Brief: This tutorial examines some of the best free and open-source school management software for Linux.
Running an educational institution in an efficient manner is no mean task. It usually involves handling various aspects such as students’ biodata, grading, timetabling, reporting and other administrative tasks that involve communication between parents, teachers, and the non-teaching staff. As such, having reliable, and efficient school management software is a huge plus.
In this guide, we will examine the top 5 free and open-source school management software for Linux.
1. OpenSIS – School Management Software for Linux
OpenSIS is a web-based application developed and maintained by Open Solutions for Education (OS4Ed) which is a leading provider of open-source software. It comes in three editions. It is a free and open-source student management information system for managing students’ information.
Written in PHP, OpenSIS provides a neat and intuitive user interface with powerful features to help you efficiently manage student information. At the backend, it relies on PostgreSQL and MySQL database servers to store student information.
OpenSIS comes in three editions:
- Community Edition (openSIS Lite).
- Schools edition (openSIS PRO).
- District Edition (openSIS PRO).
The free version supports 5 staff and 50 students. The pricing for commercial editions starts at $8 for 5 staff and an unlimited number of student and parent accounts and goes up as the number of staff increases.
OpenSIS Key Features:
Some of the key features to look out for include:
- School information – Provides a school dashboard that displays crucial information such as a calendar with entry events, notices and event announcements, course manager, course catalog WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) information, user permission management and so much more.
- Student information – It captures student demographics such as gender, race, ethnicity, marital status, and nationality to mention a few.
- Health records – Allows capture and storage of health records such as student’s physician name and phone number and health insurance provider.
- Staff Management – Captures staff information including staff photo, certification, social security number, and demographic information such as gender, race, marital status, and nationality.
- Grading – Provides teachers with the ability to perform grading based on various performance indicators and generate transcripts and report cards with GPA.
- Scheduling – Provides the ability to take and track student attendance.
Check out the Features section for a comprehensive list of all the features provided by the application.
2. RosarioSIS – Student Information System for Linux
RosarioSIS is yet another Student information system for school management. It’s a free ERP or Student Information System (SIS) and just like OPenSIS, is powered by PHP and PostgreSQL database server.
It is primarily designed for K-12 schools but is also versatile enough to accommodate any educational institution such as a University or an academy. It provides a responsive design that is compatible with all devices; smartphones and desktop PCs.
RosarioSIS Key Features:
At a glance, it provides the following features.
- Neat and intuitive dashboard that is easy to maneuver.
- Online registration.
- Attendance feature which allows teachers to track students’ attendance.
- A Course manager that allows you to add new subjects, topics, and assignments.
- A comprehensive grade book that enables teachers to issue and track assignments as well as issue quarterly and semester grades.
- A calendar for detailing events, activities, and student assignments.
- PDF document generation.
- Visually appealing charts that enhance decision-making.
- Accounting and student billing modules.
- Plenty of free and premium add-ons.
3. AlekSIS – Free School Information System
AlekSIS is yet another web-based school information system used for managing educational institutions. It’s free and open source and allows schools to efficiently manage and digitize their management in the best way possible.
AlekSIS offers both self-hosting and cloud-based solutions to academic institutions in the management of their affairs. School management can decide to either self-host the system delegate it to a service operator of their preference or take advantage of the SaaS ( Software-as-a-Service ) offering.
AlekSIS Key Features:
At a glance AlekSIS offers the following:
- Core – Handles general information about teachers, students, parents, and all stakeholders that play a critical role in the management of the school.
- Class register – This allows teachers to keep track of student attendance, absenteeism, tardiness, etc.
- Timetables – Helps participants keep tabs on lessons and events and other activities. It also allows for easier integration of cancellations and any other one-off events made.
- Time-based documents – Can auto-create PDF documents from available data stored in AlekSIS or manually upload it to allow users to provide time-based documents created outside AlekSIS.
- FAQs and Support – Provides the community with helpful information and advice about school-related matters, from technical issues to organizational matters.
- Integration – with LDAP, CSV Tabular data, OAuth / OpenID Connect, and Dashboard Feeds.
4. OpenAdmin for Schools
OpenAdmin for Schools is a web-based administration software licensed under the GNU General Public License. Being a web-based application, it can run centrally on a server or a single PC in a school. It is designed to be resource-friendly, consuming very little resource requirements and bandwidth.
OpenAdmin Key Features:
Key features include:
- Student demographic feature for storing student and family information such as age, nationality, sex, marital status, residence, etc. You can also add your own personalized fields to accommodate more information.
- A flexible report card system with integrated reporting. All report cards can be printed in PDF. It also captures attendance reporting that documents days enrolled, days absent, tardiness, etc.
- A discipline module for tracking student discipline records and behavior.
- An online grade book for allowing teachers to enter marks and assessments from school and even from the comfort of their homes. Both parents and students have access to these results and can post them to the report card system.
- A transcript system, for printing students’ transcripts including GPA calculations which can be printed on PDF.
- A fee system for charging student fees, payment and printing of invoices, etc.
- Export / Import modules to allow students to easily transfer schools within divisions without re-entry of demographic information.
5. Gibbon – School Management Platform
Gibbon is yet another free and open-source school management platform that is tailored to meet the demands of educational institutions in terms and student and administrative management.
It collates student information and helps tutors easily find and manage student records. Its objective is to provide all schools and educational institutions with the right resources and system for effective teaching and school management.
From the get-go, Gibbon was designed to be flexibly themeable, and extensible while at the same time, helping teachers achieve their goals. It
features a flexible form builder with more than 50 modules and enhancements for creating flexible application forms. It also includes email templates for customizing admissions emails
Gibbon Key Features:
Key features include:
- Core modules – These provide added functionality required in various tasks including the management of student records. These can be turned on or off for different roles.
- A smart planner for planning lessons using a rich set of multimedia tools. These lessons can then be shared with students and parents and also be incorporated into units. You can also assign homework, collate student work online and so much more.
- A Timetable for displaying individual timetables for both teachers and students. You can link personal calendars and view events and bookings.
- An ‘Activities’ feature that allows you to create a list of school activities and allow both parents and students to stay in the loop.
- A demographic feature for storing students’ and teachers’ biodata and demographic records such as age, nationality, marital status, etc.
- A ‘behaviour‘ section for tracking and reporting student behavior.
- A School attendance form for tracking student attendance and establishing absenteeism.
- A staff section for advertising jobs, accepting applications, and creating new accounts for new staff. In addition, it provides an avenue for sharing information among staff members.
In this tutorial, we have covered 5 of the best free and open-source ERPs or school management software for Linux. We have outlined the features they provide and how your educational institution stands to benefit.
Any free software you think deserves a mention? Do let us know.