Berkeley Elementary School, located in the Northeastern United States, has offered a comprehensive educational curriculum from preschool through 5th grade for the past two decades. Recently, the school expanded its services to include after-school care, also known as “aftercare.” This aftercare program serves not only Berkeley’s students but also children from neighboring schools.
As an independent systems analyst specializing in IT solutions for small businesses, you were contacted by the school’s director, Victoria Owens. She expressed concerns about the increased workload due to growing enrollment and the expanding aftercare program (Berkeley Carroll School, 2023). The administrative staff and teachers have been stretched thin, stepping in to manage the added responsibilities. However, hiring additional full-time administrative staff is not financially viable for the non-profit school.
In your initial meeting with Victoria and Principal Kathy Gilliard, you discussed the concept of information systems, emphasizing the integration of computer hardware, software, people, processes, and data to achieve specific goals. You initiated a fact-finding process to understand the roles and information needs of each staff member, which will form the foundation for designing the new information system.
Staff Roles and Responsibilities
Victoria Owens, as the executive director, oversees the school’s activities in alignment with the mission and vision set by the Board of Directors. Her responsibilities include supporting the teaching staff, managing financial operations, payroll, human resources, and reporting to state and local school boards.
Principal Kathy Gilliard focuses on academic and curricular matters, ensuring compliance with federal and state educational standards. She collaborates with teachers on admissions and classroom assignments, coordinates transportation, and occasionally substitutes for absent teachers.
Susan Brown, the vice principal, manages the aftercare program. She handles pre-registered and drop-in care requests, maintains the school calendar, addresses special dietary needs, and supervises camps and summer programs.
Michelle Madrid, the administrative assistant, is responsible for billing, record-keeping, and administrative tasks related to tuition and aftercare. She currently uses Microsoft Word and Excel but experiences issues with data duplication.
- The school employs eleven full-time teachers for various grade levels, each responsible for attendance records.
- Six part-time aftercare teachers, alongside assistants, are supervised by Susan Brown. Aftercare teachers manage time sheets and billing for additional care hours.
- Parent volunteers are vital in various committees and support roles to ensure the school runs efficiently.
Preliminary Investigation and Project Management
To manage the upcoming project effectively, you explained the importance of project management to Victoria. It involves controlling project costs, adhering to schedules, and maintaining project scope. You introduced the initial project phases and the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), including Gantt and PERT charts.
For Berkeley School, the project management phases include planning, analysis, data and system design, and architecture selection. A comprehensive WBS will be developed to outline specific tasks, their duration, and dependencies, creating a clear project timeline. This will help in identifying the critical path, ensuring efficient project progress.
After conducting a preliminary investigation and fact-finding, you discovered that Berkeley Elementary School’s registration process involves regular students and aftercare attendees, both pre-registered and drop-in. Tuition payments are made on a monthly or weekly basis, with discounts available for multiple children and early settlements. The current system, managed in Excel by Michelle, leads to errors, manual calculations, and time-consuming paperwork.
Michelle suggested a new system should generate family-based bills, receipts, and detailed drop-in care statements, simplifying the process. The fact-finding process also revealed the substantial overtime costs and error rates, which can be eliminated by implementing the new system.
Logical and Object-Oriented Modeling
Following the fact-finding process, the logical model of the proposed billing system was developed (Fatimah et al., 2021). Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs) were created to represent data input processes and the transformation of data into valuable information.
Subsequently, an object-oriented model was developed, considering the logical design to determine the physical implementation of the new system. This model identified classes, attributes, and methods for building a successful information system.
System Requirements and Design Phase
A system requirements document was prepared, outlining the critical components of the new information system, including student registration, billing, payment recording, and reporting functionalities. The advantages of the proposed method, such as improved efficiency, error reduction, and reduced workload, were highlighted.
User Interface and Data Design
The user interface design phase involved creating screens and forms for data input, along with reports for generating outputs. The design considered the documentation and DFDs from the systems analysis phase, ensuring a user-friendly and efficient interface. For data design, the DFDs served as a reference for defining data stores and flows. Data elements were identified for each data store, paving the way for a well-structured and organized database.
The system architecture was determined to translate the logical design into a physical blueprint. The chosen architecture can be implemented through in-house development, third-party purchase, or cloud-based solutions.
In the physical implementation of the system, a list of hardware requirements was compiled (Fatimah et al., 2021). This included servers, workstations, networking equipment, and security measures to support the new information system effectively.
System Design Specification
A detailed system design specification document provided a comprehensive overview of the new information system’s design, architecture, and functionalities.
It’s crucial to consider the ethical implications of this project. As the new system will streamline operations and reduce staff workload, it must also ensure data security and privacy. Handling sensitive information requires adherence to ethical standards, including data protection, confidentiality, and responsible use of technology.
Berkeley Carroll School. (2023, November 6). Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY. Niche. https://www.niche.com/k12/berkeley-carroll-school-brooklyn-ny/
Fatimah, S. Rahayu, A. Muharom, & C. Andriansah. (2021). Design of school development information system in the district. IOP Conference Series, 1098(3), 032104–032104. https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899x/1098/3/032104