The district and the MIDAS Education team are collaborating to create a completely customized EEM (Education Enterprise Management) solution.
In 2013, Eric Bouvier, technology director of Auburn Public Schools in Massachusetts, was looking for what he thought would be a new student information system (SIS). Then, he met MIDAS Education at a regional technology conference, and instead of implementing a new SIS, he pushed his district to adopt a solution for EEM (Education Enterprise Management). EEM is the ed-tech movement districts are embracing to replace all of their instructional and compliance data systems with one, integrated solution. Bouvier was attracted to MIDAS because as he engaged with numerous SIS companies, he felt they were too “one-size-fits-all” for his district. He needed an holistic solution that met his needs from a data and compliance perspective as well as one that would support his teachers as they worked to individualize instruction. And, he wanted a system that would grow with his district’s needs over time.
Like many ed tech leaders, Bouvier wanted a next generation SIS that was filled with innovative possibilities, features, and customization—a system built to adapt to the ever-changing needs of students and educators. Most leading SIS companies were unresponsive to his needs. As Bouvier engaged with MIDAS (Massively Integrated Data Analytics System), he knew that Auburn wasn’t just purchasing a new SIS; rather, Auburn was partnering with a team that would help the district through every step of the integration process and beyond.
Bouvier was drawn to the intuitive platform because MIDAS replaces traditional systems like the SIS and LMS, performance analytics dashboard, Web site builder, transportation tracker, and special education compliance toolset, among others, with a single platform. “Unlike other attempts to solve this problem,” Bouvier explained, “MIDAS does not use single sign-on (SSO) or API integration to consolidate the functions of these systems nor do they add another layer of systems at an additional cost to make existing systems “talk” to one another.” Instead, MIDAS replaces all of these systems with a single platform powered by one massive database.
And, because MIDAS was created by educators for educators, company leadership understands the importance of making software work the way schools and teachers do, not the other way around. So districts that adopt MIDAS see improved student performance and increased teacher productivity because of the platform’s ease of use.
At the start, Auburn laid out its implementation goals, which included cleaning all of the district’s existing data and transferring it into the new system for the start of the 2014 school year. Then, staff learned to take attendance, enter grades, print report cards and transcripts, produce a master schedule, and build a new public-facing Web site. Bouvier knew the district was using only a fraction of the new platform’s capabilities, but he wanted to make sure that transitioning these basic functions was smooth—and it was.
“The turnaround time on concerns and requests has been amazing, I’ve never seen support like that out of a company.”
In year two of the implementation, Auburn expanded its use of MIDAS to measure student proficiency on standards. MIDAS helped Auburn integrate the district-developed curriculum into the system so that the district now aligns its grading and assessment of student performance with Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Educators can now see all student information, including when a student needs an intervention, if the intervention is working, how test scores align with standards, and even what resources will help a student reach proficiency.
“We owe it to our teachers to provide one easy-to-use system that is streamlined with one login like MIDAS,” said Bouvier. “For years, they’ve entered the same information into multiple places, such as the virtual gradebook, the parent portal, the class Web site—the list goes on. MIDAS is our one-stop shop for all data entry, and once teachers saw it in action, they were extremely excited.”
An important part of moving all of the district’s data to a new system was ensuring that Auburn could still complete its state reporting requirements. Not only were they able to submit state reports, but, according to Auburn’s data manager, Karyn Berkowicz, “After every reporting period, each district receives a list of students who have been duplicated in [Massachusetts’s student data file]. Since we began reporting with MIDAS, we have not been responsible for a single duplicate student. I am just thrilled with this outcome!”
Bouvier viewed the implementation and onboarding process as a collaboration. “Auburn and MIDAS were growing and learning together,” said Bouvier, “which was a comforting feeling to have. Every time we would call for help, MIDAS would answer.”
Throughout the implementation, Auburn leadership remembered MIDAS’s technical support as top notch. The platform was new to everyone—administrators, guidance counselors, and secretarial staff, as well as teachers. As all these stakeholders used the system, they came up with new ideas, too.
When they did, MIDAS implemented them.
In year three of the implementation, Auburn plans to reformat the school Web site, making it easier for students and parents to access grades and see how they’re achieving proficiency on standards. More transparency creates more trust in the district, and Auburn officials believe the partnership with MIDAS is creating a stronger bond among all stakeholders involved.
“We took a chance on MIDAS,” said Bouvier. “And it has paid off. Education is so often a race to be second, and districts are afraid to do something new and innovative. But MIDAS showed us that we could be first; we could do something different and be successful. The technology is powerful, but they have always put teaching and learning ahead of compliance—and that has made all the difference.”
Download Success Story