Decatur schools training on INow system to avoid issues

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Like other school systems statewide, Huntsville City Schools' switched to a new student management system that has made for a bumpy first week of school for many students.

System crashes, scheduling conflicts, and difficulty getting access to student information are just a few of the problems school systems are reporting as they transition to the state-mandated Information Now student data system this year.

"We heard all kinds of nightmares," said Dr. Kathy Rains, supervisor of technology for Decatur City Schools.

Decatur schools haven't experienced these issues, yet but Rains said she wants to keep it that way. She and her staff have been preparing for the change since last November to ensure they are not bogged down by problems when students return to class Monday.

"We did a lot of work to clean up our data, because we were going from one database per school to one unified database for the entire school district," she said.

Decatur school leaders said they have been paying attention to the issues that other schools systems have been having this week with the new system, so when their kids return back to school, there should be little to no problems.

"I think that we'll have a very smooth opening. Everyone will know where to go, most of them already have their schedules, so I think we'll be ready," said Rains.

The web-based INow system includes student information from enrollment to schedules to grades. The state rolled it out to school systems in three phases over the past three years. Decatur schools are in the last group to transition.

To make sure the system is ready, Rains said there will be two more training sessions Thursday on the INow system for Decatur city teachers and office workers. The first one will begin at 8 a.m. at Decatur High School.

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