Basic Services contain the core administrative applications provided by SPARCC to its member districts. These applications include financial accounting, payroll, equipment inventory, student information system, student data warehouse and EMIS reporting system. While the application for each area can function independently, the applications weave a complex tapestry of information which helps school districts function effectively.
The Accounting, Payroll and Inventory applications are provided by the State Software Development team and are titled the Uniform School Accounting System (USAS), Uniform Staff Payroll System (USPS) and Equipment Inventory System (EIS) respectively. These three packages are the most widely used in Ohio serving the vast majority of school districts in the state. A committee comprised of Treasurers, Business Managers and Information Technology professionals drive the development of these packages and determine which features are most desirable. The packages contain extensive import and export capabilities and link seamlessly with multiple third party applications.
The Student Information System application is titled Data Analysis for Student Learning (DASL) and is the most widely used application in Ohio. The application is supported by the DASL State Support team (located in Lima, Ohio) and developed by Software Answers (located in Brecksville, Ohio). The application enables school districts to maintain student data relating to assessments, attendance, course history, demographics, discipline, fees, graduation eligibility, marks, medical needs, registration and scheduling. A vast array of formatted reports is available and the application enables users to create reports of their own design. The package contains import and export capabilities enabling it to link seamlessly with third party applications.
Using data supplied primarily by its administrative applications, SPARCC has created a Data Warehouse Application intended for use by its member districts. The warehouse contains multiple years of data enabling districts to spot trends and better understand their learning environments. District employees have access to Microsoft Reporting Services tools which they may use to create reports of their own design. In addition, data can be exported from the warehouse and imported into third party applications for further analysis.
Public school districts in Ohio are required to report data in a manner specified by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). ODE determines the data items to include, the format of the input and timetable by which the data must be reported. This reporting requirement system is known as the Education Management Information System (EMIS). SPARCC provides the tools and support districts need to meet their reporting requirements. Data is extracted from USAS, USPS, DASL and other source applications and loaded into a temporary storage area. Within this storage area, districts may run reports to verify that their data meets the requirements and accurately reflects the situation in their schools. Periodically, the data is submitted to ODE for processing. ODE returns reports to the districts to ensure that the data is accurate.