Moving a paper-based school to a School Management System
"We have a great system, everything is working just fine so why should we move to a school management system." So why even consider moving? This is a great point but probably the wrong question to be asking yourself. It’s true, your system works just fine… but what is it actually costing you and could you be doing things better and in some cases much, much better?
Resources: paper, filing, storage space.
Paper, printing, photocopying costs pile up, not to mention the amount of manual upkeep required to maintain up to date accurate records. It’s hard to find official statistics on paper consumption by schools but anyone in charge of budgeting in schools will tell the cost of paper, printing and photocopying is significant. While a student information system won’t eliminate everything it certainly will significantly contribute to cutting costs in this area alone, and possibly enough to fund the use of a school management system.
Is your data really secure?
Data? but we’re paper based, we don’t store data. Whether it’s electronic or on paper, it’s still data and you have a duty to keep it safe and up to date.
Where is it all kept and how do you keep it up to date? In filing cabinets all over your school? In word and excel files? in everyone's email accounts? you get the idea. With your students, staff and parents data all over the place, keeping everything up to date is possible but very time consuming and very prone to error.
School staff may also store sensitive health and legal data on their own computers and much of it is unaccounted for. Keeping track of data like this is nearly impossible so it’s also impossible to really know if it’s safe and secure. An school management system solves all this in one go.
Do you communicate… effectively?
Sure, you use email and some other tools to communicate with your school community, it works, but how long does it take to organise and put a mailing list together every time you need to make an announcement? The truth is, a good school management system allows you to send any number of messages and in-app notifications from published grades, behaviour reports, school announcements etc to classes, parents, teachers or ad-hoc lists of contacts quickly and easily.
Admissions becomes a smooth workflow online instead of a mass of filing and admin. Attendance can be taken and logged in a few clicks. With automated scheduling, parent/teacher meetings becomes a simple process. Grade reports are automatically generated, ready to be emailed. The list of improvements, savings and efficiency gains goes on.
The question then becomes, where will you invest the savings you stand to make by switching to a school management system? Definitely a nice problem to have!
Of course, if you do decide to switch there are many considerations to buying a school management system and a good service provider is critical. Luckily we’ve written a guide to help you here as well.