‘Rocky’ Start to New Student Information System Rollout

NEW SRHS AERIES SYSTEM: English teacher Casey Elsa’s computer shows the new Aeries student information system. Elsa’s computer shows the limited access she has to her class lists and transcripts of years past. Vice Principal Andy Lieberman described the switch by saying, “it’s been rocky.”

Article and Photo by Grace Payne

Santa Rosa High School’s switch to a new student information system called Aeries caused major scheduling problems as students returned to campus on August 12.

Delays in transferring data from the old system, Illuminate Ed, prevented many students from accessing their schedules on the first day back. Long lines stretched around the quad and back to the DeSoto Building as students waited for administrators to tell them where to go.

“I had to wait in line for 30 to 40 minutes to get my schedule,” said junior Ali Van Holt. “I was very late to class.”

Once students received schedules, many were incorrect, causing students to go to the wrong classes and fall behind in their correct classes. School administrators asked them to remain in those incorrect classes while they attempted to sort through all of the confusion.

They said doing things like changing classes could take up to two weeks depending on the counselor. Many students complained they could not get appointments to see counselors and fix their schedules.

“It’s been rocky,’’ Vice Principal Andy Lieberman said in an interview in his office on August 27. 

According to Lieberman, Illuminate Ed was one of the largest student databases in the country. But the company announced Illuminate would no longer continue as a data system for schools. The school became aware of the need to change systems not long before the new school year started. 

A counseling office note to parents said that all Santa Rosa City Schools migrated from Illuminate to Aeries. Due to the size of the district, the conversion was ongoing throughout the summer with portions completed August 6. The note called it a “work in progress for the next few months.” A note to the parents said, “please try not to become stressed or anxious with this information.”

The assistant principal said there have been a lot of schedule changes and there are still more coming. Counselor Luci Lucchesi said the transition went as well as could be expected for “something of such a large magnitude.” Lucchesi said Aeries is a more effective system with greater capabilities.

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