Change in student information system creates confusion


Screenshot of the Tyler SIS login screen.

Aurora Phillips, Staff Writer

Throughout first semester, there was a noticeable tension with the new student information software, Tyler SIS. Over the summer, Confluence made the conversion from the old system, Infinite Campus, to the new one, Tyler SIS. However, the switch had left a lot of students and teachers confused. Why did we switch in the first place?

“Tyler SIS is the state approved software for student information systems in the state of Missouri. Tyler SIS is updated on a regular basis and meets the needs of schools for state reporting efforts. Our previous software system, while it did have a state reporting feature, it also didn’t update changes to match state reporting needs and created a lot of manual work just to get required reports submitted to the state.”  John Klein, Director of Operations, said.

To get a better view of the program, Confluence had representatives from each Confluence campus to try out the system.

“All that were in the demonstration liked the program except for the attendance folks, as it wasn’t as user friendly as the old program was for us but the tradeoff is that it produced a lot of reports that would help us and others who use the program.” Klein said.

But was the tradeoff worth it at the school level? According to the Tyler Technologies website, “Administrators, counselors, teachers, and staff can spend less time worrying about operations — and more time focused on students.” Though it offers an easier way to get reports here at Grand Center, it has shown to make other aspects of the program harder. Melissa Sasser, GCAA Data Owner, says that it has been easier to pull information out of the system, but that it takes twice as long as it used to to do any work.

For some students and teachers, this first semester with Tyler SIS had been rough. Some aspects of the program have made things that used to be easy much harder. The changed login info, for example, caused issues early on for students. Grades are not always put in correctly, and made checking on grades hard for students. But with change comes challenges, and the time needed to overcome those challenges. As students, teachers, and administration get used to the program, hopefully we will see a change for the better.