New student management system clashes with School Loop

Lisa Zhang

The adoption of Infinite Campus by FUHSD to replace SASI causes problems with School Loop

 

 

During the first week of school, teachers were dropped head first into the new attendance system, Infinite Campus, which replaced the previous student management system, Schools Administrative Student Information, created by Pearson School Systems.

“We actually had no choice [but] to leave SASI, because Pearson was ending their support of SASI for all districts, ” Assistant Principal Trudy Gross said. “Last fall, we had our final round [between another Pearson system and Infinite Campus]: those two companies came in at separate times to a certain group of people [who were representing] all the schools in the district, and the unanimous decision was Infinite Campus.”

The new system offers a quicker way of taking attendance that has received positive feedback from administration.

“[The past systems were] archaic, very slow, cumbersome to move around internally and it spoke its own language,” Dean of Students Denae Moore said. “You had to learn a SASI language, basically—not like JAVA or anything—but it was just the terms that they used describe different fields was very confusing, but Infinite Campus is a little more user-friendly in that way—just a little more regular school English.”

Infinite Campus, a web-based program, allows easy access anywhere Internet is available. Currently, FUHSD is piloting a program that uses Infinite Campus in conjunction with School Loop. Screenshot by Lisa Zhang.The choice to adopt Infinite Campus was also due to the many benefits associated with the new student management system. The new system is web-based, as opposed to the software program SASI, which means that teachers and administration have access to Infinite Campus wherever Internet is available. Infinite Campus also allows teachers to easily view students’ files while maintaining the confidentiality promised to the students.

“The nice thing is that the documents that they need access to, like accommodation plans and any information about the best ways to support the student, are right there in the computer,” Gross said. “Teachers can click and the information is right there; they can have it at their fingertips any time.”

Infinite Campus also has features that overlap with School Loop. The system contains a communicative feature that allows information to be sent to parents and students instantly, allowing timely communication between the school and home. Although these features are not currently being used, it was these functions that caused the technical problems that many students and teachers faced from Aug. 23 to Aug. 27.

“The main problem was just that the data that got uploaded to School Loop initially was data that was not current,” Gross said. “When students were then in their classes on [Aug. 23], teachers would notice their roster in School Loop was not the same roster as on Infinite Campus.”

Administration attributes this problem to the transition between the two systems. Currently, the district is trying to smooth out the process in which data is imported between systems, but there are still a few problems.

“Infinite Campus is a newer system, so it’s just getting all of these new companies to build student management systems to talk with all the other companies that [do this],” Attendance Technician Calvin Wong said. “It helps facilitate information out to parents and students, but right now they don’t work together yet, so it may take some time where they have to write a whole new program so it [flows efficiently].”

Other problems included not being able to record the changes made to students’ schedules and extra work for the administration to merge the two systems. Despite these problems, administration plans to continue with Infinite Campus.

However, currently have been no plans to completely switch to Infinite Campus. As of right now, FUHSD plans to keep the two systems running side-by-side until further notice.