When you work at a school district, every day you hear about the need to be more efficient. As a public servant, you not only have pressure from within the organization to do more with less, you also have pressure from your taxpayers.

There are many ways a school district can do more with less. One that is often overlooked is to improve the use of your Student Information System (SIS). Are you using all of the tools in the application to make your district more efficient?

The end of the year is close upon us and now is a good time to evaluate what your SIS can do and what business practices your district can change to increase efficiency. If your SIS includes the following functions, ask yourself how you can use them to increase efficiency and communication in your district:

  • Parent Portal – use this tool to publish information about students in a timely fashion
  • Parent Portal Update – allow parents or guardians to update student or contact information, saving data-entry time on your end
  • Student Portal – use this tool to keep your students abreast of their own progress
  • Email Notifications – notify staff about health, enrollment, registration, withdrawals, and schedule changes automatically
  • Messages – use the messaging system within the application to notify staff and students quickly and clearly
  • Event Calendar – keep staff, parents, and students in the loop and reduce questions and calls
  • Communication Log – track source and follow-up regarding students
  • Student Portfolios – store student paper records on line for ease of access; no going to the file cabinet.  Health records, art work, major homework assignments, you name it.
  • Document Management – store documents and catalog automatically per student.  Report cards, transcripts, letters, etc.

We all know the importance of communication as a means to increase efficiency.  Seizing the opportunity to use technology available to you as a district is key to improving the way your organization uses resources.  We know that it takes time to implement and develop business plans to make sure administrators, staff, students, and parents know how to use this technology. But taking that time will result in increased efficiency and will make your annual license fees work even harder for you.

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