School Management Software Overview
What is School Management Software?
School Management Software, also known as School Administration Software, facilitates most or all of the processes and resources within K-12 schools outside of the classroom. They serve either to centralize schools’ administrative functions or service specific administrative needs. This means that School management software includes both point solutions and more comprehensive suites of features.
There is a wide range of administrative functions that school staff must support, and an accordingly ride range of product types to serve those needs. Some of the most common functions or activities that school management software support include:
Staff communications hub
Facilities management, such as work orders
There are also some more niche capabilities, such as integrating with the school’s accounting software to facilitate billing and tuition processing. Some suites also encompass more learning management systems’ features, such as virtual classrooms.
School Management Software vs. Student Information Systems
School management software often overlaps heavily with student management systems (aka student information systems). The overlap is particularly potent for school management software that emphasizes data management capabilities, and products may have features that place them in both categories.
The primary difference between the two categories is the scope and target audience of each platform. School management software is much more focused on administrative support and will offer more features to support those extended capabilities. Staff communications hubs are a prime example of this distinction. Student information systems, in contrast, will be much more focused on serving as the primary student data repository.
School Management Software Comparison
When comparing school management software, keep these factors in mind:
Configurability: Every school has its own unique requirements for a school management software based on size, staff needs, technology resources in the school, whether the school is public or private, etc. Since those needs are also likely to change over time, especially in remote vs. in-person learning, buyers should make sure that they can tailor any given school management software to their school’s particular needs.
Suite vs. Point Solution: Buyers should consider what roles they need a school management software to serve. Is the school focused on staff communication, food service, school IT resources, schedule and attendance management, or a combination thereof? Identifying specific needs will help buyers purchase a system that is scaled to their use case.
- Accounting Integration: The financial management associated with administering a school can be disproportionately burdensome for some institutions. In these cases, buyers should seek out software that integrates well with, or natively handles, financial processes like billing, tuition, and even staff expense management in some cases.
Pricing for school management software is very inconsistent. This variety is due in large part to the wide range of different kinds of products, from point solutions to comprehensive suites. Suite pricing can range from $10-30+ per student, per year. While point solution pricing will likely be less, exact pricing will depend on what functionality each solution offers.
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