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Kalamazoo Public Schools Comes Over to Red Rover

February 08, 2021   •   Case Studies

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Kalamazoo Public Schools

Kalamazoo, Michigan
13,000 students served
26 school sites

800 faculty and staff

Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) is student centered and focused on continuously improving student achievement. The district is distinguished by a unique scholarship program that provides up to 100 percent post-secondary tuition and fee assistance for every KPS graduate who meets attendance and residency requirements.

To date, more than 6,000 of its students have benefitted from this remarkable program.
The district’s standards are high, and its commitment to excellence is evident from Pre-K through grade 12. When KPS chose the Red Rover K12 absence management solution, they expected a program that met their needs and matched their expectations.

The look and feel of Red Rover are so much better...even the font makes it easier to read and use, and there’s room to make notes. It sounds like a small thing, but it really makes a noticeable difference to a user like me who doesn’t have time to waste!

SARAH SWAFFORD, Substitute Coordinator


Sarah Swafford serves as the Substitutes Coordinator for Kalamazoo Public Schools. She’s the go-to professional when the district’s teachers, administrators and ancillary staff need substitutes.

For the start of the 2020-21 school year, KPS served students virtually, with plans to transition to a hybrid instructional model beginning November 30, 2020.

Swafford explained the district’s decision to introduce Red Rover for the 2020-21 school year saying, “Our previous system was cumbersome. It was difficult to handle long-term absences and the district’s substitute bonus system, not to mention creating half-day assignments and accessing data about where substitutes had been assigned previously in the district. Red Rover solved those difficulties for us, and now we can handle these functions with just a simple click. I love it!”

Reporting Simplified

KPS’s reporting needs are also a priority for Ms. Swafford. She explained, “Generating reports is simple and straightforward. The reporting options are comprehensive, and it’s still fast and easy to use. Searching is streamlined, and you can find what you need when you need it!”

Happy Staff. Happy Sarah.

Swafford works with 800 of the district’s teachers, administrators and instructional staff members, and she wanted a solution that would work for them as they scheduled absences and requested substitutes. Red Rover’s manual fill function enables the KPS staff to request specific substitutes as needed and according to Swafford. Searching is streamlined, and you can find what you need when you need it!”

Introducing her colleagues to Red Rover was easier than Swafford expected. “Our teachers and staff quickly realized they could easily navigate the Red Rover site, without fear of ‘breaking it’ – and the how-to videos helped them use it right away. That makes my work so much easier.” she said.

Ramping Up for What's Next

With KPS operating in remote learning mode, Swafford has been able to roll out the Red Rover absence management solution strategically. Once the district transitions to a hybrid model and then eventually to fully on-premise instruction, the staff will be even more experienced Red Rover users. Swafford summed it all up by saying, “I love it and I’m grateful for it every day.”


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