Grade Contract: Review of Training and Implementation (revision) : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Grade Contract: Review of Training and Implementation (revision)

I have just completed my training in the Horizon Software System. The program is called Excent. It is a comprehensive student case management system. All special education teachers in I.S.D. #361 in will use it to do their due process work required by the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning. Excent is designed into process sections of Student Information, Process Forms, Evaluation forms, and IEP Forms. The fields on the forms are state and district customizable. With this tremendous flexibility and intuitive interface, I can customize almost every field to meet the individual needs. The Excent is designed as the complete case management system. It is a solution to total student case management from the referral all the way to the final December 1 count. To begin with there is a home screen that has nine categories on buttons to access. By selecting icons or menu items on the main screen it allows access to each area of the program. The first one is for entering personnel information and student information. Entering this information one time automatically transfers it to the appropriate places in any of the forms that are needed. The next button provides customizing the needed forms. The most extensive area is the IEP (individual education plan). This has separate menus for IEP Team Members, Goals and Objectives, Adaptations/services, LRE IEP Addendum and Progress Reports. Not only is the IEP electronically generated for easy writing but also includes banks of goals and objects for every special education disability. In addition, there is a customizing area to create goal and objective banks that can later be access and clicked on to enter. This area of the software is one of the most time useable areas of the IEP process. Progress reports are now required with every marking period. By simply clicking on the goals you can electronically reporting each area in a time efficient manner. The Tracking Field in this program has given the paper work burden a quantum leap. Every time you access the student's file it gives a running dialog of the services provided. It also has a compiled list of all due dates needed in the due process. With one quick view I have access to when my assessments and know when team meeting are needed. Our school district is networked. There is an Administration option of this software that allows the special education director to access every special education student's records and monitor teacher's progresses with a click. In addition if teachers are sharing students or giving multiple services, the teachers have easy access to completing the combined paperwork. I now have begun transferring records I use to importing the information into this program. This work is quite extensive but, after it is completed, utilizing this software will in be beneficial to me as a teacher, the special education director, parents, and the students. In addition, the customizing of look up fields and educational goals and objectives will take some time to complete and edit. A collaborative effort among the high school teachers has begun assisting teachers to implement this program with their caseloads. However, learning new software has its pitfalls. Inevitably there is frustration in solving software and learning experiences problems. Our special education teachers have a wide variety of computer skills so I have spent additional time teaching colleagues how to use the computer. Most of my time has been spent assisting others with questions on how to do applications. I have a few teachers challenge our skills with customizing the software. Once everyone is comfortable and using the software enough that it is will cut down in the amount of time needed to do our paper work. It has been gratifying to me to be needed and of assistance in helping peers. I am grateful for my expertise and skills that is useful and helpful. I am very fortunate and very excited about the school providing me with the opportunity to receive training. I also feel very competent in my skills and look forward to assisting my colleagues as needed. The large expense of purchasing the software and providing training demonstrates our district's commitment and pride in giving excellent services in the most professional manner.

-- Anonymous, March 05, 1999

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