Weekly Schedules via Alternate Bell Schedule

If you’re using the Master Scheduler in QuickSchools, the Alternate Bell Schedule can be used to reformat the main Bell Schedule into a weekly schedule. This includes displaying classes that meet at different times throughout the week. Here’s an example:

In this example, Math, Science and English meet 3 times a week, while the remaining classes meet only twice a week. In order to produce a weekly schedule like this, you’ll need to configure a main Bell Schedule that contains all distinct periods, in this case 7 classes that meet twice a week (designated as “A” periods), and 3 classes that meet 3 times a week (designated as “B” periods):

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New Release – Jan 25, 2021

Welcome back! This is the first release of 2021. Here are the latest improvements in QuickSchools:

Master Scheduler

  • Bulk Create Block Sections (based on Lecture-Lab combinations)
  • Bulk Remove Block Sections
  • Ability to adjust target limit for Step 5 Load
  • Bug fixes related to running Step 4 with orphaned sections

Google Classroom Synchronization

  • Improved support for teachers to synchronize individual courses
  • Bug fixes related to Timezone and Scale Score Formulas.

Other General Improvements

  • Automated emails for Online Form Submissions when status is changed
  • Automated emails for Online Payments
  • Improve Notification features for Assignments and Submissions
  • Improve support for shared addresses in Admissions module
  • Improve support when taking attendance from the Attendance Calendar on the Student record
  • New Importer for Subjects/Sections-Based Attendance
  • Extend timeout for large Stock Take in Library App
  • Bug fix when a school within a group is suspended and archived
  • Bug fix for Temperature App
  • Miscellaneous improvements to Summary Reports related to Attendance
  • Internal monitoring framework improvements

Automated Emails for Online Forms

If you’ve installed the Online Forms App, there is a new feature to allow you to automatically send out an email when the status of a submission changes. Check out the new Mail icon on the Submissions page (similar to the Mail icon for Gradebook):

New Status-Based Email Notifications for Online Forms

When you click on it, you’ll be able to customize an email that gets sent whenever a submission is changed to that status:

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Assignments Flow

With the release of the new Assignments module (which is an improvement over the previous Homework module), we’ve expanded the flow for handling assignments over the portals in QuickSchools. Here’s a rough summary:

Posting Assignments

Teachers can now post assignments in real-time, or schedule an assignment to be published at a specific date / time in the future. This means that teachers can plan out and configure assignments for the entire academic term, and the system will publish them automatically:

Create Assignments in QuickSchools

When creating an assignment, teachers can specify if the assignment requires a submission, and whether the assignment will be graded. For graded assignments, a column in the Gradebook can be created and linked automatically.

Submitting Assignments

Students can very easily view all upcoming assignments. Assignments can be filtered by subject, and sorted by the column headers:

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Communicating with Students

With 2021 now in full swing, it’s important to understand how teachers can utilize QuickSchools to communicate and engage with students effectively. Here we highlight a few sample scenarios, how teachers can communicate with students.

  • Group Discussion
  • Discussing Assignments
  • Private Messaging
  • Announcements

Group Discussion

The “Class Discussion” feature (part of the “Homework” and “Assignments” modules) is a great way to discuss topics online. Only students enrolled into the class are able to post messages for any given subject:

Post Messages to Students via Class Discussions

As a teacher, you can also post a new discussion thread to multiple subjects at the same time using the “Also post to subjects” box. Simply select one or more subjects from the dropdown:

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2020 Year in Review

We’re now at the end of 2020, and what a challenging year it has been. As with previous years, it’s always good to spend a little time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, and revisit what it means to be a technology provider for hundreds of schools around the world. And we hope our efforts here at QuickSchools will continue to make a positive and lasting impact to all our customers.

Online Learning

2020 has been particularly challenging due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. With that, we’ve focused our efforts towards providing and improving our capabilities for Online Learning. This includes:

One of our new goals moving forward is to provide a simple and easy to use Learning Management System (LMS) that’s in the style and spirit of QuickSchools. And we’ve had a blast developing this feature so far with your help and feedback.

Students can submit assignments online, and discuss submissions with teachers

Google Classroom Integration

Of all the Learning Management Systems (LMS) that we readily integrate to, Google Classroom has received a lot of attention, due to its cost-effectiveness and robust application. We’ve added many new features to simplify the way grades are transferred into QuickSchools:

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New Release – Dec 29, 2020

This is the 17th and last release of 2020. Most schools will be on break right now. We’re looking forward to a bright 2021, with awesome new features and improvements. As always, your feedback is important to us, so let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see in a future release.

But for now, here are the latest improvements in QuickSchools:

Master Scheduler

  • Fix Department Constraints
  • Enhance ways for setting up Course Offering
  • New function to Lock All Sections in Step 5
  • Show Periods that have been restricted via Constraints
  • Set Student Portal Course Requests as INACTIVE by default, when an enrollment period is activated.
  • Improve wording of certain phrases

COMING SOON: Temperature App

  • Store student temperatures
  • Customize Health Screening questions
  • Works with externally scanner

Other General Improvements

  • Administrator can charge credit cards from Family Billing (See below)
  • Increase size limit for files uploads not related to email messaging
  • Bug fix when uploading multiple files with the same name
  • Improvement to District/Group School, to support more data to be copied over when students / teachers are transferred between schools. 
  • Improve support for Name Formats when enrolling student from Online Forms 
  • Report Creator Support for Subject ID (used for data exports)
  • Report Summary Support for Gradebook Total Marks Possible
  • Improve support for adding/updating subject attendance from the student record
  • Support links in template descriptions for Transcripts
  • Fix labelling support for Homework
  • Fix App Store error when loading reviews linked to a deleted user.
  • Various improvements to server infrastructure
  • Various improvements to the test environment
  • Security login improvement (login counter and timeout)

Charging Credit Cards via Family Billing

In a previous release, we introduced the ability for administrators to charge credit cards that were entered via the Student and Parent Portals. However, this feature was only available for schools using Student Billing. We’ve now extended this functionality to also support Family Billing:

This feature can be enabled when you configure the Fee Tracking module as an administrator:

Temperature App

In response to the year of Covid-19, we are preparing a new Temperature App, that will allow schools to quickly record and track student temperature readings, along with responses to health screening questions that can be customized. Here’s a preview of what the app looks like:

When taking a student temperature, you can use the Custom Fields widget to create screening questions:

More details for this app will be announced soon. Do enjoy the rest of your December Break!

See You Next Year!

Planned Outage – Jan 1, 2021

Despite our previously planned outage on Dec 27, we unfortunately need some additional time to complete some server upgrades. QuickSchools will be offline this Friday, on Jan 1, 2021, starting at 1 am US Eastern Time. The QuickSchools service will be offline for approximately 2 hours.

We hope all users will take this time for a well-deserved break, and enjoy a good start to the 2021 calendar year. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our support staff via email or chat.

Happy New Year!

Live Chat Closed for Christmas and New Year

Our Live Chat Service will be offline starting 4 pm US Eastern Time (EST) on Thursday Dec 24 in observance of Christmas. We’ll be back online on Saturday at 8 am EST. Please leave us a message, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can:

Likewise, our Live Chat Service will also be offline starting 4 pm US Eastern Time (EST) on Thursday Dec 31 in observance of New Years. We’ll be back online on Saturday January 2 at 8 am EST.