According to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), independent schools have bounced back in median enrollment, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. In the 2021-2022 school year, the median enrollment surged to 396 compared to 378 in the 2020-2021 school year.
As independent schools continue their enrollment growth, the need for managing student data, reducing manual tasks, and increasing efficiency also continues to grow.
Managing administrative tasks, entering and tracking student data, and ensuring timely school communications can often be a cumbersome and fragmented process. Schools using disparate software programs often experience challenges in managing student data in multiple platforms, ensuring family data accuracy, and providing timely tuition billing.
Today’s school management and student information systems powerfully bring together admissions, enrollment, tuition management, fundraising, and student information in one system. This gives schools the benefits of access to centralized information, streamlined communication, and automation of manual tasks for administrative staff.
New technology is a significant investment for any K-12 private or independent school. If you’re considering moving to an all-in-one school solution, Here are four key benefits to using this type of solution.
1. Cloud-Based: Data Security, Remote Access, 24/7 Parent Communications
Gone are the days of only being able to access the information you need at school—now, staff, students, and families access information from laptops, phones, and tablets at school, at home, or on the go. A cloud-based system is the foundation of keeping up with the changing times, offering efficient operations, quick communication, and security. Cloud-based accessibility fosters a more connected community by ensuring everyone can access information when and where they need it.
Plus, it’s just as much of a time-saver as a money-saver—schools can redirect their resources toward educational priorities by eliminating the need for expensive on-site servers and associated maintenance costs.
2. Unified Records: Reduces Duplicate Entry Tasks, Improves Data Accuracy, and Increases Staff Efficiency
Information overload negatively impacts employees, resulting in burnout, stress, and delayed decision-making. On average, admission offices can process up to 10 pieces of data for every applicant—multiplied by the school’s number of applicants, the information can quickly become overwhelming. Plus, with 100% of survey respondents in the 2023 NAIS Hot Issues Survey citing finding and retaining school staff as a top challenge, schools can address this in part by implementing systems that reduce information overload for their teams.
A unified record system facilitates seamless information synchronization across modules for students, family members, staff, donors, and board members. Rather than manually managing large amounts of data and information across multiple systems, unified records work to increase efficiency and reduce information errors.
Schools also benefit by having the flexibility to add unique roles in the unified records system, enabling staff to categorize individuals within the system, such as students, family members, staff, donors, and board members. These roles connect various aspects of school data, creating a holistic view of each individual’s involvement. The result is improved efficiency, streamlined communication, and stronger relationships between schools and families.
3. Real-Time Data and Custom Reporting: Promote Effective Decision-Making
Real-time data is an indispensable tool as schools plan for future growth and seek to report to boards, community partners, or families. Whether evaluating performance, planning for expansion, or executing targeted campaigns, real-time data ensures that schools have the most current information at their fingertips, empowering them to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing landscape.
Using a system that offers real-time data, administrators can easily find up-to-date, accurate insights to make informed decisions and drive school initiatives effectively. Schools also benefit from quickly and easily sorting data into informative reports for staff and supporters.
4. Integration Capabilities Help Schools Do More with Less Cost and Time
New needs inevitably emerge as K-12 private and independent schools evolve and expand. Whether it’s the requirement for a more comprehensive accounting solution or a desire to enhance the financial aid process to reach more families, having a solution that offers additional integrations is invaluable.
With integration options, schools can adapt without the hassle of onboarding an entirely new solution. Instead, they can continue to work with a technology partner they know and trust while incorporating the additional capabilities they need. This ensures a smoother and more efficient transition for families and staff and doesn’t interrupt existing operations.
The Power of Connection
With these key four benefits, and using an all-in-one solution, schools can simplify complex administrative tasks across the student lifecycle—admissions, enrollment, financial aid, tuition management, student information, and fundraising—giving them peace of mind and more time to focus on engaging with students and families, invest in meaningful resources, and grow their community.
Students and families benefit from a unified system, too. Families gain streamlined access to forms, information about their children’s academic progress, communication with staff, and payment processes, all within a single platform. For students, the system provides a central hub for academic information, schedules, and resources, enhancing their educational journey by making it easier to stay organized. This creates a stronger partnership between all school community members.
Stay updated with our latest K-12 resources, offering essential insights into every stage of the student lifecycle. Join our next webinar about vital components for effective tuition management.
Your Guide to an All-in-One School Management System
Investing in a school management and student information system ultimately results in time savings, strengthened relationships, and an enhanced educational experience. Knowing what features to look for in the search process can make the decision faster and easier. Cloud-based accessibility, unified records, real-time data and reporting, and integration capabilities are key to streamlining processes and fostering a strong community.
BigSIS by Community Brands is a complete school management and student information system offering these four key features and so much more. It connects admissions, enrollment, tuition management, fundraising, and student information in one system. Download the BigSIS Buyer’s Guide to learn how to use this system to create efficiencies, foster community, and provide an unmatched school experience.