Wednesday, August 13, 2014

THE MiSiS MESS: 6 stories “…Without a hitch/…a few glitches/…a disaster!” + smf'’s 2¢

selected from LAUSD in the News/LAUSD e-mail Daily News Clips Update- Wednesday August 13, 2014

When new LAUSD computer system falters, Van Nuys High School goes back to paper

08/12/14, 11:59 AM

Working around My Integrated Student Information System (MiSiS), Los Angeles Unified’s newly implemented computer system, counselors at Van Nuys High went old school, reverting to paper forms to schedule classes on the weekend before the start of the 2014-15 academic year.

And by about 9 a.m. this morning, while there are cases of kids showing up on the first day of school without officially transferring or registering in advance, some 100 students were sitting in the school’s auditorium waiting for their slate of classes.

Computer glitches make back-to-school a hassle at some LA campuses

Annie Gilbertson/SCPR  KPCC 89.3 |

Audio from this story ::  1:34 Listen

Hamilton High School students waiting for their schedule to be fixed. Without class assignments, other students decided to leave campus.

Hamilton High School students waiting for their schedule to be fixed. Without class assignments, other students decided to leave campus. Annie Gilbertson/KPCC

August 12, 06:39 PM  ::  Los Angeles Unified school district students camped out in auditoriums, cafeterias and libraries on the first day of school Tuesday when a malfunctioning database made it difficult for schools to schedule them for classes.

"Some people were trying to talk to the counselors, but there were just too many people," said Vanessa Hernandez, a senior at Hamilton High School in West Los Angeles. "They didn’t want to deal with it.”

Mid-day, Hernandez walked out of the auditorium packed with one hundred students and went home for the day.

Parents lined-up at the front office after school's automated phone system erroneously reported their children as absent.

Tuesday was the first real test for the district's new attendance and grade recording system. Los Angeles Unified officials said it's working at a majority of campuses - and they sent help to struggling schools to get them up and running.

The student information system has been through years of fits and starts.

In 1996, the district agreed to digitize student records in a centralized location accessible by all schools after a lawsuit revealed some student records were lost.

In 2003, the L.A. Unified school board voted to spend $107.2 million for the Integrated Student Information System, according to records kept by the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles.

L.A. Unified's Information Technology Division turned to an outside vendor, Constellation Software, for help. But after spending $38.3 million on development, L.A. Unified staff was unsatisfied with the product.

In 2012, Ron Chandler, chief information officer for L.A. Unified, met regularly with principals and teachers to get their thoughts on a new design. He wanted to terminate the contract with Constellation Software, which records show charges the district a maintenance fee of $72,000 per month.

But with all development funds sunk, Chandler had request $13 million more from the school board last year.

The new system launched over the summer and bugs came up immediately.

Gary Garcia, principal of Hamilton High School, said the program often crashed on counselors trying to schedule students, and the connection was often too jammed to get work done ahead of the first day of school.

“We were here Saturday and Sunday and until 9:30 last night, but it’s a slower system," Garcia said. "It gets overwhelmed.”

Garcia said the district sent backup staff to help struggling schools process students Tuesday, and the online program is starting to run more smoothly.

Other teachers and administrators criticized the district for inadequate training and not testing the system well enough in advance of 650,000 students heading back to school.

"The Superintendent has done it again—rolled out technology before it is ready and without input from educators and parents," Suzanne Spurgeon, a spokeswoman for United Teachers Los Angeles, said in a written statement

Teachers union says computer glitch cost students first day

August 12, 2014 4:34 pm

Officials from LA Unified’s teachers union said today hundreds, perhaps thousands, of students missed the first day of school today due to flaws in the district’s new student data management system, which is designed to enroll and assign students.

Los Angeles Unified School District on KABC-LA (ABC) - Los Angeles, CA

08/12/2014 11:25:37
Eyewitness News 11AM (News)

... parents are excited, and so is the superintendent of the Los Angeles unified school district John Deasy says so far so good. school went off without a hitch today. >> welcome back, good morning. ...


LA Unified School District on KNX-AM (Radio) - Los Angeles, CA

08/12/2014 12:09:15

... defendants sold without bail of proportional people to relocate them extensively nutritive if diversity of school in the LA unified school district and concerns of the race about a new computer system that system called my sis is supposed to coordinate each aspect of the student life from daily attendance to daily grades superintendent John Daisy admitted there were a few ...


2cents small I am hearing from school sites that the system/network is going in-and-out today/Wednesday/ay 2, that front office technicians (office clerks) at elementary schools are overwhelmed and under-supported, that it takes half an hour to input a new student’s info  …and then the system crashes before the info is recorded. Secondary counselors  and AP’s worked all-nighters over the weekend, etc. All in all closer to disaster than a few glitches/glitches.

Why was this rolled out districtwide on the first day of school?

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