As one of only four districts in the province not using the provincial student information system (MyEducation BC) for its student information system, and with increasing pressure from the Ministry to join the other 56 districts, the Board of Education of School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) reluctantly approved the implementation of the change for the 2019-2020 school year.
Last week trustees took part in a 90 minute in-service on the student information system, which are comprehensive information systems designed to manage school and student data. Highlights and additional information were then presented to them at Tuesday’s meeting by District Principal Reid Findlay, who lead a staff team investigating the possible change.
The district’s current student information system, CIMS, has been in use in the district for 22 years and, noted Findlay, has features and functions not offered by MyEd BC.
However, he added, in previous years the Ministry had incentives for CIMS districts moving to the previous common provincial student information system (BCeSIS) and this was going to shift in September 2019 to a cost recovery (penalty) should they not switch over to MyEducation BC.
Next year, if SD83 is the only district still using CIMS (two districts have already decided to move and both Vernon and SD83 boards were discussing the changes on Tuesday) the cost recovery would be around $500,000.
Trustee Marty Gibbons said the biggest thing that is causing him concern is the new system is substantially more per year.
“If you came into any company and were told that for more money you would receive less, they would say go away,” commented Trustee Amanda Krebs. “But it looks like the government is giving us no choice,” she added.
Findlay noted in recent meetings between the Ministry and the four districts still using CIMS, there were some concessions from the MyEd BC vendor (Fujitsu) to work with CIMS to integrate to allow the systems to “talk to each other” and lessen some of those service gaps as the district transition over to MyEducation BC. “I think that was the turning point for many of us,” he added.
The Board of Education approved the implementation of the Provincial Student Information System “MyEducation BC” for the 2019/20 school year.
Board Vice Chair Quentin Bruns added that a change like this is going to be challenging for staff and there will be significant costs related to training staff.
Board Chair Marianne VanBuskirk thanked all those involved for the many hours days, weeks and months that have been spent, and will be spent, on this.
With the decision to move ahead, Findlay noted it would be a year long process, with a planned “go live” date of January 2020.MyED-Public-Board-Meeting