Solutions

Paperwork Without the Paper

Roswell School District

Teachers assign homework, but teachers have their own homework as well. And it's not just grading papers. There are vital forms to be filled out, facts to be documented, and usually there aren't enough hours in the school day to get all this paperwork done. So, home it goes with the teachers. But in Roswell, New Mexico, teachers are taking advantage of a web–based system that allows them to complete mandatory Special Education paperwork without ever touching a physical file folder — a system built around FileMaker Pro, the award–winning database software from FileMaker Inc.

Overview

  • Carrying home folders full of Special Education documents is a thing of the past for teachers in Roswell, New Mexico — where the Roswell School District is discovering the online data management capabilities of FileMaker Pro.

Industry

  • K-12 Education

The system really cuts down on paperwork, and I can see where by next year we'll have eliminated a lot of the paper simply because we can do all this on the computer.

— Barbara Norfor, Coordinator of Special Services, Roswell School District

Business Challenge

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!"

Successful Solution

Kirk deployed his web–based FileMaker Pro database in 2002 — a single database containing over 3,000 records — and the more than 110 teachers assigned to Special Education duties soon found it a major improvement in the routine of handling IEP documentation. "Teachers at home can pull up their class lists and review and update IEPs without having to handle paper documents," Barbara continues, "and they can do this work anywhere at any time that's convenient for them. The system really cuts down on paperwork, and I can see where by next year we'll have eliminated a lot of the paper simply because we can do all this on the computer. It helps me, too. If I need to know something about a specific IEP, I don't have to send my secretary down to look for the file. I can just log in and bring it up right here on my own computer!" And, FileMaker's cross platform capabilities mean that teachers can make full use of the program's features, regardless of whether they use a PC or a Macintosh.

Teachers at home can pull up their class lists and review and update IEPs without having to handle paper documents and they can do this work anywhere at any time that's convenient for them.

— Barbara Norfor, Coordinator of Special Services, Roswell School District

Customer Benefits

That old saying about "the job's not over 'til the paperwork's done" used to describe a teacher's workday pretty well, but it's fast falling out of use at the Roswell School District, as teachers every day get better acquainted with the online convenience of FileMaker Pro.

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For Roswell School District:

Barbara Norfor
Coordinator of Special Services
Roswell School District
505-627-2557
bnorfor@risd.k12.nm.us

For MightyData, LLC:

Kirk Bowman
MightyData, LLC
972-492-7523
http://www.mightydata.com