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We are proud to announce Version 15 of Surfside Lighthouse. Lighthouse continues to set the standard for affordable, easy-to-use student information systems. Version 15 includes many features requested by users over the past year.

Some of the features of Version 15 include:
  • User-Definable Student Data Tabs - Far and away our most highly requested feature, the Student List now has the ability to choose which data fields to display, organize them into logical groupings, change their order, and more! Using this system users can create tabs to contain logical sets of data fields, such as a tab with fields for new students, a tab containing only the most common data entry fields, or one with only those fields pertinent to the athletic director.

    Within each tab fields can be added, removed and rearranged. These tabs support full editing ability including cut / copy / paste, multi-level undo, and a “lookup” function to allow quick and consistent data entry and by presenting a list of values contained in a given field. A “locate” feature lets you jump to the original tab that contains the selected field (i.e. the State ID field is located in the Demographics tab). And finally, a “List” feature takes all of the fields contained in the selected tab and presents them in an editable multi-student “spreadsheet” view in order to quickly and easily edit and compare data for multiple students at once.

    Each Lighthouse user account manages their own tab and field definitions, so each user can maintain his or her own set of fields no matter which networked computer they are using. A virtually unlimited number of tabs can be created, and each tab can contain as many data fields as desired. The same data field can be added to multiple tabs if desired, so the “City” field could be located in a “Contact Information” tab and also a “New Student Fields” tab.

  • Enhanced “List” Displays - The list of students in the Student List, and the list of courses in the Course List, were both enhanced to provide additional functionality and enhance the user interface.

    Both lists now support “back” and “forward” functionality allowing quick and convenient access to previously viewed entities, and both lists have had its toolbar redesigned for more intuitive and convenient access to its commands.

  • Teacher Client Enhancements - The Teacher Client now has the ability to “copy” data that is displayed for a student. This allows a teacher to quickly and easily copy one or more pieces of information they are viewing, such as to copy an email address for and paste into their e-mail client, or copy a phone number and paste it into an Excel spreadsheet they are creating.

  • Billing System Enhancements - The billing system has seen a tremendous number of improvements meant to present data in a more clear and consistent manner.

    Each invoice can now be assigned a “category”, and a new supporting “receivables by category” report has been added to allow viewing of receivables totaled for each category in addition to by student. Unapplied credits are now presented in a more consistent fashion both on screen and on reports, and statements can now be suppressed for students with a zero balance, even if there is activity within the reporting dates.

  • 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 15 in upcoming months, all available as free update downloads to V15 owners.
We are proud to announce Version 17 of School Ledger. In addition to new features suggested by users over the past year, Version 17 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 17 include:
  • Enhanced account entry display – When entering account numbers in the various data entry forms of School Ledger, the selected account now shows its ending balance. If the ending balance is negative, the account text is displayed in red.
  • New and Improved Data Entry Screens - Many of the data entry screens were redesigned and are now resizable. They also scale to larger screen sizes. The result is more room for memo field text, more line items can be seen at a time and there is more room to see the newly added account balances.
  • Edit Vendor Record from Selection Screens – On data entry screens where vendors are selected – such as purchase orders and checks – V17 adds a new “edit vendor” button that allows the selected vendor’s information to be changed on the fly, without requiring the user to cancel the current process or remember to modify the data at a later time. This is especially useful for processing address and contact person changes.
  • Multiple Advisors per Account – A single account may now have a primary advisor and as many secondary advisors as desired. When preparing fund reports grouped by advisors, all accounts to which an advisor is assigned will be included and printed or emailed to that advisor.
  • Purchase Order ‘Details View’ - When viewing the purchase order list, a user may now right-click on an individual purchase order and choose “Details” to view information such as the date the PO was recorded, whether it was edited and the user name involved.
  • Easily Modify Report Settings - A new “change report settings’ was added to the Print Preview window. Click this button to re-display the report dialog window with the settings used to generate the just-previewed report. The settings may then be modified and the report quickly re-generated.
  • Export to Excel - All reports now have an “Export to Excel” button on the report dialog screen.
  • New “Date” Setting for Reconciliation Report Signature Lines - The text “Date” now appears by default on the signature line of the reconciliation report. This setting may be turned off or on using Preferences.
  • PO Backdating Audit Tool - A new audit tool can find purchase orders that were back-dated or post-dated. As with the other audit tools in School Ledger, there are settings to control the search parameters. The results may be viewed or printed.
  • Command Line Program Registration - A new installation of School Ledger can now be registered with a command line switch of /REG. This new switch, along with the /S switch on the installer for a “silent install”, allows centralized installation of the software.
  • RSS Feed for Maintenance Updates - Users may now subscribe to our RSS news feed and be notified when we publish a maintenance update for School Ledger. The feed URL is: http://www.surfsidesoftware.com/feed/schoolledger
  • Billing System – Coming in an early maintenance update - We are preparing a simple billing and accounts receivable system for Version 17. It won’t be in “Release Zero” of V17 but will be added in an early maintenance update at no additional charge.
    Many school bookkeepers are tasked with billing for facilities use and various other recurring and non-recurring billable events. Based on the tuition billing module from our Surfside Lighthouse student information system, the billing function will include:
    • Invoicing – Prepare basic invoices for individuals or groups. Invoices are stored for later retrieval and may be edited or voided as needed.
    • Receivables Tracking – Track your accounts receivable and send statements for unpaid balances.
    • Payment Posting – Post payments that you receive and have them appear in your un-deposited funds when you next make a bank deposit
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