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Franklin Regional officials narrow student-info software options to 2

| Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

After more than two years of frustration with glitchy software, Franklin Regional officials will be recommending a new student-information system next month.

District officials have been exploring replacing its SchoolMax Enterprise service since late summer. The online-based information system has been problematic for officials and parents, who have been unable to access or update information on and off since the system went in place.

“Members of that committee have been working diligently,” Superintendent Jamie Piraino said. “We're looking to find a system that meets the needs of Franklin Regional.”

The district has relied on a committee made up of teachers, parents, administrators and board members to determine which system will be most compatible for Franklin Regional, Piraino said.

The district reviewed seven systems and, by December, had whittled the list to three. That is down to two systems now, Bethlehem-based eSchool Plus and New York-based Power School.

“We're ready to go visit them and see how they do live,” Supervisor of Technology Brad Schrecengost said.

Officials visited Elizabeth Forward on Friday to see Power School in action and are slated to visit Greater Latrobe to review eSchool Plus this week.

The district switched to SchoolMax Enterprise in 2011 as one of two schools in the state to pilot the system at a discounted rate. Soon after implementation, officials began to struggle with the program, particularly when dealing with attendance, grading and scheduling programs.

Officials from Harris School Solutions, the Arizona-based company that produced the program, agreed that the system isn't a good fit for a district as small as Franklin Regional.

Piraino said he expects to have a recommendation next month.

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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