/ How to Choose the Right Student Information System

3 Essential Steps in Selecting Your School’s Student Information System

February 23, 2024 | read

When considering school software, it’s common to focus on tactical items like cost and implementation timelines. However, the long-term structural benefits of implementing school software are often overlooked. This blog dives into how a Student Information System (SIS) addresses common K-12 school challenges related to sustainability, communication, and resource management and three steps to take when choosing an SIS for your school. 

What is an SIS? 

A Student Information System is an integrated platform designed to streamline and centralize the management of student-related data and administrative tasks. From basic demographic information to academic records, attendance, and communication tools, an SIS serves as a one-stop shop for all stakeholders involved in the education process, including administrators, teachers, students, and families.  

Benefits of an SIS 

The most recent NAIS Hot Issues Survey highlights the top five challenges facing the heads of independent schools. Three of these top challenges included finding and retaining qualified staff, ensuring school sustainability, and balancing program demands with resources.    

An SIS can directly assist in overcoming these challenges by: 

  • Offering a user-friendly, centralized experience for all staff to communicate, collaborate, and perform their jobs. 
  • Providing robust data to identify trends and make proactive, data-driven decisions. 
  • Easing manual administrative work for staff with automation allows them more time to focus on pressing priorities.  

Overall, an SIS enhances administrative efficiency, encourages personalized learning, and strengthens the partnership between schools and families for an enriched educational experience. Automating processes like enrollment, attendance tracking, and grading frees administrators to focus on strategic initiatives and educators to focus on teaching. With all communication facilitated among teachers, families, and administrators within the SIS, it fosters a supportive network for a student’s overall well-being and academic performance—resulting in a higher likelihood of re-enrollment. Additionally, the SIS facilitates data-driven decision-making by providing easy access to insightful analytics. Administrators can use this to monitor student performance or trends in admissions and enrollment and tailor strategies accordingly.  

Searching for the Right SIS: Key Steps 

1. Identify Pain Points

Before diving into all the options, schools can start by identifying their pain points and inefficiencies in current administrative processes. Challenges often include enrollment management, attendance tracking, grading systems, communication gaps, and overall data management. By thoroughly analyzing these areas, schools can tailor their search for an SIS that directly addresses their unique needs.  

2. Include Stakeholders 

To ensure the successful integration of an SIS, it is important to involve all stakeholders in the decision-making process. Administrators, teachers, and families play crucial roles in the education ecosystem, and their perspectives are invaluable. Conducting surveys, polls, and regular discussions during weekly meetings can provide valuable insights into the specific challenges faced by each group. This collaborative approach helps understand the diverse requirements and expectations, guiding the selection of an SIS that caters to the entire school community. 

3. Define Outcomes 

As schools embark on adopting an SIS, it’s essential to define clear outcomes. Whether focusing on improving student performance, optimizing workflows, or improving communication with families, articulating these goals sets the foundation for a successful SIS implementation. Clearly defined outcomes serve as benchmarks for evaluating the effectiveness of the chosen system and guide your school toward achieving its overarching objectives. 


Find Your Perfect SIS  

Are you curious about finding the right SIS for your school? Join K-12 expert Tia Carley, Solutions Engineer at Community Brands, as she presents an insightful demo of Ravenna Student Management. Learn about the extensive capabilities of Ravenna Student Management, including admissions, enrollment, tuition management, fundraising, and academics. Plus, see an exclusive preview of the system’s new user-friendly interface. 

Nina Bernardi

Nina Bernardi

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