Greenville County Schools is the largest public school system in South Carolina, educating 72,000 pre-K-12 students in the upstate region in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The district has been recognized as a school system of excellence.
After using an automated time and attendance solution for 10 years with its nonexempt employees, Greenville County Schools realized it needed a solution with greater functionality. With some staff members working externally with students, the district wanted a solution that provides mobile access so these employees could remotely track their time. Because the existing solution didn't pass the school system's security testing or provide mobile tools, Greenville sought another solution.
Greenville County Schools selected UKG Ready® Time for School, a solution that includes time and attendance, scheduling, accruals, leave, and mobile functionality, among other features. The school system had been using UKG® timeclocks with its prior automated system, so employees experienced a seamless transition to the new solution.
About 5,000 nonexempt employees use the UKG solution every school day to record their time. These include teachers' aides, food service staff, custodians, transportation employees, and administrative nonexempt staff.
UKG Time for School interfaces with SmartFind for management of substitute teachers and with the school district's HR and payroll solutions.
“I don't know what we would've done during the shutdown without a system that was externalized. I can't imagine how we would have relied on someone entering the time every week if employees had had no way to access the system while working remotely. The system was available to all users from anywhere.”
Greenville County Schools went live with UKG Time for School about six weeks before COVID-19 shut down the district. All staff worked remotely for a time before later moving to hybrid models. Having a solution with mobile functionality that could be accessed from anywhere was invaluable.
"I don't know what we would've done during the shutdown without a system that was externalized," says Marc Dominick, Payroll Coordinator at Greenville County Schools. "I can't imagine how we would have relied on someone entering the time every week if employees had had no way to access the system while working remotely. The system was available to all users from anywhere."
Although the solution had been configured for typical times, Greenville made adjustments to accommodate the unusual circumstances created by the pandemic. Staff members working from home entered change requests in the solution to record their time, and they could see their leave balances. Automation enabled better time tracking during the pandemic.
When teachers returned to their schools months later, Greenville began using UKG Time for School to track their time working in after-school and other programs, such as summer school. When a math position was vacant and went unfilled, other math teachers taught classes during their preparation periods and used the solution to track their extra teaching time.
Staff members find this position-based time tracking functionality easy to use. Information on each position's pay rate and funding source is built into the solution, so when employees select a position when they clock in, their time is automatically charged to the correct account.
"We are using CARES Act money to fund all of our summer school programs, so it keeps the accounting and then the payroll piece of it pretty simple," said Dominick.
The solution also easily tracks grant funds allotted to teachers working with special education home-based students and homebound students who have medical or other issues that don't allow them to attend school for a period of time. Based on the needs of a homebound student or the severity of their illness, teachers are allocated a number of hours for home instruction or homework assistance. Using the mobile app, they clock in to record their hours to a student's individual case number. When the allocated hours have been exhausted, the case number disappears and authorization is needed before more hours can be added to the case in the system.
"If there's no more time available, that's the end of a student's services unless the student needs more time," said Dominick. "It really helps us keep good control on the number of hours."
The solution also simplifies completing the required reporting to funding sources, with detailed reports easily available for review and sharing.
Dominick says that automated reports that are emailed to payroll staff and supervisors each week deliver insight about potential issues. He noted that a missed punch report for the prior week is emailed each Monday to the employee and supervisor so the issue can be rectified. Managers also receive a weekly negative comp time balance report, enabling them to see whether any employees are not working their required hours and the shortage has been deducted from their comp time balance.
UKG Time for School supports internal and external audits too. An external audit uncovered a few timecard discrepancies, and Dominick said the district was able to make a quick adjustment in the system. The solution provides valuable visibility that enables corrective action.
"The system is working exactly like we wanted it to," said Dominick.