Philipsburg-Osceola mulls software to track student progress

For the CDTOctober 9, 2013 

— Software that could make it easier for teachers to track student progress and activities is being proposed at Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District.

Superintendent Gregg Paladina wants the board to approve the Edinsight program. The software creates an easily searchable digital version of the old-school “permanent record.” It costs $9,000 a year for a three-year license.

“It would allow us to analyze student growth over the years,” Paladina told the board at a committee meeting Tuesday. “It’s a tool to take all of the information and readily access it.”

Board member Jim Verbeck questioned how the new system would be received by faculty. “Will they use it?” he asked.

“Ultimately, I think they will,” said Paladina. “It’s an investment, but I think it’s well-worth it. (The data) is a waste of time if we don’t use it.”

High School Principal Robin Stewart said the software will also save time in meetings about how to help students. Instead of gathering team members to talk about a child, then having to schedule follow up meetings after searching different records, test scores, attendance, discipline and more, all of that can be called up during the original meeting for a more efficient process.

Board member Elizabeth Whitehead also teaches in the Bellefonte Area School District. She said she uses Edinsight daily as a teacher.

Board member Susan McGee supported the idea but questioned possible privacy issues.

“Will we be deleting the information after graduation? Would parents have access?” she asked.

Paladina said privacy concerns would be addressed and parents would be permitted to see their own children’s information. “This is not intended to be Big Brother,” he said.

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