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PWC School Board okays new student management system; it will go live for 2019-20 school year

Prince William County Public Schools is getting a new student management system (SMS) that will deliver what school officials described as “dramatic improvements” in support for students, teachers, parents, and a wide range of departments. It is planned to be operational in the 2019-20 school year, a news release said.  The new system will cost taxpayers nearly $10 million – $9,701,364 to be exact, according to Diana G. Gulotta, communications director for the school division.

“This new SMS will move Prince William County Public Schools into the 21st century with its easily accessible student information, grades, and other key instructional data to help teachers and parents understand how students are progressing toward learning goals,” Phil Kavits, Associate Superintendent for Communications and Technology Services, was quoted as saying in a news release. “This information is critical to helping teachers plan more effective instruction, and to better engage families in monitoring and contributing to student success.”

Parent Portal access to student information, assignments, and grades will become available through any mobile device. The system will facilitate translation of portal information into multiple languages. Teachers will be able to post online assignments, and set up grading rubrics, both of which will automatically transfer to gradebooks, eliminating extra work and time.

The system also supports its own robust Learning Management System, linking students to a wealth of resources that teachers can expand over time. Administrators will be able to easily extract data to assess progress toward instructional goals, and will also get to customize their own school’s data dashboards.

The PWCS Office of Information Technology Services led a multi-year study to assess the needs of teachers, administrators, parents, and students, generating the extensive expectations list that guided the SMS search.

According to the news release, a lengthy implementation process will begin with extensive planning in January 2018, and will map out plans to train users prior to the actual launch. The new system is being purchased from EduPoint, a major provider of student management systems to large school districts nationwide.

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