April is here
and spring has sprung! For many, the warmer
weather means yard work and spring cleaning.
For most of our SubFinder customers, it
means gearing up for the end of the school
busy with all of that, we at CRS have been
busy putting the finishing touches on
SubFinder 6.1. This latest edition of our
SubFinder software has lots of exciting new
features which you can read about in the
article below, along with our customer
highlight, spring cleaning tips, and other
We hope you
enjoy this monthís edition of InTouch
Online! If you would like to be one of
our featured customers or have any other
suggestions for articles, please feel free
to email us at
The CRS Advanced
Greater Southern Tier BOCES
Usually we like
to introduce you to a customerís areaóits
rich history, geographical location,
demographics, and unique points of interest.
This month, we are going to do things a bit
differently. Across the nation, many states
have some form of educational cooperative
services groups. For example, in Pennsylvania we have BLaST Units; in the
West, ESCs, ESAs, or USDs are the norm;
and New York has Boards of Cooperative
Educational Services (BOCES). This month we will learn more
Schuyler-Steuben-Chemung-Tioga-Allegany BOCES, also known as Greater Southern Tier (GST)
BOCES, so here are some tidbits of
background on the formation of BOCES and
In 1948 a New York state legislative act was
created to allow small, rural school
districts the opportunity to combine
resources to provide services that alone
would not have been affordable, efficient,
or available. Originally meant to be a
temporary grouping until more intermediate
districts could be formed, BOCES soon proved
to be much simpler and more efficient than
the proposed districts, and were written
into Educational Law around 1950; the
Intermediate School District Act was finally
repealed in 1972óno intermediate districts
were ever formed.
but nine of the stateís 721 school districts
are incorporated into one of the 37 BOCES.
Districts are membersóBOCES membership is
not available to the Big Five city school
districts: New York City, Buffalo,
Rochester, Yonkers and Syracuse. A member
district pays a portion of various
administrative and other expenses, but has
the option of purchasing services through
the BOCESónot all districts use the services
made available to them. Pooling resources
and centralizing services is highly
economical and efficient as the member
districts are able to purchase services at a
GST BOCES is
located in the Southern Tier of New York and
serves 21 school districts with a variety of
services ranging from adult education to
special education to food service
management and more. As you can imagine,
there are a lot of people working hard in
the districts, as well as the BOCES
organization that provides support and
services to their member districts.
Efficient management of staff and handling
absence management is important to keep
things running smoothly in an operation such
as this. Prior to using SubFinder, they had
used another automated substitute
placement software provider.
Operations Communication Specialist at GST
BOCES and SubFinder system operator, tells
us a little about how they have adjusted
since converting from their former system to
SubFinder last summer. He also explains how their
staff has managed through the changes.
the size of your staff, certified and
classified? On average, how many subs do
you use in a day/week?
Within the districts that we service, there are
approximately 2,666 teachers and support
staff (1799 certified and 867
classified). On average there are 250
to 300 positions that need to be filled
daily (1,200 to 1,500 weekly).
you configured SubFinder to work with
all your districts?
We book subs
for 12 area districts, including our
BOCES. Within the 12 districts, there
are approximately 45 individual sites
and approximately 150 site
configured SubFinder in any unique ways
to work for GST?
Since we book subs for
multiple districts and each district has
unique requirements for their subs, it
can sometimes be challenging to
accommodate everyone. One situation is
that our BOCES has employees who are
physically located in various schools
and districts. They are not the
individual schoolís employees so they
donít always share the same sub pool. A
little creativeness in the setup has
allowed us to deal with this situation;
feature(s) do you like best in SubFinder?
I like the
way that SubFinder deals with
cancellations behind the scenes. With
our previous system, I needed a
dedicated phone line for subs to leave
messages when they needed to cancel.
When a school canceled a job, I had to
phone the subs to let them know.
SubFinder handles all of this without my
currently integrating SubFinder with any
HR or payroll applications?
We are just
beginning to implement some of these
recently agreed to be a beta test site
for the upcoming SubFinder 6.1
release--why and how has the experience
been so far?
SubFinder staff has been extremely
helpful resolving issues. When I leave
a message or send an email for help, the
response is always quick.
districts anxious for the new release,
would you care to share a tidbit or two
about what they can hope to expect?
that my districts have been waiting for
allows SubFinder to accommodate a state
unemployment law that requires subs who
work the week prior to a holiday (that
is at least three days long) to have
priority for jobs the week after the
holiday. This will hopefully reduce
additional information can you share
with us regarding your experiences/usage
with SubFinder and CRSís customer
light years ahead of the previous system
that we used. The staff at SubFinder is
always prompt and helpful.
feel that SubFinder works well for your
organization and would you recommend
it to other organizations to manage
a good fit for our needs and I would
recommend it to others.
Thank you again
to John for his time and not only for
participating in this monthís InTouch
Online Customer Highlight, but for also
participating as a beta test site for our
new SubFinder 6.1 release, due out this
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SubFinder 6.1 is Coming!
listening! We have paid attention to our
comments and system enhancement emails and
now CRS has added even more functionality to
SubFinder. We are excited to introduce some
of the new features and functions in this
monthís InTouch Online newsletter.
6.1 release will include many new
enhancements, large and small. Some of
those enhancements include 1) a selection of
reports available in Excel format; 2) a
reason filter option added to Job
List screens; 3) the ability to import
email addresses; and 4) the ability to
verify multiple jobs at once. There are
many more enhancements that will benefit
both the operator and end users, but you
will just have to wait a bit longer to hear
more about them!
To learn more about all the benefits
SubFinder has to offer, please call us 800.782.3463
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CRS Partners with
ProTraxx for an Integrated Solution
ProTraxx and CRS Advanced Technology have
partnered to assist K-12 districts with
their professional development (PD) and
absence management and substitute placement
needs. In alignment with the national focus
on highly-qualified educators and student
achievement, this partnership bridges the
gap between scheduling and managing
continuing education for teachers while
ensuring their classroom is covered by a
EzTraxx Online software by ProTraxx is a
comprehensive, web-based application
allowing for the planning, tracking,
management, and reporting of professional
development activities. This allows districts
to create PD programs and meet compliance
regulations. CRS Advanced Technology's
SubFinder automates the process of employee
absence reporting, substitute placement,
data management and reporting.
Read more about the CRS Advanced Technology
& ProTraxx partnership...
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Spring Cleaning the Green Way
Spring cleaning is
a time-honored tradition. After a long
winter, you throw open the windows, let in
fresh air and scrub down the house. But
modern spring cleaning presents challenges
your grandmother never imagined. Todayís
homes are bigger and the choice of cleaning
supplies seemingly endless.
While youíll need to devote a day or two to
this annual maintenance project, make it
less of a chore by picking the right tools
and methods. By taking an environmentally
also protect the well being of your family.
Give this space-by-space cleaning guide a
whirl this springóor during any season for
grime and clutter become unbearable.
When itís time to get down and dirty, many
people start with the bathroom.
Allen Rathey, founder
Housekeeping Channel, says
removing mineral deposits, rust, and such
from toilets doesnít have to mean chemical
warfare. Don rubber gloves and use a pumice
stone to erase stubborn stains. If you want
more scouring power, Rathey recommends
mixing baking soda with acidic vinegar. The
concoction is just as effective as
conventional cleaners, and there are no
toxic fumes to inhale. This approach works
equally well on tub and shower stains.
Buy your supplies in bulk to save. A
64-ounce bottle of vinegar costs about $4; a
12-pound bag of baking soda, about $7. Both
items can be used throughout the house. For
just $1 you can mix equal parts vinegar and
water in a 32-ounce spray bottle to make a
terrific all-purpose surface cleaner. Thatís
about $4 cheaper than buying a spray cleaner
at the store.
Spring cleaning is the perfect time to
extract dirt from porous grouted surfaces.
For tile floors use your usual cleaner, but
donít mop. Instead, run a wet/dry vac which
will suck contaminants out of the grout.
Mopping drives the grime into the grout
rather than removing it. According to Rathey,
grout can harbor stinky bacteria that leave
a bad odor in the bathroom. This technique
is more time-consuming than mopping, but
itís worthwhile to do at least once a year.
The kitchen can
be a tough room to clean because thereís
usually so much stuff in it, says Justin Klosky,
Founder and Creative Director of The OCD Experience, an organizational service.
Before you break out the broom, go through
your cabinets and drawers and put together
a box of items to donate and a box of items
to store somewhere besides the kitchen.
Clear your countertops of everything except
items you use nearly every day.
After youíve de-cluttered, you can get to
work cleaning. Cloud Conrad, Vice President
of Marketing for cleaning company Maid
says one tool you
shouldnít overlook is an all-purpose microfiber cloth (about $5). These arenít
run-of-the-mill dusting rags. Microfiber is
a densely woven synthetic fabric that picks
up dirt and greasy deposits without
chemicals thanks to its unique composition.
You should be able to clean surfaces like
countertops, sinks, and stoves with warm
water, a microfiber cloth, and a bit of
elbow grease, Conrad says.
Since you prepare
your food in the kitchen,
consider using green commercial products for
surfaces, or make your own vinegar/water
spray. Conventional cleaners may remove
dirt, but they can also harbor nasty
substances you donít want in your PB&J.
Microfiber, vinegar and baking soda will
clean and disinfect almost every kitchen
surface at a fraction of the price. Donít
neglect once-a-year chores like vacuuming
refrigerator coils (unplug your fridge
first) and tossing out expired food from
the back of the pantry.
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CRS on the Road
Be sure to come out and see us at upcoming
trade shows in your area!
SASBO - April 23-25; Biloxi, MS
IASBO - May 9-11; French Lick, IN
WVASBO - May 15-17; Charleston, WV
Tri-State ASBO - May 16-18; Portland, ME
May 21-23; Newport News, VA
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CRS Advanced Technology is
the leading provider of employee absence
management and substitute placement
solutions serving over 1.5 million
throughout the United States and Canada.
Our flagship product, SubFinder,
completely automates employee absence
reporting, substitute placement, data
management, and payroll tasks. If you
would like further information about
SubFinder, please contact us at
The CRS Advanced Technology Team