R2-D2 Goes to School: How School Administration Software Can Slash Costs

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The original Star Wars trilogy would not be the same without R2-D2 and C-3PO.

The two robots bicker like a married couple. Even though the viewers can’t understand R2-D2’s beeps and bloops, they can infer from C-3PO that the small bot is insightful, witty, and, most importantly, incredibly helpful.

R2-D2 helped save the protagonists time and again. From decrypting the Death Star’s computer in A New Hope to shattering Princess Leia’s handcuffs in Return of the Jedi, the little robot’s job is to come in and save the day. George Lucas even commented that R2-D2 is his favorite character. He states, “He’s the hero of the whole thing. He’s the one that always comes through and saves everybody.”

Wouldn’t it be great to have school administration software just like R2-D2?

school administration software

Luckily, school administration software’s purpose is to fix unforeseen problems and to automate tasks that are largely droll and unnecessarily time consuming.

If you want to learn the ways of the force—I mean school administration software—read on to find out just what tasks these software solutions can automate.

Assignments and Gradebook

No teacher likes crunching student averages for mid-term or end-of-semester report cards. And every teacher is sick of students claiming they “didn’t know what the assignment was.” Luckily, teachers can use solutions like PraxiSchool or Moodle to update assignments, report grades, and weigh them appropriately. Administrators can take this information to generate report cards and transcripts.

A system like this makes it easy for teachers to have detailed notes on each assignment for meeting with parents. School administrators can also set parameters for honor roll, special awards, and sports eligibility.

Cafeteria

Are your lunch lines getting long because of an outdated cafeteria system? Programs with cafeterias in mind like Rediker make processing your students’ information simple so that they can get in and out of the lunch line quickly. The cashier can use a card, the student’s name, or even class picture to access that student’s account. The system has a simple touch screen that’s easy for anyone who can understand an iPad to use. Need reports? The system automatically provides a number of reports—many of which are state-specific—back to the central office. Best of all, the system encrypts the students’ special meal status for confidentiality.

Common Core Alignment

Common Core: A system that makes many a school administrator shudder. Are you compliant? Are you on track? Use Alma to make sure that your curriculum aligns with Common Core Standards, state standards, and any other standards that your institution might care about (like religious goals). The system not only checks to make sure your curriculum is on track, but provides clear objectives for teachers to design their curriculum with these standards in mind from the start.

Mass Email and Texting

Need to contact the entirety of your student body? What about their parents? What about just for one class? Stars Campus’s unique emailing system is able to surpass most spam filters so that you can email whatever group you need. Don’t waste time trying to manually filter your contacts—let school administration software do it for you.

Nursing and Health

Worried about vaccinations? Lice? Does Timmy have a tummy ache? SchoolBrains’s nursing and health functionality allows school nurses to manage visits, be alerted to health notifications across districts, and keep track of ever-updating immunization requirements. The software also offers the capability for nurses to enter information about each visiting student and generates reports about how the nurse spends his or her day.

Online Payments

For some schools, managing payments is a huge hassle. If you’re struggling to match who has paid what tuition and has what financial aid in a spreadsheet, dump it for something like Populi as soon as you can. Populi features an ISIRs importer so you don’t miss important FAFSA data. You can automate your tuition and fees based on your school’s academic calendar, and keep students notified for their next payments. Need reports? Once again, Populi makes it easy to generate 1098-Ts and filter financial information given any calendar parameters.

Registration

Back when I was in college, there were long lines to drop off paperwork to compete for the best course offerings the following semester. That’s so 2000. Try out solutions like ASAP which automates the entire registration process. Think of all the manpower you’ll save! No more manning booths and manually entering what course each student is taking. ASAP, and systems like it, allows school administrators to use a database for the heavy lifting so they can get back to really serving their students.

Special Needs and Individual Education Plans

We all know that no student learns the same. For gifted and special needs students, classroom goals may be different from what’s standard, and they might need extra help in certain classroom settings. Having difficulty managing these students? Edvance Software asks, “What if thousands of goals, tasks, and sub-tasks could be organized and easily assigned to individual students and then used by their teachers to facilitate instruction?” That’s exactly what they offer, complete with customizable progress reports that follow the student as they achieve.

Website Updates

Orbund offers website integration that keeps your school’s site up to date with the latest news and announcements, events calendar, and lunch menus. It also integrates with your school’s directory so parents can contact faculty and staff with the click of a button.

More?

The force is indeed strong with school administration software. It quickly cuts down on costs and does the work that no one wants to do. Not sure which software option to get for your school? Check out Capterra’s school administration software directory to pare down options based on offered features, or schedule a free consultation to find the right software for your school.

Was there an automated task that I missed? Do you use school administration software? Leave your comments and suggestions below!

Looking for School Administration software? Check out Capterra's list of the best School Administration software solutions.

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About the Author

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Rachel Burger

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Rachel is a former Capterra analyst who covered project management.

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