IT system


Published: Published: August 24th, 2017

Superintendent Douglas Announces New Chief Technology Officer

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today named Britto Augustine as the Arizona Department of Education’s (ADE’s) new Chief Technology Officer (CTO). With more than 25 years of experience in information technology (IT), Augustine has spent the last five years at ADE serving most recently as the Solutions Architect behind the award-winning AzEDS student data system.

“With the demand for exceptional technology talent being so high in the Valley,” Superintendent Douglas stated, “I am ecstatic that we were able to retain an expert of Britto’s pedigree. ADE is fortunate that Britto and the rest of our award-winning technology team will continue to provide first-class innovation for all of our students and schools.”

Augustine spearheaded the 15-person team responsible for implementing and pioneering a student data collection system that earned the IT division the Gold Award at the 2017 IT World Awards, as well as the honor of being named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative IT Organizations in the world by CIO magazine. More than 20 states have visited Arizona to learn how they can replicate instantaneous student counts in their own systems.

Before joining ADE, Augustine piloted the Maricopa County Superior Court’s transition from paper to a computer-based system. He also architected the award-winning Healing Heroes content management system for Triwest Healthcare Alliance.

Augustine, whose leadership philosophy centers around “people, process and technology,” takes over the CTO role from Satish Pattisapu. Pattisapu, who began his career at ADE in 2011, was recently promoted to Chief Information Officer (CIO) after years of supervising quality assurance and software development.

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Published: Published: July 18th, 2017

Arizona Department of Education Launches New Website Theme

Today the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) launched a new website theme. The site aims to streamline communications between ADE, schools and education professionals, and the public. In addition, the new style provides a user-friendly look including the addition of a mobile layout.

The new website theme is part of a two-year initiative by Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. During that time a federal mandate to bring the site into accessibility compliance for the disabled was issued.

“When I took office,” said Superintendent Douglas, “it was important to me that we have clear communications with the public, the people we serve. To do that effectively, I felt it was critical to update our outdated website, our first source of information. While working to that end we ensured all Arizonans receive that information. That we were thinking ahead of the federal mandate was a happy coincidence.”

ADE Information Technology (IT) was recently awarded with a Gold Award in the category of Best IT Products and Services for Education at the 2017 IT World Awards from Network Products Guide, Information Technology’s leading research and advisory guide. The awards from the Network Products Guide, which are comprised of industry and peer recognition, honor achievement in all facets of the IT industry at the world’s premier IT awards ceremony.

ADE IT staff handled every aspect of the website development and transition, meeting several requests by ADE programs areas in anticipation of local education agencies (LEAs) needs. “We are extremely fortunate to have such a talented and innovative IT staff,” said Douglas. “They continue to show how resourceful our ADE IT department is in guaranteeing we have the best products to serve our students, our schools, and the people of Arizona.”

While the majority of ADE’s website is transitioned to the new theme, a few program areas are still making the transition. The department anticipates the full transition of the website soon. ADE invites the public to visit www.azed.gov. Feedback is welcome at www.azed.gov/beheardaz/feedback/.

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Published: Published: July 17th, 2017

Superintendent Douglas Announces Fastest Ever Annual Rollover

The Arizona Department of Education’s (ADE’s) IT division announced that it has reached yet another milestone today. The award-winning Arizona Education Data Standards system (AzEDS), which has become the industry model for collecting, storing and managing education data, has executed the most efficient annual rollover in the state’s history.

AzEDS currently serves 1.1 million students throughout the state, processing more than $5 billion in state aid to more than 2,575 public and charter schools. This shift has allowed local education agencies (LEAs) to know their estimated state aid payments on a daily basis, as opposed to months later.

“I have been extremely impressed with AzEDS since our district began working with it last year,” Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Chandler Unified School District Lana Berry stated. “Since the majority of our funding comes from this system’s reports, the accuracy of the numbers are really critical to our school district getting accurately paid.

“Any problems we had were identified quickly, and to be fair, most of those problems were from the old system; not from AzEDS. We need to support AzEDS and ADE because we will be using this funding system for many years to come.”

Not only has ADE’s IT division completed its rollovers to the new fiscal year in a punctual manner, but AzEDS has met legislatively mandated reporting deadlines, granted schools unseen access to their system at the beginning of the year and offer end-of-year calculations for the first time. Public and charter schools now also follow the same month-to-month payment schedule, which allows schools to budget with more accuracy, saving the state millions of dollars annually.

“We really appreciate ADE because this transition has been a positive change for Chandler and for all Arizona schools,” Berry said. “Since we have one of the largest school districts in Arizona with 45,000 students, as well as the staff and technical personnel to provide good feedback, we made for an ideal testing group and partner for ADE. (Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction) Diane Douglas, (ADE Chief of Staff) Michael Bradley, the technology staff and everyone else at ADE have been very supportive and committed to find solutions to any problems since day one.”

In order to create a best-in-class student data system and meet the legislative demands on the state’s education system, ADE IT scaled to a near instantaneous processing speed and adjusted the capacity of the system to meet the demand of 6-9 million transactions per day. By providing this real-time visual feedback to educators, ADE is accomplishing its main objective, which is to assist educators in using data to drive instructional decisions in the classroom.

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