SchoolTool: A Web-based School Information And Management System

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Introduction

SchoolTool is a free, open source, web-based student information system for a single school, including student enrollment and demographics, grading and grade reporting, tracking student achievement of skills, competencies or outcomes, attendance, calendars and intervention tracking. It is also a framework for building customized applications and configurations for individual schools or states.

SchoolTool is created by the most popular man of the Linux world Mr.Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical and Ubuntu. It is now maintained by Mr.Tom Hoffman and dozens of active contributors. It is written in Python language using the Zope 3 framework, and is licensed under GNU GPL2. SchoolTool is a complete stack web application that means it comes with a own web server and a database. Right now, It is available only for Ubuntu, and It is highly recommended to use it only on Ubuntu LTS versions such as Ubuntu 14.04 or Ubuntu 12.04 etc. Be mindful that SchoolTool is not a learning management system like Moodle, and it doesn’t include any subject materials or contents.

Features

  • Customizable student and teacher demographics and other personal data;
  • Contact management for teachers, students, and their guardians;
  • Teacher gradebooks;
  • Skill and outcomes based assessment;
  • Schoolwide assessment data collection and report card generation;
  • Class attendance and daily participation grades;
  • Calendars for the school, groups, individuals, and resource booking;
  • Tracking and management of student interventions;
  • And many.

Installation

SchoolTool is available on Ubuntu default repositories. So, you can simply install it using the following commands:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install schooltool -y

However, the SchoolTool might be bit outdated in the default repositories. If you want to use most recent version, add the following PPA and install SchoolTool as shown below.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:schooltool-owners/2.8
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install schooltool -y

By default, a newly installed SchoolTool server is not accessible from the remote computers.

To allow access to SchoolTool from other computers:

Edit file /etc/schooltool/standard/paste.ini:

sudo vi /etc/schooltool/standard/paste.ini

Change the host to 0.0.0.0 or to any IP address that you want to give permission to access the SchoolTool Web console.

host = 0.0.0.0

And restart SchoolTool:

sudo service schooltool restart

If you want to access the SchoolTool Dashboard only from the local system where it is installed, then set host=127.0.0.1.

Configuration

After installing it, you can access the SchoolTool dashboard by navigating to the URL http://ip-address:7080 from your web browser.

You should see a screen like below.

Your School » Today - Mozilla Firefox_001

Change Manager Password:

The first thing you should after installing SchoolTool is to change the default user “manager” password. Using the user manager, you can do all administrative related stuffs such as configure SchoolTool, enter student data, and completely set up and maintain the system etc.

To change the manager password, click on the link that says: Log in on the top right corner.

Enter the default administrative user name: manager, and it’s default password is schooltool.

Log In - Mozilla Firefox_002

Click on the Home button on the top menu bar.

Default Manager - Mozilla Firefox_003

Then, click the Password link button under the settings on the left side bar. Enter the current password, and new password twice and click Apply.

Default Manager » Password - Mozilla Firefox_004

Setting Up Outgoing Mail:

SchoolTool doesn’t act as a email server like Sendmail or Postfix. It will send  mails like email clients such as Thunderbird, Evolution.

To enable mail function in SchoolTool, login to manager account and goto Server tab. Click on the Outgoing Email link.

Server - Mozilla Firefox_005

Then, Click on the yellow colored pencil icon to change the email settings.

Server » Outgoing Email - Mozilla Firefox_006

Fill up the smtp, Email and password details and click apply.

Server » Outgoing Email Settings - Mozilla Firefox_007

Setting Up Calendars:

It is very important to setup the calendar as per your regional location. To do that, click on the Calendar tab on the Server section. Select your Time zone, for me it’s Asia/Kolkatta.

Server » Calendar Settings - Mozilla Firefox_008

Go to the rest of the links such as Errors, Tabs and Pack Database. Most of them are self-explanatory. Read and change the settings as per your requirements.

Setting Up Schools

Here, we’ve come to the comprehensive part that needs more time and attention to get things done. We can’t cover all the things in one article. So i recommend you to visit the official documentation page of the SchoolTool, and go through the sections one by one and setup your school accordingly. It will take some hours or even days to setup the whole school setup. Don’t be afraid, I guess it is not that a difficult task. SchoolTool team has a well prepared self-help documentation with screenshots in their website. Just read and start to manage your schools easily and effectively.

Cheers!!

Reference:

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