THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SCHOOL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
With the massive changes to education following the pandemic, administrators are looking for more efficient ways to manage their schools. New software solutions can provide hands-on, real-time control, while also using automation to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes.
But how do they work and how do you know which to buy?
Upgrade to a powerful, Easy to Use school Management system
Managing the many aspects of a school is a challenge every administrator faces. School Management refers to a variety of concepts such as:
- strategic planning
- classroom and curriculum choices
- budgeting and financial planning
- communicating vital details with the people who need to know them
Today's administrator faces a new challenge: managing the school with a variety of different software tools to meet the needs of various stakeholders.
Unfortunately, each software solution comes with its own price tag, learning curve, and log in. Users can quickly become overwhelmed with trying to keep track of it all.
Board members may even be forced to deny critical needs due to budget constraints caused by too many software tools.
ClassReach simplifies your processes and reduces your overall budget for software.
What is included in a school management system?
The best administrative school software will provide solutions to help with strategic planning. ClassReach is much more than a student information system (SIS) or a learning management system (LMS). While many of the features overlap, a School Management System (SMS) combines the most comprehensive set of tools into a single digital solution, for an affordable price.
Some of the features we offer:
|Digital Data Storage|
THE MOST IMPORTANT School Management Features
1. Grade Reporting
Grade Reporting can take many hours when completed by hand. Even using shared Google folders to store these documents can become a challenge when administrators and teachers are trying to collaborate to produce a grade report.
Yet grade reporting is an essential part of managing your school and must be completed, no matter how painful the task may be. School Management Systems offer solutions that allow grade reports to be generated with just the click of a button.
The system will pull the data from the appropriate fields and produce professional-looking reports with signature lines for school staff and guardians.
Grade reporting can refer to many diverse types of reports, including:
- progress reports
- official report cards
- student transfer reports
- gradebook printouts for an individual student in a specific course section
Some systems even offer conduct grading and configuration options to accommodate varying pedagogies and grading philosophies, like standards or objective-based grading, traditional grading, and pass-fail options.
Gradebook configuration can even include choices about the grading scale and weighted assignments. Your software should offer options for these types of settings to be applied across groups of courses, as well as allow for configuration of individual courses.
Using roles and permissions, admins can ensure the integrity of their grade reporting by deciding who sets the course grading options and who has access to change them.
ClassReach offers professional and configurable grade report templates.
2. Digital Data Storage
School Management Systems reduce the need for costly printing by acting as a digital filing cabinet for the school, meaning less physical space is required for data storage.
This is an important detail for growing schools trying to maximize every inch of their campus and every dollar of their budget. There is little to no maintenance required, and no more dusting filing cabinets or storing boxes under the administrator's desk.
Besides saving time, space, and money, the system also creates a unified organizational process that new staff members can easily learn. It boasts high efficiency since data can be entered once and easily applied across multiple forms or fields within the system.
The best school management systems will automate and integrate key components to help every user catalogue the data they need.
Each member of the school community can log in from their own devices. Data is stored in a secure, web-based environment and can be easily accessed from anywhere.
ClassReach uses roles and permissions to protect sensitive digital data.
3. Mobile Accessibility
It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the school day, but you still need to keep track of vital details, and you may need to take home some of your work.
Mobile accessibility can bring a school community together in an organized and sustainable way without putting undue burden on any one member of the community.
When a teacher enters a lesson plan into the School Management System, the administrator has access to it. This is an invaluable asset when finding substitute teachers.
Populating key components of the lesson plan onto a student agenda can help aid and train students that are lacking core organizational skills and position them for greater success in managing their course load.
Many schools struggle to achieve the desired level of guardian engagement because there is no centralized, convenient place where they can visit to learn about their student's educational progress.
Since guardian schedules may not align with the school schedule, mobile accessibility means that guardians can remain active partners in the education process while participating from their home or work as needed.
Mobile accessible systems will also allow access across a variety of devices, including phones and tablets. This helps to build partnerships between the school and homes by making course related content accessible to guardians.
ClassReach provides real-time updates and allow certain tasks to be scheduled.
4. Teacher Tools
Teachers - the superstars of the classroom - use the school management system more than any other group.
Teachers' primary needs revolve around:
- taking student attendance online
- creating and sharing course content
- providing feedback to students and parents
- grading and assessing student assignments
Teachers need quick and concise visibility on each course they are teaching, ideally from one screen. They also need tools to easily input critical data throughout the school day.
Lastly, teachers need ways to communicate with other staff members, administration, students, and guardians, both during and outside of the school day.
A school management system will provide section rosters as well as digital access to student profiles. These contain valuable data like emergency contact and allergy information.
Sadly, many educators are stuck using clunky, slow, systems that eat away at their valuable time. Teachers can often feel frustrated, undervalued, and unheard when the topic of school management systems comes up.
Fortunately, the right school management system provides both teachers and administrators with tools that are powerful and easy to navigate which ultimately improves staff morale.
ClassReach offers a robust package of tools that teachers like.
5. Course Management
Course management is a compilation of tools that solve multiple course related challenges. Course management is often a shared job between registrars and curriculum coaches or department heads, It includes task like:
- enrollment and registration
- student and teacher scheduling
- reviewing curriculum and course content
Registrars need course management tools to resolve the pains of paper enrollment, most notably long lines and mountains of paperwork. Registration may be the first impression new users have on your school, and negative registration experiences can lead to declining enrollment numbers.
Online registration processes reduce wait times for students and guardians while also minimizing workloads for registrars. Online registration can take place even during an emergency or unexpected school closure.
Registrars also need features to help identify schedule conflicts. The School Management System can alert the registrar that the user is already committed to another course during that time frame. The best School Management System will also provide tools to easily resolve those conflicts.
Curriculum coaches and department heads need permissions to review lesson plans, access sub plans, and even to store vital details about curriculum choices for each course.
ClassReach makes it easy to copy course content and registrations from year to year.
6. System Reporting
A powerful School Management System like ClassReach provides reporting tools that help administrators obtain the data in their system in a readable format.
Some reports may be accessible within the interface of the system - making it easy to access the most frequently used reports, including:
- grade reports
- grade distribution graphs
Other reports may be available in a dedicated reports module or ad hoc reporting feature. This type of reporting gives admins greater ability to determine what is included on the report, as well as how they would like to view the report.
The best reporting modules provide templates with pre-selected data ranges as well as configurable reports that the admin can build on their own.
Reports can be available as downloadable pdfs, printable webpages, and csv documents. It is important to choose a system with multiple download options since there will be times when an admin will want to easily share the report, or will want to manipulate the data within a spreadsheet of their own.
When attending a virtual demo presentation, be sure to ask how the reporting features work since not all School Management Systems provide the robust reporting tools that admin require.
ClassReach provides full reporting capabilities for admins, as well as specific reports for teachers and guardians.
7. Communication Tools
Schools can seem like tiny empires with all the communication running between administration, staff, guardians, and students.
There's no wonder why information is so easily misplaced or forgotten, with so many people involved. When information is changed, as it often is in the school empire, notifying the proper people can be a time consuming and frustrating event of its own.
School Management Systems help to provide structure to the communication efforts of your staff by keeping all notes and messages in a centralized hub with electronic documentation of prior communication.
When an event time is changed, a School Management System will allow the administrator to make a quick edit to a shared calendar and send out an announcement or alert to let everyone know.
ClassReach has a variety of communication tools to ensure schools stay organized.
8. Tuition Invoice Management
Tuition Tracking is a must have feature when searching for the right software. While the Finance or Office Manager will use the School Management System to track tuition and extracurricular fees, guardians will use the system to make payments and view financial records.
ClassReach provides easy to use tools like auto-pay and payment plans. The Financial Suite also integrates into the forms creator making it easy for administrators to collect payments for smaller purchases like:
- field trips
- school apparel
- sports fees
- hot lunches
- parking passes
In addition to invoicing, the school management system can provide a single source of truth for the Head of School to view data such as enrollment numbers, tuition payments, and scholarship requests, a crucial feature when working on the school's budget and strategic planning.
ClassReach fits into any school budget!
What types of schools need a school management system?
Every school needs a management system.
As school growth occurs, the school may require additional features which typical student information or learning management systems cannot provide alone.
This means staff will have to learn a new system and migrate data. Since switching can be painful and expensive, the best choice is to purchase an affordable system like ClassReach from the beginning.
Some larger schools may be tempted to use multiple systems to keep tasks separated. This approach often leaves key staff members frustrated because the systems do not work well together, leading to double data entry, a waste of time and resources.
A better approach is to find a School Management System like ClassReach. This will provide administrators with enough roles and permissions to ensure that information in the system is safe and that each user is only accessing the parts required to complete their job.
ClassReach serves a diverse range of institutions. Our highly configurable system can meet the needs of:
- private schools
- traditional schools
- post-secondary schools
- university model schools
- homeschool hybrids and co-ops
- religious and non-religious schools
Why Choose ClassReach?
ClassReach is powerful, intuitive, easy to use, and affordable.
ClassReach is a full School Management System, combining traditional features of Student Information Systems and Learning Management Systems with powerful community building tools to provide a full eco system of products that can be used to manage the entire school.
ClassReach solutions are powerful, innovative, and easy to use.