Plymouth Canton Community Schools’ two-decade partnership with the MISTAR-Q SIS improves efficiency across the district.
In the pivotal industry of education, technology plays an integral role in students’ success. Plymouth Canton Community Schools found a dependable and responsive partner in MISTAR-Q. For over two decades, this dynamic, locally-supported Student Information System (SIS) has been at the heart of Plymouth Schools’ journey towards educational excellence and operational efficiency.
We spoke with Mark Salzer, Director of Integrated Technology Systems, Arleen Wenzel, Data Coordinator, and Christine Mazur, Pupil Accountant at Plymouth Canton Community Schools to discuss how MISTAR-Q has helped the district innovate and achieve success over its 20+ years of partnership.
With the MISTAR-Q SIS, the district has been able to:
- Efficiently manage their technology inventory
- Streamline class selection and schedule creation
- Modernize their report card process
Improved Inventory Management
Before implementing MISTAR-Q’s inventory module, Plymouth School District grappled with several challenges in inventory management of nearly 13,000 devices.
The sheer scale of their device inventory presented logistical complexities that strained their IT resources. Tracking the condition and location of thousands of devices was a daunting task, resulting in inefficiencies, inaccuracies, and potential losses.
After evaluating the available options to improve their inventory management, Plymouth implemented MISTAR-Q’s robust inventory management module tailored to K-12 schools. This implementation turned what was once an intimidating responsibility of tracking and maintaining the district’s technology inventory into a more manageable and efficient exercise.
By providing improved tracking and reporting of technology resource assignments, MISTAR-Q allowed the district to provide students with reliable access to technology resources, better positioning the district for success with its educational technology initiatives.
Streamlined Course Requests Through a Paperless Interface
Plymouth Schools prides itself on offering students the freedom to choose courses that genuinely interest them. From culinary arts to auto mechanics, students can pursue their passions and broaden their horizons.
This flexibility in course selection, however, presented a significant administrative challenge. Students would fill out physical course request cards, a process prone to inaccuracies and incomplete information. These cards would inundate administrators, requiring valuable time to have them manually sort, correct, and distribute the cards.
“It would literally take me three days to sort through all the class request cards, sort which ones needed correction, and put them in each teacher’s respective box,” Arlene Wenzel, Data Coordinator, said. “It took valuable time away from my other tasks and goals.”
The adoption of MISTAR-Q moved student course requests online, yielding substantial time savings and ushering in a new era of administrative efficiency. This system introduced a host of benefits, such as providing administrators with a comprehensive view of students’ course selections and schedules.
One of the most impactful advantages of MISTAR-Q is the system’s ability to identify students who hadn’t yet filled their schedules to capacity. With just a few clicks, administrators could access a detailed overview of which students required additional courses to complete their schedules.
This newfound visibility has been a game-changer for school counselors. Armed with this data, counselors can quickly and accurately pinpoint students needing course adjustments or additional academic support.
Critical Time Savings with Modernized Report Cards
One of the standout features of MISTAR-Q is its digital report cards. Prior to using MISTAR-Q, the task of preparing, printing, and distributing over 6,000 report cards across Plymouth’s three comprehensive high schools was an extensive and time-consuming task. Wenzel’s firsthand experience underscores the extent of the challenge.
“The time it took to prepare the report cards, print all of them out, and then distribute them was a constant but necessary time sink,” Wenzel said. “It wasn’t just a one-time thing every year either but was needed for every quarter of the school year.”
Using digital report cards in MISTAR-Q enabled the district to achieve substantial time savings and improved the overall efficiency of this recurring job. Administrators could reallocate their time toward focusing on their students, contributing to the district’s commitment to student success.
Parents and students alike benefited from real-time access to grades and progress through secure online portals. This eliminated the need for printing and mailing, allowing parents to access their child’s report cards instantly. Students, too, had a more immediate grasp of their academic performance, enabling them to take a more proactive role in their education.
Future Dynamic Plans Supported by the SIS
Plymouth Canton Community Schools’ future plans reflect a forward-looking approach that includes streamlined attendance tracking and reporting on absence trends.
By leveraging MISTAR-Q’s integrated data analytics to examine attendance data, Plymouth hopes to identify at-risk students at an earlier stage than was previously possible. This early identification is paramount, as it paves the way for timely and targeted interventions in these students’ education journeys.
“We’re very interested in pursuing ways to make collecting attendance data easier for our administrators to develop reports on truancy,” Christine Mazur, Pupil Accountant, said. “Being able to identify those students earlier than we’re currently able will help us create a positive early intervention in their education.”
These interventions can range from personalized support programs to counseling and mentorship, all geared towards ensuring that students receive the necessary assistance to overcome attendance-related hurdles. The ultimate goal is to leverage the MISTAR-Q SIS to provide a supportive environment that helps students re-engage with their education through improved attendance.
For other districts who are looking into a new SIS partner to help them achieve their future goals, the Plymouth team recommends taking a critical look at what specific functionalities they’ll need from a new system to find a vendor who specializes in those features.