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Schools implement new student information system
Federal Way Public Schools implemented a new student information system over the summer, and the system went live in late July.
The new system, called Synergy by Edupoint, is well used throughout the country, serving 2 million students in 200 districts across 10 states.
Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Sally McLean explained some of the work that’s been going on throughout the summer to get this system up and ready for the school year.
“We’ve had student data warehoused since 1999,” she said. “Currently, we have converted more than 100 million pieces of data from the old system to the new system. I’m pleased to say the data conversions to date, it looks good.”
McLean said an important part of this conversion and rollout was done by what’s known as the “Synergy Touchdown Team.” One of the largest selling points of the Synergy software is an almost infinite customizability, which is where the Touchdown Team was invaluable, McLean said.
“When you have so many options, we’ve had to make some decisions along the way,” she said.
McLean said that approximately 990 staff members have received training for the new system, getting that training in 116 different sessions over 29 days. These trainings were done through formal training sessions and an “open lab” where teachers and staff could come in and just play around in the system to get a feel for it themselves.
There were three things McLean said she and those tasked with the implementation of the new system had to make sure could happen when the system went live: register students, schedule students, and take attendance.
The part of the new system for parents, called ParentVUE, will be live sometime in the near future, McLean said. FWPS director Claire Wilson seemed to be a little perturbed by the unknown date for the parent portal.
McLean said the rollout for the parent portal will be “tiered.” Usernames and passwords will be assigned to parents, and then more information and functionality will become available to parents as time progresses in this initial roll out of the new system, she said.
“I just think it’s important we frame it and let parents know that this is the implementation of a new system,” Wilson said.