Illinois district adopts SIS

Maine Township High School District 207 is the first district in the state of Illinois to select Aspen as its student information platform, Follett Software Company announced here this week.

With nearly 7,000 students in three schools,the Park Ridge, Ill.-based district culminated its student information system (SIS) search a year after it began when it adopted Aspen – a web-based customizable student information system for school and district administration, learning and communications that also delivers state reporting requirements.

According to Hank Thiele, Maine Township’s director of technology, the decision to select Aspen was accomplished through a meticulous process that ultimately involved as many as 80 individuals – administrators, staff, teachers and students alike.

“As we narrowed the list of vendors and their products, we expanded the number of people making the evaluations,” Thiele said. “We started with about 20 products, and narrowed it down to two at the end. With about 90 percent approval, Aspen was overwhelmingly the selection of those involved.”

Thiele said his district’s interest in Aspen heightened shortly after Follett Software Company acquired X2 Development Corporation and its Aspen student information platform in October 2010. Maine Township has been a longtime customer of Follett, with its Destiny® suite of solutions, as well as TetraData™, the company’s data warehousing and analytics product.

“Aspen gave us the best blend of maturity and robustness,” Thiele said, “all the while maintaining the flexibility to be responsive to our emerging needs and the opportunity to grow.”

According to Brad Lindaas, vice president of business operations for the Aspen product line, the Maine Township adoption is especially significant since it reflects the impact Follett Software may have on the SIS’ growth potential.

“We have said from the outset that Follett will help expose Aspen to a much broader audience,” Lindaas said. “The Maine Township evaluation process put Aspen up against stiff competition, and we were thrilled to learn it came away with a near unanimous approval from the diverse committee.”