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New Release: Sprint E1

January 22, 2019

Our first sprint of the year has been released. Here’s a list of the latest improvements in QuickSchools:

  • Simplified Scheduler
    • Performance Improvement
  • Master Scheduler (Beta) Improvements
    • Improved Alternate Bell Schedule Support (see below)
  • Lunch Ordering App (see below)
    • Display total by status for the month
    • Show orders as Unsubmitted / Pending
    • Fix for pages loading blank
  • Online Forms App
    • Improved SVG Support (for Cross-Browser Compatibility)
    • Filter for Mapped / Unmapped Fields (see below)
  • Parent Messaging Auto-Recharge (Beta) (see below)
  • Getting Started Page
    • Warnings for upgrading plan
  • Miscellaneous Fixes and Bug Fixes
    • Gradebook PDF supports Nickname (Beta)
    • Remove spaces when importing students emails
    • Warning when creating Standards with duplicate ID (Standard-Based Grading)
    • Improved support for Chinese characters in Report Card PDF
    • Sign-In / Sign-Out App tabs renamed
    • Attendance Importer Time Zone Bug Fix
    • Admissions Embedded Form Dropdown Fields Bug Fix
    • Library Members Dropdown bug fix

Master Scheduler Alternate Bell Schedule

The Alternate Bell Schedule in our Master Scheduler module now supports deactivation and sorting or periods based on the primary Bell Schedule:

Altername Bell Schedule in Master Scheduler

Altername Bell Schedule in Master Scheduler

Once the Alternate Bell Schedule is configured, the corresponding PDF that is generated for each student is also updated.

Lunch Order App Improvements

The Lunch Ordering screen for parents have been improved. You should no longer see blank screens. And, we now display totals along the top: Read more…

Learning Management (LMS vs. SIS)

January 14, 2019

While scouring the internet for a suitable system for your school, you may come across these 2 terms: Learning Management System (LMS) and Student Information System (SIS). The latter can sometimes also be referred to as a Student Management System (SMS). What are the differences? And what do you get with QuickSchools?

LMS and SIS actually occupy difference spaces in the market. But due to the nature of systems, and the tendency for schools to want to stick to ONE system/platform, the features of these 2 systems often overlap. We wrote about this a while back, in the article below. But we thought it’d be worth revisiting this topic, for schools that are considering either an LMS or an SIS:

https://blog.quickschools.com/2015/03/01/integration-to-learning-management-systems-lms/

So here is a rough comparison between the two types of systems:

Student Information System (SIS)

Learning Management System (LMS)

  • Focus is on record keeping (student info, attendance, grades, discipline, etc…)
  • Focus is on delivery of content to students (like homework assignments, tests, quizzes, etc…)
  • Primarily used by school administrators, but can extend to students, teachers and parents.
  • Primarily used by teachers and students, but can extend to parents and school administrators.

As mentioned above, even when a platform focuses on ONE key area/market, features often overlap. For example, it’s not uncommon to find an LMS that also tracks grades and attendance, and then produces report cards. You may also find an SIS that allows teachers to post homework assignments to students. But due to the focus of each system, report cards produced by an LMS is typically not as flexible as those produced by an SIS. And likewise, the ability to share content with students in an SIS is typically not as robust as with an LMS.

If you are looking for a single system that has both SIS and LMS features, here are some LMS features that QuickSchools currently supports:

The following LMS features are currently not yet supported in QuickSchools, so if these features are important you should consider a full-fledged LMS: Read more…

Program Attendance App

January 11, 2019

We recently released a new Program Attendance app which allows you to track attendance for before and after school programs, or programs offered outside of normal attendance hours. Schools can use this to track attendance for detentions, after school programs, clubs, etc.

You can check out the app in your QuickSchools account by going to the App Store:

program attendance blog

Learn more on how this app works here: Setting up Program Attendance App

 

 

Sign up for a QuickSchools Trial (FAQ)

January 10, 2019

If you’ve never tried QuickSchools, and have some questions before starting a trial, here are some common questions we get, and answers to go with it:

Is there a contract?

In general, we go month-to-month. So you can cancel your subscription at any time (no cancellation fee). Just pay for active students while subscribed. But if you prefer to pay for the year, please contact our chat support, and we can arrange something.

Are there any extra fees?

Extra fees are completely optional. Your basic subscription includes Live Chat Support which is typically enough for most schools. We have additional services for things that may not be readily supported with your basic subscription (like data migration, training, custom development, and in some cases PDF customization).

Where can I find your list of features?

We have a list of core features included with each plan on our Pricing Page. But we also have a list of apps on our App Store that are charged separated. New apps are being added to the App Store on a regular basis. So please do check that out as well.

New Apps for Sept 2018

New Apps for Sept 2018

What do I need to sign up for a trial?

Read more…

Simplified Scheduling

January 4, 2019

The QuickSchools Simplified Scheduling has been available for a while now. The version available now has not changed much since we ported from Flash to HTML5 back in 2013. But that just means that our feature set is quite robust for what it does. Here’s what the Simplified Scheduling looks like:

QuickSchools Scheduler

QuickSchools Scheduler

Just to run through some quick feature of this Simplified Scheduling module: Read more…

New Release: Sprint D18

December 31, 2018

Happy New Year everyone!

This is the last release of 2018, released on the last day of 2018. Here’s a list of the latest improvements in QuickSchools:

  • New easy-to-find “Scheduling” menu for Teachers (see below)
  • Paid Messaging Credit Notifications – Private Beta (see below)
    • E-Mail on Purchase/Addition of Credit
    • E-Mail on Low Balance (less than $5)
  • Importer for Attendance – Private Beta
  • Community Service App (see below)
    • New Option for “Internship”
  • Support for new Custom Usernames App (Coming Soon to App Store)
  • Subject and Subject Enrollment Importer (see below)
  • Miscellaneous Bugs and Improvements
    • Global Subject Setup search function runs faster
    • Private Messaging bug when Teachers select Parents to contact
    • Subject Enrollment bug for student dropdown
    • Report Card Email now shows the user logged in as Sender.
    • Reporting bug for Community Service App
    • Library App fix to include students from multiple sites if same branch
    • Improvements to Parent Messaging to address error 30007

Details to several of these improvements are detailed below. As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and comments with us over chat, email, or on this blog as a comment.

Scheduling menu for Teachers

Previously, if you needed to view the schedule for a teacher (for the Simplified Scheduling module), you’d need to find and open the teacher record, scroll down to the bottom, and select the “Scheduling” tab from the list of tabs:

Schedule Tab on the Teacher Record

Schedule Tab on the Teacher Record

To make things simpler, there is a new “Scheduling” menu across the top, that will allow quick access for teachers to review their current schedule.

Teacher Schedule under the "Scheduling" menu

Teacher Schedule under the “Scheduling” menu

Administrators can enable a dropdown, so they can view the schedule for a specific teachers: Read more…

2018 Year In Review

December 28, 2018

As we approach the end of the year, it’s typically that we all reflect on our accomplishments, and set goals for the new year. This past year has been significant for us, since we’ve put a lot of effort toward reimagining what the QuickSchools product and service can be for our growing customer base. And we look forward to making further improvements to continue our journey in making QuickSchools the best fully online Student Information System (SIS) for smaller schools.

Just to recap some of our current initiatives and improvements:

Customer Support

Live Chat and Email support continues to be a priority for our company. This tool not only allows us to help schools adopt our software, but it’s also a means for gathering feedback from our customers. By chatting with us, we get to understand which areas are most used, how they are used, and what areas need further improvements. We hope users continue to engage our support services for our mutual benefit.

Onboarding for New Principals

For schools that have been using QuickSchools for a while, but have had a shift in administrative staff, we now offer free on-boarding services for new principals and school administrators. This initiative has been rolled-out since October for a select number of schools, but we hope to roll this out officially in the near future. If you’re a new principal or administrator, please feel free to reach out to us.

Feedback Surveys

Feedback is an important element in understanding how we’re doing, and in making decisions on future improvements and initiatives. We sent out a round of surveys between October and November of this year to our long-time subscribers, and the response has been tremendous. We really appreciate the candid responses, and the genuine support for the success of QuickSchools. We’ll be going over the feedback, and making improvements in the coming months.

We’d like to thank all schools that participated in our online survey. Thank you from the bottom our our hearts! If you’re interested in participating in our surveys, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Website Improvements

We’ve made some general improvements to our website, to help navigate users to their correct login page. We’ll be making additional improvements in the coming months.

Engineering Transparency

In the interest of transparency, we’ve starting publishing our release notes since May 21, with Sprint D7. And this process has continued till today, with the upcoming release of Sprint D18. We look forward to continuing this effort, so schools can understand all the improvements we’re making on an on-going basis.

New Apps

We’ve released several new apps on our App Store, as well as app improvements this past year. Check out these apps, if you haven’t already:

General Product Improvements

We’ve had a host of improvements that have been released with our 3-week Sprints. These include not only functional improvements, but also infrastructure improvements for performance, security and high availability. And these improvements are all part of the services we provide as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider.

And for 2019, we’ll be continuing to make product improvements, with a stronger focus on infrastructure and performance improvements for Q1, and shifting back to product improvements in Q2 moving into the summer.

Here’s to an awesome 2019!