Solving Problems from Within

Posted on November 1, 2002
With the help of the school district’s technology department, the transportation staff at Mansfield (Texas) Independent School District put together a low cost discipline referral system using Microsoft Word and the local area network. According to Charles Stone, director of transportation, the staff reviewed several computer-based referral programs and then discovered that they already had all the tools necessary for designing a system in-house. Here’s how it works: The bus driver accesses a referral form from one of several computers set up for driver use. After opening the Word document, the driver inputs all student information into designated fields. The process is expedited by the availability of pull-down fields with selectable options taken from the student handbook. Once the form is completed, it’s saved into a folder located on the district’s server. The process is repeated for additional folders, and drivers can access the form from a personal e-mail account and then send it to the district’s local server. Working directly from the server, a staff member then reviews, edits and approves each referral and forwards it to the appropriate school district administrator. After taking action on the referral, the administrator can add results, punishments or notes to the form, save it and then print out a finished record for the student to take home. The finished document is also electronically returned to the transportation department, where it is logged, printed and given to the driver.
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