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[school-discuss] Open Source School Administration Software


I've been working on a school administration package for one (and now two)
school divisions for a year now. This software is licenced under the GNU
General Public License (GPL) which means that it is freely available with
full source code. It is currently running in 10 schools in two divisions. 

I am considering a public release of this software and an looking for
indications of interest. It will take a little work to write up
explanations of how to install this package, so if there isn't any
interest, I won't waste my time. 

The package is fully web based (i.e. accessible via a web browser). It
includes two virtual websites; one for office administration and one for 
teachers. With CommunityNet access, a single central server can serve an
entire division and be centrally managed. (This is the current
configuration for both school divisions.)

The teacher site is used to print a variety of reports on
their students, enter attendance and report card assessments. Reporting is
done via either web pages (viewing) or Acrobat PDF generation on-the-fly
for printing. The intent is to empower the teacher so that they have
access to the information that they need about students, etc. As well,
this will reduce secretarial load.

Main features currently include:
a) Attendance - teacher and/or office attendance entry; reporting,
tracking, report card integration.

b) Discipline - discipline entry and reporting; customized infraction

c) Demographics reporting including a variety of reports both HTML or PDF
based including classlists, gradelists, track, birthday, ethnicity,
religion, religion composition, etc.

d) Exporting to a variety of formats for integration with other packages.

e) Report card generation (just newly added). This is highly idiosyncratic
depending on schools. This is an attempt to produce a flexible system that
generates PDF report cards and allows the creation of assessment
categories (ie. nominally subjects) with up to 20 categories for reporting
within each subject. (i.e. Can tie shoes in grade 2. (yes/no/occasionally)

If you're intested I can give you password access to a protected site for

The technology: This package is written in Perl and stores information in
a SQL database (currently MySQL). I normally install this on a Linux
based server using the Apache web server.

The development model: I assume that different schools will have slightly
different interests and needs. A school/division can produce a new report
or add a new feature that they are interested in having. They can then
contribute that back to the larger community if they desire.

Perl is a relatively simple language to learn and all of the scripting
that I write is no more than 100 lines or so. The package consists of 60
or so perl scripts.

Next Development target: Online Gradebook - report card integration and
parental view access.

Les Richardson
H. Hardcastle School
Edam, Sk. Canada