Simplified: Sioux Falls schools are moving their paper record-keeping system for students with disabilities to a new (to the district) online program called Sped Advantage.

Why it matters

  • Nearly 4,000 kids in the Sioux Falls School District receive special education services, and right now, the paperwork required to serve those kids is being kept in paper files.
  • The new digital system will give teachers secure, online access to student records wherever they are in the district.
  • The goal is also to save time for teachers, said Kristy Feden, director of special services. The online program will streamline their paperwork and reporting process.
"The goal is to look at efficiency," Feden told school board members Monday.

Tell me more

The district's special services team started working with Sped Advantage in August 2021, and several teachers and staff members have already been using it to file the necessary paperwork for state accountability purposes.

Another feature, Feden said, is the ability the program has to pull reports for parents on how their kids are doing in school, including data visualization.

"If parents consent to receive this information electronically, we'll be able to send information at the touch of a button," she said.

Sped Advantage can also track important dates – like when reports need to be sent to the state – and send reminders.

What does this cost?

It fluctuates depending on the number of students served, but Feden estimates it'll cost the district about $50,000 annually.

What happens next?

The program is already being used by some teachers, but it'll be fully in-use district-wide by August, Feden said.