Tracking More Data With Student Information Systems
A variety of technologies is enabling more data about students to be available to school administrators than ever before, from assessment programs to online gradebooks and learning management platforms. But perhaps chief among them are student information systems. These large-scale software platforms, which today are almost entirely Web-based, are able to consolidate immense amounts of information from multiple sources about student grades, attendance and schedules into central dashboards and custom reports. A student information system (SIS) enables administrators to make informed and targeted decisions, parents to be aware of their child's progress, and students to know their status in real-time—all indispensible capabilities in a modern school system.
Today's SIS's continue to get larger and more comprehensive, yet easier to use and more automated, driven in part by the need to reduce the time consumption of state reporting. Many have expanded beyond the core modules of student grades, attendance records and schedules and into new applications that collect data on student discipline and behavior, health and immunization records, staff professional development, teacher evaluation and more, as well as other tools designed for use in guidance and food service departments. Certain new capabilities appearing in SIS's were once stand-alone products, such as emergency notification and language translation. Here are a few options to consider using in your district.
STI's Web-based InformationNow SIS is designed to provide data at the classroom, school and district levels, and the company takes an individual approach by customizing the application to each district's needs. STI recently introduced an ad hoc reporting module, INFOCUS, which allows the creation of custom reports across multiple data sets and enables users to measure progress more accurately. A new mobile version allows students, parents, teachers and administrators to access the platform from iPhones or iPads.
Contact OnCourse for pricing
Key features of OnCourse Systems' fully hosted SIS include tools for tracking student enrollment, storing parent and guardian information, tracking grades and attendance, and scheduling, as well as discipline and behavior management and health and medical record modules, and an online Grade Book application with a parent/student access portal. Recently added is a Student/ Staff Portfolio feature, which allows students to store documents, notes, photos and other work, or staff or administrators to save notes, evaluations, certifications, resumes and other documents in personalized files.
GlobalScholar's new Pinnacle SIS is part of the company's Pinnacle Suite of products, which also includes a curriculum and assessment platform, a gradebook application, a data analytics tool, a professional development platform and an accelerated learning application. The product uses an open system architecture to ensure compatibility with a school system's existing programs, and it includes tools for managing academic progress, family contact information, attendance, schedules, health, transportation and discipline records. All data are archived and accessible for future reporting needs.
Contact Pearson for pricing
Pearson's Web-based SIS stores information such as real-time grades, attendance, comments, scores and more, all accessible to parents and students. PowerSchool also includes the online gradebook application PowerTeacher, access for administrators and teachers from mobile devices, advanced reporting tools, address validation through Google Maps, and health and immunization records. Version 7.0, which has been rebuilt in Java for more speed and stability, offers translation into 19 languages, a new user interface and integration with Pearson's National Transcript Center for seamless student record exchange between any two districts in the country.