Creating New Report Cards

Report Card season is coming around. If you’ve previously set up report cards on QuickSchools, here are some quick pointers on how to configure new sessions based on your previous settings:

Creating a new session

To create a new session, simply go to “Report Cards” > “Setup Report Cards” and click on the “Create New” link:

From there, you’ll just need to fill in the form. In particular, if you want to copy settings from a previous session, you can set the “Copy Setup From” field to a previously configured session:

NOTE: By default, when you create a new session, teachers will automatically get access to the session, in order to start filling in grades. Use the “Test Mode” feature to limit access to the report cards to specific users, in the event you want to make changes to the customization before allowing full access to teachers.

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New Release (Patch) – Oct 12, 2020

We’ve had a lot of usage with the Google Classroom Integration app that prompted an emergency patch that was deployed earlier this morning. We also included a quick fix to the Online Assignments app as well. Details of these improvements to QuickSchools are below: 

Google Classroom Enrollment Synchronization

The Google Classroom Integration regards Google Classroom as the source for student enrollment into courses. This means that if you enroll a mapped student into a mapped course in Google Classroom, the same student will automatically be enrolled into the same course in QuickSchools. However, for safety reasons, if you unenroll a student from a course in Google Classroom, the student will remain enrolled in the corresponding course in QuickSchools. 

This new patch now provides schools with more control over the enrollment synchronization behaviour. When installing / configuring the app, you now have two new options:

  • Option to disable automatic enrollment of students into courses
  • Option to enable automatic unenrollment of students into courses
New Google Classroom Integration options to control the enrollment synchronization

These settings are optional. We typically expect courses to be linked one-to-one, but with the auto-enrollment enabled, it’s possible to have a single course in Google Classroom linked to multiple courses in QuickSchools (i.e. for combined courses). But on the flip side, whenever a new student is enrolled into a course, you’d now need to do it twice, once is Google Classroom, and again in QuickSchools.

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Quickschools Basics: New User Guide

As with many other systems, there are certain aspects of Quickschools that all users need to be familiar with. Below, we share details useful to all new users, including:

Logging In

Before you begin using Quickschools, you first need to be invited to join the school’s existing account. Only school administrators will be able to send an invite, so you may need to contact the school directly.

The invitation will be sent to the email address the school has on file for you. The email will include the school’s unique URL, your username, and your temporary password. Be sure to save the URL as it will be needed to log in in the future.

The email will provide you with details on how to log in

After you follow the link provided, simply enter in your username and password to log in.

Enter in your username and password to log in
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Private Messaging: A Summary

Among the many communication features we offer within Quickschools, Private Messaging is one we expect to be increasingly utilized as schools transition to a virtual setting. If you have not used this feature before, here’s a quick summary on what it offers.

Private messaging is available on the upper right, next to your name

Before you begin using it, you’ll want to make sure that the feature is properly configured. Teachers and Admins can message each other right away, but it needs to be enabled for Students and Parents. These settings can be found while configuring the Parent Portal and Student Portal in the “Turn Features On/Off” page:

Configure the Parent Portal and Student Portal to enable Private Messaging
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Fee Tracking Features

QuickSchools has come a long way since our Early Days. So here’s an updated summary of what our Fee Tracking module can do:

The Basics

You can easily add charges and payments for each student. You can also generate invoices, which is simply a collection of charges:

We modelled our Fee Tracking module after Credit Card statements. You can designate a statement period (i.e. a start and end date), and the system will (1) calculate an opening balance, (2) calculate a closing / outstanding balance, and (3) display all transactions within the specified period. You can also print out invoices and receipts.

For the Power User

Be sure to turn on any additional features that you need from the “Settings” > “Turn Features On / Off” page:

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Developing New Features

Having served hundreds of schools over the past decade, and as we continue to serve schools worldwide, we get many requests to improve the QuickSchools product and service, from a variety of different markets and business needs. So how do we decide what gets worked on and what doesn’t?

Prioritizing based on Impact, Effort and Demand

First off, we have to make sure everything works, and works well, for all of our customers. So typically as we receive feedback from customers, we’ll work on features that have the biggest impact on our customers. This would typically include bug fixes, but also includes improvements to performance, security and usability. If something affects more of our customers, that’s what we’ll work on first.

The next thing we look at is the level of effort. Obviously, easy fixes tend to be worked on first, while harder and more involved solutions will take a longer time to address. We want to make sure any fixes we introduce do not create other issues in its wake. So complicated improvements will take longer as well.

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Temporary School Closures

The COVID-19 (or CoronaVirus) pandemic is adversely affecting many schools across the world. Schools are forced to adapt by implementing online learning solutions, to allow teaching to take place even while students stay at home.

At QuickSchools, we will be releasing new features to help schools adapt to this changing environment. In addition to improved integration to Google Classroom, we are also developing our own online learning tools, like Homework Submissions, and Online Grading. We hope to release these new features over the coming months.

But for schools who are unable to implement an online learning solution, and need to close their doors temporarily, if you plan to re-open in the coming months, please reach out to our support team about keeping your data active. Accounts that are cancelled or suspended are automatically removed from our servers in line with privacy laws. So if you cancel your account with us, and decide to come back a few months down the road, you will need to start a new account from scratch.

We understand that nothing is certain in these strange times. But we also have to be compliant with privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Data that is removed intentionally, in compliance with GDPR, is removed permanently and cannot be recovered.

We hope that schools can remain open despite these challenges. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help deal with these challenges.

Attendance Calendar for Holidays

In case you missed it with the release of Sprint E20, there is a new Calendar feature in Quickschools that is readily available to all schools.

As an administrator, you can now define the holiday calendar for each academic term that you set up. In addition, the feature can also restrict data entry for attendance. This will prevent teachers from inadvertently adding attendance data on days students are not expected to attend.

Here’s a quick guide on viewing and configuring the calendar:

  1. Under the “New Semester Setup” > “View All Semesters” menu, you should see a new “Calendar” link for each term:
New “Calendar” link when configuring an Academic Term
  1. Clicking on it will bring up a calendar for the specified start/end dates defined for the term:
Set up holidays and other non-school days on the Calendar
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2019 Year in Review

2019 has come and gone, with 2020 now in full swing. This is usually a good time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in the past year, and serves to remind us of what we’re here to do. And for us at QuickSchools, we want to provide an awesome Student Information System that’s a joy to use. 

So here are some highlights from 2019:

Continuing Priorities

The following items continued to be a priority for us from 2018:

  • Chat Support
  • On-Boarding for New Principals
  • Engineering Transparency
  • General Product Improvements

Support and service continue to be the central theme to our offering from year to year. It’s really the backbone to what we do. In addition to helping users understand the vast feature set that we offer, it’s also an opportunity for us to understand the difficulties that users face, and incorporate that understanding into future iterations of our product. Please chat it in with us, if you have any questions or comments about what we do and/or how we do things.

Check out our 2018 Year in Review.

Apps for iOS / Android

Due to popular demand, we’ve started building apps on iOS and Android for both teachers and parents. These are still in beta. Please check out our newsletter for more information.

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