We understand many schools may face unplanned circumstances requiring closures or adjustments and it can be tough to unexpectedly face a changing learning environment. This document will review some options for changes to your existing setup in ISI.
In this Lesson:
- Attendance Setup
- Attendance Reporting for a Specific Date Range
- Running STAS (Student Absence Summary) for CALPADS EOY
- Harmless Grading for Secondary
- Secondary Report Cards in Portal
- Scheduled/Data Extracts or Custom Reports using "Is Current" Logic
School Closure - No Attendance Being Taken
To reflect school as closed so that Illuminate does not expect attendance, you can adjust your calendar to not in-session days. Here are the steps for reference:
- Delete any attendance that may have been taken for the closed day(s) in mass using Mass Attendance Updates.
- Create a new, not in-session day type with the name Emergency Closure or other name of your choosing. The steps for doing that can be found in our Create, Edit, Delete Day Types help document. Note: If you already have an existing not in-session day type you'd like to use, you can skip this step.
- Apply that new day type to the appropriate day(s) on your calendar(s). The steps for doing that can be found in our Calendar Setup help document.
Distance Learning and Calendar Setup
If you are going to take attendance for Distance Learning, make sure your calendar days are set with a day type that is in-session.
In the event you need to differentiate your Normal school days from Distance Learning days, you can create new Day Types. For example, you can create a Day Type called Distance Learning, set it to in-session, then set your Calendar.
- The steps for creating a new in-session Day Type can be found in our Create, Edit, Delete Day Types help document.
- Steps for setting your Calendar can be found in our Calendar Setup help document.
If you are not reporting attendance data for the duration of your closure, you may either edit your Reporting Periods so they do not include the dates of the closure, or you can run the Daily ADA for a Specific Date Range.
Attendance Being Taken
- If you wish to enter attendance for some or all timeblocks, add Timeblock Occurrences for the periods that will need attendance entered. The steps for creating occurrences can be found in our Create and Edit Timeblocks and Occurrences (Periods and Bell Schedule) help document. Note: You would not need to create new timeblocks if your new bell schedule is still going to include your existing timeblocks/periods. Only new occurrences would be needed to adjust which timeblocks/periods are available on which day types during your set times on your days of the week.
- If for any reason you are not planning on using existing attendance flags, you may consider creating new ones. See our Set Up Attendance Flags help document for reference.
- If attendance is to be entered in mass by admins rather than by teachers, this can be done using Mass Attendance Updates. See our Mass Attendance Updates help document for reference.
No Attendance Being Taken
- If you do not wish to enter attendance, communicate to your team(s) so that users will not enter/save attendance for the dates you are reflecting this closure/change. Note: If all of your Timeblocks have at least one Occurrence for at least one Day Type in your Calendar, and you do not add new Occurrences to this new Day Type, then attendance will automatically be disabled. If there are no Occurrences at all for any Timeblock, it's possible that Illuminate will show these Timeblocks as available for attendance for any In-Session Day Type.
Keeping the In-Session Day Types set on the Calendar will allow you to freely enroll/unenroll and/or add/edit schedules during this closure whether or not you choose to take attendance.
It would not be advised to edit Term Dates for the closure as it could affect state reporting.
If your district closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year and you switched ALL classes to Distance Learning, it is NOT necessary to edit all courses to reflect Distance Learning in Course Details for CALPADS submission.
Attendance Reporting for a Specific Date Range
If you are needing to run apportionment reporting for a specific date range, our Daily ADA report can support this. See our ADA Report help document for more information.
For guidance on how you should report attendance (whether to stay in session or close and not take attendance), if would benefit you to reach out to the state. Illuminate is a software company and can assist with set up in Illuminate, but the state would be the appropriate resource for additional guidelines on what is expected for reporting.
Running STAS (Student Absence Summary) for CALPADS EOY
If your district is closing for the remainder of the year, but still needs to reflect the same enrollment end dates to CALPADS, it is not advised to edit your term end dates. Because the STAS may be skewed if you run for the entire year, it is advised to run the STAS for dates from the start of your term up to the last day your district recorded attendance. For example, if your term runs from 8/28 to 6/5, but school closed for the rest of the year starting 2/28, then you would run your STAS file for the start date of 8/28 and end date 2/28 to reflect correct expected attendance days. Refer to our Student Absence Summary (STAS) help document for running the extract.
Harmless Grading for Secondary
During longer school closures, some districts may choose to switch to a Harmless Grading scale (Pass/No Pass or Credit/No Credit). Here are some steps for setting this up in Illuminate:
Creating the Grade Marks (If They Don't Exist Yet)
If the Pass, No Pass, or Credit, No Credit grade marks do not yet exist in your database, they can be added via the Grade List page in Illuminate.
Making the Grade Marks Available for Courses
To make your Pass, No Pass, or Credit, No Credit grade marks available for users to post/publish for students, they need to be added to the Applicable Grades area in Course Details for each course as needed. See our Create and Edit a Course help document for reference on navigating Course Details.
Our database team is able to help with mass updates to Applicable Grades if there are over 100 courses needing this update. To request a mass update for over 100 courses, please send a spreadsheet file with Course IDs and Applicable Grades updates needed to ISIsupport@illuminateed.net
Making edits to gradebooks via school-wide grade scales or categories or custom marks may affect historical gradebook data. If your district had secondary teachers following the traditional A-F scale and is changing to harmless grading mid-year, the best recommendation for least invasive workflows is to leave gradebook settings as they are and have teachers manually update grade marks to Pass/No Pass or Credit/No Credit via the Post Grades page. Note: Admins must add the grade marks to the courses at the Course Details level in order for teachers to see these grades for posting.
Assigning the amount of points that factor into GPA for Pass, No Pass or Credit, No Credit grade marks is determined via the Grade List page. GPA factors in Credits (set in Course Details) X GPA Points (set in Grade List) when calculating. Note: It is up to the district to determine what values they wish to attribute to grade marks and courses.
If you are changing your grading scale mid-year and wish to add notice of this on transcripts, this can best be done by following these steps:
Secondary Report Cards in Portal
If you are unable to physically print and provide secondary report cards to students, you may set up report cards so they are accessible in Student and Parent Portal. See our Create and Manage Secondary Report Cards help document for reference.
Scheduled/Data Extracts or Custom Reports using "Is Current" Logic
If your calendar is set to not in session, but students are still currently enrolled in the term as of today's true date, it's possible that Data Extracts and Custom Reports using "Is Current" logic may be affected. In this case, a temporary workaround is to set the last day of the term to an in-session day type until the school year ends. Then, if the last day of school should show as closed, change the calendar back to not in session on/after the last day of the term.
Custom Reports filtering on "Is Current" columns could be edited to pull in and filter on either Academic Year, Start/End Dates, or Roster Entry/Leave Dates (from Enrollment by Session, Enrollment by Term, or Class Rosters categories) instead. Custom Reports reference today's true date for "Is Current" logic, and this workaround is also used for Summer break when sites are not in session.