...And we're back to transport you further along the evolutionary timeline - unearthing even more fascinating insights in our special school management system origin story.
Data Collection and the Education System
Moving into the 1980s with Reagan as our President, the government was on a mission to improve the quality of education.
After a government examination of the American public school system, it was found that students were underperforming, and in 1983 the infamous “A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform” report was published.
The report detailed our American public schools’ failings and included a long list of recommendations for improvement.
Now that schools were under the microscope, data collection was critical, and the need for programs to handle all of that data was pressing.
By the mid- ’80s, districts were creating IT staff and collecting data. Still, the programs that offered solutions just either weren't compatible with the computers the schools already had or were too expensive to purchase.
In the early part of the 1980s, Philip Neal, a teacher at Lea Manor High School, developed the first School Information Management System. This system started as a way for teachers to collect student data easily and communicate with parents but due to Neal’s future-forward thinking and exceptional programming skills, it quickly evolved into something much more.
As the ’90s got underway, personal computers began to impact the classroom, and by 1997 districts had added 500,000 computers for administrative use.
Now having more computer access combined with internet technology, schools were in the perfect position to employ a student information system that had much more functionality than simple input and output of data.
In the 1990s, management systems started to gain traction in schools as different companies began creating systems and marketing them to school districts.
These programs came in a lot of shapes and sizes with overlapping terms and functionalities. You may know the terms to be LMS (learning management system), SIMS (School Information Management System), MIS (Management Information System), or SMS (School or Student Management System).
Another big wave of technology that catapulted the School Information System’s popularity was the inception of cloud-based technology. It brought us Software as a service or Saas, which meant increased compatibility, endless amounts of data storage, and the ability to communicate from anywhere.
The school management system has evolved from a basic way to handle administrative needs into a system that has changed the way schools operate.
The Future of School Management Systems
The SMS is designed to streamline all of the school processes.
It not only simplifies the admissions and enrollment process, but it can generate professional reports with data from attendance, exams, assignments, and teacher feedback.
An SMS allows teachers to share assignments and easily communicate with students and parents.
Administrators can use an SMS to track performance and learning levels using assessment data. It has a shareable integrated calendar making it easy for the school to communicate important events with parents and the community.
Some School Management Systems, like MySchool, even allow you to manage campaigns, donors, and donations and invoice and track payments to import into your existing accounting system.
To keep up with each digital age, these systems continue to evolve and their features become more enhanced. In fact, it is predicted that more and more schools will adopt the SMS to provide powerful data analytics that can be used to inform a school’s decision-making process.
According to Mordor Intelligence, “The school information management system is expected to reach a CAGR of 13.5% during the forecast period (2021-2026). This is the predicted rate of return in investment terms. And, that makes sense considering the push towards digitalization in education, e-learning, and improving the quality of education taking priority.
If you are interested in learning more about how an all-in-one platform can meet your school’s information management needs, please book a free demo today.