Clovis USD streamlined operations and fostered engagement among families and students with an extensible Student Information System
With a student population of over 45,000 students in Fresno County, California, Clovis Unified School District is committed to equipping every student with the tools they need to achieve their full potential. Navigating the complexities of managing a district of this size presents its own challenges, but the reliability of the district’s Student Information System (SIS) has remained a strong foundation for the school’s continuous progress.
As a customer of Aequitas Solutions for over two decades, Clovis Unified attributes much of their ongoing success to the Q SIS software that powers the district’s day-to-day operations.
We recently had a chance to speak with Tara Lindlahr, Manager of Application Development and Support Services at CUSD to hear more about this successful partnership and how Aequitas’ Q enables the district to:
- Save the district valuable time
- Streamline enrollment
- Involve parents in their student’s education
- Implement feedback and provide customer support
Valuable Time Savings with Flexible Customizations
Within Clovis’ large operational landscape, Q’s configurability is a pivotal time-saving asset. Depending on a user’s role, they have access to certain data and dashboards. For example, teachers will have different views and permissions than district administrators. Every user can also reorder and customize their home screen, prioritizing the tools most critical to their day-to-day responsibilities at the top for quick and convenient access.
“We’ve found that nearly every aspect of Q helps save time and streamline processes for our end users—the parents, the students, and the teachers,” Lindlahr said. “Being able to customize what every user should view helps us to focus more on delivering the best quality education for our students.”
Another instance of valuable time savings is Q’s two-way integration with Google Classroom, which creates a seamless process for data entry that syncs between both platforms.
“We’ve just started using the Google Classroom integration, and I can tell you our teachers are very excited about it,” Lindlahr said. “It’s going to be quite a time savings for them to not have to manually post those grades in two different places. It frees up time they can then spend focusing on their students.”
Q’s time-saving features extend into its behavior and intervention support. This functionality expedites the process for teachers and administrative staff, allowing them to digitally document these occurrences within a conveniently accessible tab. The information can then be seamlessly shared with stakeholders, such as parents, family members, guardians, and other need-to-know school personnel.
Modernizing Student Enrollment Through Digitization
One of the standout operations that Q has helped Clovis streamline is the annual enrollment and re-enrollment process. As someone who put their child through Clovis herself, Lindlahr offered insight into the night and day difference since Q.
Before Q – Slow and Restrictive
Before using Q’s enrollment software, Lindlahr described a very manual walkthrough registration that involved notices sent home with students and specific pickup windows for materials. This manual process was further compounded by the need for an in-person submission—each form being delivered to different individuals/offices.
Even when the district transitioned to digital PDF forms, the process was still tedious for families and complex to coordinate for the administration side.
After Q – Fast and Convenient
The introduction of Q’s enrollment capabilities ushered in a truly streamlined digital era. Parents not only gained the ability to electronically input their information but also experienced the efficiency of autofill features, eliminating the need for multiple entries of a student’s name or identical information for students within the same household.
The new system also greatly improves the school administrator’s experience. All materials are now conveniently stored and accessible from a single online location, allowing seamless sharing of documents with relevant parties through a few simple clicks.
“This year, we have about a week left until our re-enrollment window closes and we already have an 85% completion rate. We expect that to increase to 95% by next week with a few days left to spare,” Lindlahr said. “Those numbers wouldn’t have been achievable with the old process.”
Powering Parental Involvement with a Dedicated Portal
At CUSD, the dynamic parent community is a cornerstone that underscores the important role of the district’s SIS in enabling and fostering active parental involvement in their children’s education. Central to this is Parent Connection, the dedicated parent portal within Q, which gives parents access to student grades, the ability to report absences, review behavior referrals, and view four-year plan updates.
“Parent Connection has been fabulous for the parents,” Lindlahr said. “They can easily log into the app and view everything they need to be involved in their student’s education. From attendance to grades, everything is right at their fingertips. We haven’t heard anything but positive feedback from our parent community about the parent portal.”
Parent Connection even goes beyond providing information—it facilitates direct communication between families, administrative staff, and teachers, promoting a seamless and collaborative educational experience.
A Trusted Partnership Built on Collaboration
Since 2000, Clovis Unified School District and Aequitas Solutions have fostered a valuable partnership, collaborating on ideas throughout their 20+ years of working together.
An exceptional example of this collaboration was an ID scanner app. It was a direct suggestion from CUSD to the Aequitas team to create and integrate this tool within Q. Now, with Student Scan, administrators can view behavior referrals or restrictions that could impact a student’s participation in extracurricular activities, such as football games.
“We have the type of working relationship that truly feels like a partnership,” Lindlahr stated. “The team at Aequitas is always open to feedback and suggestions on how they can make Q work better for their districts.”
Further expanding on the relationship between Clovis and Aequitas, Lindlahr touched upon the customer support Clovis receives for Q. She highlighted that the reliable partnership and open lines of communication are invaluable to streamlining operations and ensuring their system is running at its full potential.
Aequitas’ dedication and ongoing support for Q users is underscored by the annual QUE Conference. This event offers training, insights into new modules, implementation guidance, and personalized assistance. Additionally, it gives users the valuable opportunity to directly engage with the Aequitas team to offer feedback and share new ideas.
“I feel like we don’t just benefit from the system itself, but also the expertise of the folks behind it,” she said. “When I run into problems, I don’t feel like I’m on an island. It’s all about the relationship. That’s what’s been the mainstay about Aequitas for us.”
Future SIS Additions
Dedicated to their students’ success, Clovis is constantly looking for ways to enhance their SIS so every student can reach their full potential. Their future plans include implementing Q Analytics, an add-on module in Q that provides a configurable dashboard of crucial real-time data highlighting school themes with drill-downs and filtering capabilities.
As for Lindlahr’s advice to any district considering Q for their future plans, she encourages districts to not only take into account the functionality of the Student Information System itself, but also the team behind it.
“It’s set up to be used by people who don’t have time to dive into the nitty gritty about everything. It’s simple to use and easy to learn,” Lindlahr states “Are you going to find Student Information Systems that do certain things better? Maybe, that’s the nature of software. But you won’t find another SIS that values their clients and feedback the way Aequitas and Q do.”