Florence County, South Carolina
In today’s educational environment, a top priority is to stretch every dollar to its maximum capacity.
That includes school districts getting every penny back in government reimbursement it can – and Florence County (SC) School District 5 is now doing that with Level Data.
“With things like food service, it’s hard to tell exactly how many dollars we missed out on over the years,” said Richard Silvernail, director of technology at Florence 5. “Simply because when we had to send in our final reports to get funding on such things as free and reduced lunch, if we were off by 1, 2, 3 or 5 kids – measured over a whole year of 180 days, multiplied times the missing $3 (per student) reimbursement, the dollars add up pretty quick.
“I knew we were never 100 percent, no school is. But at least now when the Board asks me, I can say we’ve squeezed every penny out of the reimbursement for free and reduced lunch that we’re able to. We never maximized (before) our return on reimbursement.”
Level Data’s solution populates the district's food service application, Meals Plus, with all of the student demographic information and then automatically pulls free and reduced status and lunch balance information back into the student information system. Because both systems are in sync all the time so the information is identical in both.
The 1,400-student district was introduced to Level Data by ANC Group, the district's long time and trusted technology support provider. The timing was ideal because the state of South Carolina was transitioning every school over to PowerSchool from the SASI student management software, which Silvernail said was the perfect time to introduce the new integration methodology.
According to Brian Daughhetee, President of ANC Group, “We were very excited about the Level Data solution as soon as we saw it because we knew how it could benefit our districts. I am also impressed by Level Data’s understanding of PowerSchool. Because they have supported the application for several years, their knowledge of PowerSchool allows them to offer functionality that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the industry."
“We used a SIF® agent to try tying-in with our student management program (SASI) so when teachers logged in they could see all their students’ network folders,” Silvernail said. “But it just didn’t work. The SIF® agent couldn’t pull all the data out.
“Level Data is literally able to get into every nook and cranny of the data held in PowerSchool. So now I have access to things that I couldn’t get to when doing my export – or it was simply too tedious to export and try to figure out how to map a field.”
In addition to weekly exclamations of joy from food services, new data management practices were immediately noticed by the librarian.
“This year, on the second day of school, my high school librarian called me in surprise and said, "All the ninth graders are here (in Follett's Destiny™, the district's library management software)." Before, that was something she would have to enter after the first week or so, after the kids matriculated in and I did my student export. She asked if I went ahead and did the export early, and I said, "no ma’am, that’s being done automatically now.”
Nothing could be finer in South Carolina.
"But it just didn't work. The SIF® agent couldn't pull all the data out."
Richard SilvernailDirector of TechnologyFlorence County School District #5
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