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Software to help connect Jeannette school community | TribLIVE.com
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Software to help connect Jeannette school community

Kaylie Harper
| Wednesday, June 18, 2014 9:00 p.m

The Jeannette School District has chosen to continue its relationship with educational software company Harris School Solutions. The district acquired the software license and complete use of the new program package I-Pass for the 2014-15 school year.

The one-year, $29,000 agreement includes an update to the district’s existing software ProSoft. The district started using ProSoft in 2004 for all student information updates and communication.

“ProSoft was no longer able to do what the district needed a software package to do,” said Bill Bell, district technology director. “This new software will eliminate the need for additional programs, like Edline and Global Connect.”

Software programs like Edline and Global Connect were not included in ProSoft’s original package. Each year, the district paid additional fees for multiple add-ons.

“The I-Pass software will consolidate everything we need. The district gets a full software update and we save money in the process. For a district like ours, even a few thousand dollars helps,” said Bell.

With I-Pass, the district will receive access to programs such as I-Teacher, an online module that allows teachers to post grades and student progress reports.

In turn, I-Parent allows parents to view their students’ information from home and track their learning progress throughout the school year. I-Parent is a direct replacement for Edline.

“For parents, being able to see their child’s grades online will allow them to monitor their education and become actively involved,” said Bell. “They will be able to see, in real time, if their student is struggling with or excelling in certain subjects, which will be a huge help.”

I-AutoAlert will replace Global Connect. It will allow the district to connect with parents regarding weather alerts. The system contacts parents via phone and email for all school cancellations and delays.

I-Health keeps track of students’ visits to the nurse and their administered care. It also allows the district to keep record of student allergies and other pertinent health care information.

I-Staff is the human resources component of I-Pass. It is designed to aid the district in tracking attendance and basic student information, such as addresses and homerooms.

“I-Pass provides us with a lot more capabilities than what we had. It’s going to streamline things,” said Bell. “Instead of accessing several different types of programs and having them talk to each other, everything will all be on one program and that can be a huge time-saver for both teachers and parents.”

For the first time the software will be available for kindergarten through 12th grades. ProSoft was only used at the high school level.

Bell believes transitioning existing users to the I-Pass software, as well as introducing new ones, will not be difficult.

“There’s going to be a learning curve, but once we’re over the hump, we’ll be fine,” said Bell. “There may be a few hiccups for teachers, but basic training will help with that. It’s going to be a one-stop shop within a single software program, which will make it easier for them to navigate.”

The district encourages all parents to visit www.imgsoftware.com in order to familiarize themselves with everything the I-Pass software has to offer.

“The best way for parents to make the most of the I-Pass software is to take the time to use it,” said Bell. “It will strengthen the communication between parents and teachers, which benefits students in the long run.”

Kaylie Harper is a contributing writer.

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