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ASK THE STAFF

July/August 2016

Ask the Staff: Upgrade available
by Jennifer Feld

IASB Associate Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Feld answers the question for this issue of the Journal.

Question : Why does IASB need a new member database?

Answer: In order to continue to provide excellent service and value to IASB members, the Association recently replaced its 30-year-old database management system. Our goal was to find an online, integrated system that would provide members and school districts with the resources, tools, and functionality to effectively transact and monitor how they do business with the Association.

The new member database system will allow us to streamline operations, engage members, and develop and deliver services that enhance the member experience.

The new system also integrates with the IASB website and creates a single sign-in process for activities previously included on IASB’s “Members Only” website. Now, everything will be generated from the IASB home page. With the changes that went live on June 6, with a new single sign-in members are able to

  • Create new or change membership profiles;
  • Register for events, workshops, meetings, and educational activities;
  • Access the PRESS Policy Reference Manual and updates (beginning in August);
  • Monitor Master Board Member points;
  • Monitor LeaderShop Academy credits; and
  • Purchase items from the IASB online bookstore.

Members can register online for Division Dinner Meetings and Online Learning Center courses, as well as regional and statewide workshops. Starting in 2017, members will also be able to register online for the Joint Annual Conference. In addition, the new system will also serve as the portal for all PRESS subscribers and Online Learning Center users, and for all the content previously housed at Members-Only (Master Board Member and LeaderShop Academy records, member resources, IASB governance, and the annual conference planner and handouts).

The groundwork for the upgrade began two years ago, when IASB began an in-depth assessment of its technology needs. After reviewing potential solutions and a lengthy custom-build process, staff training on the new member database system began in December. Throughout the entire process, and with the help of a dedicated core team representing each Association department, our goal was to serve our members more effectively and efficiently.

When districts ask what their member dues pays for, it is investments like this that return the most value for the entire Association membership that are considered first. This was not an easy task, nor an inexpensive one, but we know it will pay dividends for many years to come.

Information has been sent to all member districts (superintendents, secretaries, and board members), associate members and affiliate member organizations, IASB Service Associates, and the Illinois Council of School Attorneys. For those needing additional help, we have also created instructions and online videos showing how to access and use the new system.

Visit iasb.com/services/ams.cfm for this information.

But we also welcome your comments and questions. Please call 217/528-9688, ext. 1100 if you have any problems, or just to let us know what you think of the new service.

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