Custom SIS is becoming more and more popular amongst small schools. Custom SIS allows schools to create an individual software solution that is specifically designed for their school. This is especially helpful for small schools with specific needs, but it’s also beneficial for larger schools who want to save time and money creating multiple student databases instead of modifying one system for each division of the school.
5 Types of Schools That Benefit From SIS
Here are the five types of schools that benefit the most from SIS.
#1: High-Ability Schools
If your school serves gifted students, you need an SIS that’s designed to work with students at different skill levels. Some schools offer advanced-placement courses and allow students to earn college credit while still in high school, so it’s even more important that each student is placed into classes based on his or her interests and skills. A custom SIS can make it simple to identify students with special needs and track their progress over the course of their education.
#2: Classroom-Focused Schools
Schools that focus on classroom instruction benefit from a small school SIS that makes it easy for teachers to use in class. Keeping records and assessments can be automated, and teachers and students will save time by sending messages to each other electronically. An SIS that is custom-built for classroom use will be tailored to meet the needs of your faculty and students.
#3: One-Room Schools
A one-room school offers a unique set of challenges. When students are taught by different teachers throughout the day, it’s important to maintain a record-keeping system that makes sense for students but is also workable for busy educators. A custom SIS will be able to offer many of the advantages of a larger SIS without sacrificing functionality or efficiency.
#4: Alternative Schools
When your student body includes at-risk students and special-needs children, it’s important to find a way to give all your students the help they need. An SIS that is custom-built for these types of schools can ensure that every student has access to the tools they need to succeed.
#5: Montessori Schools
Montessori schools are typically very small, with student-teacher ratios that are much lower than traditional public schools. Because every child is different, teachers need Montessori school software that can meet individual needs. The more complex the curriculum and activities become, the more important it is to have a custom SIS that will help students maintain their education and stay organized.
As the needs of small schools continue to evolve, it’s important for each school to select an SIS that can adapt to them.
The Most Essential SIS Features
There are many features to look out for when selecting an SIS. Here are the top five to look out for!
#1: Easy Setup
Setting up an SIS can be time-consuming if it’s not done right. Many small schools are understaffed, which means that you need to find a system that will allow your IT professionals to get everything set up quickly. A custom SIS should be easy for anyone in the school to operate, and options like the ability to switch profiles quickly make life easier for students and teachers alike.
#2: Intuitive Design
Finding an SIS that is easy to use will save your school time and frustration. Teachers shouldn’t have to spend their days teaching technology instead of educating, so look for one that can be used by all members of the faculty.
#3: Automatic Information Management
An SIS that is built to manage information will save you time and money. A custom solution can be designed around your specific needs, ensuring that everything from grades and attendance records to student schedules and message boards is always up-to-date.
#4: Flexibility of Use
The right SIS will allow you to define permissions for different people so that everyone in your school can access the data they need when they need it. This is especially essential for faculty and staff since all information should be accessible to them at all times.
#5: Mobile Access
Today, even teachers and administrators expect their SIS to be available whenever and wherever they need it. Look for an SIS that can function on any device – from desktop computers to tablets – so your team will always have the information they need at their fingertips.
These are just five features to look out for when choosing an SIS. Make sure you take a look at what your school needs and find the perfect SIS.
How To Determine Which SIS / Features Are Best For Your School
Now, let’s go through the four steps on how to determine which SIS/Features are best for your small school.
#1: Know Your Staff
Small school SIS is a vital part of administration. To get the most out of your small school software, you’ll need to take a look at how it’s being used today then use that information to build a roadmap for how you want it to be used in the future. If you’re considering new small school software, take some time to talk with teachers and parents about how they use small school software today.
#2: Understand Your Needs
There are many different SIS available on the market, so it’s important to narrow down your search until you find small school software that fits your needs. Consider what features would be most helpful for you, then take a closer look at the SIS that offers them. You can’t go wrong with SIS that focuses on the features you want for your small school software.
#3: Evaluate The Offers On The Table
To find small school software that’s perfect for you, first narrow down which offers are available to you based on your school size, budget, and specific needs. Once you know which small school software fits your needs, take a closer look at it to see if it also supports the features that are most important to you.
#4: Put It To The Test
The best way to tell how well a certain SIS/features works in real life is to put it to the test. Ask your school staff and parents who will actually be using any new small school software you might consider buying if they would like to give it a try for a few days—or even weeks—before you buy. Having small school students test it will allow you to see what they think about the SIS too.
Small schools are part of education today whether they’re private, public, or charter. To be successful, small school software must have custom SIS that works flawlessly with small school staff members and parents. Take the time to map out your future plans for your small school SIS by talking with teachers and parents about what they want from it now and what they expect from it in the future. Then, narrow down your search based on those needs and either choose new small school software or reevaluate the SIS that you already have before putting it to the test with students. A successful small school is a well-equipped school.
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.