Investing in cloud-based, connected systems to improve efficiency is a top priority for schools, according to our 2023 State of Education Report. A modern student information system (SIS) is the perfect starting point to accomplish these goals; it lays the groundwork for all school functions and connects data between systems.
Read on to learn more about the importance of a SIS and guidance about what features to look for when comparing SIS technology for your school. Plus, resources to help you in your search.
💡What is a SIS?
Let’s start with the basics! A student information system (SIS) is a solution that manages school data—student information, attendance, grades, schedules, and academics. A modern SIS often features automated workflows, reporting capabilities, and communication tools that empower administrators and teachers to manage data effectively.
Plus, a SIS can be integrated with other systems—think admissions, enrollment, fundraising, or accounting—for a connected approach across the board. Schools can use a SIS to replace complicated paper trails, reduce costs, and create efficient processes.
✏️ How Can a SIS Benefit Your School?
A student information system is a perfect tool for schools looking to manage student data, communication, and administrative tasks in one system; by consolidating school information, it is easier to update, review, and share data—improving overall accuracy, efficiency, and collaboration. Plus, it reduces expenses by only needing one system instead of multiple systems to manage data. Here is more information about each benefit:
Streamline Administrative Tasks: A SIS can automate tedious administrative tasks, such as scheduling, attendance tracking, and generating reports, which reduces the time and resources required to complete these tasks manually.
Supply Clean Data: By using a SIS to manage student data, schools can ensure that information is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent across all systems and departments; data entered into a SIS is immediately available to authorized users, eliminating the need for manual data entry or duplicate records.
Boost Communication: Easily facilitate communication between administrators, teachers, families, and students with a connected student information system. Features may include messaging systems and connected portals.
Support Student Learning: With robust student data, a SIS provides the information needed to monitor student progress and make informed decisions about how to support their learning. You can use a SIS to identify where a student may need additional support, whether it’s academics, behavior, or attendance.
🗒️ What Should My School Look For in a SIS?
Every school has unique needs and goals. By identifying the specific needs of your school, you can determine which SIS features will be most beneficial for your staff, students, and families. Use these features as a starting point to consider how a SIS can help your school succeed.
- Data Security: Make sure all of your school information is safe and protected with a system that meets the highest security standards, like PCI compliance. Bonus Tip: Double-check your state regulations to see if there are any security requirements your school needs to consider when looking for a SIS.
- Customization: You want the flexibility to create workflows that work best for your school. Look for a system that allows you to tailor settings and modules to optimize your time.
- Work Style: Do you want staff to be able to work remotely when needed? Find a cloud-based system so you can access data anytime and on any device.
- Centralized Communication: Ensuring that information can be easily transferred between school and home is critical. Find a SIS with a centralized communication system, such as a single record system and connected portals, to keep everyone in the loop.
- User-friendly Interface: To provide the best experience for families and non-technical staff, look for a system with a modern, intuitive interface; this means you can get up and running quickly and eliminate any potential frustrations. Plus, your IT staff can focus on other priorities rather than troubleshooting.
- Reporting: You want to be able to translate your data into helpful reports that help you make informed decisions. Look for a system with robust reporting capabilities. Many SISs have pre-built report templates or offer you the option to create custom templates.
- Integrations: Many SISs integrate with other school solutions, such as complete school suites or individual functions like accounting; this reduces the need for manual reentry between multiple systems and data entry errors. An integrated SIS can save your school money by reducing the need for numerous individual systems.
🔎 Start Your Search Here
Whether you are looking to create a better experience for families or streamline processes to reallocate staff time, a SIS can help. At Community Brands, BigSIS is our premier school management and student information system suite. BigSIS connects admissions, enrollment, tuition management, fundraising, and student information in one system to meet the needs of the next generation of families and schools. Get to know BigSIS and explore each module to determine if it is a good fit for your school.
BigSIS integrates with several Community Brands K-12 solutions, such as MIP Fund Accounting, Ravenna advanced admissions, GiveSmart advanced fundraising, and more. These integrations offer additional options for schools looking for specialized features.
Have questions? We’re here to help. Connect with a team member to learn more.