Washington School Information Processing Cooperative

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WSIPC
Type Non-Profit
Founded (1967)
Headquarters Everett, Washington, USA
Key people Marty Daybell, CEO
Website www.wsipc.org

The Washington School Information Processing Cooperative (WSIPC) is a public cooperative in Washington that provides information services to the state's school districts. The board members of the co-op are primarily composed of Superintendents from the State's nine Educational Service Districts. Today WSIPC has grown to serve the vast majority of Washington's school districts with complete information management systems for fiscal, human resources as well as a full student information system (SIS) for student and fiscal data. The main software package deployed by WSIPC is the Skyward PaC product; also called 'Point and Click' (WSIPC began partnering with Skyward in 2001[1]). Due to extensive customization, the product was rebranded WESPaC - standing for 'WSIPC Enhanced Skyward Point-and-Click'. The WESPaC application can be used via either a web interface or a Citrix server desktop.

The First Statewide Data Network for Schools[edit]

In 1992 WSIPC registered the domain WEDNET.EDU[2] and began connecting all public schools in the State to a central data network called the 'Washington Education Network', or WEDNET. While the original capacity was only 2000 concurrent users, this would eventually become the first statewide network for schools in the US. Many of the schools who originally opted to become part of WEDNET still have 'wednet.edu' as part of their URL.[3]

In 2000 WSIPC joined the K-20 Education Network. This gave WSIPC even more bandwidth and connectivity with schools. This again was a national first:[4] the first statewide high-speed network for schools.

Moving into the 21st Century[edit]

Initially, WSIPC had developed their own SIS software package in-house, called WISE. But in 2001, after partnering with Skyward, the statewide software conversion process began. Due to the massive amounts of data, spread across hundreds of separate databases, this process took over ten years. There were some districts still using the WISE legacy software up until conversion process was fully completed in August 2011.

In 2003 WSIPC provided a case study for Citrix stating the revenue saved over 5 years.[5]

In 2007 WSIPC began using several new software solutions designed to provide a progressive feature-set to the cooperative members. Among these were Adobe Connect (for remote desktop support), Numara Footprints [6] (for support ticket tracking), and Microsoft Sharepoint 2007.

Today, in addition to the WESPaC SIS product, WSIPC provides a variety of other services to its members. These include purchasing and bids, networking, and contracting. Though WSIPC membership is completely voluntary for schools in Washington state, and despite growing competition from for-profit corporations like Pearson Education, WSIPC continues to provide SIS services for 98% of the 295 school districts in the state[7]

WASWUG[edit]

In 2009 WSIPC was given sole responsibility to arrange and organize the annual conference called the Washington State WESPaC User Group, or WASWUG. In the first year under WSIPC total attendance was over 800, increasing to 1800 attendees by 2013. The WASWUG conference started in 2004.

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