← Back to blog

The pitfalls of antiquated student sign-out sheets

Vincent Paget

July 16, 2019

Keeping track of where your students are is important for ensuring their safety throughout the school day and in the event of an emergency. The problem with paper-based sign out systems is that they're not quick enough to be of use in a crisis and they don't provide any insight into the activities of individual pupils.By comparison, digital sign out systems are accessible quickly, and data can be analysed to provide key insights and overviews.Here are three reasons to move away from paper-based student sign out sheets.

1. Paper-trail gathering is slow

In an emergency situation, it takes time to collect sign out sheets from around campus and pull the information together. While staff are trying to get an accurate picture of who is on-site, a student could be in danger and not receiving the help that they need.At other times, paper-based systems make it difficult to get an overview of an individual students' attendance on a weekly basis. Spotting patterns in a students' morning routine, such as on which days they often arrive late, requires a staff member to analyse data manually, or enter the information into a spreadsheet or database.Cumbersome manual data entry processes mean that by the time key data reaches the appropriate members of staff, it's already out of date. Digital sign out systems provide accurate data in real-time, allowing staff to be proactive in dealing with any issues that arise.

2. No ability to drill down

Paper-based leave management systems mean that information is arranged by day, rather than by individual student. In order to see when individual pupils are signing in and out, someone must dedicate time and effort to collating that information for every student.Digital systems enable staff to look at a high-level overview, across different groups of students, as well as drill down into individual profiles to learn more about pupils that concern them.Understanding pupil movements on and off campus can help staff identify attendance and leave management issues that need addressing. If staff members need to check these movements with a parent or guardian, they need to have accurate and up-to-date data on hand before they start their conversations.

Teacher analysing high-level sign out data and drilling down into students that concern him.
Digital sign out systems provide a high-level overview, and allow staff to drill down into students that concern them.

3. There's no link to past or future leave

An online system allows staff to check past and future leave while signing students out. This means staff can quickly check that each student has permission to leave campus as they sign out, and ensure that it went through the proper approval process, without referring to a paper or email trail. Updates can be made at the last minute, so that staff always know where their students are, even if arrangements change slightly after approval.Digitised leave approval systems also mean that staff can easily view past and future leave when deciding whether or not to approve new requests. If they have any concerns about the number or type of leave requests, they can stop and have a conversation with the pupil or parents.

How Boardingware makes leave management simple

Boardingware makes managing leave easy from start to finish.

  • Students and parents can request leave via mobile apps, and you define the approval process required.
  • Students can use their app to sign out from anywhere on campus, and staff can check who is on-site in real time.
  • After-school activities programs are supported, allowing students to sign up to events, and staff to check the classroom or location of a pupil at any time of day.
  • Watchlists and alerts make sure that pupils your staff are concerned about are easy to manage.
  • Emergency roll call functionality sends alerts to pupils and staff to quickly account for everyone's safety.

For more information, watch our free demo video, or talk to a member of our team today.

Our gift to you: a free behavior management tool, plus an incredibly useful newsletter

Join thousands of school leaders learning to improve student life. Subscribers receive free access to our behavior management tool, Orah Notes. When you subscribe, you will receive an email with instructions on how to get it set up, as well as an introductory version of the Orah-cle, our monthly newsletter.

Vincent Paget

I'm a kiwi living in London and who has been part of Orah since 2015. Working in operations, my passion lies in finding efficiencies and scalabilities in all areas of the business. Beyond the office, I'm all about outdoor adventures like football and fishing, along with music, travel, and quality time with friends and family, especially my dog.

Featured articles

Orah Location Overview

Know Where Your Students Are, in Real-Time.

The new Location Overview page gives you a real-time understanding of where your students are so you can easily find students when you need to.

Product Update
Orah Direct Communications

Introducing Orah's New Direct Communications Chat Tool for Schools

Our communications team have been busy developing the much-requested ability to bring direct messaging into Orah so you can have one place where messaging, organising communications and ensuring your school has oversight, all in one place.

Product Update

Latest Updates to Workflows (May 2024)

Orah schools have been looking for ways to improve their utility in response to student actions, so we’ve made a number of enhancements to help with this.

Product Update