August 2017 District Newsletter
Graduation Requirements for Class of 2018 Finalized with Ohio's State Budget
The Class of 2018 finally has clarity for what they need to do to graduate. After a great deal of debate in educational and legislative circles over the past year, new pathways to graduation are now official for seniors beginning this fall. Governor John Kasich signed Ohio's state budget in late June, approving the state school board’s recommendations. Before the approval of the budget, this year's seniors had the following graduation alternatives available to them. Read more…
What it Takes to Lead a High-Performing School District
Wyoming City Schools, serving just under 2000 students, proves that small districts can achieve big results. Not only was their superintendent, Dr. Susan Lang, named the 2017 Ohio Superintendent of the Year for being an exemplary educational leader and innovator, but the district has also been regularly recognized at the state and national level for academic excellence. Read more…
Join the Discussion. Join ProgressBook Community.
Are you looking to get the most out of your ProgressBook experience? ProgressBook Community is the place where you can engage with other users, ask or answer product questions, and recommend product enhancements. For the 2016-17 school year, we are seeking passionate, inquisitive, and experienced ProgressBook users who would like to join our pilot site and provide feedback. With your help, we hope to build a powerful and engaging online community. Register today!
ProgressBook Fall Events:
User Group Meetings
DataMap: October 18, 2017
StudentInformation: November 3, 2017
SpecialServices: December 6, 2017
Visit with ProgressBook team members at these upcoming conferences:
September, 11-12, 2017 MCOECN/OESCA Connect & Collaborate Conference
September 14-15, 2017 OEDSA (Ohio Education Data Systems Association) Fall Conference
October 3-4, 2017 BASA (Buckeye Association of School Administrators) Fall Conference
October 9, 2017 OASSA (Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators) Fall Conference
November 13-14, 2017 OSBA (Ohio School Boards Association) Capital Conference
What's New in ProgressBook?
Check out the many enhancements made to ProgressBook for the 2017-18 school year. In addition to product updates, suite-wide functionality has improved as we find ways to provide users with a smooth, seamless, and integrated experience. For example:
GradeBook: Save Time Grading and Selecting Standards
Along with its restyled look, the GradeBook Grid screen has been updated to improve functionality and help teachers perform tasks more quickly and easily.
As before, you can add daily comments, add assignment marks, and mark assessments as late, missing, and excluded. However, now you can also right-click inside of a cell to perform these actions, as well as copy and clear marks, and view more details about the assignment. You can also filter the grid by student or student group to identify important information—such as missing, excluded, and late marks—at a glance. We have also added a new auto save feature, which means that marks are saved as you enter them.
Not sure if you are ready to switch to the new grid? Not to worry. At this time, you can choose to try the new grid or use the original (Classic) grid. You will find options on the GradeBook Grid screen itself or on the Teacher Preferences screen, where a new Mark Entry Options section has been added.
Other GradeBook enhancements include the addition of the new English Language Arts – 2017 standard as well as a restyling of the standards interface for better performance and faster results on screens where teachers can select standards.
ProgressBook’s Web Help is restyled and expanded to help you get faster and more detailed answers to your questions. As before, you can access help from any page in ProgressBook by clicking “Help” or the “?” at the top right of the screen. You can also now access training materials, such as videos and guides, on the “Training Materials” page accessed from the Table of Contents in the webhelp for each product.
Cross-product enhancements continue to highlight ProgressBook Suite advantages. For example, results from common assessments, a new assignment type added to VirtualClassroom, can be viewed in DataMap at subgroup and standards levels to help inform instruction.
StudentInformation: Get more of the Data You Need, Faster & Easier
The StudentInformation team has been busy working on updates to improve your experience and keep up-to-date with changing state requirements. Below are just a few highlights:
- A new Search All Years tab was added to the Advanced Student Search screen, allowing users to search for students across all school years, including those who have graduated.
- now displays the last five reports you ran. Users can also click Reports – Home to view all available reports based on their security permissions.
- Student Transcripts now include detailed information regarding International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses and their corresponding and End of Course equivalent points. The transcript includes the assessment type, date, and Grad Points earned for each of these assessments.
- A new Redesigned ACT import supports two options—state or independent—so that schools can distinguish between the testing types.
- Ohio HB410 Update: ProgressBook is working on EMIS reporting changes required under the new statute on excessive student absences and truancy. As soon as updates are complete, a StudentInformation release will be made available.
- New master calendars must have a Daily Start Time and Daily Stop Time entered to accommodate future Ohio HB410 updates. These fields are optional for sub-calendars.
- When adding or editing a security role, administrators can now click on the Edit Resource Permissions button to determine Ad Hoc Reports access. The Edit Permissions screen features a new, simple and clean design.
ParentAccess: Giving Families Access to Helpful Information
As ParentAccess becomes more robust, chances are that students and parents may be looking for answers to some basic questions. To help with that, we have added a page curl animation to the Sign In screen that will provide links to tips and information for using ParentAccess.
Districts also have more options for sharing ancillary student information via ParentAccess. With recent updates to the Schedule screen, you can give students and parents (based on security roles) access to transportation information (bus number, pickup and drop off times, etc.), locker information (including combinations), and homeroom counselors (if assigned). What’s more, the Fees screen now includes not just current year fees, but also outstanding fees from prior years.
SpecialServices: Managing Forms and Building Reports Gets Easier
An electronic signature feature is now available on 23 forms in SpecialServices, providing a faster and more convenient method of getting parent/guardian consent. Parents can sign their names using a mouse, tablet, pen, or finger, and they must check a Signature Agreement box confirming that they accept the terms.
The process for building and processing EMIS Extract files has also improved. When building a report, users no longer have to search for and download files to identify any errors for individual students. Any errors show right on the page and, after processing the file, you will see a message stating “successfully submitted.” In StudentInformation, EMIS coordinators can still import extract files from their computer, but now there is an option to import the file directly from SpecialServices.
VirtualClassroom: Improving Flexibility and Management of Content
Another enhancement, similar to Google Drive integration, gives teachers and students the ability to upload files from their Microsoft OneDrive accounts into VirtualClassroom. (Students can upload files from their OneDrive accounts through the ParentAccess portal.)
Finally, the math equation editor (WIRIS™) used to add math formulas to questions now features a handwriting recognition mode for teachers (or students) using touch devices.
We are pleased to announce a major enhancement that will allow you to build, share, and analyze district assessments. With the addition of Common Assessments as a new activity type, administrators and curriculum teams have the ability to create various assessments types (e.g. benchmark, grade, or course level) that encompass a wide range of question types and standards. From the District Library, teachers can import district common assessments into a course for delivery to students (but cannot add, edit, or delete content). As with other activity types, teachers can see item analysis results as soon as students complete the activity. In addition, common assessment scores can be accessed via DataMap—on the Student Roadmap and other screens—where educators can filter, sort, and analyze results by standards and other performance indicators.
We have also added features to make the JCESC course content customizable to help teachers edit and organize this content to make it their own. If you have access to purchased content and you are a course owner, you can choose to change the course name and add, delete, or exclude questions. You can also create folders and move content around in ways that make sense for your classes.
DataMap: More Options for Assessment Imports and Data Views
In addition, DataMap administrators can now import the AIMSWEB Plus assessment beginning with the 2016-2017 school year. These scores import into DataMap using the ‘provider website’ method, a cleaner, one-step integration process compared to file imports. DRA results and MAP assessments are also now available for import from their respective provider websites.
Due to the new Common Assessment assignment type in VirtualClassroom, these scores can be instantly imported into DataMap, where they are included on the Multiple Measure screen and display on the Data Points screen and Student Roadmap. Any academic standards linked to these assessments are tied to subjects when the assessments are imported, allowing teachers to measure a student’s proficiency on subsets of standards.
Save the Date: ProgressBook Suite Retreat 2018
Be sure to mark your calendars and save the dates for our biggest and best conference yet! The ProgressBook Suite Retreat 2018 will be held Monday, April 30 – Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in Columbus.
We are in the midst of wrapping up the 2018 conference agenda, so stay tuned for the line-up of speakers, sessions and training workshops! An announcement will go out as soon online registration is up and running.
Let's Hear from You!
Our goal is to provide relevant, useful software that our users want and need. To that end, we welcome your thoughts, questions, and feedback. Is there a topic you'd like us to discuss? Contact us today to set up a meeting or call.