Northview changes every year, regularly making announcements over email and social media and announcing the latest news and newest programs. This year, one of the most substantial changes—especially for the students—is the switch in the record keeping system. For the past few years, the school district has used e-School’s Home Access Center, which has often been plagued with multiple bouts of repairs. The new system, Infinite Campus, was the fruit of over a year of searching, testing and trying numerous different programs.
Fulton County’s contract with HAC was ending, and the school district was already searching as early as 18 months before the new school year began for a possibly cheaper replacement that would be better for teachers, students, and administrators. As a district decision, individual schools were not allowed a say in the final choice, but multiple teachers and administrators from different schools were invited to test the options for new program and give their opinion, including staff members from Northview. After months of research, experimenting, and debate, the district settled for Infinite Campus.
Infinite Campus is graphically very different from Home Access Center, and in addition, also offers several new features. For administrators, it has helped much with keeping attendance and records.
“One of the new features I like is the—the visual for our school attendance is very different. I can pull up a one-page pictures of the entire student body now, whereas with the old program, I couldn’t.” Principal Brian Downey said.
Teachers are unable to give much say in the switch from HAC to Infinite Campus, but they have also benefited from this new system in a similar way. Despite the adjustments they have had to make and the earliness of the time of the year, most teachers are gradually becoming more accustomed to using it. New features include an attendance alert. In every class, teachers are required to take attendance, but they often become immersed in the instruction of the class. Infinite Campus turns red in the middle of each class, alerting the teachers to the need to record attendance.
For many teachers who have been a part of Fulton County for many years, this is not the first time that an educational system has been replaced, as technology and education are both constantly changing.
I think it’s been a smoother switch because the switch from the old system to Home Access was a big transition, and the systems looked a lot different, but I don’t think HAC is different from Infinite Campus.” said Elizabeth Lake, a language arts teacher who has been at Northview for 15 years.
Many teachers who use Infinite Campus believe that it does have many new benefits, but one of the most satisfied groups of users happens to be the parents.
“From what I hear, parents love Infinite Campus. It’s easier for them to access, and they see everything, they can do a lot of things – from the parents’ standpoints, they are really pleased with it.” Vivian Elliot, Northview’s the data clerk, said.
Parents are allowed the freedom to create their own accounts, unlike Home Access, where they were required to record long, complicated passwords. However, despite the parents’ viewpoints, students were not completely satisfied.
“No, I really do not like Infinite Campus. It’s really hard to use and we should go back to the old one,” sophomore Alana McLaughlin said.
Despite complaints, Northview students, parents, and staff should learn to accept the new system, because it’s not going anywhere.