One of our next initiatives is to use the Centricity platform to conduct paperless board meetings. The district began looking for a solution and I indicated that we already have this capability in Schoolwires. We can create a private area for board members to sign in and access a file library with their agenda and supporting documents. Once again, we had a need and Schoolwires already had the solution for us in the product we had already invested in–Centricity.
We can provide a secure environment for the school board members because of Centricity’s capability to assign roles, and then limit access to information based on those roles. This is very powerful. In addition to school board members, the district has assigned roles for staff, teachers, administrators, parents, students, secretaries, coaches, and aides. For example, the athletic director has a special section where he can provide forms and private information that is available only to members of his staff. And even if a district does not create roles, they can still limit access to information just by requiring people to register. For example, we don’t want the general public to see our building maps and fire exit strategies, but we want teachers to have access to that information.
The Centricity platform and related solutions are also enabling the district to reduce printing and paper costs. For example, Synergy has also allowed Glassboro to get rid of thumb drives and to post lengthy documents online. We are also putting many public documents, like registration and athletic sign-up forms, online. In addition to saving the district money, it is also more convenient for parents to fill out the forms ahead of time and then send them in.
Overall, our Centricity platform, complemented with the functionality of Assist and Synergy, has allow Glassboro Public Schools to replace its isolated systems with one unified solution that offers enhanced functionalities and robust communications tools. The overall solution has absolutely strengthened communications with our district constituents, and provides our teachers with the 21st century tools they need to engage our learners.
George Weeks is director of technology at Glassboro Public Schools in New Jersey. His duties there include managing the technology department and overseeing all aspects of technology planning, implementation, maintenance, and training throughout the district. He initiated the creation of the Glassboro Municipal Area Network Consortium between the Board of Education, Borough of Glassboro, and Rowan University to provide low-cost internet services via private fiber ring and SNiP Internet Services, resulting in a 50 percent increase in bandwidth and an annual communications savings of $16,000. In 1999 Weeks completed his Master’s degree in Computer Information Systems at the University of Phoenix. He also holds undergraduate degrees in Programming and Computer Science from Pace University. Visit the Glassboro Public Schools web site here.
Contact Weeks at email@example.com or at http://www.linkedin.com/in/georgeweeks.