Blog Archive - Registration Gateway

What Can I Do About Bullying?

Along with the rise of technology in education, so is the rise of bullying.

Bullying comes In various forms:

Physical Bullying, Verbal Bullying, Emotional Intimidation, Racist Bullying, Sexual Bullying, Cyber-bullying

Cyber-bullying is on the rise and allows the bully to remain anonymous.  A 2016 study conducted by Dr. Justin Patchin and Dr. Sameer Hinduja surveyed a nationally-representative sample of 5,700 middle and high school students ages 12-17 from July through October.  The results showed that the percentage of students who have experienced cyber bullying at some point in their lifetime has nearly doubled from 18 percent in 2007 to almost 34 percent in 2016.

Cyber-bullying can be done from anywhere and at any time.  This makes it even more threatening.

 

Bullying oftentimes starts at home; it’s a behavior they have witnessed and experienced.  A positive aspect of this is that it can be unlearned.  Schools can help.  Many schools have awareness-raising resources, lesson plans and activities showing how the hurtful  bullying, hatred, bias and bigotry can affect someone.

We are all responsible to practice the skill of literally and figuratively walking away from threatening situations.  But to avoid these events from happening we need to keep communication open in schools and at home.

Cyber-Security: Are You Doing All You Can?

We are all vulnerable to cyber attacks but for varying reasons but education, specifically K-12, is at the bottom rung when compared to private and public sectors in managing their cyber security.  Due to the sensitive nature of student enrollment forms and personal information shared in the student records, it is critical to have a plan and work that plan to avoid being vulnerable to such attacks.

Here are few suggestions to get your district on its way to a safer cyber environment:

• Make sure to provide your staff and volunteers with the tools to stay diligent to suspicious emails to avoid Phishing scams
• Update your anti-virus and anti-malware software
• Incorporate a network redundancy and backup recovery plans

Cyber-security is not something to “get to” in the future, it’s an immediate risk and needs to be made a necessity to building a secure future for our students and districts.

What Online Data Management Means for Educators

There is no doubt that today’s world is data-driven, no matter what industry you’re in. As more and more academic institutions use data to reveal behavioral and academic trends among student bodies, the importance of high-quality data management within the education industry is more important than ever. Data management software allows educational institutions to use, store, share and protect growing volumes of data easily and economically. Storing important information online, such as student records, means educators can have access to them at the click of a button and in real time.

Data management in education goes much further than just storing a student’s report card. Data management systems allow institutions to collect quantitative and qualitative data on their student bodies, like demographics, attendance, course enrollment history, special education information, grades and standardized test scores, teacher qualifications, professional development, and program participation.
Being able to access this data in real-time leads to better teach-to-parent and teacher-to-teacher communication, better standardized test score analysis, and instruction review.

“If school leaders want to lead the charge in improving student performance, they must be fluent in the use of data as a leadership tool. The assumption is that when school leaders are knowledgeable about data use, they can more effectively review their existing capacities, identify weaknesses and better chart plans for improvement” (Illuminate Blog).

Data management systems go beyond just giving educators an easier way to analyze data, these systems can help ensure institutions are “reigning in data growth, managing compliance, privacy and security, and increasing visibility in order to better understand data” (Data Gravity). Regulatory requirements are continuously changing, being proactive in your data management efforts means you’ll have to spend less time “catching up” or “cleaning up”. Today’s world is rapidly moving away from the days of keeping paperwork in filing cabinets. Not only does it take up unnecessary space and resources, it is a serious privacy and security concern. When you store records manually in filing cabinets, there is a heightened risk of losing them or mishandling them.

Using a data management system allows school districts to have better control over data governance. It provides the ability to control which user groups (teachers, admins, parents) have access to specific student data and apply user group security settings to limit what can be done with each data set. Take, for instance, a student’s health records. Those should not be stored in the filing cabinet with their general records, otherwise admins and teachers will have access to the HIPPA protected information. With a data management system, security settings can be utilized so that only the districts medical personnel can view that sensitive information.

The bottom line – data management systems are the future of providing a world-class education to our youth. Not will it alleviate the burden on resources across your district, but it will eliminate administrative bottlenecks, increase and ease communication between the district, teachers, parents and students, and allow teachers the opportunity to build lesson plans based on data analysis of the student body’s knowledge gaps.

Understanding Data Security Threats in Your District

As recent as a few years ago, cyber-security threats were not on the radar of most school district leaders.

That’s according to the sixth annual broadband and infrastructure report released by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), a nonprofit made up of K-12 school technology leaders.  An increasing number of district leaders are realizing the importance of bolstering their network security, the report found, and their budget priorities reflect as much.

“School districts, like every organization and person in the world, are concerned with keeping data private and secure,” Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN, tells EdSurge. “It’s dramatically up from recent years.”

Based on responses from 386 U.S. school districts, more than one-third (36 percent) of districts spend 10 percent or more of their technology budgets on network security, and another third (31 percent) direct between 5 and 9 percent to security issues.  These security funds are often spent on services such as breach detection and security vulnerability assessments.

As the necessity of data breach avoidance measures increase, so must the awareness to stay on top of this issue.  Our district’s, students, employees, volunteers and others, all deserve the peace of mind that security measures offer.

 

Why Move to an Electronic Document Management System?

If you haven’t already thought about moving to an electronic document management system, here are valid reasons why you should.

  • Reduced Storage Space:  Mounds of paperwork can fill up precious office and storage space.
  • Enhanced Security: Digital vs. hard copy paperwork eliminates the risk of confidential documentation getting into the wrong hands.
  • Improved Compliance:  Paper documents are difficult to track and monitor.  The costs involved with non-compliance could be hefty.
  • Easier and Faster Retrieval:  Searching for documents can eat up productive hours with wasted time and resources.
  • Better Collaboration:  Sharing documents allows for more efficient time management.

The above reasons should prove that moving to an electronic document management system benefits staff, parents and your bottom line.  There are various solutions out there so taking time evaluate what solution will work best for your school or district will be worthwhile.

Are You Managing Your School’s Safety Clearances?

A common topic facing today’s school districts is student safety – taking the steps to ensure staff and volunteer safety clearances are managed can protect a child and a district’s reputation.

We all appreciate the dedication and sacrifice that school volunteers provide to students – that goes without saying.  But it’s imperative that along with staff, volunteers and counselors undergo the appropriate background checks and safety clearances to ensure we are placing students’ safety in the proper hands.  Read below to learn more details into this critical issue.

As a result of child abuse cases that have gathered national attention in recent years, there has been a growing trend among states to increase background checks for professions that come in close and regular contact with children.  To clarify what a volunteer is, here are some examples of unpaid positions as a volunteer responsible for the welfare of a child or having direct contact with children can include:

  • Parent/Chaperone at school events
  • Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts
  • Agency volunteers who help with transportation or other services
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Literacy programs
  • Little League/coaches/sports officials

A Pennsylvania law was passed in 2014 requiring anyone who works with students at public and private schools in the state to obtain background checks.  This requirement, which was effective July 1, 2015, defines a background check to include both criminal and child abuse checks.  This mandate is not uncommon in education settings across the U.S.  Does your state have similar requirements?

Unfortunately, the safety clearance process sometimes can cause feelings of anger and distrust among volunteers.  While it may cause feelings of privacy invasion, background checks provide an extra layer of protection and put parents’ worries at ease.  The majority of volunteers will be happy, willing participants in these strict procedures to protect the vulnerability of children.

Residence Fraud Costs More Than You Think

School Address Fraud in the U.S. 

As mentioned in the article in Fraud Magazine’s Aug. 2014 article, “Investigating Residency Fraud”, by Philip A. Becnel IV, address fraud affects those who rightfully pay taxes to attend these schools and are being forced out by those who do not belong there.

Fraud, Fraud Everywhere

Address fraud is prevalent throughout the U.S. but one area that experiences an extremely high percentage of this fraud is in District of Columbia.  The District has approximately 35,000 public charter school students where the tuition can be as high as $15,000 per student.  If only 1% of those students are non-residents, the financial impact on DC taxpayers would be more than $5 million a year.

From Philadelphia, PA to Beverly Hills, CA, there are those facing fines and jail time for misleading school districts into believing their utility bills and inaccurately filled out forms are viable pieces of address identification.  Some districts have gone as far as implementing anonymous tip lines with the promise of monetary rewards, should the perpetrator get caught.

There is the debate that the quality of education in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods need to be drastically improved, so there is no need for this address fraud exercise.  We are sure to hear more about this soon.

Come Visit Us at LACUE 2018 – Booth #305 -November 27-29th Hyatt Regency, New Orleans, LA

LACUE: Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators 2018 Conference is coming soon!

When you stop by the Registration Gateway Booth #305, you can get all the details on Registration Gateway.   This solution can improve student data accuracy and remove all paperwork from your district.  Less paper means less chance of misplacing important documents.  When you aren’t looking for missing documents, you are creating a much more efficient workplace.

Online enrollment is only one great benefit to you and your district.  When you combine integrated Student Information System data transfer, fee collection, appointment scheduling, district notifications, enhanced dashboards and reporting, what you truly have is an efficient Online Enrollment Solution.

Stop by to speak with Andy Holloway to learn which applications from SRC Solutions will work best for your district.

If you need another reason to stop by our booth, you can enter the $50 Visa Card Contest!  See you there.

Registration Gateway