Education, like all other sectors, has been influenced greatly by the emergence and advancement of information technology. And this has not been the case through the past 10 or so years only. In fact, this influence goes way further back than that.
One such old example of this influence was in 1988 when Automate The Schools (ATS), a K-12 student information system, was implemented across all of New York City’s public schools. It has been in use ever since. The system was written using the Computer Corporation of America’s (CCA) Model 204 database management software, and it facilitated the administration of over 1 million students in NYC’s public schools.
Today, Student Information Systems continue to play a pivotal role in streamlining the workflow in schools such as handling students’ data, admission, registration and other processes. They are especially convenient in that they can significantly reduce paper consumption. A powerful SIS comes equipped with a wide arsenal of features including web forms, notifications, and an internal mailing system. These features should allow you to carry out all the necessary tasks with almost no paperwork at all.
And generally speaking, the benefits of the SIS for school management fall into two categories: school management and student/parents self-service.
For matters pertaining to school management, there are the following features:
Streamlining the admission & registration processes
Admission and registration are two of the most sensitive and demanding processes in school management. A lot of procedures go into handling prospective students’ applications such as processing and validating their information, conducting interviews, and so on. Implementing a feature-rich SIS system can help save time, effort, eliminate errors and also reduce redundancies.
Scheduling and timetable management
Your teachers are your most valuable resources. Distributing their time among classes and matching their availability to the availability of the classrooms and required teaching times could be a hassle. An effective SIS should provide you with a digitalized process for accurate scheduling and efficient timetable generation.
Evaluation and performance tracking
A large part of the educational process is in monitoring your students’ attendance, behaviour and academic performance. By closely examining your students’ academic performance, you can come with systematic ways to help them improve.
A strong Student Information System allows you to generate customized reports and statistics about your students’ academic performance. It also lets you easily produce all types of certificates for your students’ promotion or graduation.
Eliminate the hassles from fees management
Managing your students’ fees is a very sensitive and critical issue, and therefore needs to be handled with care. While ensuring that students pay their fees on time, you also do not want that to negatively impact their academic performance in any way.
Having a reliable fees management system can help you better systematize the management of your students’ fees. It also enables you to create simplified and flexible payment plans for students who cannot afford to pay the whole invoice at once.
Furthermore, it enables your students’ parents to pay electronically by VISA cards, payment service providers or other channels without the need to visit your school’s premises to deliver the payment.
Integration with learning management (LMS)
The LMS is responsible for recording the student’s academic performance including exam grades, assignment marks and other KPIs. The SIS can then use this information to process the student’s academic status. For instance, it decides whether the student had passed the semester; it can also produce the student’s certificate and then manage their graduation process afterwards. Furthermore, the LMS is a powerful tool for facilitating tasks such as lesson and unit planning, as well as a systematic evaluation of the students’ performance throughout their educational journey through the portal.
As such, proper integration with a Learning Management System (LMS) is very essential if we want to harness the full capabilities of our Student Information System (SIS).
One of the key merits of information technology, in general, is that it enables users to access their profiles, view their data and perform certain transactions without the need to contact your staff. This is what is commonly known as ‘user self-service’. And in the context of schools, providing the self-service feature for your students and their parents makes their lives much easier. Some of the main features it allows them to do include the following.
Accessing student information
Students can access their own profiles, view various types of details such as their personal information, exam marks, financial matters and more. Parents can also view these information conveniently to keep abreast of how their children spend their time at school.
Assignment and exam management
Having constant access to their school system anywhere anytime enables students to keep on top of their school duties. For instance, a student can simply download their required assignments, complete them, and then submit them all from the comfort of their homes. Moreover, conducting take-home exams would become more convenient than ever.
Library system access
Students can also view details about the books they borrowed from the library such as their titles and return due dates. They can also extend the borrowing period and view penalties for past-due books.
Smart access is achieved with two main tools: the portal and the smartphone app. These two tools can make it much easier for students as well as parents to perform a variety of transactions including, but not limited to, the aforementioned ones. For instance, a parent can track their child’s bus through their phone to make sure he/she arrives home safely. Or, a student can easily look up a book in the school’s library from the comfort of his/her personal computer.
As the demand for education continues to rise, so does the need for finding new ways to accommodate and serve larger numbers of students properly. And the proper implementation of an advanced School Information System may be just the solution you need to achieve this task.
For more information, take a look at ESKADENIA’s assortment of education management systems, particularly ESKA® Schools.