4 Reasons Why Districts Are Implementing Case-Management Systems


According to a recent nationwide survey conducted by TransACT Communications, school districts across the country are using more than 10 different means to track data for students identified as McKinney-Vento eligible. Of the 668 survey respondents, 63% reported tracking data in spreadsheets, and 20% reported tracking data on paper.


These responses illuminate a common problem for district staff who support at-risk students — there are typically multiple, disconnected places where critical information about the students they serve is being stored.

The fact that much of this information is currently being stored in locations not accessible to a Student Information System (SIS) or other integrated system can lead to reduced service levels for students and a lack of the transparency needed to make informed funding decisions.

Student Information Systems Serve a Crucial Role
Virtually all school district personnel use the district’s SIS to access a subset of information about the students they serve. Common types of data stored in a SIS include:
  • An at-risk designation. For example: Is this student McKinney-Vento eligible – Yes/No
  • Contact information provided during registration
  • Academic information
  • The address provided during registration
  • Demographic information

This information serves a fundamental purpose for students. However, it misses the mark in terms of adequately capturing the data needed to support the unique needs of students such as those who are McKinney-Vento eligible.

The Importance of a Unified View

As most staff members who work with at-risk students know, there is significantly more information that needs to be stored for each at-risk student to ensure they are being effectively supported. This information includes:

  • Case notes 
  • Referrals to internal or external wrap-around service providers
  • Resources provided to students
  • Documentation 
  • Current address information
  • Participation in activities provided to at-risk students 

The reality is that SIS can’t accommodate the storage of this kind of information because they’re simply not designed to store data related to student case management. This means that other methods must be used.

The "Case" for Case-Management Systems

When district staff have one location to reference the latest information for the students they’re serving, they can more easily and effectively support the student or family to whom they’re providing services.  

For example, with a case-management solution, staff can view the latest case notes, recorded by a counselor or someone on the at-risk team, related to the student. Tracking the resources being provided, what interventions are in place, and what referrals the student or family receives can also be used when applying for McKinney-Vento grant funds or during a monitoring visit. These additional information points can also be the difference between spending days or even weeks trying to show your program's effectiveness or having it all available in just a few clicks.  

The Latest in Efficient, Effective Student Case Management 

Student SupportTracker is an all-new, secure online case-management solution designed to help school districts and staff more efficiently support McKinney-Vento and other at-risk student populations.

The benefits of using a case-management system include:

  1. Streamlined Data Management: School districts use multiple means to store data for McKinney-Vento eligible students, including spreadsheets and paper.  Embracing a case-management system provides seamless data organization, making life easier for your tech staff. 
  2. Unified Information: With data stored in multiple, disconnected places, centralized information on at-risk students is lacking. This fragmentation can lead to reduced student service levels and a lack of transparency for informed funding decisions. With a case-management system as your unified information hub, you can ensure that every student receives the support they need. 
  3. Beyond a SIS: SIS are indispensable, but they're limited in their capacity. They provide essential information, but for our at-risk students, we need more. A case-management system extends the capabilities, filling gaps by accommodating detailed case notes, service provider referrals, resource tracking, documentation, address updates, and participation records.
  4. Elevated Support: When it comes to offering the best support to students, a case-management system is a game-changer. Staff can effortlessly access case notes, monitor resources, track interventions, and manage referrals. This level of detail is instrumental in securing McKinney-Vento grant funds and ensuring successful monitoring visits.

Learn more about how you and your district can benefit from TransACT's Student SupportTracker.

Click here to download a copy of the entire 2023 National McKinney-Vento Study report. 

Phillip Smith

About The Author

Phillip leverages his extensive software and education industry experience to share innovative solutions for many of our valued TransAct customers and partners. As leader of AfterSchool21 and OutOfSchoolTime-Tracker sales, he helps support after-school program administrators in parent pay management and accurate 21APR reporting. Phillip also leads the ActPoint KPI team and the Council of Great City Schools (CGCS) partnership. ActPointKPI supports district and state business leaders nationwide in their efforts to manage costs and drive resources back to where they belong–the classroom.