In Schoolrunner, "staff members" and "users" are actually two distinct things. However, it’s easy to overlook this distinction because they’re generally linked to and match each other. A staff member record is a reflection of what is in your SIS, and a user is someone granted login credentials to Schoolrunner. Linking the two allows a user to log in and record information.

Staff Members

Each time Schoolrunner syncs information with your SIS, it looks at the list of school staff stored there. The list includes teachers, administrators, support staff, and anyone else with an entry.

Schoolrunner maintains this list of staff members in its system. When someone is deactivated/deleted in your SIS, Schoolrunner grays out and crosses out that staff member (but still keeps a record of it). When a new staff member is entered into your SIS, Schoolrunner pulls that new record through.

Staff member records appear when you type a staff name into the Quick Search bar at the top of any page:

However, the list of staff members at your school is just that: a list. Just because there is a record of John Doe in the Schoolrunner system, it doesn’t mean that John Doe is able to log into and use Schoolrunner. That’s where "users" come in.


Only people who have Schoolrunner accounts can log into and use Schoolrunner. It’s not enough that John Doe has a staff member record in the system. After all, that’s just a record that he’s in your SIS; a piece of data, in other words.

A user account can be created for anyone with an email address (see more about user account creation here). A user has credentials to log into your Schoolrunner system and view information there. Most of the time, these credentials are given to the same people on the list of staff members in your SIS: teachers, administrators, support staff, etc.

The Connection Between Staff Members and Users

Being a user lets you log into and view information in Schoolrunner, but it’s still not enough to enter records and log data. To put it another way: users can look but they can’t touch. This is because user accounts can be created for anyone with an email address. This means a single person with multiple email addresses could have multiple user accounts, and allowing any user to record information could get real messy real quick.

In order to log information in Schoolrunner, a user account must be linked to a staff member record. It’s the staff member record that is attached to most data in Schoolrunner, which ensures consistency.

Most times, user accounts are created for the same people that are on the list of staff members in your SIS (and thus on the list of staff members in Schoolrunner). So if you create a user account for John Doe, you want to link that account, as identified by his email address, to John Doe’s staff member record. This is generally done automatically by the Schoolrunner system.

The same thing goes for all the other teachers and administrators at your school: their user accounts, as identified by their email address, should be linked to their staff member records. Remember: it’s the staff member record that Schoolrunner ties to data entry, not the user account.

That being said, it’s possible that a user account for one person can be linked to the staff member record of another person. This could be done intentionally if, for example, an intern or assistant is supposed to record info on behalf of a staff member they’re working under. It could also be done in error and if that happens, it would go something like this: John Doe uses his email address and password to log into Schoolrunner; he goes to the Add Assessment page and sees that Jane Smith is loaded automatically in the "Teacher" field. “Curious”, he thinks. He then moves on to the Behaviors page and records a behavior for a rowdy student, but sees the last name of Smith right next to the record he just created.

In this situation, Jane Smith’s staff member is erroneously tied to John Doe’s user account, which is why all the changes John makes are tied to Jane’s name.