K-12 school districts everywhere are embracing the use of digital technology for handling student information systems. A computer-based platform for managing student data offers unprecedented efficiency and flexibility that make the switch a must for almost any schooling district.
A student information system (SIS) stores and tracks vital information, like demographics, attendance and grades, digitally. Communication amongst faculty members, parents, and students alike can also occur over an SIS. This trend follows in the footsteps of other industries in business and technology that realize the benefits of making a digital transformation.
So, what can you expect to gain from switching away from manual management to an SIS? Read on to learn the key benefits SIS has to offer and more.
1. Ease of Use
What sounds easier to manage: a large stack of papers and binders or a digital dashboard that automatically keeps track of what needs to be done? SIS programs often have these dashboards to put everything you need to know on a single screen, making holistic evaluation of the workload to prioritize tasks and avoid missed steps possible.
Easy access extends to almost everyone involved.
- Teachers can manage classes, take attendance, and track assignments.
- Students can check on due dates and review material.
- Parents can consult with instructors or view grades.
Having all the vital information on a single platform means everyone can contribute to the success of the classes. It also means less paper-based workloads and a reduction of possible human error in data entry.
2. Better Communication
Proper education relies on students, teachers, and parents alike to collaborate efficiently. In the past, traditional barriers to communication like lack of convenience or hesitancy have marred what could’ve been an excellent experience for everyone. An SIS encourages:
- Students can ask questions regarding lessons: Some students might avoid asking during class in fear of wasting time or out of shyness, and some teachers might have specific lesson plans in place that don’t offer too much time for discussion. That’s where discussion panels come in for learners to talk amongst themselves or ask the teachers directly. They allow the software to act as the medium for important classroom Q&A necessary for developing an understanding of the material.
- Parents to keep track of school activities: There’s no need to make a dozen calls to different instructors or schedule lengthy parent-teacher conferences. If you need to know the new class schedule or the current progress of your child, all you need to do is log into the SIS.
Transparency is key toward building trust among the student body and the parents and developing educational effectiveness.
3. Database Centralization
Digitization makes processing paperwork a breeze. Think about all the documentation that needs to be handled in a K-12 context:
- Grade and progress reports
- Attendance documents
- Personal information
Database centralization ensures that everything stays in a single location for easy access. This way, departments across the schooling district can work together seamlessly by accessing each other’s data instantly. Older methods, by contrast, required constant data entry and repetition that slowed down the process.
4. Streamlining Workflows and Processes
K-12 districts have a lot on their plates when it comes to running a successful school. Managing all the enrollments, classes, and records used to be a pain before student information systems.
One of the most stressful times for school administrators is at the beginning of the year during class enrollment. It’s a complex process that needs to consider enrollment requirements, class vacancies, and other factors.
Admissions, for instance, needs to go through dozens of applications and prospective students every year. With so much data to go through, an SIS is a godsend to administration and admissions teams. The benefits include:
- A streamlined experience from application to enrollment for the student,
- Automatically updating student profiles for admissions,
- Virtual queue management to cut down on wait times for connecting with admission offices.
Enrollment, being a usually frustrating experience for everyone involved, is one of the shining selling points for digital SIS platforms. Even students might use it to arrange placement for special classes or programs.
Time can be just as valuable a resource as funding. Creating a schedule and prioritizing activities are inefficient when you’re working purely on paper. Instead, an SIS usually offers a timetable management feature for this exact purpose: automatically scheduling classes and activities into a flexible calendar.
When it comes to examination time, the benefit here really shines. Teachers can coordinate availability for exam room supervisors and ensure that the entire process runs smoothly so that students can focus entirely on performance.
Teachers need to be aware of classroom progress and achievements to find out what lessons are working out best and which ones need corrective action. This way, they can prioritize what concepts to focus on the most.
While we’ve talked about how student information systems work as grade trackers, schools today are looking to be more than just testing sites. For students to become well-rounded individuals, some digital platforms are extending the management to extracurricular activities like volunteering, sports, clubs, and awards.
Tracking the progress of each student in these regards make the participants more ready for life after graduation than ever before.
Conducting Billing and Accounting
Another aspect of school district management made easier by digitization is accounting and billing procedures. It’s easy to miss a payment or file a duplicate payment accidentally, which can lead to financial reporting issues down the line.
A student information system centralizes all the accounting activity into one place, enabling:
- The creation of an accurate general ledger
- Tracking of accounts payable and receivable
- A clear description of billing and fees
- A notification system to make sure payment deadlines are met
- Facilitation of financial auditing and sending follow-ups
The field of financial aid is also on the table. SIS makes it much simpler to organize financial aid opportunities, process applications, determine eligibility, meet deadlines, and generally make the entire process effortless for parents and administration.
School libraries offer an excellent opportunity for students to access resources for their studies, but managing one manually takes more effort than is necessary.
SIS platforms are starting to pick up on library management tools as well. Librarians can track late fines, book conditions, availability, and return policies.
5. Data Security
It’s no secret that educational institutions deal with a lot of sensitive personal data, from payment details to medical records. Never underestimate the possibility of cybersecurity risks.
Data breaches happen to almost any organization, and schooling districts are no exception. While some schools are hesitant to adopt SIS for this reason, SIS services, especially those in the cloud, have adopted cybersecurity features to address those concerns.
No matter who is accessing the SIS, credentials can be automatically generated for each account and access privileges can be controlled with ease. There are also functions to protect against data loss, like multiple backups and automated system updates. You won’t have to worry about data theft with a well-managed student management system.
6. Students and Faculty Can Focus on What Matters Most
When record-keeping and data entry are all handled by the SIS, there’s no need for students to ask about their recent grades or faculty to fumble around with records. This way, the users of a student information system can divert more of their attention to what matters to them most. In this case, it’s studying meticulously and providing quality instruction respectively.
How Edsembli Brings the Advantages of SIS To Your K-12 Institution
The primary selling points of student information systems are centralization of the workflow and the removal of manual processes. Industries everywhere have embraced this digital transformation for its efficiency boosts, ease of use, and security measures.
Edsembli wants to bring these benefits to the education sector. We’ve proven our capabilities to over a hundred school districts serving over 1.7 million students, and we can get you started on the right foot too.