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Success Stories

Cumberland County Equips Counselors To Find Their Way Back to Students

Sam DeFlitch
Sam DeFlitch
Cumberland County Equips Counselors To Find Their Way Back to Students



Learn how Cumberland County School District forged a path directly to and for students, increasing family engagement, reducing data errors, and strengthening both individual and community-wide relationships.

Cumberland County Statistics:

  • 89 schools and 50,000+ students
  • 5th largest school district in North Carolina
  • 2nd largest employer in Cumberland County
  • 25% of students come from military families


  • As the 5th largest school district in North Carolina, staff and educators in Cumberland County always had their hands full. High school counselors in particular were overwhelmed by the tedious yet essential task of manually auditing transcripts, leaving them with less time to work with students directly.
  • Complicated state requirements plus regular student transfers from all over the world led to high schoolers unintentionally falling off the path to graduation.
  • Cumberland also wanted to increase family engagement and build stronger relationships with both students and caregivers.


  • Cumberland found all the tools they needed in just one platform: Mesa OnTime.
  • Along with simplifying the transcript auditing process, Mesa OnTime provided analytics that impacted educational strategies and automatically flagged students who were missing credits or had scheduling errors.
  • Additionally, Mesa OnTime connected every corner of the district, supporting district leaders while granting direct access to crucial information for students and their families.


  • The implementation process alone significantly increased staff morale and allowed the entire district to plan the upcoming school year with more confidence and clarity. The anticipation for the official training program to begin grew stronger by the day. Everyone was ready to access and trust the data they needed to achieve their goals.
  • Cumberland and the Mesa OnTime team worked in tandem to build a platform ideal for Cumberland’s needs, creating add-ons specifically designed to keep track of North Carolina’s programs and requirements.


A School District Built on Community

Cumberland County School District in North Carolina serves students from all walks of life. Within the district are families living in rural, suburban, and urban communities, as well as the Fort Bragg Military Base, which accounts for over 25% of enrolled students.

Kristy Newitt, Counselor Coordinator for Cumberland Schools, describes the community as one dedicated to their students and families. “People who are raised here very often still live here,” Newitt says. “But we’re also a district where 82 languages are spoken, and many students are transferring here from around the country when their families are stationed at Fort Bragg. We’re always doing everything we can to provide opportunities for development for each one of our students as well as our amazing educators.”

Such a diverse socio-economic and cultural demographic feeds directly into Cumberland’s philosophy of teaching not just the academic child but the whole child. It’s at the heart of their commitment to provide every student with equitable access to a learning experience and an environment designed to help them reach their maximum potential.

As a result, Cumberland staff needs to be able to guide each student down a path curated for their individual success.



The roads taken, the obstacles ahead

The path to graduation can be a complicated journey, but it’s integral to the success of both students and schools. Cumberland understood this all too well.

On a district level, graduation rates affect federal funding. On an individual level, graduating can be marred by missed credits, scheduling errors, and differing requirements from schools attended in other districts, states, and countries. With so much information to juggle, it’s easy for a single step to fall through the cracks. And though that step may be small, it’s powerful enough to keep a student from earning their diploma.

These crucial data points are hard to find and often show themselves when it’s too late. Counselors then have to face the heartbreaking task of telling a student they won’t be graduating as anticipated.

Cumberland County wanted to make the path to graduation easier for staff and students to navigate. However, manual auditing of transcripts not only allowed for human error, it also devoured time and energy.

Out of the 146 counselors employed by Cumberland, 62 worked for high schools and were responsible for nearly 15,000 students. They were overwhelmed. They spent nearly 80% of their time was spent managing transcripts while they missed out on opportunities to connect with students.

Family engagement was also not as high as Cumberland wanted, and they needed new ways to reach out to the community. They sought to provide a genuine team dynamic that ensured everyone involved was on the same page. Cumberland needed a change, perhaps more than one, considering the variety of goals they had focused on. The status quo was unsustainable.



The clarity of Mesa OnTime

When Newitt saw a demo of the Mesa OnTime technology at a counseling conference, she knew it was exactly what her district needed. As Newitt prepared her presentation for the superintendent and other school leaders for buy-in, the Mesa OnTime team was consistently by her side, providing specific data insights to demonstrate the personal benefits for Cumberland County.

“I believed in what the platform offered and knew it would be a game-changer,” Newitt says. The superintendent agreed. His response? “Let’s make this happen.”

Excitement throughout the district grew as the implementation process took place. The Mesa OnTime team and Cumberland worked as one unit to build a platform ideally suited to the district’s needs and goals. Communication between the teams was consistent and simple. Cumberland could count on the Mesa OnTime team to be available and ready for anything. Their weekly phone calls always led to new discoveries.

North Carolina tracks a significant amount of data on all students state-wide. The Career and Technical Education report is critical for students who learn a trade. The state’s graduation requirements are not simple, and with students coming in from all over the world with different accomplishments, untangling all the information is a massive undertaking. Mesa OnTime adapted the platform for every state requirement.

With a click of a button, counselors can access a student’s transcripts. They can see a demographic's enrollment percentage in advanced courses. They can instantly find that one sophomore signed up for English 2 mistakenly more than once. Eight weeks of work auditing transcripts is whittled down to two.

The process was a true collaboration, highlighting the dedication of both teams to staff, students, and a thriving scholastic environment. Each success belonged to everyone.



A place for everything and everyone

The Cumberland Country School District is ready for the next step, and Newitt is excited for the rest of the counseling staff to dive right in. “Mesa OnTime is organized. Everything is clear and accessible. There are no questions to be asked and we can feel confident in its accuracy.”

Cumberland’s investment in its data platform strengthens each connection within its community. It offers a spot for everyone at the table, regardless of what they might bring or how they got there.

The administrative side has more time for one-on-one, personal interactions with students, fostering relationships that make a difference. Students can be more engaged with their own future plans and take responsibility for their education and career goals.

Families can tap into the same system to learn more about how to support their students and the teachers who give so much to their kids.

In the Cumberland community, everyone’s in.


Learn how Mesa OnTime can simplify data insight in your district

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