Blue Springs School District in Blue Springs, Missouri, recently switched from another substitute placement provider to Aesop to help comply with the Affordable Care Act.
School district staying on top of health care changes
Reposted from The Examiner
The Blue Springs School District is making changes now so that when Jan. 1 comes along, it is compliant with new federal regulations regarding health care.
The Blue Springs Board of Education on Tuesday approved contracting with Frontline Technologies Inc. to provide a substitute and attendance management software system. The system, AESOP, will allow the district to better track its substitutes in all departments. The ability to track substitutes will become more imperative when a large portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes into affect Jan. 1, 2014. The idea behind the law is to make it not only easier, but more affordable for people without employer-offered health care to purchase insurance in the marketplace.
Individuals who do not have insurance by 2014 will be required to pay a fee. Employers with more than 50 people that do not provide minimal coverage will also be subjected to a fee. In addition, if the employer does not provide the type of insurance that the federal government deems sufficient, an additional fee will be assessed.
In addition, employers are required to provide insurance to part-time employees, those who work more than 30 hours per week or 120 hours per month. This includes substitute teachers or other substitutes in classified positions such as food service or transportation.
Superintendent Paul Kinder said the district has the ability to look at substitutes on a three or 12 month basis, whichever the district chooses. During this time, an employer can look at an employee's eligibility status as it affects health care benefits, and whether that employee averaged 30 hours a week or more during the period. If an employee has averaged more than the hours allowed in a week or month, then the employer must provide health insurance coverage.
Kinder said Blue Springs is lucky because it has a health care package in place for part-time employees. He said, others, however, will not be as lucky.
"So many are going to be caught off guard with this," he said. "They don't know what is going on, so many people are going to come up short (when the policy goes into effect)."
In addition to tracking a substitute's hours, the AESOP software provides other features. The system will allow for multiple types of substitutes including classified, long-term and permanent and will create reports at no additional charge. The system can also tell if substitutes are working in another district, allowing for another substitute to be called rather than notifying one that is already working.
Evenson, Kelly. "School district staying on top of health care changes." Examiner.net (06 June 2013). http://www.examiner.net/news/x2034904827/School-district-staying-on-top-of-health-care-changes#axzz2VSb1yjCp (06 June 2013).
To increase efficiency and accountability among staff requesting substitutes to fill their place during sick days, the Pine River-Backus School Board on Monday, May 20, agreed to begin using Aesop, an electronic system for managing placement of substitute teachers.
Elementary Principal Jackie Bruns said clerical staff in the elementary school sometimes face high stress and extremely late or early hours to find substitutes to fill in for absent teachers. Staff managing substitute placement have reported they can spend up to 14 hours in three days seeking substitutes to fill vacancies.
If those hours occur outside of a normal work schedule, those staff members sometimes comp their time to make up for those hours. That means they are sometimes missing during normal work hours while they are needed for other work.
Aesop is a networking program that posts substitute openings and tracks availability of substitute teachers to automate the system that once required clerical workers to fill out forms, turn them in for authorization and call sometimes dozens of substitute teachers. Cindy Felthous, human resource director, said substitutes have recently been asking why the school does not already use the system that is active in other schools, such as Crosby-Ironton and Hill City.
Because there was some question of annual cost, board members inquired whether the program would actually be worth purchasing. Felthous suggested that the automated system would increase the amount of time clerical workers could spend on other important work, and even increase productivity and efficiency.
Grimler, Travis. "School Board Adopts New Program to Streamline Hiring Substitutes." Pineandlakes.com (21 May 2013). http://pineandlakes.com/echo-news/2013-05-21/school-board-adopts-new-program-to-streamline-hiring-substitutes (21 May 2013).
In response to new federal healthcare regulations, Frontline Technologies recently launched several initiatives around the Aesop substitute placement and absence management system to help school districts track and determine eligibility for healthcare benefits.
New regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) require employers, including school districts, to provide coverage to employees working an average of 30 or more hours a week.
Set to go into effect January 1, 2014, the regulations commonly known as "Obamacare" have districts looking for an effective way to track part-time employee hours, particularly for substitute teachers, and determine eligibility for insurance benefits.
In response to this need, Frontline Technologies, the creators of the Aesop substitute placement and absence management system, has released a targeted, customizable report to all 3,200 of its school district customers. The new report allows districts to easily see the days or hours scheduled to work for each substitute per week. Districts can get the report on-demand or schedule it to be delivered weekly or monthly.
"We've been hearing a lot of districts ask about tracking employee hours in preparation for the Affordable Care Act," said Larry Foxx, Director of Client Services. "The new report should make it a lot easier for districts to collect and review the data they need to track this year."
Another Aesop report allows districts to track the total number of days and hours a substitute has been scheduled to work in any given time period. This report can also be accessed on-demand or scheduled and could be useful in determining a substitute's eligibility based on a certain look-back period. In addition to these reports, Frontline is also evaluating further functionality within Aesop to assist districts with the mandates.
Also from Frontline, the VeriTime time and attendance system captures the actual time worked by hourly employees, helping districts track hours worked by part-time employees.
Frontline Technologies is pleased to announce that Aesop has been selected as a 2012 District Administration Readers' Choice Top 100 Product.
With more than 1,000 nominations this year, a new record, the winners were selected by the editors of District Administration and were based upon both the quantity of nominations and the quality of reader descriptions.
"With Aesop, our attendance clerical support has more time to perform other duties instead of contacting subs on a daily basis," said one reader who nominated Aesop. "In addition, Frontline Technologies has a wonderful customer support team always willing to assist us in the most difficult and then again the simplest issue we may have."
The annual District Administration Readers' Choice Top 100 Products award recognizes leaders in the education industry, and provides superintendents and other senior school district leaders with the unique opportunity to learn what products their colleagues around the country are using, and how these products contribute to the success of their districts.
In 2012, more than 300 school districts have selected Aesop for substitute placement and absence management, reinforcing Aesop's position as the most widely-used automated sub-calling system in the nation.
Virginia Beach City Public School District, the 33rd largest school district in the country, switched to Aesop this year, as well as Austin Independent School District, the 35th largest district - both from CRS Subfinder.
In all, nearly 50 districts chose to switch from other automated products to Aesop this year, while another 275 districts moved from manual sub-calling and paper-based processes to completely automated sub-calling and online absence management.
Frontline Technologies recently welcomed the 3,000th Aesop customer, reinforcing Aesop's position as the leader in automated substitute placement and absence management, with more districts using the system than all similar systems combined.
Districts to choose automation with Aesop within the last year include Juneau Borough School District in Alaska, Sumner County Schools in Tennessee and Milwaukee Public Schools in Wisconsin. Many districts also switched from other automated systems to Aesop this year, including Douglas County School District in Colorado, Fayette County Schools in Kentucky, Central Bucks School District in Pennsylvania, Abilene ISD in Texas, Rialto USD in California and Portland Public Schools in Oregon.
Districts outside the U.S. have also recently joined the growing Aesop family, including Keewatin-Patricia District School Board in Ontario, Prairie Spirit School Division in Saskatchewan, 7 Oaks School Division in Manitoba, Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board in Quebec and Miramichi School District 16 in New Brunswick.
On Tuesday, Frontline began rolling out a brand new look for Aesop for substitute teachers.
To continue to make Aesop simple and easy-to-use, Frontline Technologies has begun a long-term initiative to rebuild the Aesop platform, beginning with the substitute teacher portal. The new look is specially designed with substitutes' needs in mind, making it as simple as possible for them to find available jobs, view their schedules, create non-work days, and perform other important tasks.
"It has more information and is much more user-friendly," one user said. "I love the layout, and the tabs are more efficient."
In just the last few months, Frontline Technologies was pleased to welcome Baltimore City Public Schools, Milwaukee Public Schools, and Portland Public Schools to the Aesop family.
In July, Portland Public Schools, the largest school district in Oregon, switched to Aesop from the SmartFindExpress® sub-calling system from eSchool Solutions®. The upgrade from eSchool's SEMS product to SmartFindExpress resulted in technical issues for Portland, leading the district to search for a more efficient solution. Portland will now benefit from Aesop's Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, with no hardware, software or phone lines to install or maintain at the district.
Milwaukee Public Schools, the largest district in Wisconsin and one of the 50 largest districts in the US, needed to find a better way to track absences and place qualified substitutes for their more than 13,000 employees. Aesop will use combined internet and phone technologies to record employee absences and make those jobs available to substitutes based on Milwaukee's needs and preferences. Additionally, Aesop's integration with Milwaukee's PeopleSoft application will save hours of data entry and reduce mistakes in payroll.
Most recently, Baltimore City Public Schools, one of the top 50 largest districts in the United States, chose Aesop to streamline the creation of teacher absences and the placement of qualified substitutes for their more than 11,000 employees. The district's administrators will get a real-time view of who is working where and will also get access to critical data and trends, including fill rates, absenteeism and more.
With more and more district personnel using smartphones and other mobile devices every day, the makers of Aesop are pleased to offer a mobile-optimized website for Aesop.
Aesop Administrators, Organization (central office) Users, and Campus Users (school principals and secretaries) can access key functions of Aesop from the convenience of any device that can access the internet, including smartphones, iPads and more. The Aesop Mobile site uses all the same permissions and rules that districts have set up in the full Aesop site, so users won't be able to do anything on their mobile devices that districts haven't given them permission to do in Aesop.
Northshore School District, in Bothell, Wash., is switching to Aesop for automated substitute placement and absence management.
The district previously used a sub-calling box provided by eSchool Solutions, but decided to transfer their more than 1,500 employees to Aesop, the leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider of absence and attendance management solutions. By switching to Aesop, Northshore School District will no longer need to support hardware or software at the district. Rather, the application is hosted entirely by Aesop, and district personnel can access it via phone and web from anywhere at any time.
Northshore will also be integrating Aesop with their payroll system, SunGard BusinessPlus, saving hours spent hand-keying redundant data.
Frontline Technologies, the creator of Aesop, is pleased to announce a new time and attendance product, VeriTime.
VeriTime is a web-based time and attendance system for K-12 that is already integrated seamlessly with Aesop. Together with Aesop, VeriTime offers a complete attendance management solution: Aesop tracks negative time (time absent), while VeriTime tracks positive time - and all this data can be viewed on demand in Aesop.
"Hand-keying timesheets was a huge burden for our payroll office," said Debbie Brilla, Human Resources Specialist at Pottsgrove School District in Pottstown, Pa. "By providing electronic timesheets, VeriTime is easily saving us two full days of data entry per pay period."
Prince George's County Public Schools in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, has switched to Aesop for web and phone-based substitute placement and absence management.
PGCPS, the 18th largest district in the US and second largest in Maryland, was previously using a phone-only system from eSchool Solutions to schedule replacements for their more than 20,000 full-time employees. By choosing Aesop, the district will benefit from integrated phone and web placement of substitutes, as well as real-time online reporting and absence tracking.
Aesop will provide additional value for PGCPS by integrating with their payroll system, Oracle. The two systems will easily share redundant data, saving hours of manual data entry and reducing the risk of mistakes.
Aesop is pleased to announce that Knox County Schools, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, will join the nearly 2,500 districts using Aesop for automated substitute placement and absence management.
Knox County Schools employs nearly 8,000 teachers, support staff, and other personnel throughout the district. Previously, the absence management processes for Knox County Schools were decentralized, with each of the 87 schools handling its own substitute placement manually.
By choosing Aesop, Knox County Schools will benefit from centralized information across all buildings and will be able to easily report on data such as fill rates, absenteeism patterns, absence reasons, and more.Additionally, an interface between Aesop and the district's payroll system will reduce data entry time and mistakes in payroll.
Frontline Technologies is pleased to welcome its first customer in Russia, the Anglo-American School (AAS) of Moscow.
With one building in Moscow and another in St. Petersburg, the AAS was looking for a more efficient method for substitute placement and absence management. The director, Erica Fursova, discovered Aesop at the AASPA Conference in the US. Many reports about Aesop's superior functionality and world class customer service from other attendees led Fursova to see if Aesop could serve her organization.
After a few discussions and conference calls, AAS chose Aesop, since the system does not require any hardware or software installations. Even the training will be handled online, allowing for a smooth and cost effective implementation in the fall.