Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Parent Portal offline for next few weeks

or why IT people are important and we need more of them!

If you have recently gone over to the WPS Parent Portal to add money to your child's school lunch account, you've discovered that it's offline.

Don't worry! It's temporary, and it's for excellent reasons.

If you aren't a WPS employee, you may never have heard of SAGE, which is the system through which information is managed by the Worcester Public Schools. I can't do it justice*, but suffice to say: it was written in house, it has saved us an enormous amount of money, and because it's ours, we can change it as we need to.
(which is how we could add the Parent Portal)
Like all such things, though, SAGE grew creaky and needed updating. That happened this past summer. We've had people working ridiculously long hours so most of this could get done before we had to get everything back up and running for the start of school.
The debugging part of that is still going on.
At the same time, our school nutrition system also needed updating.
Then, we need to get those two systems to talk to each other to make the online lunch payment bit work.

We have our (understaffed; our new person hasn't come on yet!) IT department working full throttle on this, but it's going to take a few weeks before this all shakes out and the software vendor (for the nutrition program) gets enough systems online to reach critical mass.
The hope is that we're back online for the end of September.

In the meantime, school lunch costs $1.65 this year, so set aside your change!

*my explanation here is probably giving the IT department hives

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