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The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

Q&A: New Information System for New School Year

Veracross acts as a repository for grade entries and attendance records, consolidating information and creating report cards.
Courtesy of Brimmer and May School.
A screenshot of the teacher login page to Veracross, which is Web-based, unlike the previous student information system.

At the start of the fall semester, Jason Bock, Director of Technology Infrastructure, introduced Upper School students to Veracross, the School’s new information system, replacing the outdated Keystone program.

The Gator discussed with Bock the new system’s capabilities and its implications for students and teachers.

What is Veracross?

Veracross is a student information system, it stores data such as: your address, your parents’ names and phone numbers. More importantly it holds grades, comments, and builds transcripts that go off to colleges. It has all your classes and builds schedules. It organizes where you take what.

What does Veracross do for teachers?

From the teacher’s standpoint, they enter their grades into a related system. It records all the information, stores it and builds report cards. The [change] was not a big deal for teachers because they were doing the same thing with the old system, like taking daily attendance and entering marking period grade.

What does Veracross do for students?

For students, for now all it does is show your grades and schedule, but there may be additional functionality in the future.

How does our old system work?

Our old system was called Keystone and teachers would know as “Teacher Access”. It [did] fundamentally the same thing. We are always looking at programs in our system every few years to decide if there’s something better out there, more modern or offers some features that we don’t have.

Why did we make the change? 

The old system, Keystone, hadn’t added features or improvements to it for years. It’s kind of stagnant. We were already looking for a replacement for that when they announced that they were going to retire the product. That further pushed us to [switch system]. It’s very difficult to make a change because it requires you to take all the old data for years and move it from one system to the other. Each system has its own way of thinking and processing. The systems don’t really talk to each other.

Do Canvas and Veracross have overlapping functionality?

Canvas is a learning management system. It holds discussion boards and other features depending on what your teacher does for class. In the Middle and Upper school, its key purpose is for [turning in homework]. [Canvas] may eventually integrate with Veracross where the administration build schedules and put classes [in Veracross] and it will automatically be added into Canvas. We have to get Veracross up and running first, [so] our goal is to explore this for next year. Veracross does have some of the basic functionalities that Canavs does, but in our research, we found that Canvas is a bit more robust.

Can you tell us about what directions our system will go in the future?

As Veracross continues to improve, we might explore moving away from Canvas. But that’s a slower moving discussion because it impacts all the teachers and the content they build.

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About the Contributor
Cathy Wu
Cathy Wu, Outgoing Executive Editor
Cathy has been at Brimmer since 2020. In addition to writing on The Gator, she enjoys learning about philosophy, reading and listening to music.

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