McHENRY, IL - June 27, 2000 - Long-time Follett Software Company customer, Anoka Hennepin Independent School District 11, in Anoka, Minnesota, has successfully piloted the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) "proof of concept" in preparation for release of the v1.0 SIF specification, announced today. With its leadership role in developing v1.0 specifications, Follett Software will be able to bring the benefits of SIF-compliant products to market faster than any other library automation vendor.
"The benefits of SIF have directly improved both our operations and our ability to address students' individual needs," said Patrick Plant, technology director for Anoka Hennepin School District. "SIF greatly increases the value of our education technology investment. We are proud to be involved with the leading-edge of the program and strongly encourage schools and school districts to learn more about SIF."
By enabling software applications to interact and share data in real-time, SIF is helping Anoka Hennepin alleviate inefficiencies in its Ramsey Elementary School caused by running disparate software systems. Ramsey is testing its Circulation Plus and Catalog Plus Windows library automation system from Follett Software, SASIxp™ student information system from NCS and WinSNAP™ cafeteria management product from SNAP Technologies with the SIF proof of concept. Ramsey plans to implement v1.0 and to expand the use of SIF to additional information systems in use district-wide.
"Now that the v1.0 specification is released, our involvement with Anoka Hennepin and other pilot sites clearly demonstrates Follett Software's ability to look beyond the library and address the data sharing concerns of administrators, teachers, students and parents," said Tom Schenck, president of Follett Software Company. Additional Follett Software customers testing SIF include pilot sites at Ocoee Middle School in Ocoee, Florida, and Kapolei Middle School in Kapolei, Hawaii.
What Is the Schools Interoperability Framework? The SIF is an industry-supported technical blueprint for K-12 software that defines a common format for data (such as student demographics, attendance information, library information, grades and more) that needs to be shared among instructional and administrative software applications. It also defines how the software applications will interact with each other. By enabling software solutions to talk to each other more easily, the new framework will:
Eliminate the need to re-key identical data for use in multiple software applications Support one location in which data needs to be updated Enable the sharing of data for easier ways to produce required reports at the district, state and federal levels
"Getting information to where it needs to be quickly is of great value," said Stan Peichel, Ramsey principal. "We have a lot of students transferring from school to school in our district because our community is growing so rapidly. Getting new students' information added to our database with one step instead of many, helps us better meet the students' educational needs. And as we have implemented SIF, I now realize that it has the power to improve student performance and educational service as well."
The SIF is an initiative driven by K-12 education technology providers and users to revolutionize the management and accessibility of data within schools and school districts. Coordinated by the independent software group Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), SIF will enable diverse applications to interact and share data efficiently, reliably and securely, regardless of the platform hosting the applications. More than 75 education technology providers have united to create SIF, which is scheduled to be tested in select schools and school districts across the country in fall 2000. For more information on SIF, visit www.siia.net/sif
About Follett Software Company
Since 1985, Follett Software Company has provided school, public and special libraries with leading-edge library automation, Internet and curriculum resource software and services. Its Circulation Plus software, with more than 30,000 installations worldwide, is the number one selling library automation system in the K-12 marketplace. The company also has the largest base of installed Windows customers, with 15,000 users. Follett Software Company is a division of Follett Corporation, and is headquartered in McHenry, IL. In 1999, the company was ranked among the top ten largest software companies in Chicago. For additional information, call (800) 323-3397 or go to www.fsc.follett.com.
Follett Software Company
(800) 323-3397 or (815) 344-8700, ext. 7205