SUCCESS STORIES

Read how some of our customers are taking advantage of Helios to manage their personnel data and streamline their compliance reporting. In the process, they save significantly in time and cost to keep up with compliance. They also make the county or oversight auditors and their management happy!



Claremont Unified School District (CUSD) has over 7,000 students in its Education K-12 program spread across 12 school sites. It also runs an extensive Adult School program. There are seven unique elementary schools, a school for the orthopedically handicapped, an intermediate school, a comprehensive high school, a community day school and a continuation school. In Brief CUSD chose Helios after a thorough evaluation of K-12 HR systems. CUSD HR department liked Helios for its ease of use and simple yet feature-packed product. Helios provides an easy to use dashboard and user interface to enable staff to quickly search information they need and run reports at the click of a button. CUSD also gets automated reminders from Helios for credential and TB expirations, which saves a lot of staff time and effort. During the summer hiring, Helios helped HR staff to easily look up new hire data and provide it to district stakeholders. Challenge CUSD had an internally developed personnel database system that staff used to enter basic employee data. However, it did not serve all HR needs such as credentialing and TB tracking. Much of the data was entered in free text notes field unable to be used for reporting. CUSD Chooses Helios Frustrated by the lack of organized data, CUSD, in the summer of 2014, started looking at various HR systems. After a thorough evaluation of all available HR systems for school districts, CUSD chose Helios for its ease of use and simple yet feature-packed product. Easy Access to Personnel Data During implementation, Helios imported their previous data and allowed CUSD to manage all their personnel data in one place. It enabled quick search of employee and job history information. HR staff is able to run reports at the click of a button allowing them to also see where data needs to be added. Dashboard The Helios dashboard is very useful to Kevin Ward, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at CUSD. He regularly uses Helios to look up employee information. For instance, once when the Union President was in his office, Mr. Ward was able to quickly access new hire information and present it to him. Mr. Ward says, “With a click you are at the right screen in Helios whereas it would take us 20 to 30 seconds just to get to the data we wanted before.” Automated Reminders for Credentials and TBs CUSD staff has been receiving regular reminders about credential and TB expirations, which has saved a lot of time for them. “Prior to Helios, I would have to bug my staff to give me reports and data. I can now look that up very easily with Helios without interrupting my staff. That is a tremendous productivity gain!” said Kevin Ward, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at CUSD.

Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) has over 17,000 students in its K-12 HR program spread across 22 school sites. It has close to 3,000 employees including teachers, classified staff, administrators, and part-time or temporary workers. In Brief BUSD was looking for comprehensive HR and payroll system that could replace or consolidate its five existing systems and databases. After evaluating several systems, BUSD preferred Helios because of its completeness, its ability to talk to other systems, and a friendly team backing it. Helios has provided BUSD a complete HR, time reporting, and online requisition solution that can also easily pull data from county and district systems thereby avoiding multiple data entry. BUSD has saved significant time and cost by consolidating various systems and databases it used prior and by having Helios talk to its key systems. The district is continuing to expand its use of Helios into more areas such as evaluations and employee portal in the future. Challenge BUSD had multiple data systems: a county payroll system, 2 FileMakerPro databases, 2 Access databases, and another HR system. All of these together were too cumbersome to use, did not talk to each other, and did not provide the level of functionality that BUSD staff wanted. There were multiple points of data entry, missing or stale data, errors, wasted time and effort. Moreover, BUSD wanted 21st century features like online access for employees, which were missing. BUSD Chooses Helios Frustrated by these challenges, BUSD started looking at various HR systems. After a thorough evaluation of all available HR systems for school districts, BUSD chose to implement Helios for its completeness and integration capabilities. Consolidating Five Databases and Talking to County System During implementation, Helios imported their previous data including a daily download from its county system offered by LA County Office of Education (LACOE). This allowed BUSD to manage all their HR and payroll data in one place. HR staff is able to run reports at the click of a button allowing them to also see where data needs to be added. Time Reporting and Payroll Helios streamlined BUSD’s time reporting and employee attendance. It offered both positive and negative time reporting: negative reporting for paid time off (PTO) for full-time permanent employees; positive reporting for hourly and extra duty employees. It also allowed reporting of substitutes when employees were absent. Helios also is able to automatically accrue vacation and sick time based on bargaining agreements. It can track vacation, sick time, and personal necessity balances and enable employees to access this information online. Personnel Requisitions and Extra Duty Forms Helios has also made personnel requisitions and forms online so that staff can complete them online and Helios’ workflow capability routes them to the right approvers. Time reporters can then report time against these workflows including extra duty, school business, and overtime pay. Dashboard and Reports The Helios dashboard and built-in reports have saved BUSD significant amount of time and cost. The payroll reports have been extremely helpful to the district. “At BUSD, we were looking for a platform that would integrate and tie the various systems of HR, Payroll, and Budget together. Helios worked with us to determine what our needs were in Burbank Unified. Helios helped replace five other systems and databases and integrates with our county system, providing us with a single end-to-end platform. It includes time and payroll reporting, workflow requisitions for extra duty, school business, personnel transactions, and more. We have found Helios team to be responsive and eager to provide a system that works for us. For us, follow through is the key. We expect a high level of customer service and Helios has delivered!” said Anita Schackmann, HR Director at Burbank Unified School District.

Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) has over 19,000 students in its K-12 HR program spread across 22 school sites. It has close to 3,000 employees including teachers, classified staff, administrators, and part-time or temporary workers. In Brief At CVUSD, reports were becoming more labor-intensive and the paperwork load was becoming overwhelming so the district started searching for a HR management system. When the district team first saw Helios, they were very impressed by its ease of use as well as the myriad of capabilities. Helios exceeded their expectations of what they wanted in an ideal HR management system. Helios has provided CVUSD a comprehensive HR management solution. It is making its day to day office operations much smoother and enabling access to information by principals and employees. Helios imports employee data from Riverside County’s Galaxy system, thus avoiding double data entry. It also imported CVUSD’s data in multiple systems and spreadsheets. “We loved the fact that it could make our day to day office operations run more smoothly and enable principals, staff, and employees to access data at their fingertips. We are excited how easy it is to extract all the information we need with built-in reports and dashboards for highly qualified teachers, assignment monitoring, and credentialing,” exclaimed Michael Ghelber, HR Director at CVUSD. Challenge CVUSD had multiple data systems: a county HR/payroll system, multiple spreadsheets, and in-house databases. Yet their reporting load was increasing tremendously and access to data was not easy at all. As a result, there was a lot of wasted time and effort by staff. CVUSD Implements Helios Frustrated by these challenges, CVUSD started looking at various HR systems. After a thorough evaluation of all available HR systems for school districts, CVUSD chose to implement Helios for its completeness and capabilities to enable access by employees and principals at their fingertips. Integration with Riverside County System Galaxy During implementation, Helios imported their previous data from their spreadsheets and databases including an ongoing download from its county system offered by Riverside County Office of Education. This allowed CVUSD to manage all their HR and payroll data in one place. HR staff is able to run reports at the click of a button allowing them to also see where data needs to be added. Principal and Employee Access CVUSD is excited about the ability of principals to log into Helios and get information on their teachers and staff, their credentials, and evaluations. Information is at their fingertips and it also saves HR staff time in answering phone calls and emails. Helios also offers the capability for employees to access their information via the Employee Portal. The portal allows employees to easily access data such as their credentials, expirations, salary units, as well as request changes to their address, contact info or emergency contacts. The district is continuing to expand its use of Helios in more areas such as evaluations, document management, and employee portal in future. “Helios exceeded our expectations by offering document management, evaluations, employee portal, credential updates, TB updates, and time reporting. I would highly recommend Helios to any district looking to gain efficiency, meet compliance, and provide a great tool for principals and employees to have all the data and easy access. The Helios team has accommodated our needs and are constantly working with us to roll the system out district-wide.” said Michael Ghelber, HR Director at CVUSD.  

GHCHS is an independent public school that seeks to create lifelong learners and productive citizens of its student body. Since its conversion to charter in 2003, the school has seen its API score increase 115 points to 876. It has over 5,000 students and 2,000 more on waitlist and over 500 employees.

In Brief

  • Granada Hills Charter High (GHCHS) has been using Helios since 2010 for credentialing, HR tracking, CalPADS state reporting, evaluations, document management, and automated reminders.
  • GHCHS has automated HR in a true sense with many reports and previously manual tasks such as sending credential reminders automated.
  • Karla Diamond, HR Manager at GHCHS is really excited about existing features and new possibilities with Helios.
  • GHCHS has saved many weeks of manual work and reporting time per year thanks to the quick reporting and automated features in Helios.
  • GHCHS and Karla Diamond received a certificate of recognition from California Department of Education for complete accuracy in their CalPADS staff reporting.

Challenge

Before Helios, Granada had their HR data in paper files, spreadsheets, and scattered databases. They wanted a solution that can track all of their HR and personnel information and do reporting on that.

Helios as a Solution

"What used to take us 2 weeks to do now takes us 2 hours or less with Helios. We import the CalPADS staff info directly into the CalPADS system. Automatic TB and credential renewal emails save me lots of time and mailing costs," said Karla Diamond, HR Manager, GHCHS.

Oversight Visits and Audits

GHCHS is now prepared for oversight visits and audits, even if they are at a moment's notice. All the information needed is organized and reports are easily and readily accessible. They can be exported to Excel, PDF, or other formats and printed quickly.

Automatic Reminders "Invaluable"

Automatic notifications for credential renewals and TB tests has been very helpful for GHCHS. Instead of going over manually the list of employees whose credentials or TB tests have expired, GHCHS just saves all time because Helios automatically emails them out directly to teachers and employees every month.

CalPADS and Other Reporting Made Seamless

"Helios has made GHCHS's CalPADS reporting go much more smoother than it ever has," said Ms. Diamond. Now, the CalPADS reporting process is streamlined - once the information is entered into Helios, it's just a matter of pressing a button and exporting the CalPADS report in Helios. This alone has saved Karla and her staff 2 to 3 weeks of work.

In 2015, GHCHS and Karla Diamond received a certificate of recognition from California Department of Education for complete accuracy in their CalPADS staff reporting.

Evaluations and Observations

The evaluations module in Helios has enabled GHCHS to have tailored, customized templates to evaluate teachers and staff. This also helps the teachers get an email and printed copy of the evaluations so that they can refer to it in their email inbox whenever they want.

"I would greatly recommend Helios, it feels much more legitimate and professional to be able to keep all of the important data in one place," exclaimed Ms. Diamond.

Camino Nuevo Charter Academy (Camino) is a community of eight high-performing public schools that utilizes a comprehensive approach to prepare students from preschool through high school for success in college and in life. We integrate academic rigor, community, family, and wellness to empower students to thrive in a culturally connected and changing world.

Camino students reside in some of the most historically underserved areas of Central Los Angeles, including the communities of MacArthur Park, Pico-Union, Wilshire Corridor, and Echo Park – a region that holds the second densest neighborhood in the U.S., where the annual family income is among the lowest in the city.

In Brief

  • Camino staff primarily use Helios to manage credential and NCLB data, oversight audits, TB and credential reminders, as well as compliance reports.
  • They say support is one of the best things they like about Helios.
  • Camino Nuevo staff have organized and input quite meticulously all their data into Helios, enabling them to quickly pull up information on teachers as well as run reports.

Why Helios?

Camino Nuevo got Helios for the same reasons as other schools: the ability of Helios to mainstream their HR credential management and do compliance reporting. They had been looking for over six months prior to going with Helios for a solution that will fit their needs but had found none. "Helios actually caters to schools!" Margaret Domingo, VP of HR and Compliance at Camino, had exclaimed when she first heard about it.

Camino primarily uses Helios to track their teacher credentials, NCLB, TB testing, EL, and subject matter test data. In fact, last month when a teacher's credential expired, they were able to quickly contact him and get him up to speed with NCLB compliance.

Reliable Helios Support

Camino Nuevo staff unanimously complimented Helios representatives for being extremely responsive to their needs. "Helios team is always available and their support is one of the best things I like about Helios," commented Margaret Domingo.

Camino is also using Helios reports during school audits. When auditors hit the school, it is much more gratifying to quickly pull up reports that satiate their hunger for data, which leaves both the administrators and the auditors happy.

No More Spreadsheet Mess

Camino used 101 Excel sheets to track data before switching to Helios. Now that those are history, Margaret can breathe a sigh of relief. For them, online data management is now the norm. In fact, they are now looking beyond what Helios currently does and want an online attendance calendar they can use to track employee absences and vacation time. And they will get it because that's one of the features planned for the next version of Helios, to be released within the next few months.

 

"Helios has been a life saver! Pulling ready reports, rather than doing it all in Excel, really saves our staff so much time and is extremely helpful during audits. We love the fact that Helios staff is always so accessible," said Margaret Domingo, VP of HR and Compliance at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.

 

Pacoima Charter Schools fosters high academic achievement among their large low socio-economic urban population of Pre-K to 5th grade students. Their curriculum focuses on English proficiency, math, and technology. Pacoima’s sees a vibrant community where teachers and parents are empowered with the knowledge and ability to positively impact the education of their children. In Brief Pacoima Charter, just like other conversion charters in the LA area, must hire credentialed teachers with English learner authorizations. LA Unified School District (LAUSD) audits the charter school in its annual oversight visit. These visits include combing through teacher credential and staff reports to ensure teachers are credentialed and teaching in their respective areas. Before Helios, Pacoima used an in-house HR database built on Access and Excel. Pacoima implemented Helios in January 2014 and has used it successfully for HR management and reporting including CalPADS, credentialing, LAUSD audits, TB and DOJ, salary verifications, seniority lists, and NCLB. Why Pacoima Chose Helios “Coming from the private sector, I realized it’s a waste of time running reports and managing HR manually with spreadsheets. So I looked around and found Helios to satisfy our HR needs,” said Sergio Gomez, HR Director at Pacoima. Helios is designed especially for  K-12 so all the education specific HR needs such as teacher credentialing, CalPADS, and NCLB are met on top of general HR features for work history, demographics, pay, and benefits. LAUSD Oversight Audits and CalPADS One of the biggest advantages for Pacoima has been a streamlined HR department. They have saved significant time in compliance reporting. While it took over 12 days to compile data and prepare reports for LAUSD site visits, Pacoima can now run these reports in a matter of seconds with Helios. During the LAUSD oversight visit, Pacoima presented these reports from Helios to the auditors. The auditors were impressed with the system and how organized Pacoima’s data was. The oversight visit proved to be a success with no findings. Similarly, the CalPADS staff report took Pacoima over 6 hours to run with their prior database and now it only takes less than an hour to prepare and verify the report. Credentialing and Reminders Help Avoid Teacher Non-Compliance Helios’ credentialing module and automated reminders have been very helpful for Pacoima. For instance, when the charter hired a substitute teacher at the beginning of school year Helios quickly reminded that their substitute permit was going to expire September 1. This enabled Pacoima and the teacher to get their permit renewed and avoid assignment problems later on. The updated credential got reflected in Helios seamlessly and reports were all accurate. Reporting in Helios has helped Pacoima in many other areas: • Determining bonuses for certificated and classified staff and teachers • Salary verification report • Credentialing management “Helios has streamlined our HR compliance and management. Reports are so easy to run and they have saved us countless days and last minute headaches in complying with HR requirements and regulations. For example, we have reduced our staff time from 12 days to minutes in creating audit reports for LAUSD. Moreover, Helios offers a very strong credentialing module, which is a must for schools. They truly understand education”, said Sergio Gomez, HR Director.

Let Helios help you create your own success story!