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Re: [school-discuss] Approaching administration: ammunition needed

Hi Alan,

As a first, quick and dirty response, I could list a few capabilities
I've heard bandied about:

Here are some of the things OA does, so far:


There is an online gradebook that teachers at home or school. It posts directly into the report card system. It includes reports, blank mark sheets (since gradebooks still need paper for marking, normally), groups and subgroups; group and intra-group weighting; current versions have constant group weight functions, etc. There are also assessment item (test) cloning and compression tools (several items into one, etc.)

Grade submission

It has a full customizable report card system with unlimited text length comments, up to 20 objectives per subject, global student comments (ie. single shared comment), and PDF output from a Linux TeX system (All reports for printing are generated as PDF).


There are multiple attendance entry methods and can be either by secretary or staff. There can be 'per subject' entry or simply 'per period' based entry. There are a large variety of reports. There are also customized attendance triggers (based on attendance reasons) points that trigger customized form letter generation (integrated with the discipline system).


There is a scheduling system (integrated with the online daybook) for tracking student location. OA will also export an XML data file to the open source FET timetabler to do timetabling. It will then import the resulting teacher XML data file to import the student and teacher timetables.

Enrollment management

There is a new waiting list function and all student transfers (enrollment, withdrawal, re-enrollment) are kept permanently.

?Transcript/Student histories

Student transcript functions exist (but there has been little interest, and therefore little development).

Syllabus maybe (Moodle is available already)

Not sure what you mean here. I'm working on an import method to import Moddle results into the OA gradebook.

OA also has a discipline tracking system, data export system, customized student and staff database/form functions. The IEP system (special ed) will create both IEP's and Progress reports with up to 32 objects per subject.... blah, blah, blah.

You get the idea. It's been in production use for the past 5 years and I keep on adding functions as the need arises. I try not to write to a spec but to a real need.

Given some existing school cultures, Open Source is a hard sell to particular administrators, etc. (unless they can see how it works themselves)

The demo sites are at:

Admin - http://bcsa.richtech.ca

Teacher site: http://bcst.richtech.ca (use user: richl and password richl (last letter is lowercase L)

(There is also a parent student site for viewing of gradebook info (and attendance, etc. could easily be added). No one has asked...(grin). Staff training is a slow process... report cards one year.... gradebook the next year.... daybooks... etc.

New IEP site also at:  http://iep.richtech.ca

Documentation is at:  http://richtech.ca/openadmin/docs

I'm currently rewriting things to better support multiple languages.


Les Richardson
North Battleford, SK Canada


On 9/2/06, Les Richardson <les@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi Alan,

Backgrounder: I've written (and continue to write) Open Administration for
Schools. It is an open source GPL'd software package for school

For ammuntion, you should try to come up with a requirements list for your school admin software.(what should it do) I could then comment on the requirements list.

If you look at what other schools are using, I can supply you a list of schools, divisions using Open Admin for Schools.

Les Richardson
Open Admin for Schools
North Batleford, SK Canada

On Sat, 2 Sep 2006, Alan E. Davis wrote:

> My school principal is planning to spend 15K for "Rediker" school
> administration software. I am appalled: we do not have microscopes
> for our science department!
> I am a GNU/Linux user. Although I can maintain my personal GNU/Linux
> systems, I am reluctant to attempt anything at the school level.
> There are people at the school who are interested in using, for
> example, Open Office, and some interest in GNU/Linux except not enough
> interest to sit down and learn the system. I have been using
> GNU/Linux for at least 12 years; but I am not expert enough to go to
> the school administration and say, "XYZ free software can do this and
> this and this." Everything I do with GNU/Linux, I am over my head.
> I need armament---information to present to tech people and to the
> administration that can convince them that it's not worth it to spend
> 15K, when a system exists that is being used, and is good enough for
> our needs, that is Free or Open Source. We hae a M$ shop, bascially,
> so firmly entrenched (even with awareness of Free Software) that Free
> Software is not taken seriously.
> Any responses and links I will use to print materials out, to present
> to our adminstration. "Rediker" is used at other schools, so I think
> that it will be most useful to look at systems that can do what
> Rediker can do, competently.
> Thank you,
> Alan Davis
> Kagman High School
> Saipan, N. Mariana Islands
> --
> Alan Davis, Kagman High School, Saipan lngndvs@xxxxxxxxx 1-670-256-2043
> I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I
> must share it with other people who like it.
> --------Richard Stallman

Alan Davis, Kagman High School, Saipan  lngndvs@xxxxxxxxx     1-670-256-2043

I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I
must share it with other people who like it.
                                        --------Richard Stallman