There's more than nine thousand students in the Roswell School District, and nearly a third of them, from elementary through high school, participate in Special Education or Gifted programs. For each one of these students, there's a corresponding file containing state–mandated documentation. The key item in the folder is the Individual Education Plan, specifying the course to be followed by each student enrolled in a Special Education program. It's a document required by law, and it is discussed in detail by each Special Ed teacher in meetings with parents. The regulations governing these plans are strict, so ensuring that they're up to date is an essential task for teachers.
The problem with a file folder, of course, is that it's a physical object, and physical objects can be easily lost. "Because teachers were taking the IEP's home to work on them after hours," explains Barbara Norfor, Roswell's School District Coordinator for Special Services, "we were worried about the possibility that some of these documents could be misplaced or damaged. We were looking a more efficient way of handling this information, and considered developing a system of our own, but we didn't want to reinvent the wheel. I knew Kirk Bowman of MightyData had developed a FileMaker–based IEP system being used by another district in New Mexico, and he was able to set it up for us as well!"