through 12, are required to have a career plan. In the January to February timeframe each year, students in grades 8 through 11 will log into Home Access Center, review their existing career plan, and make desired changes to their plan for the coming year.

“Students can choose from one of 12 different core areas of study,” explains Drobnick. “In Career Planner, they are provided options for courses and electives in their core area of focus. This allows them to tailor their education to their interests and aptitudes. Our counselors can then sit down individually with students to review their career plan.”

As it leverages the full range of functionality of eSchoolPLUS, Hilliard City School District is closely connecting all of these important educational stakeholders in shaping each student’s education. As a result, teachers and support staff are able to respond each day to that which is unique about each student and enrich his/her educational experience.

About SunGard K-12 Education
SunGard K-12 Education offers software solutions designed to help teachers, administrators, and parents support student achievement. The PLUS 360 products are a single integrated suite of software solutions for the management of student information, assessment and curriculum, special education, and financial and human resources. The suite—which provides district staff with anytime, anywhere access to important district information—can be deployed to work together to help meet educational goals and requirements or implemented as stand-alone systems. For more information, visit SunGard K-12 Education at sungardk12.com.

About SunGard
SunGard is one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies, with annual revenue of about $2.8 billion. SunGard provides software and processing solutions for financial services, education, and the public sector. SunGard serves approximately 16,000 customers in more than 70 countries and has more than 13,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.sungard.com.

Trademark Information: SunGard, the SunGard logo, and eSchoolPLUS are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunGard Data Systems Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All other trade names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

© SunGard 2014. All rights reserved.

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