Solutions

Good grades for FileMaker Pro from Lockport City School District
Across the district, FileMaker Pro is used to organize student and school information and share it over the web.

Lockport City School District

Lockport City School District is a Pre–K–12 Public Education School District in Western New York. The district serves more than 5,000 students in seven elementary buildings, two middle schools, one high school and an alternative school program. Across the district, FileMaker Pro is used to organize student and school information and share it over the web.

Overview

  • Located in Lockport, NY
  • Small technology staff for entire school district

Industry

  • K–12 Education

Solutions

  • Flexible, customized applications
  • Better value than software packages
  • Starter Solutions are easy to use

Benefits

  • Charting allows graphic presentation of data without using a spreadsheet
  • Reduced manual entry of data
  • Reduced costs

Using the new dynamic charting capabilities in FileMaker Pro 11, we can graphically present data, right from within a FileMaker Pro database. It saves time we used to spend importing data into spreadsheets. Charting is a great new option for us!

— Robert LiPuma, Director of assessment and technology and district CIO, Lockport City School District

Business Challenge

Publishing its own FileMaker Pro databases on the web is important to the district for a number of reasons. "We often buy pre–built, education–specific databases or software packages that do some things we like and many things we don't, but the manufacturer does not allow us to customize the systems to meet our specific needs," says Robert LiPuma, Director of assessment and technology and district CIO. "FileMaker Pro lets us create exactly what we need and modify the system how and when we need to. Manufacturers sometimes place a huge price tag on systems that are required or mandated, and they often charge per-student usage and maintenance fees on top of that. FileMaker Pro helps us create flexible, customized systems that meet our unique needs while delivering better value to taxpayers."

LiPuma and his team are enthusiastic about taking advantage of the new features in FileMaker Pro 11. "The 30 built–in Starter Solutions in FileMaker Pro 11 help us create professional–looking databases in a snap," he says. "And, we can customize them quickly to precisely meet our needs."

We have a very small staff and no single dedicated FileMaker Pro expert, but it doesn't matter—FileMaker Pro makes it incredibly easy to organize information and share it on the web. Using FileMaker Pro, we can get the job done with ease.

— Robert LiPuma, Director of assessment and technology and district CIO, Lockport City School District

The new Inspector in FileMaker Pro 11 also promotes productivity in building district databases. "We genuinely appreciate the new Inspector feature in FileMaker Pro 11," says LiPuma. "It is easy to use and puts all the tools we need to refine layout objects and properties right at our fingertips."

LiPuma and his team process a variety of complicated data scenarios—from trends in student enrollment to fitness data and student performance. The district needs to present data in a way that is easy to understand. "Using the new dynamic charting capabilities in FileMaker Pro 11, we can graphically present data, right from within a FileMaker Pro database," he says. "It saves time we used to spend importing data into spreadsheets. Charting is a great new option for us!"

Successful Solution

For Lockport City School District, FileMaker Pro 11 has opened new horizons and spurred new plans for databases that have the potential to result in significant cost savings. "We are investigating use of FileMaker Pro 11 Recurring Import, a new feature that enables automatic data imports from Excel, CSV or TAB formats, to continuously import data from our Cohort Tracking System," says LiPuma. "We are also interested in importing fitness data from iPods running Bento for iPod touch into fitness report cards in FileMaker Pro 11. The possibilities we see with FileMaker Pro 11 are very exciting in terms of reducing manual data entry, improving our efficiency and reducing costs."

LiPuma plans to convert the district's current web–based employee and student directory to a FileMaker Pro directory using a Starter Solution. LiPuma is also testing out a preschool online report card in FileMaker Pro 11. If it is successful, he plans to customize the FileMaker Pro 11 solution for grades K–5, saving the district more than $5,000 annually.

"FileMaker Pro 11 gives me the ability to create professional databases that are way beyond my technical ability," says LiPuma. "It is amazing how easy it is to present a database system on the web that is dynamic and kept up to date in real time. I really like being able to impress people with my 'abilities,' simply by knowing how to use what FileMaker Pro 11 has to offer."

For FileMaker:

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

For Lockport City School District, NY:

Robert LiPuma
Director of assessment and technology and district CIO
Lockport City School District, NY