Over the past year, the V.I. Department of Education’s Planning, Research and Evaluation Division (PRE) has invested more than $1 million in federal funding toward electronic system upgrades that are meant to provide quick data with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Seeking to streamline the college application process for students, parents and school registrars, the department recently rolled out a new software system called Docufide. Offering the latest in electronic technology, the software allows students to order copies of their transcripts online and have them delivered to more than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the nation. According to Randolph Thomas, director of the PER division, information requested and sent out is encrypted, ensuring confidentiality,
The software, a product of data-systems giant Parchment Inc., is used by more than 7,000 schools and universities, as well as six state education agencies. Education received $31,000 in federal funding over a two-year period for the project, which will continue to be an ongoing initiative in the schools.
“This is definitely a national movement, where schools and institutions of higher education are sending out information more quickly,” Thomas said. “Now, our students and administrators do not have to worry about sending the transcripts out in the mail, which saves both time and money.”
Parents and students are encouraged to use the service, by going on to www.parchment.com and registering by following the easy steps.
The department has also put approximately $1.3 million in federal funding toward a new centralized Student Information System (SIS) that will provide school and Education officials with real time data, including student registrations as well as grades and attendance, among other things.
The new PowerSchool System offered by Pearson Inc. is one of the nation’s most popular school information management tools, supporting nearly 10 million students across the 50 states and 65 countries. Comparable to the V.I. Government’s Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP), the SIS is the electronic warehouse for all school data, and now also offers a “parent portal” that allows access to students’ schedules, assignments and grades and more. Access to real time data will also ultimately help the Department comply with both local and federal reporting requirements, build policy, and create new programs and initiatives.
The new SIS system will be rolled out next school year, but officials kicked off the process last week with stakeholder meetings on St. Thomas and St. Croix.