April Topics

Customer Highlight:

Greater Southern Tier BOCES

SubFinder 6.1 is Coming!

CRS & ProTraxx Announce Integration

Spring Cleaning the Green Way

 

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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 year.

 

While youíre 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 CRS news!

 

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 subfinder@crsadvtech.com

 

Sincerely,

 

The CRS Advanced Technology Team


Customer Highlight:
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 about the 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 specifically, GST.

 

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proposed districts, and were written into Educational Law around 1950; the Intermediate School District Act was finally repealed in 1972óno intermediate districts were ever formed.

 

Currently all 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 reduced cost.

 

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.

 

John DiStefano, 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.

 

What is 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).

How have 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 administrators.

 

Have you 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; however.

 

What 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 intervention.

 

Are you currently integrating SubFinder with any HR or payroll applications?

 

We are just beginning to implement some of these applications.

 

Youíve recently agreed to be a beta test site for the upcoming SubFinder 6.1 release--why and how has the experience been so far?

 

The SubFinder staff has been extremely helpful resolving issues.  When I leave a message or send an email for help, the response is always quick.

 

For other districts anxious for the new release, would you care to share a tidbit or two about what they can hope to expect?

 

The feature 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 unemployment claims.

 

What additional information can you share with us regarding your experiences/usage with SubFinder and CRSís customer support?

 

SubFinder is light years ahead of the previous system that we used.  The staff at SubFinder is always prompt and helpful.

 

Do you feel that SubFinder works well for your organization and would you recommend it to other organizations to manage their staff?

 

SubFinder is 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 spring.

 

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SubFinder 6.1 is Coming!

We are listening!  We have paid attention to our customer 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.

 

The SubFinder 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 or email subfinder@crsadvtech.com.

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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 skilled substitute.

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

Article From: www.houselogic.com

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 friendly approach, you can also protect the well being of your family. Give this space-by-space cleaning guide a whirl this springóor during any season for that matterówhen grime and clutter become unbearable.

 

Bathrooms

 

When itís time to get down and dirty, many people start with the bathroom. Allen Rathey, founder of The 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.

 

Kitchens

 

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 Brigade, 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.


Read Article
:
http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/seasonal-maintenance/spring-cleaning-guide/

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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

VASBO - 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 800.782.3463.

 

Sincerely,

 

The CRS Advanced Technology Team

 

 

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