Tyler SIS on the Fritz

Our school has been experiencing recent technology issues, but the question is: Why?


Kylie Brennan

Science teacher Mr. Burthardt tries to log into a slow Tyler SIS.

Meghan Lynch and Kylie Brennan

If you’ve been anywhere in the Wentzville School District these past few weeks, you’ve noticed the recent issues with Tyler SIS. Whether you’re a student trying to check your grades or a teacher getting attendance in, the website’s problems are not only inconvenient, they can cause a lot of serious problems for the school. 

“It makes it difficult to input student’s attendance in a timely manner,” said attendance administrative assistant, Mrs. Maronic, when describing the chain reaction these Tyler SIS issues are causing. She continued, “It makes it difficult to correct attendance in a timely manner. And then that makes parents upset because they get notifications that their kids are missing when they’re not.” 

A huge concern that both students and staff have encountered is the difficulty to enter next year’s course requests.

“When students were trying to register for classes, it was overloading the system,” science teacher Mr. Burthardt said.

It makes it difficult to correct attendance in a timely manner. And then that makes parents upset because they get notifications that their kids are missing when they’re not.”

— Kim Maronic, attendance administrative assistant

A lot of students didn’t complete their course requests on time because of how unresponsive Tyler SIS was being. Because of the amount of students in our schools, having our course requests in on time is a huge deal. With the amount we haven’t submitted, our staff is going to have a difficult time getting our classes planned out for next year. 

While teachers were concerned about attendance and other things, students were concerned about their grades.

“It was loading really slow,” said freshman Micki Morris when discussing how these issues were affecting her ability to get accurate information about her grades. Students should be able to access their missing assignments and check how they’re doing in their classes, but it was very difficult for weeks.

The entire school depends on being able to use SIS in an efficient manner, otherwise the staffs’ jobs become extremely difficult and complicated. Mr. Schaper commented, “The school really relies on having accurate pictures of attendance in particular, but SIS also houses a lot of documents that we have to look at pretty frequently, so having reliable access to them is super important.” 

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Clearly, the Tyler SIS platform has noticeably gone downhill in the past year, the reason for this might not just be slow internet. There has been speculation from many of the teachers that the Wentzville School District will be using a new system sometime in the future. The teachers said they received this information on a PD Day during a meeting.

Although there has been talk of a new system, the timing at which it would be switched over has not confirmed. If we take into consideration the time it took to change other district wide platforms—such as the transition for Google Classroom to Canvas—we can expect it to be anywhere from 1-3 years. As of right now, however, none of this has been confirmed by the tech administrators yet, despite our attempts to reach out to the Director of Technology.

“I’m kind of excited that they’re introducing a new system next year. I think it’ll be helpful and hopefully some of those problems will go away,” Mr. Schaper said. Many other teachers and faculty members share this same view. Burthardt had talked about a different platform he used in his old school district, mentioning that Tyler SIS isn’t the best system he’s used, and that he’s looking forward to a new system. 

This new system poses questions that we do not have answers to at this time. Many people are asking how our grades, documents, and other important information are going to be transferred over to the new system. Although Tyler SIS hasn’t been working the way it needs to be, some are worried that the new system could be worse than what we have; and if it is, how we will move forward. Despite not knowing what’s in store for Tyler SIS and the technology in our district, we can assume that the issues we are facing will be dealt with and fixed.

Even though the issues we have been facing seem to be winding down, it is becoming more and more apparent that we might need to be ready for issues like this to be a recurring thing in our district.