Student Management Systems
What Are Student Management Systems?
A student management system (also known as a student information system or SIS) helps a school manage data, communications, and scheduling. A school system generates and uses a large amount of data. This data must be communicated appropriately to students, faculty, and parents. A student management system helps schools to store, manage, and distribute this information.
Some student management systems are designed to serve all of a school’s student data management needs. Other student management systems are specialized. These specialized solutions target specific needs, such as school applications or student behavior tracking.
Student management systems provide many benefits to educational institutions, mostly stemming from centralized data management and accessibility. Teachers can more easily input, manage, and access student data. Parental guardians get better visibility into how their student is performing in classes. State-level compliance and other regulatory requirements are also much easier to fulfill.
Student Management vs. School Management Systems
The educational technology (EdTech) space has become more crowded, with increasingly overlapping products across different educational needs. For instance, school management and student management systems are often conflated and have many overlapping capabilities. However, there are some important distinctions to be aware of.
Student management systems focus on managing students’ data, and base their data structures on the individual student level. This is distinct from school management, which is more all-encompassing of factors like facilities management, cafeteria procurement processes, and more school-specific accounting functions.
Some EdTech vendors have leaned into the “all-in-one” approach to school management that includes student management as well as all other aspects of school administration and data management. However, these platform offerings may be overkill for some organizations, and may not offer the best capabilities in specific areas. These tradeoffs make standalone student management systems appealing to organizations that need best-of-breed student management capabilities and portals specifically tailored to student data.
Student Management Systems Features & CapabilitiesStudent management systems may encompass a range of features depending on the scope of a particular product. However, leading products should have most or all of the following feature areas:
- Student Attendance Tracking
- Student Health Information
- Grade Book Management
- Student Background Information- Family, age, behavior data
- Student and Parent Portal
- Transcript Management
Student and Faculty Administration
- Integrations with 3rd-Party Education Technology
- Online Registration Management
- District Communications, such as messaging and alerting
- Roster Management
- Platform customization
- Teacher Self-Service
- Student Data Security
- Community Support
- Class Scheduling
- State and National-level Reporting
- Compliance Support
- Teacher and Parent Mobile Application
Student Management Systems Comparison
When comparing different student management systems, consider the following:
Student Management vs. School Management: Does the organization need a system specifically for managing student data, or other school functions as well? Consider the scope of the use case in question in order to determine whether a point solution or a broader platform is a better fit.
Integrations: Does each SMS integrate with the other existing EdTech systems that the organization uses? Preventing data silos is crucial to long-term manageability and scalability, so buyers should ensure that data can easily flow from the SMS product to the other systems in their tech stack, and vice versa.
Use case: Is the organization a k-12 school, higher education institution, or professional development/certification organization? Many student management systems will be tailored to one of these three groups, although some products can serve more than one group.
Pricing for student management systems varies greatly depending on the size and needs of the school. Additionally, student management system vendors rarely release pricing information. Speak to a vendor to get a detailed estimate for your needs.
Some vendors offer per-student pricing. This pricing model may be per month or per year. Per-month prices may range from under $2.00 per student to over $10.00 per student. Per-year prices may exceed $20.00 per student.
Other vendors offer monthly subscriptions to their software without a per-student fee. Depending on the capabilities of the software, prices may range from under $10.00 per month to over $1,000.00 per month.
Blackbaud Education Management Solutions is a unified student management system for K–12 private schools. Blackbaud Enrollment Management System™: Gives schools and families the ability to track admissions progress from first impressions all the way through the application process…
Hero is student behavior management software for K-12 schools and districts, from Schoolmint. Hero's goal is to enable consistent redirection of negative behavior, reinforcement of positive behavior and communication between educators, students, parents, and administrators across…
Skyward, headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, offers the Skyward Student Management System, a k-12 student information system which provides classroom tools (e.g. gradebook, attendance tracking, etc), Family Engagement tools with portal, as well as admin and student services…
eSchoolPLUS is a student information system for managing student demographics, grades, scheduling & attendance, discipline & report cards, and other information in k-12. eSchoolPLUS was developed by Sungard K-12 Education which was acquired by PowerSchool in March 2017. It is now…
Campus Management Corp, now Anthology, Inc (the company formed from the merger with iModules and Student Labs in 2020) offers CampusNexus Student, the company's flagship student information system (SIS) featuring automated tuition and financial aid management, academic and enrollment…
FACTS Student Information System (formerly RenWeb) is a Student Information System with a broad range of capabilities. It handles admissions, student information, billing, report cards, grading, attendance, and parent access, among others. FACTS is a property of Nelnet Business Solutions.…
ACTIVE Network's ACTIVE Education solution is designed to provide up-to-date, user-friendly registration software which enables administrators and students to enroll and purchase merchandise with ease. The software supports loyalty building activities, increase registrations, and…
Tyler Technologies offers Tyler SIS, a suite of school and student management applications, including online student registration, school inventory management, Classroom 360 mobile accessible student information management for teachers, Student 360 with portal for grades, announcements,…
ISI: Illuminate Student Information is an SIS from Illuminate Education headquartered in Irvine, which features attendance and grade management, discipline, health, and reporting, report card sharing, and more. Illuminate Education announced they will sunset their student information…
Unifyed Student – SIS enables the registrar’ to collaborate with the faculty to plan the curriculum of the institution and offer courses for students to register into. It provides advisers with a audit view of how the student is doing so they can help students plan their course loads…
Edisapp School ERP by Eloit is an academic ERP specifically designed for schools. Edisapp School Management System aims to streamline every significant information flow from new student admission to generating transfer certificates when students complete their studies. The vendor…