System would ease school’s upkeep

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ Staff Writer

Clovis Municipal Schools Director of Technology Dave Whitehead believes the district is in dire need of an administrative software upgrade.

He recommends a software system called Skyward, which would allow administrators to manage finances and enrollment, teachers to enter grades and assignments, and parents to view student grades and make lunch payments.

Skyward would use one database to manage information for all Clovis schools.

“This is something we have to do. What we have now is old. All we have done is just Band-Aid our current system,” Whitehead told the school board during a Tuesday meeting.

Another Skyward feature allows students to purchase lunch with the swipe of a finger, said Skyward Vice President Kevin McFerrin, who attended Tuesday’s meeting. Implementing that feature is up to schools, he said.

“This isn’t futuristic stuff,” McFerrin said.

He said Skyward has been used in schools since the 1980s. More than 1,000 school districts in the United States use the system, which has five levels of built-in security.

Clovis would be the first New Mexico school district to use Skyward should board members agree to its purchase, he said.

Implementing the software would cost roughly $478,000, Whitehead estimated. Every nine months, the district would owe Skyward approximately $97,000 for system upkeep, he estimated.

Entering information into the current software system is tedious and time-consuming, Clovis Schools officials said.

“Time is money,” McFerrin said.

Clovis Schools Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm said she will decide whether to recommend Skyward once the Legislature concludes, and the budget is clearer. She said Clovis Schools would pay for the system with operational funds.