School and classroom management software is a computer program that manages the administrative, financial, and/or educational operations of an educational institution. Used by schools, colleges, universities, and research institutes, this kind of software helps manage all operations with flexibility and ease while cutting down on overhead costs. This type of system usually includes an electronic student information system, a school finance management system, attendance tracking software, a grade book/grading application, and payroll management.
Why Small Schools Are Taking Advantage of School Administration Software
An institution’s educational management system is sometimes handled by one person. While this may be sufficient for small schools, it can cause some problems requiring more professional management as the school grows bigger. School administration software helps ease things up for administrators, especially regarding finance and accounting applications.
Featuring data on students (such as attendance, grades, etc.), this kind of software is efficient in the collection and categorization of information, making it an important tool for school administrators. There are different types of administrative software available in the market today. Some offer only limited functionality while some give you everything you might need for your entire school administration needs.
Finding The Right School Management Software for Your School: Features to Look For
School management software provides teachers, students, administrators, and other users with multiple functions to help them in performing their daily tasks. It enables people to communicate easily by providing discussion forums, document repositories, and instant messaging. In addition, people can access resources from anywhere in the system using a variety of features such as remote login and remote printing.
Typical educational management software has all or most of the following functionalities, which you should use as a checklist when evaluating which one you wish to acquire based on your needs.
Class management is one of the most important features of school management software because it helps teachers manage their daily tasks. Teachers can use the software to create and manage classes, provide assignments and keep track of their student’s performance.
Teachers can set deadlines for an assignment and check which students have already turned it in. The school management software will let the teacher know who has or hasn’t completed that assignment so that they can provide feedback to those who haven’t handed it in yet. Furthermore, teachers can check grades for any student in their classes, which will give them a better idea of their student’s academic standing.
Administrators and other users at the school can manage students’ records using school management software. The software provides reports about the number of students enrolled, how many graduates they have had, attendance rate, and grade performance.
Administrative budgeting/reporting; accounts payable/receivable; multi-currency support for parent units or campuses with multiple currencies, automatic conversion of master data if individual units have different currencies.
Handle salary/benefit calculation; maintain time records; generate payroll reports.
Check availability of facilities (e.g., classrooms, equipment); provide photos of the classrooms and other areas in the school; track maintenance requests for all facilities.
Client Relationship Management (CRM)/ Student Information System
Add new students; track parents and alumni; maintain student contact information.
Develop courses, lessons, quizzes, and exams online; grade/assign students’ work right away without the need to send it back to instructors for grading.
Marketing & Promotional Functions
Promote events or announcements on a digital billboard accessible to everyone; update the website immediately; send email notifications to parents, students, alumni.
Security & Access Control
Set access privileges for each user role (e.g., faculty/staff, student, administrator); integrate with LDAP or Active Directory to support single sign-on.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Educational Management Software for
Another approach to use when deciding what educational software you want to use, is to ask yourself the following questions, as the answers will determine what the best option is for your institution.
How many users will be using the system?
You should purchase sufficient licenses for users based on their needs. For example, if teachers are only going to use the software for entering grades and attendance data, then they can probably get by with a smaller number of licenses. However, if you want them to have access to other features such as e-learning, then you will need to purchase a lot more licenses.
What functions does the software have?
Check the features described above and compare them to your needs. For example, if you want teachers to use their time more efficiently, look for a school management software that has an integrated e-learning platform so they can create online courses, lessons, quizzes, and exams.
What is the system’s pricing structure?
Make sure you understand how much it will cost to acquire or subscribe to the software. You should check for any additional costs that might come up after the initial purchase–for example, if there are certain modules your school needs now but won’t need every year, you might have to pay for them each time.
Will the software meet future needs?
Read reviews and find out how often new versions of the software are released so you can upgrade as your school’s needs change over time.
If I am unhappy with this product will it be hard to move to a different software?
You should make sure that you can easily switch to another school management software if needed. Your current one might be too cumbersome and time-consuming for teachers to use–in this case, it will be much easier for all faculty members to transition to a new program than for just one or two teachers. Also, find out if you have to export or import data when switching. This way, your students’ grades will not get mixed up in the process.
Choosing education management software for your school is no easy task. There are many things to consider, like how you plan to use the program, its price, and the school management software features. By carefully evaluating these factors before making a purchase, your teachers will have an easier time using the new program and you can be sure that this investment will go towards improving your 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 systems, grade book, communications, parent engagement, donations and fundraising, alumni management, and more. Schedule a demo with us today.