Makoa Jacobsen

Makoa Jacobsen LLC




Stack Overflow



Kula SIS, the Final Exam

I have been trying to create my solution to the SIS problem for quite some time, scratching and restarting, hopefully each time learning.

  1. Started out with KS Connect, a KS proprietary solution, that does exactly what KS needs.
  2. Contract with Academy of the Pacific, which afforded the first incantation of Kula SIS.
  3. Auxiliary billing system for Holy Nativity School called HNS Connect for which I had a grand vision.

...but the current occupation is as close as I have been to making this reality.  Small hiccup is that what I create is for Higher Ed.  But here's the thing...

Small schools, whether K-12 or Higher Ed, desperately need a good SIS and can't afford the big ones, which probably would end up not working for them anyway because of the systems' complexity.  I talked Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) into rolling their own since what they were looking for they were not going to find.  Conditions to creating included contributing back whatever we created to open-source.  Sounds good to me!  So the stakes are a little higher this time around.

I have something created that I will share shortly.  OCAC is using what I have now.  This coming week is the 2nd week of school using Kula SIS, and there are no burning fires. But there is so much more to do!

What the next step is still unknown to me.  Do we pivot toward charter schools, finally dipping down into K-12?  Focus on the smaller Higher Ed colleges and universities?  Form a non-profit to curate the software or form a for-profit entity to sustain it (the Drupal model)?  I'm hoping time will tell me the next step.  And how do I make the effort sustainable for me (the business side of things)?  Money does dictate how things move forward.  (And angel investors or anything along those lines is not an option.  Those options, in my opinion, are to take something existing and scale it, where throwing money at the problem produces a return for both parties.  This is nowhere near that.)

We'll see what life does though.  Maybe a curveball will get thrown, and I'm doing something completely different, and my solution never gets articulated.  This is the final exam.  If it isn't solved with Kula SIS I won't be solving this problem.  Regardless, you have the documentation of the efforts here.

Written on September 8, 2014