SchoolBrains is a Student Information System (SIS) that offers an integrated suite of modules to maintain student and personnel data. It is a cloud-based solution targeted primarily at K-12 schools and provides access to information about schools, classrooms, students, teachers and assessments in a single dashboard.
SchoolBrains offers features and tools that can be accessed using web services, including grade books and report cards, education plans, admissions, assessments and curriculum mapping. It has a community portal that provides a channel for direct communication between teachers and parents/guardians.
SchoolBrains' alert mechanism helps schools improve emergency response time and communicate with students, staff and parents through voice, email and SMS text messaging. The software stores health-related records of students and staff in its nursing and health module, which can be accessed by nurses 24/7.
SchoolBrains ensures compliance with federal and state regulatory laws and has reporting capabilities meeting the requirements of various states.
Francis from MA Middle School Principal
Specialty: K-12 public
Employees number: 501-1,000 employees
If you need help, ask. They will help. Any new software can be challenging to use at first. That's probably where neg reviews start. We've been with them for more than three years and have not had issues that weren't quickly resolved. I went from a district with 900 students to one with more than 10,000 students and both use Schoolbrains. They provide new technology upgrades free of charge, too. Initial presentation was transparent and honest; what was promised, was delivered. I'm also a parent of a student in my district and can speak positively from that perspective as well. Please call if you have questions.
We vetted this product for almost two years and found that the districts were happiest with SchoolBrains. Their support is the best in the business. Twenty years as teacher, dept head and principal and I'm not sure where negative feedback originates. We had surveys for admin staff, teachers, parents, and administrators and all believe support and ease of use has been great. Implementation was a lot smoother than previous. Very communicative and helpful during the transition process. Total cost of ownership is much lower when you figure how much our other service was charging us for support and reports. SchoolBrains has custom reports, solid state reporting that saved us a lot of time. Functionality, service, price...all A+.
My business manager wishes they would offer a financial/ budget/ payroll module. Although it has a bus route piece, our transportation head hoped for a geo mapping module, too.
Raymond from Dudley Charlton Regional School District
Specialty: K-12 public
Employees number: 201-500 employees
This software was created by a software producer who saw a vulnerability in the asinine public school policy (SIF) imposed on public schools by the state of Massachusetts. Actual classroom teachers could not have been consulted in the development process. In my district, we used iPass prior to this software. While iPass also had limitations for teachers, the teachers in my school are begging for it's return. SchoolNOBrains has actually set my school back by over a decade as far as our student information system goes.
There is literally nothing that I can find to say positive about this product. If not for the predatory contracts that clueless school district purchasing agents signed with this company this company would be out of business.
Where to begin? The user interface of this software would earn a beginning programmer a failing grade in an introductory programming class.
Thomas from Mass Public Schools
Specialty: K-12 public
Employees number: 51-200 employees
The three presentations were excellent. They covered everything we needed and we were well prepared with questions and he showed how the system functions, not just the benefits. If you've never been through a data systems change, you'll be surprised how much there is to it. My staff and I changed four years ago and we knew basically what to expect. It went smoother than we thought with SchoolBrains and the implementation team was accommodating and helpful. They also had an option to do more of the heavy lifting on their end. If you do not know what you're doing, spend the extra money it will be worth it. Fortunately, we have a capable staff and they had no issues. After training teachers embraced the ease of use and that intuitive behavior was critical for the union.
A system as presented. Fast access to the data we need. Easy report creation. Meets state reporting requisites that other systems have a hard time providing.
Teachers and administrators said it was intuitive.
Implementation was easier than previous.
Critical support was responsive.
Access to vice president with one call.
Support was decent but not great. Noncritical support by way of general questions or functionality was not good and at times we needed to follow up more than twice to receive answers.
They manage full control of their data. It would be easier for districts, certainly ours, if we were able to create or modify certain Nontraditional or customized reports instead of calling support.
Needs better integration options to third party systems.
SchoolBrains in its fourth year with us has served us better than the last two systems we had and we enjoy more functionality than the major players that have solicited our district. We recommend them. If you've never done SIS/SIMS implementation they have an option where they do most of the imports themselves and that will save you a lot of frustration and time. Don't cheap out. Negotiate any extras before the agreement gets signed (uncommon report modifications). They are the state student database vendor in Massachusetts so it is a well-vetted company.
Matthew from Bellingham Public Schools
Specialty: K-12 public
Employees number: 201-500 employees
Schoolbrains works fairly well for daily use, but the implementation process and data reporting aspects need improvement. Specifically, during implementation, most timelines and deadlines were not met or required constant prompting from the customer to complete tasks correctly and on time.
Schoolbrains works well for the daily SIS functions performed by schools.
Navigation is easy.
Accessibility is very good.
Personnel security roles can be both globally and micro-managed depending on the need.
Customization is required far too often, even for what might be considered routine data management.
Although we were told it can:
Customization cannot be done by school personnel.
Importing data to update student or staff information cannot be done by school personnel.
Reporting out and exporting data that resides on more than one data table is impossible without Schoolbrains staff customizing a report. For example, making a list of students' names and test scores with their current teacher's name on it for more than one classroom at a time cannot be done by the user.
The special education module has many functionality short-comings typically available on special education software packages.
Response to Intervention recording ability does not exist.
The product is as good as or better than most out there when considering it for daily user use. School secretaries and teachers can learn and use the system pretty easily. The problem arises when trying to manage and maintain the system from the technology support side of the system. We were told during the sales presentation meeting that all things were routinely possible. That is simply not the case. During the project implementation description meeting more than six months before roll-out, we jointly developed industry standard benchmarks with a timeline. Many timeline benchmarks were not met. Some that were met were done so under duress. At this time (November 2016), Schoolbrains does not have the staff capacity to meet their stated implementation and operational benchmarks. Either the training I and our school district's technology staff received from Schoolbrains was inadequate to implement, operate and maintain the system smoothly or the system requires more backend attention from Schoolbrains staff than they are currently capable of handling at a satisfactory level for their customers. Either way, improvements to Schooolbrains' implementation and operations should be made, whether that is in customer training or their own staff capacity. It is our organizations opinion that investment by Schoolbrains in their training, support and development staff would bring this SIS product up to its advertised potential.
John from WRSD
We're a large district and many of our schools operate very differently. Schoolbrains was able to configure the system to work meeting the goals of each school in our district. Support has been great - they are good listeners and problem solvers. Software is constantly being improved based on our feedback.
Very configurable with many reporting options
Kate from Dcrsd
Terrible! Tons of problems. No help. If I could have submitted this with NO stars, I would have.
Willis from SU-171
schoolBrains saves my district money, saves my teachers and staff time and completely unifies all of our data so we have one place to quickly and easily see all critical student information. Very responsive support team. As a thirty-year educator, my teachers union, superintendent and schoolboard highly endorse schoolBrains.
Our entire management team bought in to using the system after review of four well-know larger national brands. SchoolBrains saved us money up front and continues to be a smart long-term investment for our district. Teachers learned it quickly, the software is robust and the benefits are enormous... it is totally configurable and completely unifies all of our district data so all student information can be viewed quickly. When we need help, the service has been the best I've ever exeperinced from a vendor in thirty years in education.
I wish more people knew about schoolBrains. It was at first difficult to get all parties together to agree to have them present but once it happened, we became instant fans.