Driven by Data

Choosing a Student Information System

The Student Information System (SIS) serves as a school’s database of enrolled students, their attendance, class schedules, parents and emergency contacts, and often much, much more. The SIS is like a school’s brain – critical to its ongoing functioning – and so adopting or switching to a new one is no small decision. Although needs vary between schools, some basic considerations apply across the board. This post aims to familiarize you with some of the main questions to ask yourself (and prospective vendors) before making a decision.

Three Best Practices for Creating Action-Oriented Dashboards

As more and more data is made available to educators, data dashboards are increasingly hailed as one-stop, silver bullet solutions to school problems. Despite investing money and staff time into data visualization software and dashboard development, end-users (principals, instructional coaches, and teachers) often don’t find the information useful. We believe that dashboards are not a solution on their own. It’s the analysis and communication of the data that makes it useful to educators and directs their time, passion and attention.
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Make your school budget work for you throughout the year

All too often school leaders go through the process of making a budget – only to let it collect dust once it’s complete. A budget done well transforms abstract goals into concrete numbers and allows you to track progress towards those goals throughout the year. If you are not coming back to your budget on a regular basis as the year progresses, you can stray from your goals and expose your school to unintended risks.
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A Deep Dive into Direct Student Expenses – Part 3

Every year, our schools ask us questions like, “How are other schools spending their student recruitment dollars?,” and “How much are other schools spending on student transportation?” While school leaders know what they have spent in the past and plan to spend in the future, they often don’t have helpful information about their peers. Additional student expense categories are covered in this post.
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