Is MiSiS Putting Our Students In Danger?

The letter that was mailed to our house was very stern. It stated that our daughter’s “immunization series is incomplete” and if she does not receive her second Varicella vaccine she will be “excluded from school attendance beginning: 1-12-15.” There is one small problem - she received her second chickenpox immunization in 2009. Apparently something caused the system to suddenly think that this never occurred.

The My Integrated Student Information System (MiSiS) was supposed eliminate problems like this one by replacing several disparate programs. Had it worked, the $13.5 million spent on its implementation would have made sense. Unfortunately, it was poorly designed because it did not take into account the age of the hardware that would be running it. Even worse, it was not adequately tested before “all legacy systems...were converted to read-only access, effective Monday, June 16th [2014].”  The resulting disruptions caused the district to take emergency actions which will result in an estimated $98 million in additional charges.

If the system can suddenly be unaware that a vaccination had been received, it seems conceivable that students who are not in compliance are also not being adequately tracked. This would put not only our students in danger, but could have dire consequences for households like mine that include someone with a chronic illness or compromised immune systems. The entire situation is made worse by the fact that the district has forced school nurses, who would be in the best position to notice these problems, to split their time between several campuses. In fact, the person signing our notification crossed out the designation of “School Nurse” under the signature line.

It has been over six months since MiSiS was implemented and our Board member still refuses to take responsibility for her role in the crisis. Despite warnings signs that were present all summer, Tamar Galatzan has stated that she did not even realize that there were problems until the first day of school when thousands of students did not have their correct schedule. Even then, she excused herself from  any responsibility by stating that she could not “remember the last time we got an update on the program...and we don’t supervise anyone who works for the superintendent, which is who was running it.” If she still refuses to recognize that it was her job to ask, then we remain in danger of future problems like this for as long as she remains on the board.