Hi there, i’m new here. My question in a nutshell is if anyone has had success building out the equivalent of a School Information System (SIS) using Airtable. Read on for more detail.
My wife and i and a small team are founding a new school for children in our community. We’ll start K–2 this fall and—should our prayers be answers—we’ll add a grade level each year all the way to grade 12. To date, we’ve been building out and refining all of our core systems, and now we’re researching a significant decision that virtually all schools face: choosing a SIS.
There’s a million of these systems out there and they all seem to take a kind of everything-you’ll-ever-need-in-one-place approach. Our workflow, however, is heavily dependent on SAAS. We use G Suite (email and productivity), Asana (tasks/project management), HubSpot (donor management), PieSync (keeping contacts in sync), Calendly (appointment scheduler), Eventbrite (fundraisers), Aplos (bookkeeping), Zapier (to tie everything together as much as we can), and some other things too. The everything-under-one-roof approach boasted by most SISs doesn’t really appeal to us (i.e. we don’t want a cute little calendar, when Google Calendar is so much better; we don’t want a half-baked project manager, when Asana is so much better, and so on). Instead, our preference is to pick the best tools we can and then automate our processes with something like Zapier.
Here’s a list of the baked-in features offered by one of the most popular SISs, called FACTS (formerly RenWeb):
- Cafeteria management
- Comprehensive reporting
- Health information management
- Integration partners and services
- Report cards
- Staff information management
- Standards-based grading
- Student behavior tracking
- Student and family information management
We most certainly don’t need all of that—especially as a small school startup—but we will need some of it (admissions, attendance, student tracking, grade books, report cards, etc.).
I would be extremely grateful to learn about the experiences of anyone working in a school environment who may be using Airtable to fulfill some (or many) of these functions.
Thanks in advance and thanks for reading!