While Abre features a Plans App that allows districts to create customizable education plans for students, we sometimes find schools that would rather continue to use their current education plans software. As Abre means open, we’re perfectly happy to accomodate the best we can (I myself am a big believer in choice). Schools can integrate 3rd party education plans principly through two ways:
- Direct integration via a data export (SFTP or, preferably, API)
- Blended Model
Assuming a company allows integration (and given enough time), we can enable direct integration. But what we’ve found is that many education companies don’t create systems for easy integration (rather, they build moats and silos). This is frustrating.
That said, the blended model is an approach that may make sense for some districts. Here’s a rundown on how a district might add an abbreviated plan to their student dashboard.
We’re going to use an IEP for our example.
- A district is using Abre’s Plans App and Forms App.
- A district has access to IEPs as PDFs (technically Word docs could work too – but that’s not ideal).
- A district has identified key fields they want teachers and/or parents to view.
The last assumption is important. In this example, the entire IEP will be available as a PDF, but by identifying key fields (the IEP at a Glance) you give more direct access to core information.
For example, when I was a teacher, I frequently consulted the descriptions of specially designed services for my students with an IEP.
Step 1: Create the “IEP at a Glance Form”
Using the Forms App:
- Create a new form. Name it clearly (in this example, IEP at a Glance)
- Mark the form as a plan.
- Add the key fields.
Step 2: Create the Plan
Using the Plans App:
- Select the student with an IEP.
- Add IEP at a Glance.
- Complete the fields.
Note that when a form becomes a plan, you always get an “attachment” field. In that field you can upload the PDF of the full IEP.
Downsides | Upsides
This process isn’t automated. Someone on the team will have to go through the process of downloading full IEPs and then creating the IEP at a Glance. There is some double data entry that goes on here (and we really try to avoid double data entry at Abre).
The upside is the IEP at a Glance is available for teachers and parents (and students in the near future). We believe having quick access to the IEP in the context of interpreting data, creating curriculum, and dealing with behavior to be especially powerful.
Thoughts or questions? Let us know what you think over at the community site!