San Angelo Independent School District Reassesses & Reinvests in IEPPLUS
San Angelo ISD is located in Texas, and educates more than 14,000 students at 24 schools.
“With IEPPLUS, that integration has always been there. The decision to stay with IEPPLUS was a conscious decision.”
Sonya McCuen-Burney | Analyst | San Angelo ISD
San Angelo ISD needed a web-based integrated referral and evaluation solution for special education students. The district needed to improve state- and federal- reporting capabilities to eliminate audits and inaccuracies. The district wanted to eliminate unnecessary paperwork and double-entry.
San Angelo needed a partner that would continuously ensure that the solution met the district and state’s requirements. This solution was SunGard K-12’s IEPPLUS.
With the evolution of regulations and reporting requirements, K-12 in general, and special education in particular, may have changed over the past decade, but the relationship between San Angelo ISD and its longtime partner, SunGard K-12, only continues to strengthen.
“We began our relationship with SunGard K-12 in 1996 with the purchase of the Student and Finance products,” said Sonya McCuen-Burney, analyst at the San Angelo Independent School District. San Angelo ISD’s Special Education department uses IEPPLUS for a diverse mix of tasks, such as tracking comprehensive student data and maintaining historical information; regulatory, state and ondemand report-generation; student contact management; individual goal management and web-based IEP forms.
Members of the Special Education team conducted research online and spoke to their counterparts at other districts to find other viable candidates. Members of the special education team then narrowed down the list from about 15 companies to three, said McCuen-Burney. After meeting with vendor executives and viewing product demonstrations, San Angelo’s Special Education department made its decision. “When we went shopping for special education products and had to price out the man-hours involved, most of SunGard K-12 competitors took us back to manual entry which is not an option and had no integration capabilities with our Student Information System,” said McCuen-Burney.
IEPPLUS assists San Angelo ISD in effectively monitoring and tracking students in the Special Education program. San Angelo ISD relies on IEPPLUS to help it secure funds it is entitled to, said McCuen-Burney. After all, the district is charged with reporting on data ranging from attendance to student’s progress, she noted. By spending its funding appropriately, students gain the most from their time in K-12, and schools consistently can improve their results. An integrated system eliminates costly and error-prone data-entry across multiple applications, meaning the process is fast and accurate, she said. As a result, the district can make better use of its money, McCuen-Burney explained.
“When we do our state reporting every year the amount of time that we have to spend auditing and fixing errors has been drastically decreased,” said McCuen-Burney.
San Angelo ISD also is delighted at the strength of its relationship with SunGard K-12, from its account executives and technical support staff to programmers and executives. “SunGard K-12 understands that school districts must immediately respond to changes in Federal or state mandates,” said McCuen-Burney. The vendor partner also is an expert in the different states’ needs. “I go to SunGard K-12 and tell them what I need to have happen in IEPPLUS and they just do it.,” said McCuen- Burney. “The support ticket turnaround is phenomenal. I work with a lot of other vendors; they don’t call me or send me an email in a very short time after receiving a support ticket. SunGard K-12 does. I don’t get brushed aside, and if they tell me it will be in the next version, then it is.” San Angelo ISD also is one of the earliest members of an IEPPLUS user group in Texas. “SunGard K-12 accepts our changes, meets with us regularly to hear what we want, offers training and listens to us on future development,” she said.
“A lot of things change in special education. And I know SunGard K-12 will be right there with us, always adapting IEPPLUS to meet all the challenges and opportunities we encounter.”