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In recent years, K-12 students’ needs have expanded and intensified, and school districts across the United States are looking for ways to better support them. Legislators have responded to these needs with federal and statewide funding such as the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which supports states in providing mental health resources to students in school settings.
With this additional funding to support social services, resources on school campuses are increasing, and so is the amount of data schools have on their students.
While having an abundance of data is generally a positive, many school leaders lack the processes and systems required to synthesize that data and draw actionable and timely insights. In this article, we’ll discuss how your school district can better manage large amounts of student data with case management software.
Using case management software to avoid data silos
Some school districts still work out of spreadsheets or physical files, and many others use a variety of point solutions to capture and track student data, including multi-tiered systems of support, visitor management software, and survey tools. These systems can lead to data silos, or isolated data that isn’t accessible across teams and departments.
As your school district grows and expands social services for students, it’s crucial to move away from data silos by implementing a centralized data management system that encourages collaboration and scales for your needs.
With centralized case management software like Bonterra Program Management’s Case Management solution (formerly Social Solutions), you can improve processes for everyone who needs to access student data:
- Staff can quickly share data across departments.
- IT can more easily support a cohesive platform.
- Program managers can access holistic data on every student.
- Workers can access important reports with just a few clicks due to built-in reporting capabilities.
- Your school district can reduce the chances of coding discrepancies and data loss during personnel changes.
Operating with unified, consistent data saves staff time and creates visibility across campuses and programs, thereby enhancing services for students.
How case management software enhanced data at Akron Public Schools
Many of the roughly 20,000 students at Akron Public Schools (APS) face non-academic challenges, including homelessness and poverty. APS supports students and families across the district with resources like tutoring, counseling, and college and career academies.
Because APS was using disjointed documents and spreadsheets to track how students used these resources, student data was siloed, presenting problems in trying to help students. The district decided to invest in a case management system to address its main data challenges:
- APS needed a system that would allow staff to import and export information from other tools.
- The district wanted a solution that would allow staff to pull real-time data to quickly see how effective a program was or how specific students were doing.
After adopting Bonterra Case Management, APS found it was able to better collect data on students and improve outcomes within the student population. Here’s how Carrie Evans, technology training specialist for APS, describes the results of implementing their new system:
“Siloed data made it hard to see what the whole student looked like, including who was working with which student and how many interventions each student was receiving. Our case management system gives staff the ability to see the whole student without having to look for data within a dozen different systems. The tool also provides a lot of flexibility, allowing our school district lots of room to build and expand the programs we need.”
Updating your school district’s case management software
With an influx of funding and increased demand for social services across your campuses, updating your data solution is critical. In order to deliver the best services to your students and their families, you need a solution that is specifically tailored for your school district to gain a comprehensive view of your students, your programs, and your campuses.