We recently announced that QuickSchools now provides Single Sign-On (SSO) functionality via the SAML protocol. This means that for schools on the Google ecosystem, you can use Google SAML as the Identity Provider (IDP), and have it manage users centrally.
The SSO functionality is still in Private Beta, but schools can start using it at their own discretion. You will need to have the District (or Group) School feature enabled, in order to use this feature. We are looking for feedback to make the experience better. For more information on the new SSO functionality, you can check out this article:
As most of you know, our Online Forms App allows you to add Fillable PDF Forms to your online form packet. To further allow your forms to go paperless, the online forms also allows users to add their electronic signature into the pdf form. This is useful for situations where you need a contract signed by the students as well as by the school.
Setting up Online Forms Signature
If you have not yet installed the Online Forms App in your QuickSchools account, you can do so via our App Store — search for Online Forms and click on Install
After SVG has been enabled for your account, we can now start setting up our Online Form Packet. Please note that when configuring the Online Form Packet, enable the One Form per Child option. This will allow parents to send a form per child, and allows any mapped information to be automatically filled (i.e. Student Data):
If you would like to have the Attendance tab in the student record show attendance data for the entire school year, this is now possible (in beta only) thanks to several requests we’ve received. You’ll need to contact us to set it up (you can just chat in or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org), and we’ll be more than happy to enable this new capability.
Here’s a preview of what the attendance tab will look like using some dummy data:
We have a new feature in Mass Parent Messaging (still in beta as of Aug 31, 2015), where you can now specify your own phone number for caller ID when sending out voice messaging. This process does require that you verify your phone number, but once verified, all calls that you make will have your specified phone number, and when parents call back, they will reach you directly. Here’s how you set it up:
Go to “Parent Messaging” > “Voice Message”, and click on the “Change” link if you’d like to change the caller ID from what has been currently set:
Then on the pop-up dialog box, specify the number you’d like to use:Read More »
We’ve been building out from our Lesson Plans by Subject and Lesson Plan Dates updates and have some cool new views to share. These work with the Lesson Plans by Subject feature and allow teachers to view a long-term calendar of lessons as well as copy them forward from the school archive of past terms’ lessons. Here’s a quick look at the setup.
The Lesson Plans by Month view works a lot like the the Lesson Plans by Subject view, and even the Gradebook. Simply select a subject that you’re teaching and the lesson plans you have setup for the current term view will appear on their lesson date. Also, you can mouse over a day, click the “Add Daily Lesson” button to add a new lesson for that day.
You can drag and drop the lesson around to a different day, and right click to edit the lesson:
In addition, one of the coolest features of the by Month view is that “Copy Lessons” button at the top. It directs you to a wizard that helps you migrate past terms’ lessons forward so as to view and update lessons for a new term. From the wizard, you can select which term and subject you’d like copy forward from the archive.Read More »
We’re testing a new version of the Lesson Plans that can now be specific to subjects. In the existing QuickSchools module, you can create a Lesson Plan Set, which can be applied to multiple subjects across different semesters. But with the introduction of Lesson Plan Dates, we thought it might be better to simply link Lesson Plans directly to each subject / section (within a particular academic term).
This new Lesson Plan module will work just like the Gradebook and Homework modules. Simply select a subject that you’re teaching, and you can then immediately add/edit the lessons for this subject.
As a company that works tirelessly to provide a system that is simple, intuitive, and easy-to-use, it’s often difficult to introduce new features, without making it more complicated for the majority of our customers. For us at QuickSchools, it’s less about simply providing a feature, and more about providing a feature that simply works.
With that in mind, we have several features that are intentionally hidden, either because (1) they are in private beta (and thus requires more testing before it goes out for public release), (2) they are designed for a specific target market, or (3) they are too complicated to enable without the help of our technical support personnel.
One such example is our Reporting feature. We only recently introduced our new Report Creator app, which was in private beta for several months. Before that, we had (and still have) an internal report designer that is very complicated to use but also much more flexible for those more complex reports. The aim is to provide a capability (in this case reporting) that simply works for the majority of our customers, but still have something more flexible for those that need that flexibility.
Learning Management Systems (LMS) are a very different beast compared to Student Information Systems (SIS), which is what QuickSchools provides as an online service. Student Information Systems (also known as School Management Systems or School Administration Systems) focus on record keeping, and the administrative aspects of running a school (track student demographics, attendance, grades, fees, transcripts, etc). Learning Management Systems on the other hand focus on the delivery of content (or lessons) to students, and is primarily used by teachers.
There is a big overlap between the 2 systems though. School Management Systems are known to provide some level of LMS functionality, such as portals for students and parents to download homework assignments. Learning Management Systems too have been known to produce report cards, which has mainly been in the realm of SISs. But it’s really hard for any vendor or company to provide focus in both areas, as they are primarily different markets with different needs.
The large overlap between the two types of systems suggests that integration would allow schools to tap into the best of both worlds – so teachers can use an LMS to share lessons and record grades, while administrators can use an SIS to produce report cards and transcripts.
We announced last year that we now support integration with Schoology, which is an awesome Learning Management System in the market today. But Schoology is not the only LMS out there, and it does focus only on K-12 schools. And so, we’ve decided to introduce more apps in this area.
In the coming months, we’ll be providing integration to the following LMSs:Read More »
We have a new feature under development, currently available upon request in Private Beta. On the student record in QuickSchools, you can now tag students, and those tags will appear on the main Students listing. You can also search for students based on those tags:
This is particularly useful to inform users about important information regarding the student, like Peanut Allergies, Suspensions and so on. Once the Tagging feature is enabled, you can set tags for the student under the Student record.Read More »