Aspen was designed collaboratively by educators and computer software professionals to empower educators to continually seek and achieve real school improvements by allowing them to:
- Use school standards and assessments to focus instruction on individual student's skill and knowledge development,
- Define the sequence of standards instruction,
- Define assessment guidelines,
- Use assessment data to refine intervention plans for students, and professional development programs for educators, and
- Provide parents and students access to current student assessments, portfolios, and activities.
Information and data stored in Aspen is associated with individual students. Each student is assigned to a classroom or homeroom. A collection of rooms constitute a school. A collection of schools form, in public school systems, a district. A collection of districts are a part of an educational services district. A state education system includes a number of educational services districts. This information organization can be powerful, allowing schools, by simply adjusting the student location identifier, to automatically transfer all student information with the student when the student moves from room to room, from school to school, and/or from district to district.
Aspen's three integrated core components support educators: Instructional Management; Teaching Tools; and Administrative Support Services.
Aspen's Instructional Management component provides decision support information and structure for effective instruction. Instructional Management functions include:
- The establishment and maintenance of instructional standards (goals, grade level targets, and student expectations), scope and sequence of instruction, knowledge continuums, and assessment definitions.
- Support for teachers and administrators during the instruction and learning process, including student expectation aligned assessment, class performance profiles, observations of student performance, response to intervention/instruction actions, and report card production.
Aspen's Teaching Tools component is a collection of productivity tools that enable teachers, with a single user name / password transaction, to:
- record student attendance,
- record student assessments,
- produce automated incident reports,
- prepare behavior intervention plans,
- create digital portfolios (descriptions, photos, documents, movies, and Internet references),
- record student activities, and
- interactively access school adopted digital resources.
Aspen;s Administrative Support component supports administrative functions, including:
- single sign-on security facilities that allow teachers/administrators/parents to access appropriate Aspen functions and data base elements,
- localized data capture where information is entered once and made available within appropriate Aspen facilities and functions,
- a comprehensive portal for parents to view student information (demographics, assessments, incident and behavior reports, activities, attendance, knowledge continuums, report cards, and portfolios),
- a reference repository of teaching resources (handbooks, policies, references, standard forms, and other approved resources), and
- student information.
Select the Aspen at Cedar River Academy link below to view a more complete description of Aspen as it is applied by Cedar River Academy. This PDF document includes screen images and report formats for the core Aspen elements.