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Franklin Regional considers SchoolMax replacements

| Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Franklin Regional officials will review three proposed new student-information systems next year to replace the embattled SchoolMax Enterprise.

During the summer, district officials were told by officials with Harris School Solutions that the product will be discontinued because of problems. The company offered to provide the district with another system it is developing, but technology supervisor Brad Schrecengost said district officials aren't interested.

“It's a very frustrating situation,” Schrecengost said. “It's going on three years now, and I still have teachers that don't understand the system.”

Screcengost said he reviewed seven “industry leaders” in student-information systems and has trimmed the list to three: Bethlehem-based eSchool Plus, New York-based Power School and Texas-based Tyler Tech

Superintendent Jamie Piraino said a committee of administrators, parents, board members, teachers and potentially students will review the potential new products.

“We want to hear from the end-users,” Piraino said. “Price isn't our only guide. We have a vision for a program that is user-friendly.”

Schrecengost said there have been numerous issues with SchoolMax Enterprise, including running out of disk space and issues with its attendance, grades and scheduling programs.

The program was purchased in 2011 at a discounted rate.

Schrecengost said he plans to visit other local schools that use the proposed programs. Board members said they want an unfettered opinion of the programs.

“I hope we can approach (administrative) counterparts at districts that use the programs we're considering,” board member George Harding said. “Let's do it one-on-one, not with the vendor.”

Officials did not say when the committee will be formed.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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