When it comes time to choosing a school management system, there’s quite a bit to think about. What features are you looking for? What features are a necessity? What limitations are you experiencing in your current school management system? These are some of the many questions that arise when looking for a new system.
At Sycamore Education, we know this can be a stressful and exhausting process, which is why we’ve developed a buyer’s guide to make it easier for you to evaluate your options and choose the school management system that best fits your school.
Identifying the User Base
Since a school management system (SMS) is used by everyone associated with the school, it’s a good idea to make sure each user base is being represented. This includes administration, teachers, parents, and students. While some user bases will certainly interact with the product more than others, it’s important to gain perspective and feedback on what each user base is looking for when it comes to a quality SMS.
Budget Money and Time
With almost every school being on a budget of some kind, money is always going to be a motivating factor. There are several questions to consider when trying to plan for an SMS in your school’s budget. Can you pay yearly, biannually, or monthly? Is there a contract period? Are there upfront costs? Are they module-based, meaning do they add on costs as you use different features within their system, or are they all-inclusive? How much are customized reports, if applicable? Each SMS is different based on its structure and pricing, so it’s imperative to do your research and ask the right questions so there are no surprises after you sign the contract.
Budgeting time is another area worth considering. School management systems offer demos for a reason; they want to introduce you to the product without pressuring you to make a rash decision. Take your time to go through the product, ask the difficult questions, and see what works well for your school and what doesn’t. A demo or trial period can go a long way in determining the needs of your school, and how the SMS can help address those needs.
Utilize Strong Communication
As aforementioned, choosing a school management system is rarely a choice made by one individual. Open a dialogue of communication for all potential users of the new system, and document that communication throughout the process. Change is never easy, but if everyone on your team is on the same page and has a chance to address their thoughts and concerns, that will make the choice much easier.
Don’t be afraid to also keep the lines of communication open with the school management system vendor. While no two schools have the exact same day-to-day operations, chances are the vendor has worked with enough schools in the past that are structured similarly to your school, and as a result, can help make the potential transitioning process much smoother. The more information you can provide on how your school operates and require features that are essential to your school’s success, the more support the school management system can supply in helping your school reach its desired goals.
With over 300 features and integrations available, Sycamore School is a powerful resource for schools looking to improve their day-to-day operations. Schedule a demo and start your free trial to learn more about Sycamore School, and also be sure to download our buyer’s guide to help make the process of choosing a school management system easier.