Hundreds of schools have reaped the time-saving benefits of SSO. One such example is Ocean Reef Senior High School, whose Deputy Principal Belinda Hall said “bringing SSO into Ocean Reef was a tremendous relief. It saved us time, reduced stress of staff and helped make the entire subject selection process smooth and efficient. I can’t speak highly enough of SSO and Countrynet”.
Having graduated high school half a decade ago, most of my memories of the time have inevitably begun to fade. One residual experience from my secondary education, however, was the cumbersome task of selecting my senior year subjects.
In addition to sifting through hundreds of handbook pages to determine my preferences, paying heed to pre-requisites and circumventing potential clashes, I was left waiting weeks before discovering the disappointing array of lowly-ranked subjects that comprised my final timetable.
Working alongside numerous schools using Subject Selection Online (SSO) has brought to light how simple the process can be. By employing software designed for the specific purpose, you can save time, paper and money, as well as sparing students and parents the disillusionment of relying on traditional methods. Here are some of the benefits SSO can bring to your school:
- Purpose-built: Rather than placing the responsibility on students and parents to determine their schedules and eligibility for subjects, SSO allows you to customise students’ selection pathways. By setting pre-requisite codes against individual student profiles and subjects, putting capacities on classes, enforcing minimum and maximum selection requirements and pre-selecting courses, SSO administrators can rigidly determine outcomes and leave no room for error. The fact that selections are made in real-time means that students receive their results instantaneously, rather than waiting for confirmation and potentially having to go through the process again.
- Timetabling made easy: Formulating selection data into timetables is arguably the most arduous aspect of subject selections. Completing the process manually requires the work of three to four staff members over an accumulation of 1-2 weeks. However, completing the task through SSO requires the work of one staff member for a mere 3-4 hours. Debra McNeil, Deputy Principal of John Forrest Secondary College, said this aspect of the process compared with paper-based methods was “a million times quicker”. With pre-built extracts for Timetabler and MAZE, the information can be ready to upload to your timetabling package in minutes.
- Subjects overridden in a matter of clicks: Another aspect Debra McNeil claimed was made simpler through SSO was the ability to approve or deny subject override requests. The traditional process varies between schools, but generally involves a student tracking down the Head of Learning Area (HoLA) for a subject they do not meet the requirements for, filling out a request form and awaiting the result. With SSO, students simply request the override during their selection process and an email is sent to the HoLA, who can approve or deny (tick or flick) the appeal. SSO administrators can switch off the ability for students to request overrides as well.
- Primes students for tertiary selections: My experience enrolling for university courses would have been far less perplexing and far more successful had I experienced subject selection software during my high school years. The reality is, every tertiary education institution uses online enrolment methods. Getting students started from a young age will ensure they are better prepared down the track, preventing scattered timetables and whopping headaches.
Mastering the sophisticated simplicity of SSO over the past year has me baffled at the fact that some schools still use paper. To find out more about SSO and its suitability for your school, visit: http://subjectselectiononline.com.au/