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Best Practices Framework Illinois Spotlights Certification, SIF 2.0 Budgeting and Planning District-to-District Applications of SIF. Calculating ROI Evaluating Your Readiness Questions and Answers. Agenda. Before Getting Started…. Review the Applications of SIF

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Best Practices Framework

Illinois Spotlights

Certification, SIF 2.0

Budgeting and Planning

District-to-District Applications of SIF

Calculating ROI

Evaluating Your Readiness

Questions and Answers


Before Getting Started…

Review the Applications of SIF

  • Intra District / “Horizontal” – what people generally associate with SIF; scope is inside a single district

  • District to State / “Vertical” – being mandated in some states

  • District to District / “E-Transcript” – new application for SIF with 2.0 specification

SIF Overview


Information Services

  • Zone Integration Server (ZIS)

  • SIF Agents

  • Applications

  • SIF Data Objects


Network Account



Required Software

H.R. &




Data Analysis

& Reporting



The SIF Language



Best Practices Framework

  • Pre-Planning

    • Evaluate

      • How will your district benefit from SIF?

      • Who are your SIF constituents (people)?

      • What will your return on investment look like?

    • Plan

      • How will you go about implementing SIF?

      • What processes must change to make SIF effective?

    • Purchase SIF Compliant Software

      • RFP language

  • Implementing

    • Integrate Systems Using SIF

    • Related Initiatives

Best Practices Framework

  • Integrate

    • Prioritize your systems

    • Begin with SIS as first system (Power School, etc.)

    • Select a ZIS vendor that aligns to your infrastructure platform and needs (Edustructures, CPSI)

    • Other key systems

      • Transportation (Versatrans, EduLog)

      • Food Service (WinSnap/WebSmart, Nutrikids)

      • Library (Destiny, Alexandria, Sagebrush)

      • Directory (Active Directory, eDirectory)

Best Practices Framework

  • Other Related Initiatives

    • Data warehouse (“Consolidate” data)

    • Reporting and analytics (“Disseminate” data)

SIF in Illinois

Spotlight #1: Huntley/Algonquin School District #158

Spotlight #2: Naperville School District #203


Addison District 4

Harlem Consolidated District 122 (Rockford area)

McLean County Unit 5 (Normal)

SIF Spotlight #1: Algonquin Community Unit School District 158 (Huntley/Algonquin, IL)

  • District profile

    • 6,000+ Students

    • 200+ Teachers

    • Nearly 1000 New Students per year

    • Fast Growth grant recipient

SIF Spotlight #1: Algonquin Community Unit School District 158 (Huntley/Algonquin, IL)

  • Systems

    • SIS

      • NCS Pearson CenterPoint

    • Transportation

      • Versatrans RP

    • Identity

      • SchoolLink My Card

      • Microsoft Active Directory

    • Food Services

      • SchoolLink WinSNAP

    • Library

      • Follett Destiny

SIF Spotlight #1: Algonquin Community Unit School District 158 (Huntley/Algonquin, IL)

  • SIF Components

    • Single zone

    • CenterPoint: CPSI Universal Agent

    • Versatrans: Versatrans native agent

    • WinSNAP: WinSNAP native agent

    • MyCard: WinSNAP native agent

    • Active Directory (in process): CPSI VisualCASEL Agent for Active Directory/Exchange

    • Destiny: Destiny native agent

SIF Spotlight #1: Algonquin Community Unit School District 158 (Huntley/Algonquin, IL)

  • SIF Status

    • SIS, Transportation, Identity, Food Services, Library up and running

    • Directory is last system to be integrated

RoomInfo contains information about a specific room; includes room number, assigned staff, description, building, homeroom number, size, capacity, phone number, type of room

SchoolInfo contains information about a specific school; includes local id or number, state assigned identifier, name, district, type, focus, principal information, address, session type, low grade, high grade

StaffPersonal contains information about a staff member (teacher or other type of employee); includes local identifier, state identifier, barcode or other electronic ID, name, title, e-mail, demographics, address, phonenumber, URL

StaffAssignment contains information about a staff member’s assignment; includes school year, description, job start date, job end date, FTE ratio, job function

StudentContact Contains information about a parent, guardian, or other contact related to a student; includes type of contact (e.g. disciplinary, legal responsibility, etc.), name, phone number, e-mail, address, relationship, pickup rights

StudentPersonal contains information about a student; includes alert message, local identifier, state identifier, bar code or other electronic identifier, name, e-mail, graduation year, demographics, address, phone

StudentPicture contains an encoded picture or link to a picture

StudentSchoolEnrollment contains information about a student’s enrollment in a specific school or schools; includes school identifier, membership type (e.g. home, concurrent), time frame, school year, enrollment status, entry date, entry type, grade level, home room, staff assigned, exit date, exit status, exit type, FTE ratio, residency status

SIF Spotlight #2: Naperville Community Unit District 203

  • District profile

    • 18,000+ Students

    • 1,000+ Teachers

  • Systems

    • SIS

      • Maximus SchoolMAX

    • Parental Communications

      • Parlant Technologies; ParentLink Software

    • Human Resources

      • Carter-Pertain

    • Data Warehouse

      • SPSS

SIF Spotlight #2: Naperville Community Unit District 203

  • SIF Components

    • Multi-zone (per building)

    • SchoolMAX: CPSI Universal Agent

    • ParentLink: ParentLink native agent

    • Carter-Pertain: SQL Server DTS Based Process

  • SIF Status

    • Integration of SchoolMAX, ParentLink, and Carter-Pertain complete

    • Data Warehouse currently being integrated

SIF Spotlight #2: Naperville Community Unit District 203

SIF Data Warehouse Model

Certification, SIF 2.0

About SIF

  • A non-profit membership organization comprised of:-pK-12 Educational Technology Companies

    • -Regional Service Agencies

    • -Schools & Districts

    • -U.S. and State Departments of Education

    • -Other educational organizations

  • Jointly building XML Specifications to enable pK-12

    software applications to share data quickly,

    dynamically and securely.

  • “Platform Independent / Vendor Neutral”


  • Do the homework on your apps to see if they are SIF certified @

  • What if you have applications that are not certified?

    • Publish or subscribe scenario? Universal Agent is a good choice when you need a Publisher that is not certified (e.g. CenterPoint)

    • Talk to the vendor. Preferably a technical contact responsible for SIF. Generally, the help desk is not good a source of information.

    • Talk to Integrity. We develop agents and can work with you and the vendor to create a solution that meets your needs and their needs.

SIF Specification

  • 1.0

  • 1.1

  • 1.5R1 (current)

  • 2.0 (summer/fall 2006)

SIF Specification 2.0

  • Profiles

  • New Objects

  • Other Improvements

Budgeting and Planning

  • Resources

    • Hardware

      • Zone Integration Server

      • Database Server

      • Agent Server

    • Software

      • Application Upgrades (to SIF compliant versions)

      • Zone Integration Server

      • SIF Agents

      • Universal Agent

      • Custom Agent

Budgeting and Planning

  • Resources

    • Staff

      • Network Administrator

      • Database Administrator

      • Subject Matter Expert for Each System to be Integrated

      • Users of Each System to be Integrated

    • External

      • Consultant

Budgeting and Planning

  • Low/High Depends on Size

  • Hardware

    • $5,000 to $15,000

  • Software

    • $5,000 to $50,000

  • Time

    • 10’s to 100’s of hours

Applications of SIF

  • Intra-district

  • District to State

  • District to Federal

  • District to District

Current Process for Communicating Student Information

  • For each associate elementary district

    • Electronic

      • Extract data from Student Management System

      • Modify data

      • Write data to media

      • Convey media to HS

      • Work with HS to revise data as needed

    • Manual

      • Gather paperwork

      • Assemble paperwork

      • Deliver paperwork

Current Process for Communicating Student Information

  • For the high school district

    • For each elementary electronic data set

      • Massage data

      • Verify data

      • Work with elementary district to revise data

      • Import data into student management system

      • Import data into ancillary systems

    • For each elementary manual data set

      • Enter data into student management system

      • Enter data into ancillary systems

      • File paperwork

eTranscript Choreography

  • SIF _Event:

    • “Time for matriculation”







High School District


  • SIF _Request:

    • “Please send the transcripts”

  • SIF _Response:

    • “Here are the transcripts”


K -8 District #4


K - 8 District #1


K – 8 District #2


K - 8

District #3


Benefits of eTranscript

  • Reduce cost of moving student information among districts

  • Empower collaboration among associated districts

  • Encourage innovation

  • Allow individual district systems to remain heterogeneous

  • Maintain “local control” of information systems

  • Provide individual districts with a level of technical capability that can be applied in other applications of SIF

  • Take advantage of economies of scale

SIF Benefits/ROI

  • Data is entered only once and is shared seamlessly and almost immediately with other applications.

  • Allows applications to exchange data more effectively without time-consuming imports or expensive custom import programs.

  • Enables powerful report creation by accessing data from diverse applications.

  • No need to manage multiple data sources

  • Real-time access to important information and opportunities for better data analysis.

  • Ease the burden of vertical reporting

SIF Benefits/ROI

Students & Parents

  • Personalized Student Content

  • Improved timeliness of service

  • Accurate School Data

  • Increased Efficiency

IT Departments

  • Reduced support costs

  • Reduced time needed to manage multiple data sources

  • Save money using existing systems and infrastructure


  • Real-time access to critical information

  • Better data analysis

  • Teachers time better spent


  • Increased Efficiency

  • Reduced redundancy and errors

  • Reduced compatibility issues

District Return On Investment

New Student Registering for Enrollment into:

*Student Information System*Directory Service Application

*ID Card System*Library Automation System

*Cafeteria Management System

Typical SchoolSIF School

- 49 minute task- 4 minute task

- 10 times data entered- 1 time data entry

45 minutes/student X 18,000 students=

6 FTE’s!

1/10th the Time – 1/10th the Risk

Additional ROI Examples

  • Library

    • SIF capability

      • Near real time data exchange

    • Example

      • SIF is used to send the school media services specialist an e-mail when a student is leaving the district

    • Benefit

      • The media specialist can coordinate the return of all materials prior to the student’s departure

      • Additional interaction with the student prior to departure. Potential opportunity to help student transition.

Additional ROI Examples

  • Food Services

    • SIF capability

      • Data accuracy

    • Example

      • SIF is used to update the student management system with meal status information that is stored in the food services system

    • Benefit

      • District administrators have the most accurate free/reduced lunch count possible

      • Potential source of additional funding

Additional ROI Examples

  • Assessment Reporting

    • SIF capability

      • Data integrity and accuracy

    • Example

      • SIF is used to intersect demographic data stored in the student management system with ISAT results

    • Benefit

      • Administrators, principals and teachers can run reports that utilize the most accurate set of demographics for students

Tools for Evaluating Your Readiness

  • SIF Website

    • Information

    • Implementation Readiness Tool

      • Online tool to help you determine your readiness for SIF


    • Implementation Toolkit

      • Planning Questions

      • Proposed RFP Language

Questions & Answers

Thank You!

For Your Time and Interest in SIF

Visit our K-12 Website at:

Jason Wrage

Dave Moravec

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