Virginia Beach City Public Schools Impact Aid System
"I’ve never worked with an organization as responsive as Marathon."
Fran Thomas, Office of Budget Development
Each year, the Virginia Beach City Public Schools submits a claim to the Federal government under the Impact Aid Program. This program assists local school districts across the United States that have parcels of land within their boundaries that are owned by the federal government or that have been removed from the local tax rolls by the federal government. VBCPS faces special challenges — they must provide a quality education to the children living on federal lands within the city and meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. Sometimes they must do so while operating with less local revenue than is available to other school districts because the federal property is exempt from local property taxes.
VBCPS distributes federal cards to the parents of every student in the school system every year in an effort to determine how many students in the system qualify to be claimed as part of the Impact Aid Program. The VBCPS was utilizing a very old system written in FoxBase to gather, quantify, and report on the total number of qualifying students. The existing system was unreliable and fraught with problems. Marathon first performed an analysis of the existing system and created a set of requirements. The VBCPS then engaged Marathon to implement a system that would meet their needs. The system Marathon built and delivered is a multi-user web-based application that allows fast and easy data entry gathered from the federal cards and simple control of the interface to the VBCPS data warehouse. The application provides a rich and easy-to-use interface to the Microsoft SQL Server Reporting System.
- Allows the use of a barcode reader to ease navigation and searching for student records.
- Fully integrated with the VBCPS Active Directory system to limit access to the application and to control which features are available to individual users.
- Fully integrated with Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, featuring a live link that allows new reports to be added without having to recompile or reconfigure the system.
- Utilizes standard Microsoft Enterprise Reporting functionality for logging.
- User interface features provide variable interactions to the user based on value of the code that has been entered for a particular record.
- Imported data resides in a separate set of tables, allowing it to be compared and examined before it is merged into the live working data. Data from previous years is used to pre-populate data in the current year.
- Complete set of administrative functions are provided to allow the admin user to interface with the VBCPS data systems without requiring additional assistance from IT services.