Latest News
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 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 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 today for a price quote for your school