What are schools using around the state?
Gray/New Gloucester Middle, Gray/ New Gloucester
Educate (and Infinite Campus)
Bucksport High School, Bucksport
Bucksport High School uses Infinite Campus. We are in the process of creating a standards report card using Infinite Campus but it is not complete and I'm not exactly sure what it will look like.
Poland Regional High School, Poland
We are using JumpRope as a standards-based grade book and are feeling pretty good. You can track student achievement on individual standards throughout their high school experience.
Ellsworth High School, Ellsworth
We use Infinite Campus and we are "mudding through it" as a way to document the achievement and assessment of Graduation Standards, Content Standards, Performance Indicators, and Learning Targets. I've heard other districts are struggling with it too.
It's as if for the first time, the technology can't keep up with what we want it to do rather than the other way around!
Lyman Moore Middle School, Portland
Portland presently uses Infinite Campus (we used to use PowerSchool). Both have pros and cons. IC is very difficult for standards-based grading. I like the IC scheduler better than PS (especially at the HS level). Although it was selected because it was free, it isn't (support has been quite costly).
Lisbon High School, Lisbon
At the high school, we use Pinnacle for our traditional grading system (grades 11 and 12) and Web2School for our standards referenced system (grades 9 and 10). I believe that the middle school uses Pinnacle for their standards referenced system. I’m not sure about our elementary school.
I have some personal opinions that are not consistent with the overall district opinion of the systems.
Pinnacle has been problematic because their customer support is pretty poor. We are phasing Pinnacle out (likely next year) because they have been bought out and will no longer be providing any customer support. When Pinnacle was initially put in place there were some issues during the transition phase, as can be expected. It has functioned well enough since then, unless we run in to problems that require customer service; then it has been terrible.
Web2School has been challenging on the user end (in my opinion). On the other hand the customer service has been excellent. They are prompt, responsive, and custom design things to meet our needs. I don’t think they are the best for managing standards-based grading, which may also be due to our personal set up (again my opinion only). We are still averaging, so we haven’t gone head long into true standards based grading. Based on what Web2School has done for us so far, I imagine that they will be able to help us design it to work the way we want.
I’ve heard Educate is the way the go, especially for managing standards based grading.
Overall (and more consistent with the overall district opinion):
Pinnacle – fair, easy to use, terrible support
Web2School – fair to good, excellent customer service and custom design of features
Wiscasset Schools, Wiscasset
There are three out there that all of have respective highs and lows: Empower which use to be Educate, JumpRope, and Quality Connections, I believe is the third.
We plan on using Empower. I have had experience with it at RSU 3 and have quite enjoyed it.
Miller School, Waldoboro
We use IC for most of our SIS needs. I would say we are satisfied with the options it gives us for various reports, ease of use, etc. This year we started using Empower/Educate for tracking students' mastery of standards. It has taken a lot of time for training that I would have liked/needed to spend on other topics. We continue to spend staff meeting time on PD around this system and the embedded curriculum. It is still too soon to tell if we will stick with this long term.
Lewiston Middle School, Lewiston
We use PowerSchool. We are fortunate to have two PowerSchool trained staff that we rely on heavily.
We are transitioning to proficiency based over the next two years. We have been able to vet out some steps in our grade book and created reports that are useful for the end user and to inform instruction.
Hermon Middle School, Hermon
We use PowerSchool and as of yet have not moved over to the standards reporting side. Currently, we are "tricking" the traditional side into reporting out in a standards format.
Jordan Small Middle School and Raymond Elementary, Raymond
In RSU 14 we are doing a two-year phase in using the "Jump Rope" grading system and are continuing to use Infinite Campus for all other student information. Jump Rope is a platform designed for standards-based grading specifically.
Ashland School District, Ashland
We use PowerSchool and are working towards implementing Educate/Empower for proficiency-based grading.
Canal School, Westbrook
We use Infinite Campus, but I am NOT satisfied with it for a standards tracking system.
Biddeford School Department, Biddeford
Forest Hills School, Jackman
We use Empower owned by 3Shapes.
Brewer High School, Brewer
Brewer High School is using Infinite Campus.
Madawaska Elementary, Madawaska
Madawaska Schools are currently piloting Educate/Empower and Mastery Connect. We are not sold 100% on either one, but we do not think we will be going with Educate/Empower next year.
Lincolnville Central, Lincolnville
We use PowerSchool for student information and JumpRope for standards.
RSU#4 is using IC. It is not proficient with standards-based reporting. We are moving towards Empower which can hold the standards and allow parent log in to see student progress.
Washburn Elementary, Washburn
We currently use Web2School, but are exploring the Empower software to help track proficiency.
Leavitt Area High School, Turner
We are currently using PowerSchool as our student information system. We're not using many of the "standards" features, as we didn't start the year that way. We are also looking at other options for tracking student proficiency, perhaps JumpRope.
Eastport Schools, Eastport
We use Web2School and could not be happier. It is very intuitive and includes a comprehensive parent portal. The customer service is outstanding.
We use PowerSchool - it's difficult to learn but does amazing work. PowerSchool also has a module called Inform which addresses standards. The folks in the Mexico/Rumford area have been using Inform extensively.
Messalonskee High, Oakland
We use a dual system but use "Empower" through the company 3 shapes, for standards.
We are very satisfied for the tracking of standards between teachers and across content areas. Not happy for the consistent ability for teachers to do all "grading" in that program.
St. Michael School, Augusta
We have been using Fast Direct at St. Michael School, but are not very happy with it. Not a lot of modifications we can do. We have reached an agreement for Ren Web for next year, which appears to be an amazing program.
Deer Isle-Stonington Jr. /Sr. High School, Deer Isle
Jump Rope seems pretty solid for tracking mastery. PowerSchool is not good at all.
SAD 27, Fort Kent
Fort Kent schools are using Empower (formerly known as Educate). We are building the system now so it is a work in progress
SAD 44, Bethel
We currently use IC (Infinite Campus) for all of our student data, attendance, grades, etc. Teachers, students, and parents use this regularly through the portal to access missing/owed work, grades monitoring, etc. It has worked pretty well, but ours is limited. We will be switching over to Empower next year to allow us to construct a Standards-Based reporting system which will be 100% new to us. We are in the process of preparing and training for this change over to start in the fall of 2015 so I can't give you much for feedback on it.
In general, PowerSchool meets our needs very well as an SIS. I like that it is very customizable, they are actively developing it to add new features, it can be easily used from any computer, the interface is fairly intuitive, the database structure is standard so data can easily be transferred in and out, etc.
However, for standards, tracking, it gets a Partially Meets. It does have standards tracking. The biggest obstacle that I see is that everything you do is tied to a "course" so, say that a teacher teaches first grade reading and there are certain standards associated to first grade reading. If a student in the class is working on standards from kindergarten reading or second grade reading, the tech people have to add those additional standards to the class before the teacher can assess those (or the student has to be "enrolled" in a different class). The teacher can only access standards specifically associated to the class the student is assigned to. I have thought about some ways to "work around" this, but by design that is a limitation.
Vinalhaven School, Vinalhaven
We use Infinite Campus, and are in the process of updating to implement PBE.
Line Elementary School, West Newfield
In RSU 57 for grades k-8 we use Educate for academic information and reporting and Infinite Campus for everything else. Currently grades 9-12 are using only Infinite Campus for everything but are transitioning to the K-8 model.
Camden/Rockport Middle School, Camden/Rockport
If you mean for grades, we are using JumpRope as of this year. It is definitely an improvement on Powergrade, even though the transition was a little rocky and a lot of work. Now the biggest lift is done, we're hoping to see improvement in communication of grades.
We use PowerSchool for general data management. It is efficient and effective, but I have no comparison to frame my opinion.
Presque Isle Middle School, Presque Isle
We are preparing to use Empower, which will be in addition to PowerSchool. Not sure if we will be satisfied with Empower, but do like certain features of it (like the fact that NWEA results will be integrated into the system). We have opted to develop our own standards (based on CCSS) rather than the MCCL standards that are already embedded. This has created a big pile of work for us!
Mattanawcook Academy, Lincoln
Mattanawcook Academy is using PowerSchool for our student information system and Empower for keeping track of standards. This is problematic as we need to work in two databases for different reasons. It would be wonderful if one system did all of this for us.
Williams Elementary, Oakland
RSU 18 uses Empower. I have nothing to compare it to as it is all I have used for tracking learning targets.
Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, South Paris
We are ok with IC for reporting to standards. The mastery question is being discussed at the sub-committee level and we are looking at possible options.
Rangeley Schools, Rangeley
I am using Infinite Campus. I would say that it has some viable uses for standards recording but I have yet been able to get reports out of the system even though the information can be tracked in the system. I too have been looking at a more comprehensive, easy-to-use system and would love this information.
Islesboro School, Islesboro
Islesboro has used a system called Rediker which has worked for us for over 14 years or more. Even as we switched over to standards, added additional pieces like online access changed up our transcript production, they have been able to "morph" to our needs every time. It is fairly inexpensive $5,587 and that includes in person training, online training and support, on demand, live support, and cloud services. Plus they do have small school discounts which for us has saved some serious money over time.
The one, large caveat to this is that it isn't Infinite Campus and that fact means there are some state report creation challenges. They can be overcome but there are additional steps to take to import that information.
Casco Bay High School, Portland
We use Infinite Campus. It is not great for tracking students' mastery of standards. We have retrofitted it to make it work for our standards-based system.
Bangor School District, Bangor
Bangor School District uses Infinite Campus.
Mt. View High School, Thorndike
At Mt. View we use Infinite Campus.
 January 9, 2015