When Highlands Community Charter School recently was looking to switch to a new SIS, we ultimately chose PowerSchool, and for the past month, I’ve been working intensely to migrate from our previous system (School Pathways) to PowerSchool. Overall this process has been smooth, but it has also highlighted to me some clear problems that PowerSchool has, and why one shouldn’t only choose a product because it has the most market share.
Month: September 2016
My first review of various SISes is that of Aspen by Follett. When Highlands Community Charter School recently was looking to switch to a new SIS, Aspen was in our top 3 choices, and only barely lost out to PowerSchool. During our review process, I had the chance to look at a sandbox system (demo) of their product for about a week, and we asked a lot of questions to their sales rep, Dylan Holcomb. As a matter of disclosure, I should note that Dylan was a friend from high school, but I think this review is fairly objective, as there are clearly things I don’t like about the product, along with many things I really like. I have written about Aspen previously also.
For over 10 years I’ve worked with about 7 different Student Information Systems (SIS), too one degree or another. Since I have generally worked with these both from the back-end (database administrator and institutional researcher) as well as from the front-end (teacher and school administrator), this puts me in a fairly unique position to be able to compare the advantages and disadvantages of each system. Thus, I thought I should share my thoughts on the different SISes that I have had experience with, in order to help schools and school systems in choosing one.