The success of an educational information system--the processes, methods, and techniques through which educational data are collected, permuted, and dispersed--depends on key decisions made early in the preliminary design phase. These include establishing information-system policies; determining the accuracy, volume, and retrievability of the information to be maintained; and designing and implementing the hardware-software system. The sequential nature of these phases is stressed. Also important is the iteration and feedback between teachers, students, administrators, research teams, and the information-system designers. 17 pp.