For years, we’ve heard some version of this question: “Can we upload referrals from my student information system into SWIS?” Eliminating double-entry of student, staff, and referral data has always been a top priority for us at PBISApps and it’s always been hard not having a solid solution to offer.
Well, today is the day our answer to that question becomes: “Yes! We can upload your referrals to SWIS!”
Last year, we announced schools could start signing up to use a service called DataLink to import their student and staff rosters into their SWIS accounts. We’re ready to expand on that offer to include importing referrals…and we’re inviting everyone who is interested!
If importing referrals isn’t at the top of your list, but you want to learn more about integrating your student and staff rosters, that option is still available! Contact our customer support team today and they can get you started.
For those of you who have been waiting patiently for an opportunity to upload your referral data into SWIS, here are the details you need to get started.
What is DataLink?
DataLink connects the SWIS Suite with a district’s student information system (SIS) by transferring student, staff, and referral data from the SIS to individual SWIS accounts. With DataLink, your SIS sends files containing rosters and referrals for multiple schools. Through the magic of DataLink, those files upload each student, staff, and referral record automatically to the appropriate SWIS accounts.
DataLink is the most efficient way for large organizations to manage uploading student, staff, and referral information on behalf of all the schools they support. For this reason, DataLink is a service we offer to districts, regions, and states. If you are a single school, take a look at the Person Import Tool built into your school’s SWIS account to upload your school’s rosters.
Some Things to Consider Before Diving In
Importing referrals from your SIS is an option, not a requirement. Before you decide to dive into fully integrating SWIS with your district system, there are some things to consider. Specifically, which data are important to you and your team for decision making?
Using DataLink to import referral data means all referral entry happens in your SIS. If there are pieces of information SWIS requires that aren’t collected in your district system, you will need to customize your SIS to collect that data. A big one is Perceived Motivation. Many district systems don’t collect this information let alone require it. If that’s the case for your school and you choose to import referrals using DataLink, you will need to add Perceived Motivation as a field in your SIS.
Beyond adding required fields, schools importing referral data using DataLink lose the option to collect subcategory data related to harassment and weapon usage and Custom Fields are no longer an option in your SWIS account. Be sure to discuss how losing this information might impact your process and determine as a team whether opting into sending referrals through DataLink is a good fit.
Get Started with DataLink for Students, Staff, and Referrals
The process for using DataLink to integrate referrals starts the same way as if you were only uploading student and staff rosters.
Fill Out an Agency Profile Form
First, download a copy of the technical documentation and scroll down to Appendix A: The Agency Profile Form. The technical contact is the person responsible for setting up DataLink for your schools. They should be technically savvy with both the ability to script and the time allocated to completing the integration. Have them fill out the Agency Profile Form with their organization’s information.
Fill Out a SWIS Classifications Map Template
The next forms to complete are the SWIS Classifications Map templates. These templates provide codes, values, and other properties of each SWIS field. It’s up to you to map your SIS codes to their corresponding SWIS value in the map. DataLink uses the map you create to automatically convert the referral data you send.
Send Your Forms to Us
When you have a completed Agency Profile Form and SWIS Classification Map Template, send them both to our PBISApps Customer Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will set up an account and send the technical contact an email notification with next steps.
After that, the technical specification and guide will fill you in on everything else including:
- How to format your files.
- Which identifiers to use.
- How to manage your participation online.
We’re glad to be able to offer this opportunity to you and your schools. If you have any questions or need any help along the way, contact our support team for more details.