In today’s increasingly digital society, it is becoming more and more important to implement a school information system (SIS) in every school. This article discusses the importance of updating your SIS, how an update can benefit teachers, students, and, parents alike, and five ways that you can make sure you get the most out of your new system. You should always ensure that all of your school’s systems are up to date.
Common SIS Features That Benefit Schools
While there are many features of a school information system that benefit schools, some are more common than others. Here are 3 common features to look out for!
1: Automated Emergency Notifications
One of the most important features to look for in an SIS is automated emergency notifications. Many schools are required by law to have automated notification systems that can contact parents, students, and faculty during times of need. This can include school closure due to inclement weather or school shootings. Having a way to alert students and faculty in the case of an emergency is not only common sense, but it can save lives.
2: Parent Portal
Having a parent portal and/or mobile app is another important feature in any SIS. The ability to access your school’s information when you want and where you want is invaluable for both parents and students. Parents may want to access their child’s grades or school assignments from a parent portal, while students may want help with homework from the comfort of their own homes. Having a way for parents and students to access important information 24/7 is an invaluable component in any SIS.
3: Student Information Management
Collecting student data can be difficult for schools, but having an SIS makes it much simpler. Having all of a student’s information in one place, such as an SIS, makes it simple to track grades and attendance. An SIS also allows for the creation of custom reports that can be shared with teachers and staff for things like student discipline reports or grade performance reports.
These are three of the most common features to watch out for. These SIS features will benefit your school immensely, so ensure that these are included when looking around for a k12 student information system.
Process of Updating Your School’s SIS and The Best Time For Updating
There is a process when it comes to updating your school’s SIS. Here are the five steps it takes to fully update your SIS.
1: Assess Current System
In order to upgrade your SIS, you first need to assess the one that you currently have. Set a time every year when all of your teachers go through and update any forms or paperwork that they may have. This should be done in preparation for updating their SIS as well. Each teacher will likely handle this process a little differently, but it should be done in one sitting to avoid confusion and messiness.
2: Update Old System
After you have assessed your current SIS for any updates, update the software itself. Make sure that all of the buttons work and there are no glitches or bugs. If you don’t want to pay a tech team to do this, you can oftentimes download a trial version of the software and test it yourself. This is a good way to see if there is anything wrong with your system before updating it.
3: Select New SIS
Next, begin looking at possible new systems. There are many different software options out there, so narrowing it down can be tough! You will likely want to work with a team of teachers and staff in the decision-making process. This way, you can get ideas and input from your entire school.
4: Test New SIS
The fourth step is to make sure that it works before updating everything else. Run through all of the possible uses for the software and make sure that it is user-friendly. If you think that there are still bugs, consider using a trial version of the new SIS to test it out before updating everything else.
5: Update Other Systems
After all of your testing is complete and the new software has been downloaded onto your main computers, begin updating other SIS components. Update mobile apps, student information systems, and parent portals to ensure that everything is up to date before the new school year begins!
This is a great time for schools to update their SIS because access will be limited during the summer months, which means less panicked parents trying to get their hands on valuable resources. This gives you plenty of time to test everything out and work any bugs or glitches that may occur. If you follow these steps and update ASAP during the school year months, your SIS should be good to go.
Reasons Why Your School Should Update Your SIS
There are many reasons you should update your SIS. Here are five of the biggest reasons you should keep your system updated.
1: Easier Data Entry
Data entry is one of the biggest struggles for teachers and administrators. Having an SIS that makes it easy to update, compile, and view data make everyone’s lives easier.
2: Cleaner Records
Instead of having multiple copies of forms or files scattered around the school, you can put everything together in one cloud-based file. This will save you plenty of time and space in your office.
3: Simpler Organization
An updated SIS allows you to program all of your classes, assignments, grades, attendance, schedules, etc., into the system. Then student information can be accessed at any time from any computer.
4: Easier Updates and Changes
When your SIS is cloud-based, all of the information can be updated and changed from one central location. This makes it much easier to share with all stakeholders.
5: More Efficient Budgeting
You can keep up on how much money your school is spending on different things. This will allow you to track financial trends and make more informed budget decisions.
There are many benefits to updating your SIS, both for teachers and students, parents and staff members. Make sure that all of the components are up to date before the new school year begins!
SIS software has evolved over time to become more user-friendly and efficient for school administrators, teachers, and students. When it comes to choosing the best SIS system for your school, it is important to review all of the options available and choose a cloud-based student information system that works well with other existing systems.
When updating your student information system, it is important to test everything, update components slowly (so as not to overwhelm everyone), and have a team of teachers and staff members as well as students involved in the decision-making process. With cloud-based student information systems being so easy to use, you will be able to work smarter and more efficiently throughout the school year.
SchoolCues is an all-in-one school management system for small schools with limited budgets and resources. Our solutions include admissions and enrollment, online payments, student information system, gradebook, communications, parent engagement, donations and fundraising, alumni management and more. Schedule a demo with us today.