Area of Recognized Expertise in the Marketplace
Reputation – Districts using Maplewood’s SIS are spreading its merits to other districts. Not only are they impressed with the functionality of the software, but they find the level of support for the product exceeds their expectations. Maplewood employees are all dedicated to going the extra mile to help our customers. Customers are routinely surprised at the extra things we do, without billing them for extra costs. Maplewood’s topnotch training services are cost-effective, leaving new schools eager to use their new SIS.
Our expertise in student information is recognized not only by our clients, but also by our associations with key personnel in various provincial Ministries/Departments of Education, and the complementary educational service providers (e.g. transportation systems, telephone dialers, guidance applications for career counseling, etc.) that seamlessly integrate with the core student data in Maplewood.
Fast implementation – Maplewood has plenty of experience in quick deployments in large school districts. We’re able to get all data transferred, software installed and users trained in a short timeframe.
Ease-of-use – A comprehensive student information system must be intuitive and simple to use in order to be embraced by increasingly burdened school staff. Nontechnical Maplewood staff members are actively involved in Maplewood’s software design, ensuring that the ease-of-use is always in the forefront.
Integration – For years, Maplewood has been focusing on the integration of more than just our own products (like our Library Automation System) by establishing relationships with many different vendors of complementary products. We have found that the cooperation between vendors offers much tighter integration without the expense of a Zone Integration Server.
||Maplewood Computing Ltd. (Maplewood) has specialized in school administration software and services since 1980 and provides comprehensive solutions for schools, classrooms and district offices. There are now approximately 2,000 schools across Canada using Maplewood to run their schools. These schools are those in 65 school districts, along with over 200 independent schools. Recently, there has been significant growth in our hosting service, with over 1,000 schools now hosted on Maplewood servers in London, Ontario.
Maplewood’s SIS is a truly Canadian product developed to satisfy the unique needs of Canadian schools – it is written in Canada, all research, development, marketing, sales, and support is performed by residents of Canada. The customization efforts to deliver a SIS tailored for each jurisdiction (province) requires significant, focused effort, and by concentrating on a limited number of jurisdictions, Maplewood is able to deliver a quality product that seamlessly meets all of the needs of schools in the provinces where we have schools.
Since Maplewood’s core business has always been its student information system, our expertise in this area is recognized not only by our clients, but also by our associations with key personnel in various provincial Ministries/Departments of Education. When new provincial initiatives are introduced, Maplewood is consistently the first vendor to fulfill those requirements.
Maplewood’s staffs combines expertise in both school administration and computer systems design to ensure that our systems are in keeping with the real needs of educators. Maplewood understands what is needed to run a school efficiently. Maplewood knows that schools are the key component to the collection of accurate and timely data. Data is critical for analyzing student success, and improving learning. Maplewood’s SIS continues to keep the end-users in mind, so that they can easily and efficiently report data, and maximize available time for meeting the students’ needs.
Beyond the development of the system, we pride ourselves by having excellent customer support services and we start any relationship with thorough implementation services.
Maplewood Computing was founded in 1980 by Larry Minshall, an administrator with an attendance problem, and his son Dave, a newly graduated engineer. Using a Commodore PET on loan from the school, the first Maplewood program was written to handle the overwhelming problem of student absenteeism in a school of 1,450 students. With the success of the attendance program, Larry’s intent was to have a community of developers in other schools and boards share the development work, resulting in a program that can be used by any school for minimal cost. Everyone wanted the software but did not want to contribute to the development, and therefore Maplewood, as a company, began. The system has evolved significantly from that day, and incorporates decades of suggestions into the solutions provided today.
Larry has since retired, and Dave continues as the President and CEO of the company.
Corporate Strategic Direction
Providing software to help schools is Maplewood’s sole focus. Our strategy has a number of essential components:
• Work closely with our customers and provincial policy makers to identify ever-changing system requirements and effectively align our portfolio of integrated products and services to maximize customer efficiency. The result is a constantly evolving, user friendly, responsive system for teachers, administrators, parents and students.
• Maplewood will continue to have the system evolve with the advancements in technology. This has been consistent during the entire 30-year history of the company. The system has been migrated from the original Commodore PET to DOS, then to Windows, and now to web-based applications. At the same time, the back-end database structures have advanced from a proprietary database in each school, to a single database for a district with a central repository for a province-wide deployment. This evolution is included with our annual fees, constantly retaining the value of the system. This philosophy allows us to continue to grow as other new technologies emerge.
• In recent years, Canadian schools have been rethinking classroom assessment and are thinking about assessment as a major facilitator of learning. This concept and direction is reinforced by the recent BC Education Plan. Current student information systems offer traditional grade books, with the ability to tie curriculum outcomes to items in the grade book. Those familiar with the document Rethinking Classroom Assessment with Purpose in Mind by the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Education at http://www.wncp.ca/media/40539/rethink.pdf will recognize that these grade book changes will not promote significant changes in classroom practice. In order to emphasize progress, rather than failure, the teacher must first determine the goals and outcomes they want to achieve and then determine how they will get there, using a number of different assessment methods including feedback, self-assessment, and peer-assessment. Maplewood understands this shift in assessment and is continuing to develop the tools to help the teachers build effective assessment plans. The design is based upon a number of meetings and conversations that we have had over the past months with our clients. This functionality will satisfy this uniquely Canadian method of assessment.
• Provide data hosting services to those customers with limited technology resources. Maplewood’s data hosting service provides a turnkey solution that handles the purchase, installation, configuration and maintenance of Maplewood hardware and software. This service results in an easy, secure and economical way to access school and district data. Maplewood now has over 1,000 schools using this service.
• Continue to expand our relationships with other educational providers with the aim of integrating virtually all of the appropriate systems in a district, typically through the use of Web Services. With the current momentum of support from these other systems, users will soon benefit from a single seamless system to access the functionality from any of these systems. Maplewood will continue to provide full cooperation with companies supplying products to our customers. We feel strongly that it is the district’s decision to decide the best product for their situation.