Nation’s 11th Largest School District Automates Critical Data Certification Processes
WAKEFIELD, Mass, April 28, 2008 – Certica Solutions today announced that Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) in Orlando, Florida, has chosen Certica Solutions to help the district monitor and improve the quality of data that is reported multiple times each year to the Florida Department of Education. Certica Solutions is a leading provider of information management solutions to the K-12 education system. The company’s software, called Certify ™, enables local education agencies to maximize funding, avoid penalties and audits, and reduce costs associated with the collection, management and reporting of data.
OCPS is the 11th largest K-12 school system in the U.S., with more than 175,000 students, 175 schools and 13,000 teachers. Like every school district across Florida, OCPS is required to report information to the Florida Department of Education several times each year. The information provides the basis for state and federal funding to districts, and demonstrates districts’ compliance with education regulations, such as Florida’s class size mandate. Each submission period calls for districts to gather data related to student demographics, attendance, course enrollment, special programs and a range of other subjects. The task of preparing a complete and accurate data submission is typically labor intensive and stressful for districts. Data that does not meet the state’s requirements can result in funds being withheld while the data is amended. Automating the process of data validation, monitoring and error reporting in advance of the submission period – a process that Certica calls “data certification” – can provide districts with cost savings, operational efficiencies and assurance of equitable and timely funding.
“We recognize that our student and school data is a critical underpinning of many district initiatives,” said Roland Moore, OCPS chief information officer. “It’s important that we have full confidence in our data, and that our data is continually monitored for accuracy and completeness. Certify software gives us the ability to automate the processes of data validation and monitoring, allowing us to spread our workload out across the year and ensure that our data is close to 100% accurate before each state submission period. This will take quite a bit of the cost and labor intensiveness out of the reporting process, and ensure that we receive every funding dollar that our schools have earned.”
Earlier this year, OCPS and Certica Solutions completed a six-week pilot project, in which selected schools used Certify’s reports to help them address data errors in advance of the Florida Department of Education’s February data submission period, known as Survey 3. The pilot demonstrated that the schools using Certify software had an average reduction of 48% in their rate of data errors, compared with schools which did not participate in the pilot.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with OCPS in their district-wide data certification program,” said Mark Rankovic, president and chief executive officer at Certica Solutions. “OCPS understands the importance of its data as a valuable education asset, and is committed to continuous data improvement in a measurable and sustainable way. It’s rewarding for us to be involved with a district whose leadership is motivated to take this important step.”
OCPS is undertaking a roll-out of Certify software this spring, so that it will be available to school and district personnel at the start of the 2008-2009 school year.
About Certica Solutions, Inc.
Certica Solutions is the leading provider of K-12 data certification software solutions, which deliver a pro-active, systematic approach to data validation, reporting and monitoring. The company’s solutions enable education agencies to maximize funding, streamline information management processes, and optimize regulatory reporting and compliance. Founded in 2000, Certica counts among its customers the U.S. Department of Education, several state departments of education and numerous school districts nationwide.
About Orange County Public Schools
Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) is the nation’s 11th largest school district with more than 175,000 students. OCPS is the fourth largest school district in the state of Florida. The school district employs more than 25,000 people and is the second largest employer in Orange County, Florida. OCPS has 175 schools, which are divided into six area learning communities. An ongoing aggressive building program will ensure that all district facilities are modernized and accommodate the region’s rapid growth. OCPS reflects the rich cultural diversity of the Central Florida community. The district’s major academic indicators have consistently improved over the past several years.