Looking for Beta Testers for the School Module

2009-12-04 06:52
Written by
lobo - member of the CiviCRM community - view blog guidelines
Some of you'll are aware of the work i've done for The San Francisco School using Drupal 6.x / CiviCRM 2.2. You can read more technical details about this project on my blog.


  • Maintain name/email/phone/address information for people associated with the school (students, staff and parents)
  • Maintain relationships between parents and their children
  • Maintain relationships between a teacher / advisor and their students

Current Features deployed at SFS

  • Give all parents and staff a login/password
  • Online signups for all Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Online signups for all extended care activity (classes after school)
  • Sign-in / Sign-out for students attending extended care
  • Computation of how many "activity" blocks a student has spent on extended care
  • Parent viewing of the various extended care activities their kids have attended in the past
  • Online maps of "Where we Live" of the school families
  • Online directories of the schools and grades.
Here are a few things that have benefitted SFS (so far):

Benefits to the school

  • Eliminated the multiple phonecalls for scheduling conference (at least 300 phonecalls / emails to the front desk have been prevented).
  • Made the signup process for extended care a lot easier and smoother
  • Better tracking of when someone was signed in and signed out from extended care
  • Automated reminders to parents about their upcoming conferences

Future Plans

  • Move all the "paper" forms (emergency information, release forms ..) between the parents / school online.
  • Implement a simple auction component to help with school auctions with support from Auction IT.
  • Integrate the school e-commerce goods (calendars, t-shirts) with UberCart
  • Implement online school fundraising with CiviContribute and manage large school events with CiviEvent. This includes events like the Walk-a-Thon

Next Steps

I'd love to try the software out on a few more small independent schools locally and nationally. The software is still evolving and having some experience in PHP/MySQL/*nix is essential. You also should have access to a server that can run Drupal/CiviCRM (MySQL 5.x, PHP 5.2.x, SSH access). A cheap shared hosting solution is generally not a good match. I will provide online support, but the school will need to be responsible for installing, managing and maintaining the deployment. I consider the software to be beta quality, BUT the installation and deployment is still being worked on. All the code and improvements will be under the CiviCRM project umbrella (i.e. open source under the AGPL License) If you are interested in this and meet the above requirements please send me a detailed email (lobo at yahoo dot com). If you need references or want to chat with someone at The San Francisco School let me know and i can make the connection.
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Lobo, we have seen a few rfps recently that are looking for some school related functionality. I'm wondering if you have thought about student reportcard/score tracking and reporting? Idea being that an org could track performance increases in students over time?

Also, is it possible to extend (other than through standard custom data fields) the demographic info on a contact? IE to track information like kids qualifying for subsidized school lunch, or other demographic data like race? ESL or ELL status?

Last question: is it possible to, or have you looked at, tracking individual course history? what classes or workshops a student has taken, and how they "did" (grade for example)?

1. i dont think i'm going to be addressing reportcard/score tracking in the near future. That is more the domain of a Student Information System like SchoolTool (http://schooltool.org/)

2. any reason why u dont want to use custom data to extend demographics? I've just written a module:


which basically inlines a custom group along with the other demographic information (blog post coming soon)

3. Individual course history is also a function of the SIS. I'll be experimenting with SIS integration in the next few months

I'm reading your blog post about extending demographic data right now. the reason i was concerned about just using custom fields was 1) where those fields showed up, but 2) again this issue of things that change over time. While most demographic data does not change, income data can, and if the goal is to track data in such a way that it can be evaluated for changes over time, i'm not sure custom data fields are the right solution.

The tracking we may be looking to do is like: subject come in to organization, subject is on welfare, organization treats subject with program x, 6 months later subject is employed and off welfare.

in the school scenario it could be subject is entitled to school lunch program. Subject's parent is treated with job training, 6 mos later subject is no longer entitled to school lunch program.

That is the data I am trying to wrap my head around tracking.


would be great if you could put up a blog post with details on what you have done with drupal + civicrm + moodle. i suspect folks would be interested and potentially can reuse some of the work u've done


Anonymous (not verified)
2010-01-17 - 15:18

I am currently working with both charters school, virtual academies, and also a nonprofit for educational reform. I have used CiviCRM for nonprofits and do see CiviCRM use with schools. All 31 charter schools in Hawaii could benefit from this resource.

I have some time, a server, school data to use and Drupal 6 experience. Let me know how I can help.

Anonymous (not verified)
2010-02-14 - 06:28


I've been following your blog on the development of the school module with great interest. I have already started using CiviCrm with CiviEvent and Ubercart as a booking and student management system. I would like to find ways to also track day-to-day attendance and pull a percentage attendance from that.

In my school we run weekly training courses. The attendance and related payments are vital to track on a roling basis to see if all students are paid up and have attended the courses they paid for. Is that type of student attendance/payment tracking possible with the module?

I have some Drupal 6 experience and while I'm not a developer I would be very keen to help and give the module some testing.

Anonymous (not verified)
2010-04-07 - 17:00

I'd like to test. I'm an experienced developer and sysadmin. I am currently building out a school site in Drupal, and would like to integrate some of civicrm's features.

Let me know how to proceed.

Tyler (not verified)
2010-04-10 - 22:27

Hi, I am wondering when the school module is expected to be released and if our organization could be part of the beta release testing.


as described in the blog post. Please use the forums for support questions


Hello, I'm working with two local "public" school, and would like to implement the civiCRM for their fund raising/volunteering needs. We will also be using Ubercart for selling goods.

Also, I'm very excited about your SCHOOL module as well. How can I test this module? Where is the SVN?