Education software is currently in a continuous state of improvement. From IEP generation and management tools, to student information systems and curriculum development tools, software continues to improve the quality and timeliness of data available to administrators and educators.
Stepwell is built to work with these systems. As they have matured, these solutions have taken an important place in schools and districts across the country. They serve as a valuable source of input data for the key management and compliance processes that Stepwell automates and then optimizes.
The fact is, even the best student information systems or IEP tools in use today do not accomplish what Stepwell can for state and local education agencies. The challenge of compliance management is not actually the creation, storage and retrieval of records. Rather, it is the accurate and timely execution of complex, cross-organizational work flows and management of the data required for and generated by them.
Stepwell can operate using input from documentation, spreadsheet, and other data file formats. This enables Stepwell to easily utilize the information that existing systems collect, in order to put it to work in additional ways to generate additional value. In short, Stepwell enables state and local education agencies to harvest more value from current systems.
Let’s say a school district has been using a student information system for years. Staff are familiar with it, and it contains student records going back in time. This system isn’t going anywhere. In addition to the SIS, special education teachers have also been using an IEP tool. This application stores the documents that account for a large portion of the education plans used in parent-teacher relations. Nobody wants to move away from this IEP creation tool, either.
So, how does Stepwell help?
First, how does the state know that this important IEP meeting actually took place? How does it factor into IDEA parts B & C compliance? Who’s in charge of submitting it to the state? Who gets the email? Did it meet the requirements as defined by the B-13 Regulation on Secondary Transition? How will the monitors know it happened when they visit the school? These are just a few questions that, in today’s environment, are difficult to answer without ad hoc research using extracts from multiple systems and paper documents.
Stepwell makes it easy to answer these questions, by removing the need to ask them in the first place. By automating processes that have historically been manual and error-prone, as well as integrating easily with the existing systems that educators have been relying on for basic record-keeping, Stepwell creates a new level of management capability for SEA and LEA administrators and educators. The automation of cross-organizational compliance and performance improvement workflows changes the game for users. Stepwell brings it all together by combining best practices with all of the relevant and necessary data and visualizations.
Simply speaking, student information systems and IEP tools are excellent resources, but fall short when it comes to actually managing the workflows and information exchange needed to meet special education requirements. These solutions don’t communicate when the due date for a student record review is fast approaching, or the actionable steps a special education teacher must take to execute a corrective action.
So, rather than manually moving around the data that they already have, taking it out of a system, and trying to do something with it, states can keep it in the electronic world and keep it automated. This will improve the timeliness of compliance responses and the accuracy of planning and execution. Ultimately, Stepwell enables existing systems to be more valuable.