What is a School Management System?
A school management system is the information hub of any education provider. Every operation is directly connected to the system in one way or another. It’s where admin look to generate teachers’ schedules, where students are placed into classes, where payments are calculated, what parents rely on for the accuracy of their billing and services, and where owners look to understand their own businesses.
When it comes to school management, there are many ways to do it. As a base level, there are tools such as pen and paper, and for the more tech-savvy of us, Excel and spreadsheets. At the highest end, there are customized and purpose-built school management software systems that are specific to the schools in which they are used. While Excel – or more simply, pen and paper – is a form of organization and can be effective on a very small scale, they are not equivalent to some of the more advanced school and learning management systems available to learning centers and schools. Even the most advanced Excel user will have to organize data in such a way that is time-consuming and prone to human error. When it comes to training new staff on their ‘system’, it will either have to be limited by a huge amount of editing restrictions, or the new administrator will have to be trained in such a way as to not cause any mishandling or user-error when inputting and accessing data. The most advanced school management systems used in ‘big’ schools will often be proprietary technologies that are commercially unavailable. Even if they were to be available to general small and medium enterprises (SME), they would be nearly useless due to the heavy customization that has gone into them to ensure that they are perfect for the intended school; and by extension, imperfect for others. So, the best school management system should be a blend of the two above-mentioned solutions. It should be customizable and modular, like Excel or the like, and it should also be beautiful, user-friendly, and useful like a custom-built software. This is where EngagePlus comes in. Our system is user-friendly, highly customizable, offers restrictions where necessary, and connects all of the stakeholders in your school seamlessly: owners, admin, teachers, parents, and students. So how does each party benefit? Admin and teachers: Data entry and protection are a fact of life within a school. An important variable, however, is who inputs the data. The admin can do it, or it can be shifted to a parent, for instance. How? By allowing customers access to their own profiles, just like you’d see on any social media platform. This not only cuts down on admin workload but also provides an additional check for errors. Whether a school chooses to allow parents and students to onboard themselves is up to the school, but the option is one that should be available, especially in the case that growth is a factor in the organization’s future.
Once a student is in the system, the data is centralized in a database that can then be distributed in any amount of ways and times that it is needed. In short: no more cross-referencing against an Excel sheet, no more having to wait to get to your work computer to make a change, no more pens and paper. This allows any learning centre, big or small, to make sure that its information is up-to-date, and also easily managed in what is essentially a high-stakes and fast-moving environment. Every customer expects accuracy and to feel as though they’ve got a personal connection with the school, which means that small errors in information and/or communications can not only be indicative of a wider-scale series of errors (ie., if you have one, you may have many) but also may negatively affect your interaction with customers. Parents and students: Typically, parents in the education sector do not have any input in their enrollment, their own profiles, how and when they’re updated, and how they’re onboarded. This is unlike many other industries, in which the customers are not only responsible for the entry of their information but also the accuracy (ie., hotel and airline bookings). While this is not necessarily an ideal paradigm when it comes to education, it is an option that schools should have the ability to offer. A learning management software such as EngagePlus lends itself to scaling their operations, rapid growth, and an immensely reduced workload on their frontline staff. EngagePlus offers customers the ability to ensure that their data is entered correctly, sensitively, and in a way in which they are comfortable. Not only this, but through the proprietary and custom-built app, the parents in this case also get to select courses based on intelligent criteria that are presented to them based on their preferences, family schedules, habits, and their children’s level of development. It is a far more inclusive model than what has been traditionally available. It is in line with modern technology, the use of various devices, and much more flexible and liberating for the customers. Contrasting with the context in many other industries, parents within education are essentially at the mercy of the salesperson. They do not have the luxury of shopping around due to the inconvenience of it. Furthermore, even if they do shop, their selections are limited to what the salespeople present to them as an offering. EngagePlus is a school management system that empowers parents, allows education providers to be more competitive in their market segment, and also forces schools to be more competitive with their offerings. We create a fair and competitive marketplace in which survival of the fittest is a norm. Luckily for education providers using the EngagePlus system, they, along with their students, are positioned to be the fittest.
Owners: The bottom line to any business operation is knowing what is making money and what isn’t. Many companies in education see revenue, so they believe that their business is running efficiently. But which is your most valuable teacher? Which student is the most loyal? Which program is producing the best results? As an owner, you may think you know this, but without careful analysis, you won’t know for sure… and you know that guessing is never a good strategy, especially when you can rely on a school management software such as EngagePlus, that does it all for you. On the other hand, EngagePlus offers an excellent set of analytics and resources for owners that are consolidated into clear and easily accessible reports. As soon as your school’s data is ported into the EngagePlus school management system, the system goes to work. Within seconds you’ll know exactly which classroom is generating the most revenue, which course type is generating the most profits, and which teacher is your most effective, whether you’d like to know that in terms of their students’ academic results or earning the most income per week. Understanding these metrics allows owners to confidently determine when it’s time to hire a new teacher, when it’s time to trim the workforce, or when operations are genuinely running efficiently. EngagePlus’s analytics are always running in the background, meaning that the longer you use the system, the more reliable and precise is the reporting that you are provided with. Conclusion: A school management system is, ultimately, something that allows a school, learning center, or education provider, to organize itself in order to ensure that every client, teacher, and dollar are accounted for. A great school management system makes all these tasks easy and ties everyone in the ecosystem together in a seamless, simple, and user-friendly way. When every stakeholder’s interests are accounted for, your school will operate efficiently in a way that maximizes revenue and profits. You’ll also like to know that EngagePlus is a school management system that has been built from the ground-up with every stakeholder in mind. Everything with EngagePlus has been carefully designed to be easy: transitioning to the system, using it, training new staff to use it, and monitoring business performance. In a world that has developed technological solutions, leveraged the power of these technologies, and democratized their use and development, there’s really no good reason for a school to have an over-complicated and inefficient system. If your system does not do any of the above-mentioned functions well, it’s time to switch. Try EngagePlus: it’s free and, within days of your first contact with our system, you and your clients will surely value the great system that will make your entire school management operation run so much smoother. Try it today at www.engageplus.io or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.