7 Things we Learned at AeriesCon Fall 2021
Nov 01, 2021

It’s hard to believe AeriesCon Fall 2021 has come and gone. After 46 events, this one was the most unique: it was our first time hosting a hybrid version! So, […]

The Aeries Team

7 Things we Learned at AeriesCon Fall 2021

It’s hard to believe AeriesCon Fall 2021 has come and gone. After 46 events, this one was the most unique: it was our first time hosting a hybrid version! So, what exactly did we learn across the week? Let’s jump in!

1. The Future is Now
President Brent Lloyd shared the big news at Monday’s keynote: The Future of Aeries is in the cloud! (To view a recording of the keynote, click here) We are working on a new initiative, called Aeries+, to make the Aeries SIS a cloud-native product. So what exactly does this mean? What are the benefits of Aeries+?

  • 100% API Coverage – Data and Functionality
  • 99.9+% Uptime – No more downtime needed to update the software
  • Enhanced Security – Supporting common standards (e.g. NIST)
  • Full Testing Automation – Automated regression testing will be in every part of the system
  • Longitudinal Database – All data for all years in one place
  • Maximum Extensibility – Expanded in-product customization; Online Extensions Marketplace

Do you want to get involved with the transition to Aeries+? We are looking for Aeries users to sit on our advisory committees. If you are interested, click here to apply!

2. Sometimes You Have to Work Backwards
Monday mornings are never easy! But Dr. Apollo Emeka had us singing in style (well, to the best of our abilities, at least).

It may seem logical to work from start to finish, but did you know sometimes it helps to work from finish to start? Dr. Emeka talked in depth about how working backwards helps you end up where you want to be. The event matters, but so do Precondition #1, Precondition #2, and Precondition #3. What are you doing to achieve your goals? How have you prepared yourself to get to where you want to be?

3. Humor Can Make a Difference
Comedian Devin Siebold had us all laughing on Tuesday morning. Whether you’ve got a Pepsi or Sprite in your class, humor can help change your perspective, and your day. Starting your day off with a joke can make the world of difference. Even more, encourage your students to share their own jokes. Not only does this help build joy, but camaraderie, as well.

4. Each Pebble in the Water Makes an Impact
Dr. James Brescia provided an inspirational keynote celebrating the work of the front office school staff during the pandemic. He stated that “Our office and student system staff never left making sure we stayed compliant and safe.” Dr. Brescia reminded us that we need to keep “Flexibility, Patience, and Kindness” as we continue to work in these challenging times. He spoke of the unsung heroes of the past twenty months; from data clerks to custodians, everyone rallied to make sure students were taken care of.

Additionally, Dr. Brescia spoke of the importance of considering data in our schools. From the types of meetings that are being held to the instructional materials that are purchased, data-informed decisions impact all educators.

He also shared a heartwarming video of two Italian boys who found joy in music while in quarantine. Click here to watch the video!

5. Aeries Users Love to Learn…
With more than 1,600 attendees for AeriesCon Fall 2021, there was quite a bit of learning and collaboration going on! With 110 onsite sessions and 117 sessions, we never had a dull moment. Our most-attended sessions were “Aeries Vision for the Future” with Cam Iliff and Lynn Heatherly; our most-attended virtual sessions were “Basics of Query” with Heidi Hayes and “Independent Study Attendance Management” with Michele Sullivan!

Open Forum was a huge hit, whether we had onsite or virtual visitors. It was a great opportunity for Aeries users to collaborate with our staff while learning a few extra tricks and tips.

…and Have a Good Time:
The fun didn’t stop at the sessions: onsite Casino Night and virtual Trivia night brought out the competition! We loved seeing everyone’s 50s and 80s costumes and celebrating those who won big on the tables. Our virtual attendees brought the heat to trivia night on Thursday. We’re big fans of decompressing and having fun after a day of learning, so thank you to everyone who joined us!

6. Our Vendor Partners Rock!
Congrats to all the winners of our vendor scavenger hunt. And a huge thank you to all our vendors who were present onsite and virtually.

Our Onsite & Virtual partners:
Davis Demographics
Education Advanced
Siras Systems
Frontline Education

Our Virtual Only partners:

7. Aeries Users Can’t Get Enough M&Ms:
We were happy to carry on the sweetest (get it?) AeriesCon tradition of all: M&Ms! During the first years of AeriesCon, Rich Lloyd’s wife, Kelly, individually bagged M&Ms in small mesh bags, much like the ones you’d see Jordan almonds in for weddings. The number of attendees at that time was much less, so things were a bit easier. Over time, our crowds began to double…triple…and quadruple! Enter: M&Ms, pre-bagged, and ready to go! Efficient and tasty! We loved sharing the fun in the welcome bags, and enjoyed passing out “Second Day M&Ms”! Did you know our Peanut M&Ms go twice as fast as the regular?

A huge thank you goes out to everyone who helped make AeriesCon a success: our attendees, presenters, vendors, and staff. We couldn’t have pulled off our first-ever hybrid AeriesCon without you! Now, as we head into the fall and winter, don’t forget to keep AeriesCon Spring 2022 on your radar: March 7-9, 2022! And in the meantime, be sure to subscribe to our blogs and follow along on our social media channels so you don’t miss a beat. We’ll see you in the future!

Did you miss out on AeriesCon this fall? Access to all the recordings are available for purchase for $150! Once purchased, you’ll have unlimited access until December 31,2021. To learn more click here.

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