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We are proud to announce Version 16 of Surfside Lighthouse. Lighthouse continues to set the standard for affordable, easy-to-use student information systems. Version 16 includes many features requested by users over the past year.

Some of the features of Version 16 include:
  • Updated Screen Fonts and Design - Lighthouse and the teacher client now utilize the best screen fonts from the latest Windows operating systems, which greatly improves readability on screen displays. Every screen has been reworked to accommodate today’s higher screen resolutions, add more space between elements, and accommodate the new font characteristics. Over 400 screens were re-designed!
  • Spell Check Improvements - The various screens in Lighthouse that support spell checking have been improved to offer more accurate suggestions and generally perform better and more reliably.
  • SQL Server Client Support - Lighthouse and the Teacher Client include support for connection to a database stored on a SQL Server. SQL Server allows for true client/server database access, which provides increased efficiency, speed and reliability. New in Version 16 is support for SQL Native Client 11.0.
  • Improved Date Control - All date fields in Lighthouse have been replaced with a new version that is more intuitive and simple to use. You can navigate between the day, month and year fields by using the TAB key, or click with the mouse and use the new “spin” controls to make adjustments. The dropdown date picker lets you quickly select a valid date, while hand typing a date feels easier and more accurate than ever before!
  • Class Attendance Enhancements The Class Attendance system in Lighthouse was upgraded to support a new “school activity” categorization additional to the existing Present, Tardy and Absent statuses. A student marked as “school activity” is considered Present for the period. Having its own designation promotes consistency in how that particular event is recorded. Teachers and the office may also run searches and reports showing a breakdown of school activity and other statuses.
  • Installer and Update Availability Improvements The main Surfside Lighthouse and teacher client now check the Internet for product updates each time you launch the program. If an update is available a message will be displayed. The update and installation procedures have been re-worked to function more smoothly and reliably across a wider range of system and security configurations.
  • More to come… - As always, we continue to add features and improvements to Lighthouse on a regular basis. We have many exciting additions planned for Version 16 in upcoming months, all available as free update downloads to V16 owners.
We are proud to announce Version 18 of School Ledger. In addition to new features suggested by users over the past year, Version 18 introduces many enhancements including enhanced account entry display, new and improved data entry screens, multiple advisors per account, several efficiency enhancement, and more.

Some of the features of Version 18 include:
  • Updated Screen and Printer Fonts - School Ledger now utilizes the best screen and printer fonts from the latest Windows operating systems, which greatly improves readability on screen displays and printed reports. Every screen has been reworked to accommodate today’s higher screen resolutions, add more space between elements, and accommodate the new font characteristics. In additional, the text size is now adjustable on most “register” displays -- such as the checkbook, ledger, receipt and purchase order screens – so you can find the perfect size for maximum readability!
  • Improved Date Control - All date fields in School Ledger have been replaced with a new and improved version that is more intuitive and simple to use. You can navigate between the day, month and year fields by using the TAB key, or click with the mouse and use the new “spin” controls to make adjustments. The dropdown date picker lets you quickly select a valid date, while hand typing a date feels easier and more accurate than ever before!
  • New and Improved “Details” Screen - When viewing the “details” of a given transaction from the checkbook, ledger, purchase order or receipt list, School Ledger has always displayed important information such as its amount, status, user name, date edited and many other pieces of data. In this new version you get all of that same information (plus more of it), but the real benefit comes with the new “related transactions”. This feature shows all transactions that relate to the selected entry, such as the originating purchase order and all ledger activity for a given checkbook entry. The user can then “drill up” or “drill down” to the related transactions but double-clicking to view its details. If you find you need to see the transaction in its original register just click the Goto Item button to jump right to it.
  • Cash Counter - The Cash Counter function has long been available by clicking the small “…” button when entering receipts, but due to its popularity, it has now been added directly to the toolbar so that it can be used most any time.
  • Auto-Increment Transaction Number Improvements - A recent addition to School Ledger, the “auto-increment transaction number” option was a useful feature that saved a little bit of time when entering new transaction. However, it would also increment check numbers, which caused many users to turn off the feature. This new version now uses a smarter system to increment only those transaction numbers that one would typically want to increment.
  • Additional Options for Detailed Check Stubs - When printing checks, the detailed stub now has the option of including the full account name and allowing long text to wrap to multiple lines. These options help make the stub easier to read and provides a better paper trail.
  • Improved Advisor Selection - When creating a purchase order, the selection of an advisor previously required choosing a name from the drop-down list. While this worked, it could be tedious with a large number of advisors and it took the users hands away from the keyboard. The new advisor selection in Version 18 allows the user to type a couple characters of a name to find a matching advisor. It is also now possible to add a new advisor simply by typing a new name into the box.
  • Improved Transfer Safeguards - When transferring funds a warning is now presented if the source and target accounts are the same, or if the amount is $0.00. This warning will help prevent some common data entry errors during the transfer process and help ensure accuracy.
  • Enhanced Amount Allocation Entry Many data entry screens in School Ledger support allocating an amount over multiple line items, with each line item having a “memo” or “explanation” text field that defaults to the text defined at the top of the form. With this upgrade, any changes made to the overall “memo” or “explanation” text will automatically update each line item that contains that text, saving time and data entry mistakes.
  • Purchase Order Number Safeguards - When changing the starting purchase order number, additional checks ensure that the new purchase order number does not conflict with existing, historical purchase order numbers that are saved and tracked by School Ledger.
  • Many Additional Features and Fixes - Just about every screen in School Ledger was visited during Version 18’s upgrade cycle. In addition to the primary features listed above many additional tweaks and fixes were made to many parts of the program. And as always we will continue to make improvements and post updates throughout the life of Version 18.
We are pleased to report that Surfside Lighthouse continues to support "New Jersey Smart" electronic reporting for schools in New Jersey. The NJSMART export has been available free to current version users of Surfside Lighthouse since Version 4.

Lighthouse is a comprehensive and tightly integrated student information system for your school.  From student demographics, to schedules, grades, attendance, discipline, transcripts, counselor contacts and more, Lighthouse provides all the features you need.
We are pleased to introduce our new teacher gradebook for Surfside Lighthouse. The gradebook is available right now.

Surfside Lighthouse gradebook is an full-featured teacher gradebook companion for Surfside Lighthouse. This easy-to-use gradebook system offers the ease of use that Surfside customers have come to expect at a most affordable Surfside price.

The Surfside Lighthouse gradebook is designed to mimic a standard pen-and-paper gradebook and track student grades across an entire school year. Using an industry standard look and feel, teachers can start using the program immediately and be proficient in a very short time. Powerful tools are available to track a student's performance and produce professional quality reports quickly and easily.
March 27, 2012
We are delighted to announce the continued availability of web-based training for our full line of school administrative software.

Through "Surfside Academy" and "Heritage Academy" we have offered personalized training for many years. These sessions required travel to our Cape Cod training facility. With school budgets tighter than ever, we decided to make the same training experience available over the Internet.

Two Kinds of Seminars

Traditional Seminars - Users of Surfside Lighthouse or School Ledger-Report System may sign up for school-specific training sessions where you get to set the agenda and will have exclusive access to our training staff during your seminar. These sessions may take place at the participants' offices or you may gather your staff in a central office conference room and share the training experience as a group. Either way, it's the next best thing to travelling to Cape Cod and working in person with our staff.

Topical Seminars - Through the school year we will email current users of Surfside Lighthouse and School Ledger with information about "mini-courses" we offer o­n specific topics. These seminars will last approximately thirty minutes and will cover a topic of interest to most users at a specific time of year. For example, in mid-March we might offer a program on "starting to schedule for next year" or in August we might run a seminar on "setting up attendance for the new year". Tuition for these mini-seminars is quite reasonable. Tution is free to IC Gold subscribers.

Contact sales@surfsidesoftware.com to be added to the email broadcast list for Surfside and Heritage topical web seminars or to arrange a half-day, school-specific class for your staff.
March 27, 2012
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) initiative strives to ensure that all children receive a high quality education so that no child is left behind.

Achieving this goal requires the support of many parties, including state and local agencies, school districts, and yes, even your software vendors. We are proud to include in our Lighthouse school administrative software the fine degree of reporting necessary to help support this goal.
March 27, 2012
Here at Surfside we believe that every school deserves the best of administrative software - no matter what your size or budget. Schools with fewer than 300 students are eligible for very special "small school" pricing. Call 800-942-9008 ext. 110 or email sales@surfsidesoftware.com today for a price quote for your school