West Side News

New online information system a success


The South-Western City School District's new online student information system is offering students and their parents an easier way to access student information.

The district switched this year to Infinite Campus, a Blaine, Minn.-based company providing the student information service.

Infinite Campus is costing the district $1.77 more per student annually than eSIS, the previous system it used.

The district paid $95,200 to implement Infinite Campus.

The switch to the new system is working out well, said Tara Windle, a curriculum/technology coordinator for the district.

"It really does provide 'one-stop shopping' for students and their parents," she said.

Teachers are able to enter information about their classes and each of their students, including class schedules, coursework, attendance and academic reports. Both parents and students can access that information from home via the Internet.

Each parent and student has their own separate activation key.

"It makes it much easier for parents to keep track of their student's academic progress," said Jackson Middle School Assistant Principal Katie Nowak. "They can use the system to communicate with teachers to set up a meeting if they have questions about assignment or grades their children are receiving."

Students who must miss school due to illness or a family emergency can more easily keep up with and complete the coursework and assignments they are missing, Windle said.

"There's less excuse not to keep up if you have to miss school," she said.

While students at all grade levels have created accounts in the system, student usage begins to peak in the middle school and high school grade levels, district officials said.

As of the end of October, the percentage of students in each middle school and high school grade who had created accounts ranged from 57 to 62 percent. The average number of weekly student log-ins was more than 2,300 for each high school grade.

The percentage of students having a parent with an account ranged from 11.47 percent in first grade to a high of 29.23 percent in eighth grade. All grade levels from fifth grade on up have at least 22.5 percent of students who have parents with accounts.

"We haven't heard any complaints" about the new system, Windle said.

Both parents and teachers at Jackson Middle School seem pleased with the new system, Nowak said.

One of the big advantages of Infinite Campus is that data about students who move to the South-Western district from another district that uses the system can be easily transferred, she said.

Columbus, Worthington and Pickerington are among central Ohio districts that use Infinite Campus, Windle said, and many transfer students come from the Columbus district in particular.

More information about the Infinite Campus system can be found in the parent resources link on the school district website, www.swcs.k12.oh.us.