A look inside a state education software program - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

A look inside a state education software program


A Stevens Point company has officially filed an appeal with the state after being passed over for a multi-million dollar contract.

Wisconsin selected Minnesota-company Infinite Campus for that contract. Skyward leaders say that appeal was officially made this afternoon.

The Stevens Point based company has more than 300 workers. Company owners have threatened to leave the state, if the contract is not awarded to Skyward. They've made those claims very public, running full page ads in newspapers across the state.

We've covered this story from the start, and wanted to help explain what a student information system is and how it works.

It's a web-based program that allows teachers, students and parents to all interact online. State leaders say one type of software will help them be more successful.

"The student information system for a school district is really the core application for daily operations," Wausau School District Director of Technology Bryon Kolbeck said.

In Wausau, Infinite Campus is the product of choice.

"The users that have been using it like it. Overall, we're happy with it. That's why we selected it," Kolbeck told Newsline 9.

Kolbeck says the district shopped around for a software program several years ago.

"It was unanimous with the group that Infinite Campus should have been selected," Kolbeck added.

The state-wide student information system will allow districts to do a number of different things. Teachers can track grades and students can keep records. Parents are also able to see how their child is doing in school.

"If they want to be notified if one of their students gets an ‘A', we can automatically notify them," Skyward CEO Cliff King told Newsline 9.

King says his customers give positive feedback for their software.

"Most of them are very pleased with our product, we're always cutting edge," King said.

Stevens Point is one of several districts in Wisconsin that uses Skyward.

"Skyward itself, born and bred here in Wisconsin, has an incredible reputation nationwide for its products, for its support and for what they bring to the table to offer districts," Stevens Point Superintendent Attila Weninger said.

Earlier this week, Newsline 9 sat down with State Superintendent Tony Evers. He was one of several key people involved in getting the ball rolling for this process.

"If you have one state-wide system, you are able to exchange cumulative records when a student moves from one district to another," Evers said.

It was an independent committee that decided it was Infinite Campus that was best for the job.

Newsline 9 reached out to officials at Infinite Campus. Our calls were not returned. But company officials have previously said they feel the decision was fair and understand Skyward's desire to appeal.

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