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Re: [school-discuss] School Admin Software


I suggest you keep your updates on-line for all to read and consume.

I agree that this is one area where there needs to me more open source choices
but I feel we are going to have to depend on sources outside the US because it
seems MS has the US pretty well locked down when it comes to schools.

I applaud Les and his efforts with OpenAdmin.  I have been following it for a
couple of years but don't have the time to dedicate to it to get it running at
my son's school (K-8).  We are currently running a Linux server and Windows
desktops.  Our Linux server does web hosting (www.sainttheresaschool.org),
email (OpenWebMail) for admin & teachers, file services, and Library
management system that is available from all PC's (about 100) in the school. 
The library system is Follet Software, one of the very few packages we payed
for, and runs their SQL database on the Linux server.  I would have preferred
the open source koha Integrated Library System but wasn't aware or it when the
purchase of the Follet Software was made. 

Can you share with us your steps to evaluate and the pros/cons of those
packages you evaluated.  Also what specific packages did you evaluate?



---------- Original Message -----------
From: Andy Figueroa <figueroa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: schoolforge-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 23:52:40 -0400
Subject: Re: [school-discuss] School Admin Software

> Matt Oquiest wrote, in part:
> > Now some general rambling commentary:
> > This space seems to me to be most desperately in need of a kick-ax Free
> > Software solution. I know Les has been active for many years on
> > OpenAdmin, ...
> That sparked my interest!  What follows might be considered a user's
> OpenAdmin testimonial.  I hope you don't mind.
> Last winter I undertook a several months-long search for a new SIS 
> for our small school after our business manager's frustrations with 
> our then current system boiled over.  He had found and been courted 
> by the developers of a slick, commercial system that would have cost 
> us about $10,000 US to implement and committed us long-term to 
> Winblows servers and clients.  I found a wide-variety of 
> alternatives and approaches, both commercial and open source and 
> engaged in discussions with the sellers/developers of what looked 
> like good alternatives for us.  $10,000 would have more than wiped 
> out our cash reserves and compromised our ability to pay teachers on 
> the first September pay-day so cost was important.  NOTHING in the marketplace
> really met all of our quite humble, but somewhat exotic needs.  One 
> of our most important requirements was FLEXIBILITY.  Unfortunately,
>  most software is developed to meet the needs of a particular model school.
> Then I found, downloaded, unpacked, and examined OpenAdmin.  I read through
> the documentation.  I was cautiously optimistic.  So, I wrote to Les 
> with some questions not really expecting his very thoughtful reply.  
> So, I installed a working model alongside the others I'd found,
>  played and tested, and ultimately made a presentation to the school 
> board giving the pros and cons of three commercial,  two open source,
>  and one not quite open source alternatives.  I recommended and the 
> board approved going with OpenAdmin. We had our OpenAdmin activation 
> (IOC - Initial Operational Capability) last month, and our teachers 
> and staff are very fond of it.
> The MAJOR detractor of all of the open source possibilities is that the
> school must have at least a wannabe Linux system administrator 
> willing to make a long-term commitment to setting up and supporting 
> the system, and this isn't something most small schools could afford 
> if they had to buy it. In our case, my school has me, and I'm happy 
> to do it.
> OpenAdmin meets our needs, is flexible by design, and is very 
> actively under development to specifically meet the needs of its 
> users.  (Now, Les says paying customers come first, but that just 
> proves he's not crazy!)  I'll be happy to share details of our 
> experience with others off-line, or on-line with prodding.
> Andy Figueroa
> Treasurer, Dominion Academy of Dayton, Ohio
> (the wannabe system administrator)
------- End of Original Message -------