Many times learning is about what goes on behind the scenes. For example, learning how to continually refine the way we do things. In the fall of 2014 the Excelsior Springs School District sought to improve the software system that manages students individualized education plans, more commonly known as IEPs. However, this transition from the old to the new presented many challenges. In this instance the new refers to SpedTrack, which is best describe by the creators themselves and is as follows, “SpedTrack was designed from the ground up to maximize ease of use for school district end users, while providing the flexibility to easily respond to the constantly changing requirements of Special Education. Our product was developed hand in hand with Special Education professionals and represents more than ten years of continued product design and development” (see http://spedtrack.com/about/). Having a better understanding of what SpedTrack is helps us better understand the challenges.
First, we needed to train users on the system. Second, we needed to transfer an extremely large amount of data and information over from an old system to our new system, SpedTrack. Once users had a degree of comfort with SpedTrack thetransition was simply a matter investing time to complete a lengthy transition process. Various learning tasks that preceded the transfer process included, but were not limited to: checklists on IEPs to guide staff through mandated timelines; accessing a dashboard of their upcoming meetings and due dates; revised IEPs can be created by simply making a copy and editing the existing version, template library functions provide easy access to standardized text and goals. Clear as mud right. For many, such as students and parents, the special education process can be confusing and convoluted. That said imagine those whom are responsible for providing these important services being bogged down by an outdated IEP software system. Thus, just by refining the way we do things a chain reaction of outcomes allows learning to be more visible. A few of our special educators offered their unique perspectives on the transition:
Post by | Chris Banks and the High School Special Education Department
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