FLINT TWP. — Report cards were ready in just the nick of time for parents to pick up at Carman- Ainsworth Middle School during recent fall conferences – one of many new challenges school staff overcame while adapting to the new Synergy Student Information System.
With it came a new ParentVUE portal, launched Nov. 1, where parents have online access to information about their child’s grades and progress.
“All of Genesee County has been going through this transition,” said C-A Superintendent Steve Tunnicliff at the Nov. 13 school board meeting.
“Literally everything we do is like doing it for the first time.”
Synergy integration include scheduling, attendance programs, teacher electronic gradebooks, report card generation, student identification products, school lunch programs, third-party curriculum and software programs,, library book and textbook tracking, testing and statemandated reporting programs.
“Literally anything we do has been a first step, like a baby step, doing it for the first time with a brand new product that you don’t know how it is going to react,” Tunnicliff said.
But he was happy to report that not only is the worst of the learning curve behind them but the district is ahead of the pack in making adjustments.
“I am very proud of where we’re at, comparatively speaking.” Tunnicliff said. “I think we are leading the way in terms of our Synergy implementation.”
He said he knows of no other school district in the county that rolled out the new ParentVUE portal faster than C-A. That involved identifying and providing access codes to heads of household for every student in the district.
“I know parents wanted ParentVUE out sooner,’ Tunnicliff said but praised C-A’s support staff for the hours spent getting the portal open and running.
“It is a huge endeavor and I think we tackled it fairly well,” he said.
Board trustee Don Conway added that he personally witnessed the growing pains caused by Synergy when he happened to be visiting another Genesee County school district during report card preparation time. He saw a steady parade of frustrated teachers coming to the school office with questions about using the new students information system, he said.
Synergy is described as a simplified student data management program for efficient handling of all aspects including enrollment, scheduling, career planning, health, attendance and discipline tracking and much more.
Schools in the Genesee Intermediate School District also report working on helping parents and students learn the new system.