Student management system (SMS)

These large programs utilize information technology to manage most day-to-day operations for a school. Tasks that were traditionally accomplished by hand, such as taking attendance, counting cafeteria meals, and student registration are integrated in a single computer system. These systems typically are networked throughout a school, allowing teachers to report attendance and grades, develop lesson plans, and provide feedback to administrators and parents all from a single electronic source. Many SMS programs also allow for customizing of data to meet No Child Left Behind standards.

Student management systems are truly complete programs for schools, providing electronic tools for local schools that would have seemed far-fetched even a few short years ago. For example, Rediker's School Administrative Software gives teachers and administrators the power to create student photo ID's, provide textbook lists onlline, interface and collaborate with parents online, and manage the school's library -- all from a single source. Additionally, with the Rediker software, administrators can use handheld computers to access student attendance records, grades, and parent contact information. This allows them to manage the school effectively without being trapped inside an office.

SMS in New Zealand

The New Zealand Ministry of Education has an initiative in place to have all schools using an accredited SMS by 2008. They have accredited seven SMS and provide funding support for schools to move to one of those seven systems. They have survey information from schools showing satisfaction results from schools who have implemented approved SMS.

Open Source SMS

FreeSMS, a "PHP based application to manage an educational facility of teachers and students alike", is available for download and tryout at SourceForge.net.


Alternative Names

Student Management Systems are also being called Student Information Systems (like our ISIS). According to the wikipedia entry on Student Information Systems, SISs are commonly responsible for the following:
  • Handling enquiries from prospective students;
  • Handling the admissions process;
  • Enrolling new students and storing teaching option choices;
  • Handling examinations, assessments, marks and grades and academic progression;
  • Maintaining records of absences and attendance;
  • Handling the award of credit or qualifications, graduation, and post-graduation contact with alumni.


SMS and SIS resources:

School Master Software
MMS Student Information Systems
PowerSchool
Pearson Ed. Products
RenWeb
Lumen Software
ThinkWave
WikiPedia - Multiple sources