No, this isn’t going to be a confession.
Over the last few months it’s become apparent that our existing SIS didn’t really work for us, and not because it sometimes actually refused to work properly. Rather, the issue was one of fundamental design – and that’s nobody’s fault, probably, although I do wonder whether it’s something namelessSIS would have benefited from addressing.
Specifically, we use the SIS to enroll students on courses, but what about pre-registration for courses next year? These courses have limited seats so it’s important that we understand when they are full and plan ahead for the implications of this. It occurs to me that our SIS would be the logical place to do this, because it already knows all the students and courses, but there isn’t any way of representing this beyond the current year, as far as I can see, without maybe creating a fake year ahead of us in the system with all the potential problems that might ensue.
There is a wider related issue here – which is that sometimes the children signing up for next year’s courses will be prospective rather than current students. Working back from that, we can see that it’s not just a question of needing the ability to assign students to future classes, but we also need a waiting list.
In fact, my school – which currently sends out paper forms to parents who want to enroll their children – would like to do this electronically as far as possible anyway, so you see that these needs are really all part of the same required functionality. To that end, I concluded that nextSIS needed an ‘Admissions’ module, which has the ability to handle the application process as well as effectively creating a model of next year’s school in order to allow future class enrollments.