- General Best Practices
The development of the most initial school administrative computer applications started in the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, several loose, non-integrated clerical and administrative applications were developed, but these applications limited the possibilities for management support as the relationships between data could not be analyzed.
School Management Information Systems (MIS) have greatly improved over the last two decades and most of them incorporate several important functions required by school administration; however, every school has its own specific needs. Choosing a School Management Information System is one of the most important decisions that the senior team will make - it has a direct impact on the operational efficiency of the school.
The range of tasks that a modern MIS is asked to perform inevitably means that different users value those aspects of an MIS' functionality that relate to their own area. Because different MIS have different strengths and weakness, all the key stakeholders (finance team, administrators, teachers and parents) need to have input into the decision-making process.
Finalsite's Content Management System (CMS), Composer, offers web integrations with many systems including iSAMs and WCBS. Both of these MIS' have been written with flexibility in mind to accommodate all the different variations within the education sector, and they also accommodate the ways in which independent schools do things differently, including terminology and school structure.
The benefits of integrating your MIS into your school website include:
- Integration with iSAMS and WCBS allows for the parent portal to be automatically populated with constituent information.
- This dynamic data link will automatically sync with your MIS, pulling the latest information and bringing it to the fingertips of your constituents.
- Contact information can be pulled directly into e-notify and alerts so you can send out communications to different classes, years and groups.
- Directories and general information for parents, faculty and students can be dynamically pulled into the portals from iSAMS and WCBS.
- Forms can be auto-populated and personalized via form manager, meaning parents don't have to fill out their contact information over and over again.
- Learn, (the Finalsite VLE), synchronization of student and staff records.
The Inner Workings
Finalsite's integration with iSAMS and WCBS functions from data sheets produced by the MIS that are transmitted to our servers, securely, on a scheduled basis. This is a fully automated synchronization that allows us to populate and update constituent information, as well as create and update classes and populate them with the appropriate student and teacher records.
MIS have changed school management in the areas of leadership, decision making, workload, human resource management, communication, responsibility, and planning. These systems can assist the school manager in determining the aims of the school, formulating strategic plans, distributing resources, and evaluating staff performance as well as organizational success.