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Implementing School Management Systems: Smaller Schools vs Larger Schools

by Kelly Walsh on August 3, 2011

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Guest Post by Aris Samad – Co founder and CEO, QuickSchools.com.

Mr. Samad’s post provides a nice introduction to his company’s easy-to-get-started with tool that provides some course management functionality and some student information system functionality. If you like what you read, and you’re in the market for an easy, hosted tool like this, click on over to QuickSchools.com and give it a try. And don’t forget the special offer at the end of the post. – KW

There’s a big difference between implementing a school management system for a school with 300 students vs implementing such a system for a large school or district.

QuickSchools logoAdministrators & teachers of smaller schools don’t want a consultant coming on-site to get requirements, and then spending months deploying the system and training the users. They just want a system that works with their needs in mind. And they want it to work from Day 1 – to be as simple as setting up a Gmail account.

That’s why I was a bit surprised by BlackBaud’s FastStart program for smaller schools. They guarantee that you’ll be up & running in 45 days, which seems rather long. Their implementation plan looks a bit scary to me, to be honest. Thinking about it, however, it makes sense when you consider that those systems were designed for large schools & districts in mind, and they’re trying to take that product and make it work for smaller schools.

Over here at QuickSchools, we wanted to challenge this approach. We asked ourselves: Would it be possible to create a school management system, specifically for smaller schools, that a school could sign up for, and within minutes, do the following:

  • Add students & subjects
  • Take attendance
  • Enter gradebook data
  • Print a report card with attendance & gradebook data instantly integrated right in
  • Print a transcript

We wanted to do this so we could demonstrate to schools that using a school management system could be effortless.

Here’s how our flow looks:

Instant Sign Up
You go to www.quickschools.com, and sign up for an account. You are able to instantly log-in. A shiny new school management system has arrived at your doorstep! (or should I say, browser window).

Take Attendance
You click on Test Drive attendance (we added some students so you don’t have to), and take attendance.

Enter Gradebook Data
You click on Test Drive gradebook (again, we added a couple of subjects so you don’t have to). Enter in grades. See the final grade calculated instantly.

Print A Report Card
Go to report cards, click on a student, and voila! It’s ready to be printed, or you can override any of the grades. There are dozens of customizable report card templates to choose from, or we can create one for you from scratch for a tiny fee (free for now).

Print Transcripts
Like report cards, transcripts instantly pick up relevant data from the system, and you can effortlessly add historical grades & transfer credit.

I’m sure you’ll agree that smaller schools don’t need the administrative complexity of larger schools & districts. Pick a school management system that fits.

SPECIAL OFFER: Readers of this blog can get 50% off their first 2 months subscription (after the 30 day free trial of course!). Just use this coupon code: 649943. Offer expires October 2011.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
EctoLearning is a Solid Contender for Best Free Online CMS
Moodle 2.0 versus Blackboard 9.1 – a Brief Comparison
K12.com is America’s Largest Provider of Online Education for Grades K to 12

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer and a faculty member at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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