Driven by Data

Prepare your Student Information System for the new year

A successful first day of school begins months before the first day of classes. Schools with strong data practices typically begin initial Student Information System (SIS) planning and preparation during the spring of the prior school year. A staff member or team coordinates the completion of major tasks so that the student information system is ready for use by the first day of school. We recommend this sample timeline to get you started and highlight four things that can derail these plans.


Four Things to Avoid During SIS Setup

1. Lack of Planning: Adequate planning is a key component of SIS setup. To avoid last-minute modifications, find examples of report cards you like ahead of time, think through how attendance will be taken, and decide your calendar and bell schedule before this data is added to the SIS.

2. Lack of Time: Make sure to follow your SIS setup plan and hold your team accountable to deadlines. If steps are rushed, it can lead to additional work or errors in the process.

3. Lack of Access: Make sure teachers are able to log into their accounts ahead of time. This includes checking passwords, as well as confirming that all classes are assigned and rostered appropriately. If there are discrepancies, it will be easier to rectify them prior to the first week of school.

4. Lack of User Knowledge: Your SIS setup will be unsuccessful if your staff does not know how to use it. Plan time to walk your staff through high-level SIS functionalities and highlight the steps they will need to take to complete their daily tasks. Consider creating and distributing a guide to answer anticipated frequently asked questions to help the first day run smoothly.