A new system for managing everything from student test schools, attendance records and letters to individual parents is in place and ready to go for the start of the school year, according to Pickerington Local School District officials.

A new system for managing everything from student test schools, attendance records and letters to individual parents is in place and ready to go for the start of the school year, according to Pickerington Local School District officials.

Last November, the PLSD Board of Education unanimously approved spending a total of $147,669 for a one-year contract with Infinite Campus, based in Blaine, Minn., and the implementation of a student-information system for the new school year.

The purchase was brought on by the expiration of software by the district's former provider of student data management, eSIS.

However, Pickerington's Technology Director Walt Podgurski said he's excited about the new Infinite Campus SIS, which he said recently passed a final conversion trial and is ready for the beginning of the school year.

"We're now live," Podgurski said. "We have staff actively using our system now."

The Infinite Campus price tag included a one-time start-up fee of $61,275, and the remaining $86,394 represents a cost to the district of approximately $8.40 per student to use the system and receive ongoing technical assistance.

The company's SIS is a software application for education establishments to manage student data. It provides capabilities for entering student test and other assessment scores through an electronic grade book, building student schedules, tracking student attendance and managing many other student-related data needs.

Podgurski said in the near future, the Infinite Campus SIS will allow parents the create a user account so they can follow their students' academic progress, school and class calendars and attendance.

He said the system also will allow parents and teachers to access the same data and communicate with one another about students' performances and progress.

"We look to have a parent portal open sometime in the fall," Podgurski said. "I would anticipate early fall.

"The portal will provide far more information than our prior portal system did."

Infinite Campus software is accessible from mobile communications devices, such as smart phones, and allows for the creation of surveys, which will help teachers and administrators gather parent and student feedback, Podgurski told school board members last winter.

He said it should help coordinate communication with parents who have more than one student in the district, so they will receive just one mailer instead of multiple letters.

Other important features, Podgurski said, include a program to allow parents and students to pay class, lunch and pay-to-participate fees online through the SIS, as well as a national records exchange, which he said would help the district collect and share information about students who move to or leave Pickerington.

"We have the ability to collect fees online, which is something we didn't have," he said. "We can trade student information with other Infinite Campus districts, including Columbus, Southwestern City Schools and Worthington. Many of our transfer students come from those districts."