Fives years ago, in the midst of a winter that seemed determined not to end, CORE-ECS visited the offices of the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services (OSE-EIS). The Office was in need of a student data collection system that would significantly improve the collection, management, and reporting of Special Education student data.
A centralised, Web-deployed application
CORE-ECS proposed a web-deployed solution, CORE-ECS Bright IDEA with a centralised back-end database that would allow OSE-EIS to have immediate access to all Intermediate School District, LEA and School level data. The Michigan Department of Education had previously relied on data trickling upward to the State as unverifiable summary data. However, as each LEA maintained its own student data tracking system, OSE-EIS was unable to reconcile duplicate records across LEAs.
The centralised, web-based approach allows for a significant reduction of duplicate student data as all student data is stored in the same database. Additionally, every student record is assigned a statewide Unique ID via the CORE-ECSUniqueID component. Every new student record is verified against the existing data to prevent the creation of a duplicate record.
Another significant advantage of the centralised approach is that while local users can access their own data any time they wish, state-level users can do the same in order to perform compliance audits, verify service provision information, and generate Federal and State-level data.
Available anywhere IEPs
One of the primary challenges facing most LEAs in Michigan as well as in North Carolina, where CORE-ECS customised a version of Bright IDEA for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Exceptional Children Division (ECD), was the transfer of records across LEAs via a paper-based system. Often, students presented themselves at a new LEA without informing the previous LEA of their departure.
CORE-ECS’s Bright IDEA solution allows not only the student data to be instantly accessible at the new LEA but also the student’s IEP – eliminating days, weeks, or months of waiting for paperwork. This ability to instantly access a student’s IEP allows LEAs to adhere to State and Federal regulations that allow the use of an existing IEP to provide services in a new LEA.
However, the focus on compliance does not end there. ECS’s innovative electronic IEP, known as the Form Assistant validates IEP data as it saves each section of the IEP. The system enables users to follow the required IEP process but still provides the flexibility to complete certain sections of the IEP as and when data is available. For instance, the solution provides Warnings when IEP developers must ensure that parental notifications are sent along with the completion of a specific form, but does not prevent the user from completing the form. Similarly, the system generates an Error and the user must complete any required information if the final IEP will be out of compliance when saved.
A complete solution
Features such as the Online/Offline Electronic IEP, Web-accessible caseload management, and Cross-LEA student data availability make CORE-ECS’s Bright IDEA solution ideal for local users trying to perform daily student data management tasks. These features, along with the ability to automatically generate Federal Child Count tables, the ability to submit local Child Count data at the touch of a button, and the ability to view any IEP across the State, also makes CORE-ECS Bright IDEA the ideal statewide Special Education solution.