Because of the inauspicious experience with their former vendor, Capital City sought out a new SIS company that would provide them with stability and a long-term partnership. They also needed a school management solution that could meet all of their student data collection and enrollment needs, and satisfy their Mac-based infrastructure.
A team with representation across all functional areas of the school was formed and a rigorous evaluation process began in early 2015. The team scrutinized each potential vendor’s credentials and created a grid to track system functionality, sustainability and to standardize processes. Wil Hawk, Director of School Information Systems, managed a substantial amount of the legwork, researching different platforms, gaining buy-in and soliciting feedback from key stakeholders. Hawk knew that the system they would ultimately choose would run a considerable amount of the school’s operations and affect their entire user community.
Working with a non-profit technology consultant organization, an RFI (Request for Information) was issued to identify potential software providers. Hawk’s team looked at nearly 100 different products initially, and then narrowed that number to 30. Since there are distinct lower, middle and high school programs - each with its own identity, space, principal and staff - the needs of each group had to be addressed.
The grid was further broken down to divide priorities into ‘required’ versus ‘desired’. Among their priorities was a model that could handle state reporting, that could integrate with a suite of products, and that could be customized where needed. Another essential element was a modernized, responsive school website. Because the school’s student population is multilingual, with 50% of that being Spanish-speaking, having a website for both English and Spanish speakers was imperative.
When the final two contenders demonstrated their products to the team, the deciding factors came down to three. “The ethos of the company was really important,” Hawk stated. “Rediker’s credibility and character really spoke to us.” In addition, the interface was friendlier than its competitor and the training model more flexible, he said.
By choosing Rediker Software, Capital City is not only achieving numerous benefits, they are getting support from Rediker Software as often as they need. Support for AdminPlus users not only includes an interactive web portal, but training done at the convenience of the school. As AdminPlus is completely cloud based, the system can also support an “all-Mac shop” such as Capital City’s.
By moving to the cloud, school administrators and teachers can instantly share data and engage with parents and students in a secure environment using Rediker’s PlusPortals. The portals are fully integrated with AdminPlus so communicating with teachers, parents, students, staff and other community stakeholders is easy. Further, Rediker’s RediSite website keeps families engaged and informed about everything from attendance and assignments to school events and fundraisers.
Rediker’s integrated solutions, including the school cafeteria and library, connect departments, faculty and staff. And because the school enrolls new students through a state-run random lottery process, Rediker’s Admissions Plus Pro with online applications makes it easy to track and communicate with each student’s family, from matched notification to enrollment.
Capital City Public Charter School now has a next-generation data management system that is affordable, centralized and secure. “Rediker has provided our school with a suite of products that allows us access to everything from attendance records and scheduling software to new efficacies such as the PlusPortals and our bilingual website. We are enthusiastic about our future with Rediker Software,” Hawk noted.
More About Capital City Public Charter School
Capital City Public Charter School was founded in 2000 by a committed group of parents and educators, making it the first parent-founded public charter school in Washington, D.C. The school began as a PreK-8th grade program with 135 students and amended its charter in 2006 to add a high school program. The high school opened in 2008 and graduated its first class of seniors in 2012. Since then, 100% of graduating seniors in each senior class have been accepted to college.
The school now serves 981 students in grades PK3-12. Students come from nearly every zip code in the District of Columbia and represent a broad range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Capital City Public Charter School students acquire a love of learning, along with a strong sense of community and character. Each will graduate as young adults who are self-directed, intellectually engaged and possess a commitment to personal and civic responsibility.