When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, schools were faced with many challenges — beyond remote learning to include managing previously in-person paper-based processes as well as monitoring and fulfilling students’ social and emotional needs. To meet these new and evolving needs of school districts, Follett today announced the additions of two key modules for its Aspen Student Information System (SIS).
Follett Aspen SIS will now offer both Social Emotional Support and Online Registration modules, further addressing the needs of today’s administrators, teachers, students and parents.
The Aspen Social Emotional Support Module supports the whole student by looking beyond academics to service areas that inhibit student achievement such as psychological concerns, food insecurity, homelessness and more. The new module helps provide insights into a student’s attendance, behavioral, and social and emotional support all in one secure, private place.
The new module provides:
- a private, safe method of eliciting and tracking student’s needs;
- an ability to leverage the existing SIS data collection as well as programs and academic tracking currently in use;
- a solution to an emerging and underserved requirement for districts;
- an opportunity to deliver rich information to support data-driven decisions; and
- data to analyze the effectiveness of provided services, including the identification of gaps needed to support the student and family.
“In order to thrive and progress, students’ basic needs must be met so they are able to focus fully on learning,” said Britten Follett, executive vice president, Follett School Solutions. “The social and emotional wellbeing of a student is paramount and with our flexible new module, students can request support, or support can be requested on their behalf in a private and safe way.”
Follett explained that the new product grew out of an existing collaboration with its Aspen SIS team and Marietta City Schools, which has a Student Life Center that aims to revolutionize student support within the public education system. The Georgia district, which serves nearly 9,000 students, is leveraging community partnerships, as well as state and federal resources, to meet all the needs of its student population.
According to Rona Roberts, director of the Marietta Student Life Center (MSLC), the customized features in Aspen allow multiple staff members to view the whole student by accessing robust data that includes academic performance, attendance, discipline, 504/IEP and social-emotional support.
“On a macro level, the information gathered from MSLC referrals shows how we respond to students’ voices in terms of response time, the number of students referred, the number of students accessing services and team member case ownership and resolution,” Roberts said. “On a micro level, we are able to gather information on individual students by assessing needs, care coordination, evaluation and referrals for options and services.
She said it is comforting knowing the MSLC is helping to support every student and family.
“Thanks to the software engineers at Follett, all our top priorities were built into the MSLC platform in Aspen,” Roberts said. “As we grow and change, so does Aspen. It’s an invaluable tool we can’t live without, and it makes our center better every day. We couldn’t be happier.”
The second new addition to Aspen is the Online Registration Module, which supports both the registration of students new to a district as well as the re-registration of existing students. Britten Follett said this native module has many advantages over third-party add-on offerings as it:
- accesses all of the SIS data directly in real-time;
- eliminates the possibility of record duplication, and;
- provides a streamlined workflow for staff already accustomed to doing their work in Aspen.
For students and families, it provides a secure and socially distanced method of completing yearly registration tasks. Once parents log in to the module, they can enter the registration data for each of their children. School staff can then process the entire registration application directly in Aspen, eliminating the need for paper forms and data entry while also speeding up the process of enrolling students and increasing the accuracy of student records.
A recorded version of a recent webinar Follett hosted about the two new Aspen modules is available at http://bit.ly/3s1evp5.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.