School Finance Management

School Finance Management: How to Manage it Effectively?

Struggling To Manage Your School Finances Effectively? Here Is How A School Finance Management Software Can Help You

Financial management is one of the most fundamental practices in any enterprise or business including schools and other educational institutes. Financial management essentially means planning, organizing, directing and controlling the financial activities in schools so that the financial resources are used in an efficient and effective manner.

Financial management ensures that the administration and management team are able to manage the budget in a better manner and make informed decisions related to the school budget.

Unlike a business organization, in a school setting, financial management has three key segments to it:

  • Student Fees Management:
    For the school finance team, student fees are a large part of the financial management and school finance management tools helps to ease the process of student fees management in a number of ways.
    1. Create Fees:
      Creating and calculating the fees for a school full of students can be a tedious affair. If done manually, the administration team has to take into account the class of the student, sibling discounts, additional discounts, transportation fees, hostel fees, and many other such elements. However, with the help of a school finance management software not only does this calculation become easier but the automated system helps eliminate human errors – thus making the process of creating and calculating fees easy and error-free.
    2. Schedule Fees:
      The school finance management software also helps to schedule the fees and send out an automatic reminder to the parents about payment for the same. The software helps to automate the fee invoicing process, scheduling it and generating fees due to reports as and when needed.
    3. Check Fees Defaulter:
      This module of the school finance management software allows for the finance team to easily get a quick update on the students whose fees are pending. The system can also be set up to send reminders to parents about pending fees or even any other school-related payment. Fee defaulters report can be checked and the can be reminded about the pending fees via sms/email.
    4. Check Fees Structure And Fee Refunds:
      In a school system, it is very common for the school fees to vary from student to student depending on a number of variables such as class, sibling discount, facilities available such as a hostel, canteen, transport, etc. In this scenario, the school finance management app helps the team to check the fees structure accurately and issue out refunds when needed.
    5. Fees Report Such As Batch Wise And Students Wise:
      One of the biggest advantages of a school finance management system is that it takes the pressure of making and submitting reports. The administration team can use the school finance management software to create and edit reports related to fees. These reports can be easily customized as per the needs of each school.
  • Staff Payroll Management:
    Schools also have many employees and staff ranging from teachers, administration staff, department heads, trained and untrained support staff, various specialists, counselors, etc. This staff payroll management system helps the school to manage and deal with the financial aspects of staff salary, taxation calculation, special allowances, deductions, gross pay, net pay, etc.
    The software also offers employee attendance management for easy salary computation at the end of the month. Besides attendance data, the software also takes into account variables like mid-year salary revision data Additionally, it can be customized according to the school’s various policies such as pay policy, leave and benefits policy, attendance policy to calculate the final pay towards the end of each month.
    1. Generate Payslip:
      The school management system with the finance and staff management module helps to easily generate a payslip towards the end of each month. This payslip is personalized for every employee depending on his salary. Generating this same payslip manually towards the end of each month is not only a tedious affair but it is also prone to human errors and miscalculations.
    2. Pay Slip Reports:
      Besides generating monthly payslips, the staff payroll management system can also generate pay slip reports for the school. The reports can be easily customized and can be generated with ease and minimum effort.
    3. Approve And Reject The Employees Pay Slip:
      This is another benefit of the staff payroll management system as employee payslips can be easily approved or rejected by the employees. The employees can view their payslip from their profile and can either reject it, add remarks over it or approve it and get a PDF of the same.
    4. Create Payroll Group:
      Payroll groups define the payroll structure of the employees based on the payroll categories added to the group. Sometimes a single payroll schedule may not fit the requirements of an institution. This option allows the school HR team to create different payroll groups, to group employees who have a common payroll structure, payment frequency, and LOP calculation method. Each payroll group created must be processed separately. 
  • School Account Management:
    The school finance management system offers school and educational institutes a broad selection of features that empowers them with the ability to manage and control their accounts more effectively.
    1. Financial Reports:
      This feature allows the school finance team to view the various transactions for a customizable period of time. The reports show all the existing categories of income and expenses with an ability to view and generate reports in complete detail such as discounts, fines, etc.
    2. Transaction Management:
      The system allows for common transactions that are done in the school to be recorded by creating custom categories. Similarly, custom categories can be created forever new expenses and new incomes. The system also makes it easy to revert manage donations taxes and for easy asset and liability management.

How Poor Parental Support Affects Student Growth And Achievement?

The main essence of a school is to impart education to the students. It is where parents send their kids to help them learn the various skills and information that will be needed to help them build a future and a career. These skills can range from academic skills of maths, reading, writing, history, etc. to even social skills of communication, social ethics, etc. 

By virtue of this understanding, it has gathered that it is primarily the school that is responsible for the education and skill impartation of the students. However, this is not true. Various research data proves that the home atmosphere and parental involvement plays a crucial role in the growth and performance of a student. 

Early Learning

For every student, the process of early learning starts in the home wherein an informal way. Parents teach their kids the fundamental skills, values, and essential attitudes necessary for daily living. This unwritten knowledge is vital as it helps the children to build coping mechanisms to successful adult life. However, in the absence of this learning in early life, or the case of parents not passing down these social cues, the kids find it difficult to adjust into the social environment of the school. By teaching the young kids’ school readiness, the parents have a significant influence on how well they will perform. 

For instance, it has been proven time and again that reading improves greatly when parents and children read together at home. The action of daily reading enhances the child’s reading abilities.

Shared Academic Inspirations 

Once the child starts attending a regular school, most parents have a lot of educational aspirations for their children’s academic growth. Over the years, research has proven that the academic success of students linked to the values and aspirations that they share with their parents. These shared aspirations serve to motivate the students, as the parents and students set learning goals together. These do not necessarily have to be lofty goals but can also be small and simple goals such as improving the grade by a certain percent. 

Improved Learning Mindset

Children who receive support their parents develop an appropriate mindset, motivation, and self-discipline at school. Disengaged parents who are not interested in the academic life of their kids often promote school failures. Create of a generation of students not interested in studying or in gaining information.

For students who have supportive parents guiding them at home, it has noticed that these students also are more likely to enjoy school. Thus, parental involvement and support at home not only enhance academic performance, but it also has a positive influence on a student’s mindset, attitude, and behavior. Parents constant involvement affects the child’s attitude toward school and classroom conduct.

For instance, these students have a better attendance record as they have supportive parents who help prepare them for school every day. Similarly, these students have a better performance when completing homework or submitting assignments on time because of the help and guidance available at home. However, students who lack supportive parents have to struggle on their own. This not only affects their performance but at the same time, it also came negatively impacting their self-esteem.

Improved Classroom Behaviour

Parental involvement also has a positive influence on student attitude and behavior. It has observed that children on disengaged parents have a negative attitude in the classroom and are more disruptive because of the lack of consequences at home. All this is because of poor parental support, which is also related to parental monitoring. When the student gets monitored at home for their behavior, then they behave appropriately in school, pay more attention in the classroom, and eventually perform better in the studies. 

Better Teacher Morale

The parents who are involved in the day to day learning of their kids are more aware and have a greater appreciation for the challenges that teachers face in the classroom. They appreciate the teachers, and this goes a long way in boosting teacher morale. The constant communication between home and school helps a teacher to know a student personally, understand their challenges, and guide them in a better manner. This, in turn, allows the teacher to teach the student more effectively as well as personalize teaching experience for the students who are facing the challenges. For instance, if the teacher is aware that the parents do not speak English in the house, then she tries to pay special attention to the student in the classroom. Help them to overcome any language challenges. Also, regular parent-teacher communication helps to oust any distrust or confusions that may exist between teachers and parents.

Better Rate Of Academic Success

Becoming involved in their children’s education gives parents a better understanding of the school curriculum and activities. They are more aware of the quality of education their child is receiving and can enhance it further by adding extra classes or tuitions if needed. This helps to improve the performance of the students and makes them confident learners. 

WHAT ARE THE STEPS PARENTS CAN TAKE TO BECOME MORE INVOLVED IN THEIR CHILDRENS SCHOOL LIFE?

  • Read aloud to your preschooler every night to inculcate an interest in books and reading.
  • When selecting a school for your child, choose a school with a school management software like Fedena which allows you to monitor you your child easily and communicate with the class teacher
  • Team with the school, and download the school management app to be able to communicate with your school and 
  • Praise your child’s effort in the classroom and celebrate success every small success
  • Have regular heart-to-heart discussions at home about successes and problems in school.
  • Investigate your child’s academic problems before assigning blame.
  • Regularly help with homework, assignments and other tests to help prepare your child for the next day at school  
  • Attend all parent-teacher meetings 
  • Pay attention to your child’s absentee and discipline notes from school.
  • Make school a priority over other things and teach the same to kids
  • Discuss realistic long-term school and life goals with the students.
demanding education technology school erp system

Why school ERP system is the most demanding technology in the education industry?

Why are the best school ERP systems so in demand?

School ERP systems are tools or platforms or applications that help manage the myriad of processes in a school. The best school ERP systems will be robust, agile, and comprehensive in catering to the needs of the entire educational ecosystem and all its stakeholders. A userfriendly school ERP software is a boon to any educational institution – not only does it become the organizational partner for its stakeholders, but it is intuitive to use making it an easy fit for even the most tech-challenged user. The best school ERP system will be able to take over and automate most of the processes at an educational institution making it an invaluable asset to the functioning of a school.

With growing technology, it is necessary to understand what the best school ERP system can do for us.

Below we discuss the benefits of implementing the use of a userfriendly school ERP system at your educational institution:

  • Digitized operations end to end

The best school ERP systems have one primary purpose: to take over all the operations and processes in an educational institution. Meaning the processes that were previously being handled by a person using pen and paper have been digitized to be operated by the school ERP system. These processes are now automated and do not require much human intervention. Digitizing daily operations means that schools can then focus on their other responsibilities, while still providing efficient and effective services to their clients.

  • Simplifies the admission process

Any educator worth their salt will tell you that the admissions process is one of the most stressful, error-prone, and cumbersome stages of the education lifecycle. However, when one implements the best ERP system the market has to offer at their educational institution, the admissions process is simplified like never before. It is because a userfriendly online admission management platform was built to execute such a complex process without any hassles efficiently. The best admission ERP system will be able to take over and streamline the entire processing by digitizing and automating it.

The school ERP admission module easily handles everything from submission of the application form, to uploading relevant documents to be attached with the form, to segregating as per the review process, to the communication of final decisions from the educational institutions.

  • In-house ID Card and Certificate Generation

The best school ERP systems are not limited to some predictable administration processes. Instead, it eliminates a lot of overhead costs of your educational institution. An excellent example of these allied functions is the generation of ID cards and certificates for students and staff. These userfriendly school ERP systems are capable of creating custom ID cards and certificates in a jiffy, eliminating the need for external designers and vendors. It also reduces the associated costs that come with such dependencies.

  • Increase parental involvement

One of the fundamental changes you will notice when your educational institution implements the use of the best school ERP system that works for them is a spike in engagement from various stakeholders in the educational ecosystem. One of the most prominent participants will become parents – a key partner in student success. Parents can engage with their child’s school on the go and from anywhere at any time. Data has shown us that parents who remain involved in their child’s education progress see the better academic growth of students – this is because it is a team effort between the student, their teacher, and their parents. The effective communication system only enhances the impact of this kind of team effort.

  • Fees Payment and tracking

One of the most important and vexing tasks of school administrations is managing the fee payment, fee tracking, and receipt generation. Over here, errors may prove fatal or massively injurious to the school, so perfection in execution is a valid goal to strive. However, humans are fallible, and even in this highly sensitive domain, human error is inevitable. Unfortunately, it can often prove very costly for school management to bear.

But, with the fees management module, some of this risk can be mitigated when schools implement the best school ERP system they can afford on the market. A userfriendly system will be able to automate these operations and ensure it gets executed in an error-free fashion, unlike the regular pen and paper fee processing operations. It is because the school ERP system will follow specific pre-set rules, automate processes like reminders and fee receipts, and throw up a red flag in case of any errors rather than just processing a wrong payment.

Some Additional Benefits of School ERP:
  • Enhance employee productivity

With the implementation of the best school ERP system on the market, the staff can focus less on operational processes and focus instead on tasks that are a little more complex and in need of human engagement. Userfriendly processes also eliminate downtime thanks to the automation of processes, which means that individual staff can use their time more effectively. Overall, this means enhanced employee productivity – a desirable key performance indicator for any educational institution.

  • Enhance safety and security

One of the essential mandates a school is responsible for the safety and security of its student body. When an educational institution relies on the best school ERP system they can afford, they know their students’ well-being is in safe hands. Userfriendly school ERP systems offer features like biometric attendance tracking, transport tracking and management, SMS and email alerts, and rapid school-wide announcements to ensure student safety. These features, along with increased engagement from parents, resulting in safer students across the board.

  • Improved Financial Health

One of the key benefits of using the best school ERP system your educational institution can afford is the positive impact it has on your school’s bottomline. Userfriendly school ERP systems are an asset to any school because they take over time-consuming operations that were previously being performed by humans. They automate and digitize these operations reducing labor costs, eliminating various overheads, making more efficient use of time and generally resulting in better financial benefits for the educational institution as a whole — results in the overall improved financial health of the school.

  • Better Resource Management

The best school ERP system is the ideal manager of all the resources an educational institution has at its disposal. Since it’s main aim is to automate, digitize and make more efficient the school’s various processes and operations, it logically follows that this efficiency trickles down to how the school uses their asset. No more losing equipment or redundancies in the purchase, thanks to the school ERP system that is now making careful and effective use of all school resources without any human biases or gaps in perspective coming in the way.

Social Media Strategies for K-12 Schools

Top 7 Social Media Strategies for K-12 Schools

 How to build the best social, online presence for your school 

Why do schools need a social media strategy? 

Living in the most technologically rich and well-connected age ever means one’s K-12 school needs to also be able to keep up. Schools are not silos that exist independent to the world around them. In fact, they must graduate students who can easily enter their future academic or professional careers in the real world. 

It thus makes sense that schools too must have an online and social media presence that reflects their real-world identity. Stakeholders – especially students – now rely on these online channels to stay in touch with what is happening with the school, engage with their fellow stakeholders, and essentially recreate the school community online. 

But it is not enough for a school to merely have a social media presence in name only. Their social channels are a reflection of the values and experience they offer in the real world and must reflect this fact. They must also be informative and engaging so that they become another method through which stakeholders like students, teachers, parents, can feel like they are part of the school community. 

Modern students, especially, are a target group for the school’s social media channels since they already spend so much time online. Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are popular mediums of communication for students, especially those in advanced classes. It is thus a natural channel through which the school can also remain connected and engaged with its student body. 

What are the top strategies to implement when setting your school’s social presence? 

Social media management or strategy is an entirely modern field. Originally, much of it functioned on instinct with norms developing organically and the content remaining more or less raw. However, now, while social media still has a casual and friendly tone to it, there are some hygiene factors to consider when deciding on a social media strategy. This is especially the case for schools that have a more serious tone to convey due to their institutional nature and the audience they are dealing with. Below, we discuss in detail some top strategies for social media that will start schools off on the right foot: 

  • Create an official account 

The first step towards establishing your online social media presence is to create an official account. The handle (username) must reflect or relate to the school’s actual name. But it must also have indicators that this is an official account for the school, so followers and friends are not led astray. There are many ways to do this – use official mail ID to set up any communication, link to the official school website, announce to students and parents and other stakeholders about your new social media presence along with related user info. Also, personalise the official account by adding in user photos, banners, headers, etc, that reflect official school visual design. 

  • Do some competitor analysis 

Competitor analysis is not just for competitive corporations. Schools can really learn a lot from observing how their fellow educational institutions use their social media channels. There are an infinite number of strategies to use when handling social media platforms, but some basic competitor analysis will help schools better understand how institutions like theirs represent themselves online. 

Some things to keep an eye out for when doing your competitor analysis is to note the tone of communication for your fellow school, how much they use it as a channel for communication and announcements, the amount of non announcement comments, how they interact with students and other stakeholders and how they keep the content fresh, yet relevant. 

  • Research best practices 

Will specific research of the social media strategies of other school’s is a good way to understand how to specifically run your institution’s account, it is just the starting point. Some endemic best practices exist that ensure the hygiene in experience for the end user or audience of all your social media channels. These are known as best practices and vary from platform to platform. Understanding these best practices ensures that our social media outreach remains in line with accepted norms, instead of standing out for all the wrong reasons. Best practices also ensure that your school looks knowledgeable and aware of how to behave online, making it a more trustworthy and reliable representation of the institution itself. 

  • Cross Platform Presence 

Multiple social media platforms serve different purposes. For example, while Instagaram is visual heavy and aesthetically pleasing, Twitter is swift and telegraphic, and Facebook is suitable for longer, more engaging discussions. There is no one singular social media platform for your institution. Instead it is advisable to create a presence across platforms. There will emerge a platform that your audience engages with the most, however, it is circumspect to at least squat on accounts on other platforms to ensure that miscreants do not use a similar or same account name to create trouble. It also means that stakeholders at the school have an option to use whatever platform they are most comfortable with. It goes without saying, but it is necessary to ensure that the same information is communicated across platforms to ensure no one falls through the cracks about staying in the loop about going ons at the school. 

  • Post regularly 

The most popular social media accounts will all have one piece of advice to see success: post regularly and consistently. It is essential that the account remains active – posting on a schedule that is predictable and consistent with the audience expectation. The social media presence of a school must be useful to the stakeholders it is trying to reach in the educational ecosystem, and step one to doing that is to ensure that the account does not seem dead or behind the times. 

  • Be responsive 

Posting regularly on the school’s social media channels is only step one of ensuring your school’s presence remains relevant to the audience. An engaged audience enlivens the school’s social media presence, while also providing continual feedback on what they are interested in, what is useful to them and what they like to see. 

The key way of building an engaged audience is to be responsive across social media channels. This means responding to daily trends in terms of posting content, but also replying to queries, engaging with audience posts, anticipating audience interest and needs, etc. 

  • Ensure appropriate interactions 

So you are posting regularly and building up an audience that is committed and engaged. Unlike more trend driven account, this is a school or institutional social media account, which means it is necessary to be extra cautious about ensuring appropriate interactions. As a general maxim, it might be helpful to expect that stakeholders interacting with social media accounts of the school maintain the same decorum and civility they would in more direct interactions. This would also ensure that inappropriate language and imagery is not used on a platform being accessed by younger students and for professional interactions. 

Setting expectations with all stakeholders is key over here – giving them guidelines to follow will ensure that interactions remain fruitful and positive across social media channels. 

school website best practices

What Are The Best Practices For School Website?

10 Easy Tips To Help You Create An Effective And Efficient School Website

There is an age-old adage that reminds us that first impressions are often the last and in this technological age, the first impression for any institution, business or organization is their website.

Today, when a parent, a prospective student, employee, faculty or administrators hears about a school or tries to research a school – one of the first places they turn to for information is the school website.

Thus, it is essential for the school website to not only correctly communicate the values and principles of the school and reflect the core ideologies but it should be designed in a way that makes it stand out from the competition while sharing all the best practices in a clear, concise and appealing manner. From ensuring that it is designed in a responsive manner to meeting the various algorithms, there are many practices to create an efficient school website and here are a few

  • Focused Communication Keeping The Audience In Mind

When writing the content for your website it is essential to filter all the messages through the lens of the audience. This essentially means ensure that the messaging is targeted to the readers and appeals to them. For instance when sharing the school rules – ensure that they are relevant to the parents and include all important details like timing, school bus facilities, late comings, attendance, etc. All communications should reinforce your key messages related to school discipline, avoiding all mention on unnecessary regulations which can then be mentioned in the school diary

  • Avoid Using Too Much Jargon In The Content Of Your Site

It is also important to avoid the use of too much terminology or jargon. The use of too much jargon makes us poor communicators and communicating clearly on the website also means keeping it simple, clear and relevant. According to various communication experts, the use of too many technical terms on the website can cause your school to come off as condescending.

  • Ensure That All Your Platforms Have  A Consistent Look, Design, And Message

One essential practice of a good school website is to ensure that your key communication messages, the look of your website including colors and various design elements are the same across all the mediums and platforms.

For instance, if you have a different message on your platform and different message on your flyers and brochures, your audience will be confused. Similarly, the look, colors, and fonts used on your social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter should be similar to those on the website to give your website a consistent and professional look and feel.

Thus it is important that everyone working on your website should be aware of your school logo, school mascot, font, tagline and that every branding guideline must be in place.

  • Create A Responsive And Mobile Friendly Website

With smartphones, tablets and other smart devices becoming increasingly popular, a good school website practice would be to design a website that is accessible and mobile friendly. It is therefore important that the school website be mobile responsive and friendly. Additionally, mobile-optimized websites get a higher ranking boost on Google making it easier for your audience to find your site on various search engines.

Another advantage of designing a mobile-friendly website is that when your audience visits your school site on a mobile device, they have a superior viewing experience which further enhances your school’s reputation as a credible and reputed institute

  • Capture Contact Information For Every New Visitor

It is a wise practice for any website including a school website to capture the contact information of the audience when they first visit the website.

Most of the audience including students and parents who first visit the website are usually visiting the site to browse for information. It is at this moment that schools should have an overlay form to capture their information and them send them personalized information, school updates and information on various seminars to keep them interested in the school.

This is a simple engagement exercise but goes a long way in keeping the school details fresh in the mind of the parents and staying connected to the parents and the students.

  • Creating And Offering Custom Content To Your Audience

Many schools also offer their visitors access to custom content in exchange for their contact information. Custom content is contained in the form of video, pdf, eBooks, slideshows that the parents or the students would find valuable. This could be tips, tricks and other information that will guide the website audience and be deemed as valuable by them.

  • Apply An SSL Certificate To Your School Website

Today, online data security is a serious issue – not only for schools but for various organization, businesses, and institutes. SSL certificates go a long way in keeping your website safe and secure. It offers parents and students the assurance that the school website is authentic and that any personal data shared or any information entered will be encrypted. This ensures that it cannot be intercepted by malicious third parties or hackers.

  • Creating a Smart Information Architecture

For schools, it is also very important to structure the various school website pages, navigation, and content in a smart and efficient manner. This effective organization and structure of website content help to provide a simple and enjoyable user experience to the website visitors and also lowers the bounce rates. Strategically designed and well-organized school information can also play a pivotal role in higher conversion rates.

Thus, small inputs like an easily accessible site search toolbar, a well-placed site map, etc. go a long way in creating a perfect school website with smart information in the architecture.

  • Integration Of Social Media

In recent time, Social media has emerged as one of the most powerful marketing tools available for schools to make themselves popular among their target audience. Today, as more families are spending browsing online, social media makes it easier to reach out to parents. This is why it is important for school websites to use social media integrated into their web design.

The social media component offers schools the opportunity to provide up-to-date content and an authentic inside-look at life on campus through images, videos, and other relevant content.

  • Updating information about the School Management Software

If your school is using a school management software like Fedena, it is important to mention this on the school website along with all the various advantages and benefits of a school management system. This can range from admission management to the school bus and transportation management system – all of which work together to make the functioning of the school and the life of the parent so much easier.

While age-old philosophers often said that the eyes are the windows to one’s soul, it can be said today that the website is the window to an organization’s soul. This makes it important for schools and educational institutes to spend adequate time and effort on their school website to attract the right audience and increase their success rates.

Best Education System in the World

Which Countries Have the Best Education System in the World?

Find out what makes these countries lead to having the best education systems

Each country strives to offer its children the best possible start in life. It does this by aiming to build the best education system it possibly can. As a part of this endeavor, they rely on strong educational policies, committed stakeholders, and the potential of students. It takes many hands to create a successful educational experience for students. Over the years, the following countries have consistently been ranked as having the best education system in the world:

  • Finland

Finland

Finland has been ranked as having the best education system time and time again. Their methods are often unusual when looking at those of other countries – there are no score bands, class sizes are small and children’s well-being are prioritized over just quantitative metrics.

  • United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has long been touted as having the best education system in the world – starting off in the age-old days when children from other universities would be sent off to England for higher studies. Now the United Kingdom uses modern teaching methods and focusing on the diverse needs of a growing population along with addressing labor market demands to maintain its status in world rankings for the best education system.

  • United States of America

United States of America

The United States of America is one of the most popular educational destinations in the world for aspiring students of all categories – from K-12 to university education. This is because it has the best education system one could ask for on many fronts – from attracting the best teachers to accessible public education give for free, to even creating healthy competition amongst students. The United States continues to be a top choice for students aiming to get into grad school, especially, thanks to their status as having the best education system.

  • Canada

Canada

Canada is becoming an increasingly popular choice for students seeking to experience the best education system in the world. This is especially the case for students you might find the United States of America and the United Kingdom too competitive or too expensive. Canada becomes a viable option for those seeking to learn from the best education system in the world while also not necessarily going down the traditional route of choosing America or the United Kingdom for their studies.

  • Japan

Japan

Japan has consistently produced great which has resulted in it being thought of as having the best education system by many analytics. But unlike a lot of countries that may show great test scores, Japan does a great job of balancing the effects of student pressure and producing good student results.

Top Compelling Reasons Why Your School Website Must Have an SSL certificate?

Why an SSL certificate is essential for your school’s online presence?

What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate stands for Secure Sockets Layer certificate. It is basically an electronic document used to prove the ownership of a public key, including information about the key, its owner and the digital signature of the verifier who has confirmed the information contained about the key.

More simply put, an SSL certificate signals the security and reliability of a site, especially one being used for sensitive interactions like credit card transfers and more recently safer social media browsing, etc. It is advised that all sites — including your school website — have an SSL certificate in order to provide a safe browsing for all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem.

What are the benefits of an SSL certificate?

1. Secure Data Transfers

The primary function of an SSL certificate is to ensure safe server-client communication. This means that all data transfers between the servers on which the school website is hosted on and the users of the website — parents, students, non-education staff, teachers, and management — are secure. In more accessible terms, the data on the website is locked thanks to the SSL certificate and cannot be unlocked without it. This is especially useful for a school, that will deal with sensitive information such as financial details of parent’s payment methods, student emergency information, grades and scores of students, etc.

2. Verify User Identity

SSL certificates verify the identity of the website, making it the primary way to affirm identity. The internet and websites can be deceptive, especially to users who are not internet savvy. It is easy to fool a user into sharing their information. For a school website, this might involve sensitive information like financial details or student location and transport information. Such information must be protected and only be made accessible to the users and websites with the appropriate permissions.

A school website with an SSL certificate is one that has been validated by a certifying authority. The certifying authority verifies the identity of the person and the website, making it more authentic and reliable for all users and the site owner.

3. Improve Website Ranking

A school website is not just a user interface for users like parents, students, teachers, and management to engage with the school itself. But it is also a brand representation for the school. It is thus important for the school website to show up at the correct position when searched for on the internet.

To this end, Google has modified its ranking algorithm to give higher priority to those websites with SSL certificates. When your school website has an SSL certificate it is thus ranked higher and shows up higher in search results, becoming more easily accessible to existing users as well as more easily discovered by new users.

4. Establish Users Trust

A website with an SSL certificate signals to users that this is one that is reliable and safe. This means that users can safely share their information with a school website with an SSL certificate, without worrying that it might be shared with the wrong person or leaked or stolen. This is especially important for a school website because of the kind of users that visit it – these are stakeholders in the educational ecosystem who rely on their school to be a reliable institution. The same goes for the school website, which is increasingly used for sensitive engagements like payment of school fees, discussing the academic progress of students and other information that must be handled with discretion.

digital technology elevate campus security

How digital technology can elevate campus security?

These days, schools and colleges are using the latest digital technology. This is being done to make sure that they are able to keep the campuses safe. One of the first names that one needs to take in this particular regard is that of the seamless alert systems. There could be so many different kinds of threat at a campus. It could be a fire that got lit by accident at the chemistry building. It could also be a criminal or terrorist at the campus premises. No matter what it is, it is imperative that the students stay safe. The same goes for the stuff and the faculty members as well.

With such a system the educational institutes can send alerts quickly. This comes in handy if there is any such threat in the campus. There are many ways in which educational institutions can use emergency communication systems. In some campuses, the authorities use visual alerts. In these cases, they use digital signs that they have placed all around the campus premises. There are some educational institutions where the authorities have used beacon technology. They have placed the beacons at strategic locations around the campus. These send push notifications to all mobile phones. This is how the users can be alerted of any danger that has been reported on the campus.

Let’s have a look at some robust technologies which helps in enhancing the school security: 

1. Using IP network cameras

In the campus, there are always officials who are entrusted with the job of keeping the campus safe. It is very important that they have a hawk eye of sorts on every little thing that is happening on the campus. This is where the IP (internet protocol) network cameras can come in so handy. This is especially when compared to the likes of CCTV (closed circuit television cameras) that run on analog technology. As opposed to the latter the former is controlled by way of a remote network.

This is why they do not need any separate device for the purposes of recording as such. The security cameras, in this case, are controlled by using a LAN (local area network). Through such technology, the campus police officers are able to watch all the live feed in a much shorter span of time. This is also applicable for reviewing all the videos that they are getting. In some cases, educational institutions have established partnerships with leading tech companies. This is to create networks comprising security cameras. They are also connecting them to the network of the campus.

In some cases, they have set up centralized command centers from where they are able to see the feed from any camera that they choose to. This means that they enjoy a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to monitoring the campus happenings.

2. Using communication applications in mobile devices

There is nothing to deny the fact that alert systems play an important role now as far as communication is concerned. Yet, they do come with their flaws as well and one such flaw is that they can at times be one-sided.

Students too should have the power to report anything suspicious that they see on campus or an emergency as well. They should be able to do it in an efficient manner as well. In some cases, educational institutions are using mobile apps that let students get in touch with campus police in case the need to do so arises. This has helped them in situations where the campus has been struck by natural disasters such as hurricanes. In such situations, the staff and students have several communication channels to choose from. Thus they can easily get in touch with the people in charge of security.

3. Smart patrolling

Campus officials should be able to use data that is more streamlined and deeper in quality. Then they would be able to stop any criminal behavior or untoward incident from happening on the campus. They can also use the likes of automated databases to make communication simpler than before. This is especially as far as the campus security officials are concerned. These systems normally use specialized algorithms to track down criminal patterns. This is done so that they can identify certain trends. This, in turn, helps them identify if there would be any future criminal activity on the campus premises or not.

In fact, it has been seen that many educational institutions work together with local police to collect and then coordinate information from various sources. This helps them determine the areas where more officers have to be assigned – ones that have to be prioritized, so to say. Advanced machine learning allows these officers to analyze all the crime related data at their disposal. This is how they are able to recommend the hours where the focus needs to be on certain parts of the campus. This is how they are able to predict the chances of something bad happening.

Apart from predicting such activity, such data-based patrolling also helps the officers identify ones who have the potential to be repeat offenders and then engage with them in a proactive manner. They can also this way track down people who may retaliate against them for foiling their criminal activities. The campus and local police can always come together and work with the likes of administrators, housing officers, and academic advisors to get information regarding the past incident history of a particular individual. They can also look up her or his connections as well as previous arrest record.

Should they see any cause for concern, these officers can take preemptive action and get in touch with them. In these conversations, they can inform – and if the need is, warn – these individuals of the consequences of violent behavior and actions. Such emphasis on prevention can actually prove to be rather helpful in these cases. It can play a direct role in stopping any violent action. At the same time, students can also trust the campus police officers to keep them safe and integrate them better with their workplace.

4. Better emergency response

When an educational institute has the right technology at a campus it becomes easier for all to stay safe a lot better.

When we say right we focus on qualities like shorter response time and better levels of coordination. These days, campuses are prone to criminal activities such as armed aggression, multi-victim crime, an active shooting. This calls for the campus and local law enforcement entities to be aligned in a better way and communicate a lot better as well. The same is also applicable for the emergency and fire response teams as well. Thankfully, these days, you have great solutions in this regard such as CAD (computer aided dispatch) software that works on a single source basis.

This way, the educational entities would be able to fine-tune their analytics as well as sharing their information. This, in turn, can help them do away with issues such as confusion and delays that can otherwise pose threats to the overall well being of individuals who may be on threat because of such issues. These systems usually employ high-class technology such as IoT (Internet of Things) and automated data collection.

Conclusion

Apart from this, educational institutions also need to safeguard their safety teams, do away with faulty alarm systems, and mobilize mitigation processes and systems for active shooters.

       

Help Odisha Cyclone Fani Victims

How schools can help Odisha Cyclone Fani Victims?

There are several ways in which schools in Odisha and beyond can help people who have been affected by Cyclone Fani. The first such way would be to start a charity fund drive. It is common knowledge that recovering from a disaster takes years and the needs tend to change over time as well. This is the reason why any nonprofit group right now would ask you to donate cash rather than items as such. This is because with the passage of time such items may not be as useful but cash would always be useful.

There are plenty of steps that schools can think of and take for purposes such as these:

1. Donate blood

If you are a high school with students over a certain age you can surely do something like this. Moreover, the teachers too can take part in this and make this a much bigger success as well. You can organize camps by yourself or you may also visit local blood donation centers that are doing such work and donate blood over there. This would help with the treatment of the affected.

2. Feeding the children

This is particularly applicable for schools that are in Odisha itself. Right now in Odisha, it is highly possible that most of the pantries and grocery stores would still be in a woeful and sorry state.

It could also be that food trucks are still finding it hard to get over there. This means that there are many communities that still do not have access to uncontaminated food. This is where you can and should think of donating to the food banks. In fact, with little money, you can help feed a lot of children who are still going days without food.    

3. Talking with the students

It is possible that students may have been affected by the cyclone – directly or indirectly. No matter what it is, it is very important that you talk with them and find out as much as you can about their situation.

This way, you would be able to find out more about the effect of the natural disaster and understand the impact it has had on others. Thanks to the internet these days you would be able to find a wide range of resources in this particular regard. These are all supposed to help students cope with the effects of the devastating cyclone. Over here you would also get resources and tips on how you can help the students dealing with natural disasters such as these.

4. Using social media

As you know by now, the process of recovery would take many years to happen. This is why it is very important that you encourage others to donate to relief efforts as well. This needs to be done for the longest period of time possible. In fact, many leaders of non-profit of entities feel that with time news about the havoc that Fani has wreaked on Orissa would reduce. This way, the entire process of raising funds for them would lose momentum as well. This is where using social media can play such a major role.

This way you can keep the spotlight on the plight of the present condition of the victims as well as their future.   

5. Donate to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund

Schools can donate online and straightaway to the Relief Fund set up by the Chief Minister of Odisha. You can send a bank draft or a cheque for the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Odisha. It is payable at Bhubaneswar. Following is the mailing address for the same:

  • Additional Secretary to Government
  • Chief Minister’s Relief Fund
  • General Administration & Public Grievance Department
  • Orissa Secretariat, Bhubaneswar-751001   

6. Donating through Amazon

Amazon, one of the biggest e-commerce platforms of the world has a presence in India. As such it has set up a donation drive to help families that have been hit by the cyclone get their jobs back. You can use the Amazon app on your smartphone or tab or even make a UPI (Unified Payments Interface) payment on the platform. There is a QR (Quick Response) code that needs to be scanned for this purpose.

7. Donating through Zomato

Zomato, one of the leading food tech companies in India has collaborated with Feeding India. It has come up with a relief drive for the cyclone hit the state.

It is aiming to provide help to victims that have been hit by Fani get back their livelihoods and it is also looking to get common people to take part in the same. You can contribute to this relief program straight through Zomato. Else, you can also sign up in order to be a volunteer so that you can provide help on the ground. You can also help them with essential items such as clothes and utensils.

8. Help Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity India is a nonprofit organization and in the wake of Cyclone Fani, it has pressed its rapid response team into action.

It has also mobilized volunteers in order to help with the recovery operations. Its basic aim is simple – to help rebuild the lives that have been affected by this devastating cyclone. As part of the first phase of this process of response, Habitat India is helping these families and individuals with humanitarian aid kits as well as emergency shelter kits.  

9. Use Paytm

Paytm, one of the biggest Fintech companies in India has opened up the possibility of making contributions to the relief efforts through its digital payments app.

You can visit the app and find out how you would be able to donate to the relief and rehabilitation program.

10. Help with SEEDS India

SEEDS India is a program that is aiming to help 100,000 people in the regions that have been affected the most by Fani. It is helping the people over there with safe drinking water, medical camps, and hygiene kits. This is a not for profit organization as well. It is primarily using local water treatment to provide safe drinking water to the people who have fallen victims in this particular context.  

The health camps have also been really useful as this way the people over there have received the kind of urgent medical attention that they need in cases such as these. The health camps have also been really useful as this way the people over there have received the kind of urgent medical attention that they need in cases such as these. The focus of SEEDS is primarily on families that have been affected the most by this cyclone.

11. Help through SOS Children’s Villages of India

SOS Children’s Villages of India has set up a couple of relief camps and in the process reached out to around 1000 families that are in the most vulnerable position right now. It has created safe childcare spaces in various relief camps and children are being treated over here.

Conclusion

ActionAid Association too is playing a constructive role in this particular context by using its emergency response teams. They are basically doing an early assessment and trying to find what the affected people need the most right now. In fact, they have been monitoring the situation rather closely in West Bengal as well. Apart from these, you can also donate through the likes of Goonj and Ketto.   

network security in Small K-12 schools

How to improve network security in Small K-12 schools?

Everything you need to know about securing your school

What is network security?

Schools today are interconnected in ways never seen before. It’s not just about paper, pencils, and blackboards anymore. Instead, modern schools are very much run on different types of technologies, including products like school management systems. These technologies run on networks because they are all connected with one another. Network security refers to the processes and policies in place at a school that controls their accessibility (in binaries and also in terms of degrees). The goal of network security is to prevent the misuse, monitor access to, and modify or deny access as necessary to a computer or computer networks within the school. Simply put, it is the rules schools follow to ensure their computer systems, networks or technology assets remain secure from unauthorized access and use by malicious elements.

What is the importance of network security?

The idea of network security existing at schools may seem excessive to laypeople – why would something as benign as an educational institution have to think of something like this?

Wouldn’t network security be the domain of institutions in banking or national importance?

While such institutions might be a better fit, it would be foolhardy to dismiss the security needs and concerns of schools out of hand. These days, schools have a lot of sensitive information about their employees, parents and most importantly students. This includes information about grades and scores that track a student’s academic progress. But that is not all it is limited to. Schools also have very sensitive information like how to contact a student and their parents, where they live, what bus routes they take, what school activities they are involved in. It is also possible, in some cases, to extrapolate this information to figure out student sensitivities, which can then be manipulated by malicious elements to their advantage. The importance of network security at schools thus cannot be overstated.

How improve network security in small K-12 schools?

Ensuring network security at your school is a comprehensive task – there is no one process or policy that will take care of it entirely. It is important that schools treat this as an intrinsic part of their rules and regulations, rather than an add on. When the principle of network security is integrated into the school’s day to day functioning, that is when it becomes more infallible.

Below we have highlighted some ways, using which schools can enhance their network security :

1. Eliminate paper-based process

Paper-based processes are endemic to the educational ecosystem. Every cliched visual of a school will feature textbooks, notepaper, circulars, notices, pen and paper note-taking, etc. – it is practically inescapable. But we are now in the most advanced technological age, and it makes sense that increasingly paper is being phased out. Students already rely on using their personal computers to take notes and make presentations, so why is this not being addressed to the administration of a school?

Using technological tools like a school management system helps eliminate paper-based processes that are a security risk. Information stored on paper – like files, folders, important copies of mark sheets and bank statements, etc – is easily accessed, copied and distributed, even by malicious elements. A locked cupboard cannot keep everyone out and we are relying on fallible humans for our security. Instead, password-protected information ensures that only the right people with the correct permissions can access sensitive information. Some school management systems also track the actions of each user so these can be pulled up later if needed.

2. Keep safe confidential data about student and staff

System for school management is the ideal platform that can keep confidential data about student and staff safe. Unlike files or human memory, the information remains where you left it and can only be accessed by people with the right permissions that have been granted after careful review. The school management system also has an archive of actions taken by all users which can be pulled up in case we need to find out who is accessing what information and when. This is also information that does not deteriorate over time, since it is stored electronically, not in files or folders. One can rely on the school management system to keep confidential data confidential and safe for a long time.

3. Implement a unified platform to monitor daily processes and loophole in the system

A school management system tracks the actions of all users in the system and stores this information in its user history. This means that it is easier to monitor and track what each user is doing within the school management system if needed. In the case of malicious elements, it establishes a chain of evidence of the movements and intent of users who may be trying to access the information they should not have access to.

This is also a good way of identifying gaps or loopholes in a system – if many users use workarounds or alternative methods to access the information they usually do not have permissions to access, being able to track their movements helps identify these workarounds. In some cases, this inaccessibility might be a result of an error in the system itself. In this case, it is a quick way to identify this gap and rectify it immediately in order to make processes smoother.


4. Enforcing 2-factor authentication

As humans, we are all fallible and the case is no different for students and staff at a school. Despite moving to technological solutions, student and staff may often indulge in bad security habits, such as reusing the same password for everything. They might not realize the importance of school security and feel like this is just another piece of information to remember. By enabling two-factor authentication, the dangerousness of this is mitigated, because users are forced to use their regular password and also the code sent to their phones in order to access their network. This 2 step password protection decreases the risk that user accounts will be accessed easily by malicious elements who may use these weak accounts in order to harm students and staff.

Two-factor authentication also is a good policy for staff and students since it alerts them to anyone trying to access their accounts without their knowledge. Most systems also provide location information about where this attempt took place, which helps narrow down who the person trying to access the account could be. Such kind of information is useful in taking preventative action to improve network security at a school also. 2-factor authentication enables a mindset change within school staff and students by making them a part of the network security system – this kind of empowerment makes them more aware of their role in ensuring network security at the school and makes them feel more responsible and accountable for it also.  

4. Provide secured payment platforms

One of the areas in which school staff, students, and parents are inherently careful about is financial transactions being made through the school management system. Whether this is online transactions like through a payment gateway or services like PayTM, RazorPay, PayU, etc, or offline through the point of sale transactions, users are automatically more careful when it comes to their money. School management systems are aware of this and provide secure payment gateways with receipts and messages that make a user aware that their financial transaction has gone through or whether there has been an error in the transaction. This ensures that users are aware of what is happening and can take appropriate action according to the message they have received. The financial information of users of a school management system must be kept secure and the in-built security measures of the software ensure that.

5. Educating staff and students in the importance of security

All measures and rules and policies and processes put in place by the school are useless without buy-in from the users of networks in the school. This means that when staff, students, and parents at a school do not understand the importance of network security, all technology and protective methods put in place are for naught. It is thus key to impress upon all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem the importance of network security so that they adhere to the rules and regulations being put in place with regards to this. A good method of doing this is to have regular training and refresher courses where the tenets of network security and the consequence of not following them are clearly laid out. Informed users are aware users who will then be careful and mindful about their security as they interact with the school’s network.

biometric attendance system for school

Explore Biometric Attendance System To Streamline School Operations

Significance of Biometric Attendance System 

Biometric systems are fast gaining popularity in organizations across the world. But understand how a Biometric attendance system can streamline school operations. It is important to first understand what it is.

The word biometric is derived from the Greek words bio meaning life and metric meaning to measure. Thus, Biometrics is a system that is used to identify the various physical and behavioral characteristics of a person. Instead of using traditional methods of identification such as ID cards, PIN numbers, and passwords – which can be easily hacked, a biometric system uses various physical traits of a person to identify them and provide them with access to a place or software. Thus a Biometric Attendance System can be used as either a foolproof identification system or authentication system.

There are different types of attendance systems ranging from the simple that many of us use on our phones or the more complicated ones that seek to recognize vein pattern, fingerprints, hand geometry, DNA, voice pattern, iris pattern, signature dynamics, face detection and lots more.

Today, Biometric sensors have established themselves as an essential feature of identity technology and this is one of the reasons that many organizations including schools are opting for them

How Does Biometric Attendance System Streamline School Operations?

1. Identification Of Students and Staff

One of the key benefits of using a biometric system is that it eliminated a significant portion of paperwork, formalities, and procedures associated with the creation of a traditional identity and authentication system. From collecting photographs, personal information, etc., it reduces the time the administration team spends to create identification formalities.

Additionally, these physical ID cards made by school are carelessly forgotten by the students, easily lost and often mutilated by the end of the academic year. However, the use of a fingerprint scanning system, these problems and costs are easily eliminated and new standards of accountability can be put into place.

2. Avoid the use of proxy attendance by the students

In many schools and colleges, a rampant problem is the lack of attendance by the students, who try to mask them by asking their peers to provide a proxy attendance for them.

In fact, in many examination halls, many proxy students have been caught writing exams on behalf of their friends and colleagues. This is especially common for entrance exams where there are hired professionals willing to write exams for students.

The use of a Biometric system is one of the most effective ways to address these shortcomings in the school attendance and examination system, thus ensuring a foolproof system in schools.

3. Easy management of attendance and time keeping

In every classroom across the world, teachers spend ten to fifteen minutes of precious teaching time in managing the attendance of the students. This includes taking attendance and keeping a record of the absentee students as well as the latecomers.

However, the use of a Biometric System makes this process a lot easier and faster.

Students can simply scan their fingerprints when entering and leaving the school or the classroom and the system will automatically take care of various details such as attendance, timing, late coming, leaving early, half days, etc.

4. Identifying the day-to-day movements and activities of the students

Throughout the course of the school day, students move from room to room – often accessing the computer library, the laboratory, borrowing books, visiting the school medical room, or being called to the school office and even traveling on the school transport.

It can be tedious to keep track of the various movements of the student. However, the use of a biometric system makes it easy to keep track of the students, as well as ensure that they do not get access to unauthorized parts of the school. Thus, the use of a biometric system can not only keep track of the movements of the students around the school, but it can also be used for student identification school events and practice sessions to out other students who don’t belong.

5. Maintaining privacy and security of school data

The school ERP software often has many confidential files and data related to the students and the teaching staff such as personal contact details, banking information, medical records, etc. Often the system also has essential administrative records such as financial records of the school, taxation details, land records, etc. The use of a biometric system as an authentication method ensures that only privileged persons have access to this essential information – which if leaked would hamper the day to day working of the school.

6. Visitor access to the school premises.

Creating a controlled environment is critical to maintaining a safe and secure school environment. Therefore it is essential to only allow access to authorized persons inside the school campus. Using a biometric system the various recurring visitors like visiting teachers, temporary professors, laborers, parents, or any other regular visitors can be accurately time-stamped and identified. The system will also ensure the school administrators that those entering their schools actually belong there and that the unauthorized persons can be correctly denied entry into the campus.

7. Cafeteria and Library Management

Today, many schools offer cafeteria services and it is often difficult for the cafeteria teams to keep track of the number of students eating or the placing order as this number can vary on a daily basis. However, the cafeteria can use biometric systems to eliminate this problem. By using the biometric system, the cafeteria can keep track of the students availing the meal facilities, vending machines and accurately report those while automatically adding the bill to the student’s account. This saves students the hassle of carrying exact change or keeping the money safe in class. By implementing a biometric system in the cafeteria there is an accurate report created of students accessing the meals, the students entitled to free or reduced meals.

Similarly, the school reference library and lending library houses thousands of books – often worth a lot of money. Librarians who can access to the biometric system can use the software instead of library cards to keep a track of students who have borrowed books, overdue books and well as all pending library late fees.

8. Transportation System

The use of a biometric system in a school transportation system ensures that only the authorized, background checked drivers and cleaners are on the bus. It also ensures that students enter the right bus. It avoids the danger of young students getting lost or getting off at wrong schools and bus stops.

These are just some of the various ways in which schools can not only streamline their day to day operations but, they can also ensure that the students remain safe, the data secure and the staff has a reduced workload.

HR management system for school

10 Key questions ask when choosing HR management system for school

Does your checklist cover everything it needs to before making a purchase?

Why is HR management system?

The HR management system is any type of tool, platform or application that is focused on managing the budgetary and personnel processes and needs of an organization. These are usually ERP software which helps organizations more efficiently manage their daily HR processes. They usually do this by automating processes wherever possible, while maintaining granular level rules, so as to reduce human time and labor investment. This is especially good for HR functions since so many of their processes are repetitive and thus ideal for automation.

Why do schools need an HR system?

It might seem like HR system would be more suited for large organizations, rather than a school. On a structural level, however, what is a school but a large organization? The institutional HR needs of a school are comparable to those of a large business. It thus makes logical sense that a school too would benefit from the implementation of an HR system.

Do we need a dedicated HR system for schools?

Earlier, one needed to purchase dedicated software whose core competency was limited to certain domains. However, with the release of increasingly versatile software and the growing use of technology, it makes sense that schools might want to invest in a single tool that works seamlessly across functions and departments at their institution. Keeping this in mind, modern school ERP software, like Fedena, often include features or plugins that are capable of handling educational institutions human resources needs. What is even better than when a school uses a school ERP software these HR features are customized to be aligned with typical school practices. No need to customize your HR management system to the working of a school system. Instead, your school ERP system doubles up as a fully functional  HR system right out of the box. Just plug and play!

Below we discuss in detail the key questions that need to be asked before purchasing your HR management system for school and why:

Question #1: Does it facilitate web-based recruitment?

In this modern world, paper-based applications and application processes like this are likely to edge schools out from acquiring the best candidates for the job. Increasingly, online applications are the norm. It also helps stay better organized, since all information and related documentation is stored in the HR system itself, making it easily accessible anywhere and any time.

This is also an important historical data that is useful for any school. Even applicants who might not be a good fit during a given round of hiring might become a better fit for another role or for another time. Building an internal database of talent is key to superlative hiring for schools.

Question #2: Can job applications be automatically screened based on keywords or qualifications?

Create better hiring processes for teachers and staff when you use technology in the right way. Your HR system should be able to dig into applications for keywords or phrases that signal that an applicant is qualified. Being able to automate this process reduces the time and labor burden on a human evaluator, while also being more efficient and blind to biases.

This is also valuable data for management to see what keywords and qualifications garner them higher quality applicants. Tailoring future job descriptions to these keywords is likely to increase this pool in hiring drives at the school, all thanks to the HR system.

Question #3: Will employees have self serve options available online (including on mobile devices) to request leave/vacations, view payroll information, and other activities?

A bureaucratic system is a broken one. Having complicated processes and long waits for simple HR tasks is a type of inefficiencies that should not be found in modern schools. With the right HR system, schools can automate entire processes such as requesting various types of information, applying for leaves or absences, etc. This means a reduction in the burden on human staff with simplistic administrative tasks and a more democratic process for teachers and staff seeking information or disbursal of leaves.

Furthermore, this is all valuable data for management, who can base many budgetary and personnel decisions based on this data being collected by the  HR system over a long period of time. Data-driven decision making is key to seeing actual success, instead of being stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of nothing getting resolved thanks to biases coming into play.

Question #4: Does it helps in managing the staff’s required professional development and credit history?

The clarity in financial information and professional development records are necessary for every employee of a school to be able to track their progress and personal growth at their institution. Having a data-driven bird’s eye view can be invaluable to their personal development within an institution. Your HR system can keep track of this data easily and confidentially becoming a handy developmental and training tool for every teacher and a member of staff in your school.

Management is also able to better track the impact of the professional development training and opportunities it offers its teachers and staff members. When they are able to directly see the impact of their efforts – both positive and negative – they are able to continually tinker and improve what they are offering their employees, creating a positive feedback loop of improvement internally at the school.

Question #5: Does the HR system for your school maintain employee history of compensation and ratings?

In a similar vein, keeping track of HR details like the pay of an individual teacher and staff or even teacher and staff bands is important to track their growth. When combined with the ratings they received during appraisals or student evaluations, one is able to get important learnings about the professional growth of every teacher and staff member at a school. A school is only as strong as its teachers and this feature helps schools track of where they stand year after year or semester after semester.

When this kind of data is being collected by your HR system, it means that management now has a breadth of data over time on which to base its hiring and firing decisions. Instead of relying on infallible human memory, it is easy and swift to instead pull up this kind of factual data within the HR system itself and make decisions based on hard figures instead of feelings.

Question #6: Does it record district assets including keys, smartphones, laptops issued to employees?

Schools are constantly under budgetary constraints and financial pressure. So it makes sense that their assets – such as electronic items like laptops, smartphones, tabs, etc. or security assets like keys and key cards or access codes or even student learning aids like projectors, video players, audio and visual equipment – must be safeguarded to the highest degree possible.

This kind of record keeping also makes an impact on the bottom line of school budgets. As was mentioned earlier, schools often view such expensive items as investments. It is important to see what is being used, what is not, and track the wear and tear of school assets so that there is continual improvement in purchase decisions. The HR system’s data can help make these decisions in a more data-driven way.

Question #7: Does the HR system for your school maintain job descriptions attached to employees?

Having detailed job descriptions for every role in the organization may seem unnecessarily pedantic at first thought. But in reality, it is an excellent HR practice. Job descriptions often help define key areas of responsibility, key performance indicators and job responsibilities and deliverables for each role, whether teaching or non-educational. This helps employees understand and define the goals they wish to strive towards and for management to be more fair and effective in evaluating the performance of their employees.

Job descriptions also help management understand the evolving needs of their school – with the advent in technology, teaching, and learning methods, it is good to have historical data to see what works for a school and what does not. It is a far superior and data-driven method, rather than relying on humans who might bring their unconscious biases to the table when making hiring, firing and promotion decisions.

Question #8: Does it track the performance review process, including dates and ratings?

Keeping track of employee ratings and assessments over time is the best way to track the professional growth of teachers and staff. It is important for employees of a school to remain dynamic in their thinking since they are constantly interacting with young students and influencing their intellectual growth. The right HR system can help teachers track their own improvement, identify key areas of growth, identify strengths and weaknesses and take their career more seriously, overall. This helps retain the best teachers and staff possible – since using such a system also demonstrates that their employers value their own growth within the educational institution.

Data like this also helps management identify star employees and those who might not be a good fit for a school, resulting in data-driven hiring and firing and promotion decisions. This is only fair to all staff that is ideally seeking to constantly improve.

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Question #9: Does it allows users to view absence plans for each employee: vacation, personal days, sick days, bereavement, unpaid leave, etc.

An open and transparent system that allows teachers and management to have a clear view of their leaves is necessary for the smooth functioning of a school. Things like vacation days and sick leaves cannot be left to the whims and fancies of a sole human administrator. One must also take into account the propensity for human error in matters like this. No human is infallible, but it is unfair for employees to be expected to take on the burden of their infallibility especially when it comes to precious perks like leaves. Since this is also connected to payroll – loss of pay is a consequence of exceeding allotted leaves – it is important to maintain the highest level of accuracy in leave records for every teacher and member of staff at a school.

It is only fair, decent, and professional to rely on a tool like an HR management system to do so. This is also valuable data for management that can use it to track specific employees in order to make hiring and firing and promotion decisions, but also track overall school trends – knowing that schools tend to fall sicks around a certain time period, for example, helps management be prepared with alternatives to missing employees, whether it is planning workflows or having temporary workers come in as substitutes when needed. Good planning really impacts the budget of a school in a positive fashion, since you are able to identify when and where extraneous expenses might be incurred and then plan for it in advance.

Question #10: Does the HR system for your school track benefit plans and deductions, including eligibility rates?

Employee benefits can often make or break the peace of mind of an employee. This also affects their ability to work. Having documentation and tracking of any availments and changes in employee benefits is absolutely necessary. An HR system helps ensure that this tracking is maximally accurate, instead of relying on humans who have a higher rate of error. It is also automated, so one does not need to rely on a time consuming and cumbersome process while attempting to avail important benefits. This is also a form of data collection that helps management better understand the needs of their employees over a period of time, leading to better management level decisions that actually help school employees while also potentially impacting the bottom line in a positive fashion. Data like this can really help schools looking to cut corners do so in a fair and productive fashion.