How to Decide and Understand What School Management Software Features Your School Needs: A Guide
School management software can ease daily, repetitive tasks for administrators and faculty and make it easier to find, analyze, and share essential information. This student information system can also centralize data and ensure it remains safe and secure.
School software management features can enhance your overall experience and help you deliver seamless user experiences to your faculty, students, and their families. You need to find school management tools that improve your institution and help your staff efficiently complete their tasks. This means understanding which features will most benefit your institution and ensuring you can get the most from your system.
School software management should ease concerns and workloads for your team, so finding the right one is essential. Learn how to choose school management software by understanding what features your school needs.
What You’ll Learn in This Guide
To choose the best solution for your school, you first need to know what school management software is. This guide starts by explaining the function of this software and giving an overview of the features you might find most beneficial.
After covering the basics, we look more closely at the main features you’ll likely want your software to have:
- An integrated payment platform
- Student and staff information centers
- Comprehensive security
- Admissions and enrollment application tracking
TADS offers a custom solution to help independent and private schools improve efficiency, reduce errors, and boost performance with faculty and administrators. Our software also helps schools create a smooth, branded experience for students and their families, making it easier to track admissions and enrollment or pay tuition and other fees.
If your school is ready to choose school management software, request a demo to get started with TADS today.
Chapter One: What Is School Management Software?
School management tools reduce staff strain and help administrative staff handle and oversee regular tasks. These digital software solutions are a helpful alternative for organizing and assessing information manually while preventing human error and administration overload. School management software encompasses many facets that can aid your institution when you understand how to use it to its full potential.
Utilizing School Management Software
School management software is a digital solution for handling and overseeing administrative tasks. You can use these systems to complete various functions, including tracking student records and attendance, operating payroll, organizing events and field trips, collecting club fees, handling admissions applications and enrollment, and communicating with stakeholders. You should look for the following features in a school management software system to achieve these functions.
Integrated Payment Platform
Your school management software should be capable of performing all payment functions to create a more effective and organized way to manage outgoing and incoming payments. These features can streamline the payment process and help your administrators better monitor transactions.
Using this feature, you can manage all payments, from club and sports fees to tuition to fundraiser events. Additionally, you can automate faculty payroll, disperse scholarships, deliver reimbursements, and return refunds.
Ensure you choose a system capable of handling several tasks to improve the user experience for your families and students. For instance, you may want to consider a system that can accept multiple card types or payment methods, allows users to save information for future use, or has a function for recurring payments.
Centralized Student and Staff Information
You can significantly reduce administrative workloads by having a school management system organize and manage student and teacher information. These systems can compile this data into reports and graphs, making them easily accessible for reviewing, sharing, and analyzing.
Some systems will enable you to organize and display various types of information to make student use easier. For example, you can build schedules, track attendance, monitor grades, and view disciplinary issues. Faculty, teachers, and students can access this information whenever they need to monitor progress. This insight will better shape the student’s path to graduation and ensure they receive the support they need to succeed. Additionally, you can use these features to apply club and organization information as you see fit. For example, you can monitor student participation and organizational growth or movement.
Other features enable you to store teacher information. For example, you can assign faculty members specific tasks and schedule time to complete these objectives. These tasks could include items such as lunchroom monitoring and class dismissal. These functions can make it easier for your team to transition from one task to another while ensuring your students receive constant supervision.
As an academic institution, you encounter sensitive student information you cannot share. Items such as home addresses, payment information, and academic performances are essential for school functions, but you must protect and secure this information. Strong security is critical to ease families’ minds and raise their confidence in your institution.
Consider management systems that offer these security features:
- Two-step authentication: You can require users to use two-step authentication to ensure payment portals and information is secure. Passwords are excellent for preventing basic cyber attacks, but this process creates an additional boundary, making it more difficult for outsiders to access private information. Two-step authentication can include receiving alerts to a mobile device, typing in a time-sensitive keyword, or inputting a set of randomized numbers upon each access request.
- Permissions: You can ensure your students and staff are only accessing the information they need by enabling permissions. For instance, this feature eliminates the chance that one student will see another’s grades or a teacher seeing a family’s payment information. This feature allows students to monitor their grades and progress without risking someone else’s privacy. Teachers can only access information like emergency contacts and student grades. Only specific departments can access payroll information or enrollment functions, keeping all essential data separate.
- Data redundancy: When you have large amounts of essential information, it is critical that you can always access it without interrupting workflow or disrupting the student experience. Data redundancy ensures all the information you need is accessible through multiple servers. This way, if one goes down, you can easily access the information you need on another.
Admissions and Enrollment Application Tracking
Quality school management software will enable you to keep track of student enrollment applications and registration information seamlessly. You want software that can track class groups and enrollment to monitor progress easily. Over time, you can compile detailed student records that depict their progress and path to graduation to ensure they receive the support and assistance they need.
Choose TADS School Management Software
TADS began its story almost 50 years ago, and we’ve continued serving private schools’ unique needs since. Our software streamlines administrative tasks and makes it easy for students, faculty, and staff to access their secure information. We update our methods to ensure we meet our clients’ school management needs. Request a demo of our software to experience the difference for your institution.
Chapter Two: Integrated Payment Platform
An integrated payment platform is an excellent feature for your school management system. These features can reduce human error in school payment systems while creating a convenient and centralized location for all financial information. Discover the challenges of tuition and billing and how to find solutions from TADS.
The Challenges of Tuition and Billing
Operating without a school management system can make it challenging to keep billing and tuition information organized. It can be easy to record the wrong information, lose valuable statements, and experience human error. Common billing and tuition challenges include:
- Safety risks: The more hands and eyes on private information, the more security risks present themselves. You must always ensure that only verified users can access this information to keep it as secure as possible.
- Human error: Working by hand can be time-consuming and lead to error. Moving to digital software can reduce human error by eliminating the chance of using the wrong information or performing the wrong calculations.
- Lost papers: Filing cabinets and folders have long been in the workplace, but they are not the most reliable sources. Office mishaps are common, and your institution cannot afford to lose tuition and billing information. Going paperless eliminates these risks while making this information easily shareable and accessible whenever needed.
- Real-time payments: When you rely on paper payment forms, receiving all necessary information on time can take time and effort. Students may forget to deliver the info, family members may work shifts that prohibit them from providing it themselves, or there may be a disconnect between the amount the families owe and the amount they are prepared to pay. Going digital can eliminate these concerns by enabling families to provide this information when it’s convenient for them by simply opening a computer or mobile device to make payments.
Taking your tuition and billing management to the digital sphere can simplify processes and make moving from one task to another easier. You should keep these features in mind when looking for school management software for an effortless user experience and a seamless transition.
Store Payment Information
A secure and centralized way to store payment information makes things more convenient for schools and families. Families will benefit from this time-saving feature by being able to eliminate repetitive steps in the payment process. They can access their information and make payments whenever necessary with just a few clicks. On the administrative end, your staff will appreciate having a central location where they can view all payments a family has made. This overview can help ensure that families are up to date on all bills and let administrators easily send fee reminders if a due date is approaching.
Accept All Payment Types
Many families use different payment methods to complete billing requests. Credit or debit cards, electronic checks, and online transfers are popular payment methods, and each family will rely on whatever is most convenient for them. By accepting all payment types, you can make it much easier for families to pay their bills promptly. Additionally, an all-encompassing software system will enable you to welcome more students while maintaining family satisfaction for your current students.
Comprehensive Billing Services
A comprehensive system allows you to improve your billing accuracy and efficiency. You can bill anytime for application fees, tuition bills, or incidentals. You can also use software features to send school fee reminders so your families never miss a payment. With back-end reporting and general ledger support, you can accelerate account reconciliation and improve accuracy.
Flexible Tuition Agreements
Even with all these features and options available, families can still face financial fluctuations that take time to navigate. Finding a management system with flexible payment agreements can grant your students and families peace of mind by accommodating their situation.
Customizable tuition payments enable you to meet each family’s needs. You can encourage them to opt for an annual, monthly, semester, or quarterly payment plan or tailor each agreement to allow maximum flexibility. This way, you can welcome more students and families to your institution while satisfying the families you’re currently serving and ensuring your school receives all payments promptly.
Find an Integrated Payment Platform With TADS
TADS has been helping schools since 1970, and we’ve built a relationship of trust with more than 3,000 institutions. We’re committed to providing independent and private schools with unique software solutions to meet their needs and satisfy their students and families.
Our financial management software allows schools and families to access payment information and stay on top of incoming and outgoing payments. We have also broadened our services to include enrollment and admissions facets and a tuition aid base. Request a demo of TADS Tuition Management to bring a customizable financial solution to your families and students.
Chapter Three: Student and Staff Information Centers
When finding a school management system database, you must understand how your students and staff will benefit and what information it will provide. This software can ease administrative tasks by organizing staff and student information, so you want to ensure it will optimize your institution.
As you browse new systems, ensure you find one that benefits your team, families, and students. This means discovering methods of communication and ways to review and distribute information that works for everyone. Although everyone has a different way of working, finding this unique can be simple. Review these tools that will enhance the experience of your students, staff, and families at your institution.
One of the most significant challenges schools face is keeping their information in a central location where staff can easily access and update the data as needed. Digital software simplifies and speeds up this process to make tasks more manageable. Additionally, it gives you one more tool to keep you on top of your student information system. Dynamic communication tools, transparent grade books, and flexibility and consistency are additional tools you want in your arsenal.
Dynamic Communication Tools
Everyone communicates differently, and some methods are more effective than others. Some families will want to hear from you in different ways than others, and the right system will enable you to deliver them the experience they expect and deserve. TADS Student Information System has various built-in tools so you can personalize the experience of your students and families. We offer tools such as voicemail, text, and email functions so you can easily send and track communications with ease.
Transparent Grade Books
Family members want to stay in tune with their students’ academic performance and grades. A transparent grade book can make it much easier to share this information with students and parents and track other performance indicators. With TADS, you can use tools to create and view data, regardless of how in-depth your need to go.
Whether you need standards or skills-based grading scales, scores, or different requirements for upper and lower schools, you can do all you need with TADS. Our software provides custom notes, commenting, final grade calculations, in-line editing, and assignment tracking. Our tools are easy to use and save your faculty and staff time when completing administrative tasks.
Flexibility and Consistency
Your institution has many essential faculty and staff members, and each may prefer to record and store information differently. A quality school management software system will provide different options to accommodate various information styles. With TADS, you can obtain robust reporting.
Seasoned teachers have their own ways of working that suit their instruction, communication, and grading styles. Our software empowers your staff to see the data they want when they want it. Your faculty and staff can customize these reports to schedule, generate, send, and filter reports to share them with colleagues who need to see them. Additionally, our software provides teachers with flexible ways to take attendance, finalize grades, and track assignments so they can remain consistent while making it easier to perform daily tasks.
Centralize Student and Staff Information With TADS
Your families, faculty, staff, and students expect seamless information flow, communication lines, and data distribution. With TADS, you can maintain consistency while supporting individual preferences. It’s never been easier to remain productive while supporting your team’s needs.
We’ve been supporting schools since 1970 and are proud of our industry accomplishments. We’ve built a foundation of trust and relationships, making it much easier to assist each institution. We update our methods and practices to best suit your needs and stay on top of current trends. We’re committed to delivering your institution with a unique solution to drive productivity and uniformity.
TADS Student and Information System has all the tools you need to deliver your students, families, and staff the experience they expect. With dynamic communication tools, transparent grade books, and a commitment to flexibility and consistency, you can support your institution and those who trust it. Request a demo of our Student Information System and experience the difference at your school.
Chapter Four: Comprehensive Security
Schools are switching to digital platforms for many applications. With this digital transformation replacing pen-and-paper methods, there is an increased need for additional security. As a reputable institution, you must provide your students and staff with the protection they need to safeguard their information.
Security should be one of your most essential features when choosing school management software. Credit card information, student grades, performance indicators, and home address have a place in your system, but only verified administrators should be able to access them. Thankfully, there is software that can provide the safety features you need.
Keep Sensitive Information Secure
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a widespread digital transformation in schools. The need for online access skyrocketed when students and teachers began operating from home to complete their work and studies, but the sudden switch left many institutions unprepared. Moving to remote learning on a grand scale amplified weaknesses in sensitive information privacy protections that were already an existing issue.
Districts and schools are hard-pressed to pivot to the digital sphere. To keep up with this shift, institutions must increase security measures to keep student and staff information confidential and secure and guarantee that their information is safe. This means finding software to ease privacy concerns and keeping your team up-to-date about online safety measures and potential data breaches.
Data redundancy is essentially repeated data. Data redundancy ensures you can always access the information you need by storing it in multiple locations. This could mean either sharing the information between two data fields in the same database or storing the information in two separate areas. Although people sometimes duplicate data accidentally, purposeful redundancy ensures you can always access it.
Positive data redundancy safeguards against losing information and can make data easier to access. For instance, if one server fails, you can securely access information on another server without interrupting your productivity flow. You can also have a central location for all information, making it easy to update all data points at once to ensure every department can access current information at any given time.
Additionally, this process can speed up your workflow. Data redundancy can improve update speeds and data access. When you store information in multiple locations, you can encourage numerous departments to access it at the same time without overcrowding a single system. This can ensure your team can work effectively and always obtain the information they need when they need it.
You can enhance your school data security by ensuring students, parents, faculty, and staff can only access information pertinent to their positions or roles. Role-based permissions keep faculty and student information safe by ensuring only verified users can access the portions of information that apply to them in your internal database.
Creating different permissions means students can access their grades and performance indicators without risking the privacy of other students. Additionally, teachers can access assignment information, grades, and emergency contacts. At the same time, department administrators can stay on top of financial data like debit cards, payroll, electronic checks, and club fees without risking family privacy.
Beyond increasing your internal security, you can also take precautions to protect private information from cyberattacks and invasions. Passwords can help safeguard against simple cyberattacks, but they don’t always provide sufficient protection on their own. Two-step authentication requires users to provide additional information along with a password before accessing certain information.
Examples of two-factor authentication include:
- Granting access from another associated device
- Answering a security question
- Typing a randomized set of numbers sent by the application
- Service platform
- Providing a PIN code or phrase
These additional steps make it much more difficult for a hacker to access sensitive data while still making it easy for users to access the information they need.
Keep Student and Faculty Information Secure With TADS
You can integrate comprehensive and custom management solutions with TADS. Our solutions enable schools to streamline routine processes while keeping data confidential and secure. With TADS, you can ease the administrative load and still serve your families and students the way they expect.
We understand the benefit of a secure school management system and are committed to delivering private and independent schools a solution to their security challenges. We have over 50 years of experience in the industry, and we’re proud of the strides we’ve made.
You can customize our services to suit your needs and work to improve the areas of your choice. You want to meet the needs of your team, students, and families, and there’s no better or easier way to do it. Request a demo of our software to bring enhanced security to your institution.
Chapter Five: Admissions and Enrollment Application Tracking
When admissions and enrollment season rolls around, you likely try to find new ways of speeding up the process to improve organization and efficiency. With a digital software solution, you can streamline this process and reduce hours of repetitive administrative work. Additionally, your students and families can benefit from an accessible online platform where they can easily access their information and exit or return to their applications as needed.
The Virtual Admissions Process
Moving the regular admissions process to the digital sphere can aid families in the application completion process and make it easier for your team to organize information effectively. This online process can enable students and families to fill out and submit essays, forms, and other essential school information.
While your families apply or enroll from home, your administrative team can better assess applications to determine if each student would be a good fit at your institution. Although the online process is the same as the physical one, you can reduce staff strain and make it easier to welcome new students to apply to your institution.
Many private schools have already made this switch because they can get more done while using fewer tools. This virtual solution has a centralized configuration, making it easy for all users to access through a portal. This helps your team and students’ families stay organized and reduces the chance of losing data, which can significantly slow this process.
Rapid actions allow people to receive results sooner while maintaining simplicity. With faster results, people can make decisions more quickly and help vital processes, like admissions and enrollment, move along much faster. Digital solutions are becoming more standard, helping you better maintain interest in students and families. The following are additional benefits of virtualizing the admissions process.
A virtual enrollment management system operates on a cloud-based platform, enabling every user to access applications and portals from anywhere with an internet connection. This accessibility makes it easier for families to complete essential forms whenever it best fits their schedules and is convenient for them, significantly reducing the strain for those who may be moving or traveling frequently.
Your staff will also appreciate the flexibility. Your administrators can work as they receive documents through rolling admissions, enabling you to customize your staffing arrangements to meet your needs. Beyond simplifying administrative tasks, you can open the door for more remote and hybrid working possibilities. This virtual process allows your team to access information from home, which could enable more flexible scheduling.
Automated Real-Time Tracking
Automated enrollment management allows families to upload and complete school-branded applications and forms online. This solution is an extension of your school’s website, allows families to finish incomplete applications when convenient, and accepts payments.
With effortless accessibility, your administrative leaders can submit documents, read essays, and accept or decline applicants in a fraction of the typical time. Real-time reporting empowers your team to keep data at their fingertips and keep your admissions strategy on track.
Online Document Management
Your online system should aid your team, and online document management reduces office waste while boosting efficiency. With TADS, you can obtain online document management that simplifies the admissions process in various ways:
- 24/7 reports: Always access current data that provides insight into information such as application status and student demographics.
- Customized application setup: Reflect your institution by branding your documents.
- Convenient online system: Enable your students and families to access modern systems where they can download and submit applications as necessary.
- Application tracking: Receive notifications with each submission and track application progress by each student.
- Required document setup: Improve the user experience for family members and students by using a system that pre-populates document fields where data already exists.
Convenience and Consistency for Families
Admissions and enrollment software should offer convenience for families and consistency for your office. With TADS, you can collect enrollment and application fees via a parent portal, making checking grades and paying tuition easier for families and ensuring payment documentation for your office.
With our software, you can encourage parents to make electronic payments when they submit applications so your institution receives them promptly and efficiently. Additionally, your administrators will be better equipped to track and collect these fees in one central location.
This process will make for an enhanced user experience for everyone. This solution is easy to use and empowers your families to make stronger connections with your institution. Admissions are one of the earliest experiences your families have with your school. Creating a user-friendly process and simplified system will positively reflect your institution and show families that you’re the right choice for their students.
Simplify Admissions and Enrollment With TADS
TADS has been crafting unique solutions for private and independent schools for over five decades. Our relationships have a foundation of trust, and we support your needs to deliver exceptional experiences for your students and families.
With TADS, you can simplify administrative processes and make it easier for families to connect with your school. Our comprehensive solutions provide security and convenience to aid your institution. Request a demo of our Admissions and Enrollment software to experience the difference with us.
Conclusion: Integrate Custom and Comprehensive Management Solutions With TADS
TADS has been operating for more than 50 years—we’re committed to crafting and delivering unique solutions to meet the needs of independent and private schools like yours.
School management software delivers your students, families, and staff the convenience they want from your institution, which is precisely what you can expect with TADS. We know your institution collects a large amount of information and that sifting through it can be frustrating for your families and staff. We simplify the information completion, submission, and review processes by providing a custom solution that organizes and tracks information across all platforms.
Our software developers keep user experience in mind as they create your custom solutions so you can optimize organization and efficiency. Our software reduces paper waste and makes it easier to access and manage data compared to the physical paper process. By creating this effortless user experience, you can foster a sense of trust and reliability from the very beginning of every student and family relationship.
Experience the Difference With TADS
TADS provides everything your institution needs to ease administrative tasks and simplify processes for families. With us, you can find a solution that works for your users to assure students and families that your school is the right choice. Our software will leave them looking forward to starting the school year with you and fostering a lasting connection that positively impacts students.
Our software makes it easier to maximize productivity and deliver convenience with an integrated payment platform, comprehensive security, admissions and enrollment application tracking, and centralized staff and student information. With TADS, you can expect the following:
- Enhanced security
- Custom solutions
- Improved user experiences
- Convenient online systems
- 24/7 reporting
- Seamless application tracking
- Data redundancy options
- Two-step authentication
- Custom permissions
- Centralized student and staff information
- Transparent grade books
- Dynamic communication tools
- An integrated payment platform
- Comprehensive billing services
- Flexibility and consistency
You can experience all these features with TADS. Our K-12 suite provides the most flexible and powerful solutions you can find. With our suite, you can expect custom and unique designs that empower you to fulfill your promises to your students. Reach out for more information about our solutions and commitment, or request a demo today to experience the difference with us.
Thank You Page
Thank you for downloading our guide to understanding school management software features. This guide explains the essential functions of school management software and what features will be most beneficial to your school. As you read our guide, you’ll discover custom solutions to many challenges private and independent schools face when delivering a seamless experience to students and families.
Our guide discusses the importance of features within school management software, such as increased security, improved user experiences, comprehensive payment platforms, admissions and enrollment tracking, and centralized staff and student information. These features empower your school to craft and deliver the experience your team, students, and families expect and better equip your administrators to efficiently complete tasks and stay on track.
TADS creates comprehensive and custom software solutions for educational institutions. Our K-12 suite encompasses all these facets to provide each school with customized solutions that benefit them and their students. With TADS, you can reduce routine administrative functions and simplify essential processes while boosting productivity and performance.
Each TADS module can operate as an individual service or create a comprehensive bundle to fit your needs. We have zero restrictive contracts and proudly provide high-quality services and products to benefit your unique institution. The choice is yours, and you can easily request a TADS demo for an inside look at our custom solutions for your school.