A student in the library at Frisco

Based in Frisco, TX and covering portions of neighboring cities of McKinney, Little Elm, and Plano, the Frisco Independent School District (Frisco ISD) is an award winning school district providing high quality, personalized education to thousands of students from the K-12 levels. One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas and in the United States, Frisco ISD grew  from four schools in 1993 to 64 today, and continues to open two to six new campuses per year. 

Founded in 1876, the district currently oversees over 8,200 employees, including educators, administration, management and support personnel who keep things running smoothly. Keeping ahead of Frisco ISD’s growth is a constant challenge and it was in response to this that in 2014 Frisco ISD recognized the need for a dedicated leave management software and adopted Presagia’s cloud-based solution.

The Issues

Leave management is a challenge for HR professionals in the United States as leave laws change quickly and frequently, interact with one another, and can be difficult to keep track of. For a large and growing school district, there are additional unique leave management issues. Not only does the education sector tend to see an above-average number of leave requests, but as the district grows, new employees have to be continuously added. As well, employees are distributed over 64 schools and can work a wide variety of different schedules, making consistency in managing leaves even more difficult.

When Brenna Rose, Employee Benefits Manager at Frisco, assumed responsibility for managing leaves, she quickly realized that with the complicated nature of leave management the current method of managing leave on spreadsheets was insufficient. A new system was needed to ensure compliance, consistency, and efficiency. Moreover, Rose and her team had many responsibilities beyond leave management, and with little prior experience managing leaves, the team was fighting an uphill battle. As a result, they sought a system that would not only automate processes, but also help them to learn and continue to optimize their practices.

I felt that a software system would not only help keep us compliant but would help us learn more about the regulations and requirements associated with leave.” 

The Solution

For Rose and her team, a key moment in the search for a new system was when they looked to fellow Texas school district Irving ISD, and saw that their recently adopted software solution for leave management had greatly improved their confidence in compliance. “I went out to Irving for several days and saw how they were benefiting from leave management software,” Rose explained. She was very impressed with the system’s ease of use and its ability to automate various leave workflows.

That system was Presagia’s industry leading cloud-based absence management system. Presagia’s system is continuously updated with the FMLA, military, ADA and 450 pieces of state leave legislation, and unique school district policies can be added. Presagia is also able to integrate with Frisco’s Time & Attendance system to automatically receive the employee demographics, attendance and absence data required for leave management. This greatly improves the accuracy of leave calculations and usage tracking, while eliminating a vast amount of manual, time-consuming data entry.

Furthermore, the team no longer has to spend countless hours on the Department of Labor’s website, sifting through large amounts of information in order to remain compliant. The system not only provides accurate, best practice decision support for leave management issues, but is also able to fulfill Rose’s and her team’s need for a source of information and guidance.

“None of us here are leave experts and we learn from every case we enter,” said Rose. “Even now we’re still realizing how much more is involved, beyond just getting things sent in the right timeframes. It’s a lot of information to learn, and the software is amazing and super helpful.”

Empty classroom waiting for students to arrive

The Results

Since implementing Presagia in 2014, Frisco ISD has improved their efficiency, accuracy, and confidence, and the software continues to help Rose and her team become leave management experts.

“When an employee needs leave, either the employee or their supervisor reaches out and lets us know, and we take it from there,” Jessica Gilbert elaborated. “The system takes us from start to finish, auto-generating materials for us, making it very user-friendly.”

The ability to auto-generate leave forms and correspondence is a big timesaver. The system automatically chooses the right forms to send and fills them in for us."

Gilbert and Rose also explained how they have grown as leave management experts, and have been learning a lot about the nation’s leave law landscape with Presagia as a tool and Presagia’s team as support. “I was concerned at first when they said you could enter a leave case right when someone called,” Gilbert explained. “I thought I would have to write down a lot of information and enter it later, but now when someone calls I just pull Presagia up and click through some steps. It’s very easy and self-explanatory.”

They have gained confidence in their ability to follow the right leave process with Presagia’s automated workflows. Furthermore, they have come to recognize Presagia’s support team as their partners in learning the nuances of leave management. “Occasionally things will happen in the system that we don’t understand,” Rose noted. "For instance, we may not understand why an employee was or was not eligible for a leave. If we can’t figure it out ourselves, Presagia’s team is always willing to help us understand.”

“Prior to Presagia, we didn’t know what we were missing, or whether or not we were in compliance at all times,” Rose explained. Now, however, they are assured that everyone is getting the leaves they are eligible for and entitled to, and that correspondence is being properly filled and sent on time, improving the employer to employee relationship.