What Is an SIS?

Any school administrator will tell you that balancing a productive and solid culture of learning with running an efficient organization is extremely difficult and requires incredible amounts of time, patience and management. Student Information Systems (or a SIS as they’re often referred to), offer school administrators a tool to streamline organizational systems and records to help create a strong foundation from which the school can ensure an active and vibrant learning environment for its students.

A SIS stores and tracks student data depending on the need of a school. They are generally web-based, allowing for updating and viewing of data on multiple devices. They can vary in the size and breadth of their functions in maintaining student records. Some come in packages that work well with small schools and organizations, while others are enterprise-wide solutions, which means they are built for much larger networks of schools across multiple campuses.

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SIS products are used by all parties involved, with teachers, students, and parents all having access to the platform, often with different levels of permissions. Data stored in student information systems can include grading transcripts, student schedules, attendance records, course management, and assessment scores. They can even have additional customizable apps like report builders and work study consoles. The great thing about using a SIS is that they are built to be used by schools with varying needs to create greater efficiency and management of school and student records.

There are a slew of School and Student Information Systems available on the market. Some of the leading programs are PowerSchool (http://www.powerschool.com/), InfiniteCampus (https://www.infinitecampus.com/), and Skyward (http://www.skyward.com/), as well as some open source options like SchoolTime (https://school-time.co/#), or for smaller schools OpenSIS (http://www.opensis.com/).

 

How does Best Attendance Fit In?

Best Attendance is not designed to be a full-fledged SIS.  Our focus is on attendance: both the data capture and reporting sides.  Oftentimes, schools will use Best Attendance for their small groups, after-school activities, volunteer activities, and all the other types of activities that are not “classes” and are therefore not tracked in an SIS.

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