cmERDC Executive Director
Welcome to 2020, a new year and a new decade. With the spirit of new, we are bringing to you this newsletter. Our plan is to issue a newsletter each quarter in an effort to increase awareness of how our products and services can help your organization and students. In each newsletter, we will include new products we have developed, enhancements to our current products, new rules or regulations that may impact your school, and a little bit about the employees that work for this organization and in turn serve you. Since I am new to this role, I thought I should maybe tell you a little about myself.
Fresh out of college, I started my career with cmERDC in January of 1999. I was hired to help in the payroll service area with conversion to SMART Systems from the old main frame system. And by hired to help, I mean sending boxes or envelopes of reams of paper generated from each payroll to our member districts. Once the conversion to the new system was complete I began working the helpdesk fielding support calls. While I was grateful for the opportunity, I quickly realized I desired to work in the finance area. An opportunity presented itself and I was one of the lucky ones who was mentored by our long-time employee Nancy Ramler, in the field of school accounting. In October of 2013, I took over management of the SMART Team, I continue to fill that role but in April of 2019 I also accepted the position of Executive Director.
Outside of my career, I am married and have two daughters ages 15 and 12. I have served as a Board Member for Sauk Rapids-Rice Schools district and continue to be actively involved in any way in enhancing the education system in my community. I enjoy spending time cheering on my daughters in their various activities, spending time with my family traveling or camping, I am also a huge MN Twins fan, someday that will pay off.
Enough about me, in this newsletter you will find some new and exciting things coming your way. One of the things we are most excited about is our recent partnership with MSBA to provide any member of MSBA with a tool designed to monitor equity related data in an easy to read heat chart format. You can find information on this under the equity dashboard section.
We hope you enjoy the start of 2020! If you have suggestions for information that we can include in this newsletter please feel free to click here and email them to me. I am grateful to serve you.
Click a section below for news and updates.
The Viewpoint team is fortunate to serve 100+ school districts/charter schools across four states. Many have been with us for 10-15 years! A few of our district system administrators share their thoughts about Viewpoint on our website at How We Help Schools
The Viewpoint team has been working hard on a number of release items, some state specific and some applicable to all states. In the past year, we pushed out release 4.14.0 to NE, ND and MN districts. This release provided the first phase of dashboard panels specific to state accountability assessments. For our FL district, we designed new reports for state assessment gains and two new benchmark assessments as well as custom rules for attendance percentages.
Customers requested the opportunity to add assessments for PSAT 8/9 and 10, Early Childhood Inventory, IGDI, Number Corner, and ELPA 21 (NE only). In addition to the 90+ assessment types we already offer, we have added these assessment types. We added a FAST MN Predictor Scale, which provides districts a predictor to state test proficiency using Fall and Winter formative student assessment data.
For MN districts, we added integration to Sped Forms Special Education Management System. The following document types are now available in Viewpoint for Viewpoint/Sped Forms customers who chose to integrate: accommodations (including state testing), behavior intervention, health plans, and 504’s. For Student Plans/Viewpoint integration districts, please see the Student Plans section of this newsletter. This work sets us up to explore integration possibilities with other software vendors.
WHAT’S NEXT IN VIEWPOINT?
Our next major release will be published in early 2020. Look for a new Teacher Roster Reports tab where teachers will have a short list of the most used teacher reports and a new dynamic roster report similar to the one shown below:
About Student Plans
Student Plans is a comprehensive software system to meet district’s needs of managing students’ education plans. This powerful software can be used for student’s Special Education Plans, Academic Learning Plans, 504 Plans, Health Plans, Transportation Plans, and to manage MA Billing.
In addition to managing education plans, Student Plans also features SIS integration options and interfaces to the Viewpoint® Data Warehouse, and Ten Sigma’s Transition TRAX solution. Through innovative technology, Student Plans can be configured to pull data from the Viewpoint® Data Warehouse into the evaluation and planning process, and provide teachers using the Viewpoint® Data Warehouse with links to selected student’s plan documents. Student Plans can also provide one-click access to the Ten Sigma Transition TRAX solution’s powerful library of skills/rubrics, assessment tools, and curriculum.
Looking for resources and tools to help your team improve student behaviors and help students make a successful transition to adult life? Ten Sigma educates educators in these important areas for general education and special education through our blogs, videos, and demos.
- Click here to see one of our blogs on “Behavior Intervention Plan Tips”.
- Click here to see a video on “Making Transition the Thing” from a program we call “Transition Tuesday” which includes over 130 free videos on Transition related topics plus bonus resources.
cmERDC Senior Technician, Lukas Pohlmeier, recently participated in a 3 day advanced PaperCut training session at ACDI headquarters in Benton, Arkansas. Lukas has put a razor’s edge on his already sharp knowledge of the PaperCut software.
PaperCut is a real game changer in helping districts and buildings control and reduce print cost and carbon footprint. cmERDC partners with ACDI to deliver PaperCut, the premier product in managed print. Here are just a few reasons to use PaperCut:
- PaperCut protects confidential documents and slashes the volume of unclaimed printouts by ensuring users release print jobs at the point of printing.
- PaperCut print policies can be easily established to drive large jobs to cost effective, high speed devices while enforcing responsible use rules and limits with auto-notifications.
- PaperCut solves mobile and BYOD printing regardless of device, operating system, building location, file format or brand of print device.
Lukas would love the opportunity to help you learn more about the benefits, the implementation process, ease of use and the capabilities of PaperCut. Lukas can be reached at 320.257.1942 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to learn more about managed print and the benefits of PaperCut on our website.
Could Your Employee Reimbursement Process Use Some Improvement?
Utilizing Reimbursements in SMART ER is a great way to streamline the process of reimbursing employees for mileage and other expenses. The employee enters their request for reimbursement and attaches any necessary documentation then routes their request to the designated approver. When the request has been approved at all levels it is seamlessly transferred to SMART HR for processing in payroll. The reimbursement is added to the employee’s net pay and direct deposited to the account they have set up for payroll. The transaction history and documents are viewable for district office staff within SMART.
The process can be completely paperless from beginning to end, moving the request along more quickly than paper systems and eliminating the potential for lost paperwork and lost accounts payable checks.
Features of Reimbursements in SMART:
- Automated routing to one or more approvers
- Status notifications to both requesters and approvers
- Easy tracking of the process as well as an audit trail for approvals
- Receipts can be required or not required based on the type of reimbursement
- Users have the ability to copy a previous reimbursement request for repeating requests like monthly travel expenses
- Eliminates manual entry of requests with data entered by the requestor transferring to the payroll process
For questions regarding reimbursement or to request a demonstration, please contact Mary Plante at (320) 202-0992 extension 2016.
4 Benefits of Using SmartER to Automate Purchasing for Your District
Are you interested in creating more automation in your district’s purchasing process? SmartER allows staff members to shop on-line at multiple vendor’s e-commerce websites and seamlessly push their order back to Smart, in the form of a purchase order requisition. This requisition is automatically routed to the appropriate supervisor for approval and purchase order creation.
Using this SMART integration helps to:
- Standardize your purchasing process
- Eliminate duplicate order entry time and potential key errors
- Ensure contract discount pricing
- Improve internal order status communication.
Click here to see a short video about the SmartER purchasing process.