Review: eChipmunk

Student Management Information Systems are the big thing in the Irish Primary School system at the moment. For those not in the know about these systems, essentially a Management Information System (MIS) is a piece of software that allows a school to store administrative information about pupils, staff, attendance, enrollments and lots more. It provides schools with a centralised place to store important information, which can be accessed by anyone in the school.

At the IPPN conference in January, there were no fewer than seven companies offering some form of MIS in all sorts of different flavours.  There’s lots of choice out there for all types of schools depending on their needs. Management Information Systems can generally be divided into two camps, Internet-based or Local Storage. eChipmunk is based on the former. All data is stored on their servers and is kept safe with highly secure protection measures.

eChipmunk is an attractive looking web-based MIS where schools have the ability to access information about pupils, their families and a host of reports based on attendance, payments and test results. It is easy to navigate with most sections of the site found with less than 3 clicks of a mouse. Each student has their own profile, which includes all the usual contact information as well as nice features such as siblings’ names, text messages that have been sent and a nice simple notes’ section, where a teacher can add notes to the child’s profile. There is also administrative information about the child including evidence of absences, whether the school has received certain documents, e.g. Baptismal Cert and information on what type of supports the child is receiving, if any.

One can also send text messages to groups of people, classes or individuals. Principals will appreciate the fact that the system also completes some of the October census and one can also record, analyse and print test results in many of the standardised tests done in primary schools. Administrators can set options for absence reasons, school holidays and other general settings. One can even choose the language one sees the MIS in, including Gaeilge, a unique selling point. eChipmunk is also built on a module basis so extra optional features can be added including a complete web site design tool.

Prices for eChipmunk start at €325 per annum for a small school going up to €775 for very large schools but discounts apply for different packages. eChipmunk is a very well designed MIS with lots of features that would suit any school. There are plans to add some nifty new features over the coming months so the future looks even more interesting. As the system is web-based, these features will automatically come on stream  for existing users.

eChipmunk can be found by going to: http://www.echipmunk.ie/

Last Update: August 22, 2017  

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