What is a school management system?
It's a platform that reduces all the paperwork and time spent on manual activities in schools. A management software provides you with all you need to manage everything efficiently, with the available tools and resources you have at hand.
This can help administrators to manage the school’s finance, schedule meetings, evaluate student applications, and store staff information. Teachers can more easily design their curriculum, organize lectures and exams, and make announcements on messaging platforms. And as for parents, they can track their student’s progress and receive immediate feedback on attendance.
Benefits of using an open-source school management system
Open-source means it can be developed by its users, and therefore it’s always open to improvements. And since the software company doesn’t have to take all the work upon itself, open-source school management systems are usually free or available at affordable prices. This can save your school a great deal of money because these ERPs, especially the conclusive and reliable ones don’t come for cheap.
Also, a nicely designed school management system gathers all your time-consuming day-to-day activities in one single platform and organizes everything for you.
So, here is a list of the best school management systems you can pick from:
eSkooly is a free, cloud-based system that comes with a user-friendly interface. But its pro version is also available with lifetime pricing plans for different budgets. The software claims to offer 24/7 online support and dynamic updates to improve user experience. Its features include:
- Online messaging and free SMS service
- Mobile application
- Live classes
- Supports multiple operating systems
- Statistics and animations
- Account management
Fedena is another cloud-based management solution. Its free open-source version is community supported and has limited features.
- Academic calendar and timetables
- Student registration, attendance, and information.
- Event management
- Multiple dashboards
- Login available for teachers, parents, and students
- Human resources management system
- Built-in Messaging system
- Certificate and ID card generator
Gibbon can be one of the best alternatives with the variety of features it offers for completely free. It’s created by teachers and therefore the software focuses on the real problems that occur when administering a school. And if you’re curious about the name, one of the founders, Ross Parker mentions the smooth movements of gibbons and their joy when playing around and says this is what they’re aiming for: an entertaining, flexible, and fast management system.
- Planning and sharing lessons and their content
- Peer review with Crowd Assessment
- Class & school attendance
- Calendar, timetables, and activities
- Storable and sharable library
- Student information
- Supports 22 languages
feKara is an open source, useful, flexible, and all-in-one alternative when it comes to school management systems. But its free version is pretty limited as it restricts you to 50 students and 5 teachers, on top of many inaccessible features. Still, it's an alternative if you want to start small or run a pilot project.
- Virtual classroom
- E-mail support
- Student registration and attendance
- Grade book
- Alerting, reporting manager
- Exam Management
- Multiple Dashboards
- Regular batches and updates
OpenSIS provides assistance to K-12 and higher education institutions. Its core version is limited to 100 students, nevertheless the pro version is relatively cheaper when compared to other management tools.
- Student attendance
- Grades and progress report
- Separate portals for students, parents, and teachers
SchoolOnApp stands out with all the features it provides in the lifetime free version, that is, 90% of the features in the whole software, as they claim, and which allows for unlimited number of students.
- Live/recorded classes
- Student analytics
- QR scan profile view
- Exam results and absent messages by SMS or WhatsApp
- Event calendar and notifications
- Transport management
- Data backup and security
- Accounting and fee reports
RosarioSIS is a free and open-source school management ERP. The site welcomes you with a simple interface and includes a number of useful features.
- Calendar manager
- Note and poll sharing in the portal
- Student enrollment and information
- Advanced reports and statistics
- Organizing syllabus and course periods
- Assignments and grading
- Printable certificates
- Attendance taking for teachers
- Managing food service
What makes EduCloud special is its free-to-use app that’s available for IOS and Android which not many systems provide in their free plans. It also comes with a user-friendly interface and offers a demo.
The website also features a blog that you can always consult and get some tips on how to more efficiently use the software.
- Syllabus manager
- Assignments and submissions
- Attendance info
- Fee counter
- Transport tracking
- Unlimited auto-emails & storage
Canvas offers a free-for-teacher account that includes essential features. And it also provides access to students, parents, and administrators. Although your options are pretty limited in this version, it might be a functional solution for individual teachers.
- Assignments, quizzes, discussions, and video conferences
- Various kinds of grade books
- Canvas mobile app
- Integrations with dozens of ERP and accounting software
So, this was a delicately selected list of school management systems. Although all of them have a free version, keep in mind most of them will offer a limited number of features.
Take your time and give the ones you’ve chosen a try. Hope this will help a bit during your decision process.