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Begin New School Year

Begin A New School Year

It is very important that you follow these steps as you get ready for the new school year. You can perform these steps any time after the school year rollover has been done. Please do not jump around on this list. Read through it carefully first to determine if anything has changed since last year. Remember, PowerSchool is always being updated and things may change. Once you have familiarized yourself with the process, follow each step carefully and check to make sure it is correctly completed before proceeding to the next step. If you don't, you will mess things up.

        1. Verify your Years and Terms are Complete. Start Page>School Setup>Years and Terms.
        2. Update Your School Information. Start Page>WELS Custom>Edit School
          Verify all of the information about your school is correct including prinicpal name and email address.
        3. Set up your grading bins. Start Page > School Setup > Final Grade/Reporting Term Setup
          Set dates for the bins. If your quarter ends on Friday, enter the date to end on Saturday and the date of the new period to begin on Sunday.

          Elementary Schools

          If your school has only whole-year courses, you will enter the quarters under the year only. This is the most common situation. Please notice those entries are below the year - not the quarter. Your set up must match the picture below or it will not work!

          gradesetup

           

          High Schools

          High schools generally need quarters, exam bins and semesters. Most schools have a partial week or week dedicated to semester exams. Set the ending days for your 2nd and 4th quarters on the last complete day of regular school. Set the date range for the E1 and E2 for the exam days. These dates are important because if teachers put exams in the 2nd quarter date range or quarter assignments in the exam date range, grade distortions will result. The example below shows a correct setup for 4 quarters, 2 semesters and 2 semester exams.  Some high schools no longer use quarters. Nothing should be in the quarters section on the bottom.

          gradesetup3

        4. Associate courses with your school. Start Page > School Setup > Courses

          Click the Manage Courses for this School link at the top of the page . Check the courses you wish to associate with your school. Do not create new courses. If you have no new courses at your school this year, click submit and you are finshed with this page. If you need a new course, please submit your request to the WELS PowerSchool support site.

          Homeroom contains all of the work habit standards and is used for all daily attendance records. Kindergarten homeroom is the only section you will need for kindergarten if you wish to use standard-based kindergarten report cards. Standards were adapted from St. Jacobi in Greenfield, WI and are comprehensive.

        5. Create new sections. Start Page > School Setup > Sections  (PowerScheduler users can skip this step. Your sections were created when you committed the schedule before the roll over.)

          Read all of this step before you do anything and then decide the best process for your situation.

          Add a new section for each course. You may have 8 sections of Social Studies. Give the section number of the course the same number as the grade level of students. In multi-grade classes use both numbers. (Social Studies in which the same information is taught to both 3rd and 4th graders in a class room could be Social Studies section 34). Multi-grade class rooms with different classes for each grade will require separate sections for each grade. (Social Studies in which the two different grades have two separate classes will require Social Studies section 3 and Social Studies section 4).

          Enter the information. Max enrollment is important for scheduling purposes. The same as course grade scale is the default (100-70% w/A,B +'s and -'s). Change it here, if you wish, to select one appropriate for your situation. All course count in GPA, Rank and Honor Roll. If you have classes that you wish to be omitted from this, click the appropriate exclude box.

          Another option is to Copy your Schedule from one year to the next. Start Page > System Administrator > Copy Master Schedule. Choose your target and destination years, click the confirm box and submit.

          UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHOULD YOU EVER COPY THE SCHEDULE MORE THAN ONCE!
          You can kiss a weekend goodbye dedicated to cleaning up that mess.

          You may alter the sections or add extra sections or classes using
          Start Page > School Setup > Sections using the directions above.

        6. Go to Start Page>School Setup>Years and Terms and verify those dates are correct for the school year. One last recheck is needed. Frequently the dates entered during your end of year process get altered when you copy the previous year information.
        7. Set up your attendance calendar.

          Click here if your school is an elementary school for calendar setup.

          Because the high school schedules can have complex rotations for schedules, no single explanation of the Automated Calendar Setup will work for every school.  Go to the page and click the help link to determine the best procedure for your situation.

          If you choose to manually enter the calendar data for each day of the school year please note the following:

          • There must be entries in every Day, Bell Schedule, check in the In Session box and a value of 1 or 0.5 in the Memb Value box for every day school is in session.
          • If the calendar is not completely setup, you will not be able to enroll students in classes.

           

        8. Check Your FTE
          Start Page > School Setup > Full Time Equivalencies (FTE)

          You must have an active FTE every year in school. Name it Students.  Mode: Daily (Elementary) or Meeting (High School).  Conversion: Code to Day (Elementary) or Period to Day (High School).  Description: All Students. All grade levels in your school should be checked.   The FTE may already exist after the copy process if you used it.

        9. Enroll new students in courses.

          Individually: Select a student. Start Page > Student Selection > Modify Schedule

          By groups: Select a group of students. Start Page > Special Functions > Group Functions > Mass Enroll.
          You will need to know the course and section number to do this. The middle box has no impact if you use course and section number. Proper syntax to enroll in ILHS 9th grade religion class Old Testament Section 1 is REL1001.1

          Dependent Section Enrolling

          The mass enroll feature is nice but I think you will like this one even better. It's called dependent sections and allows you to schedule your kids into their homeroom section and then they are automagically enrolled in all of their classes. It takes a little setup so be careful here. While you can mass enroll, mass unroll is not possible - every section for every kid is manual.

          How it Works:

          The dependent sections function is an optional feature on the Edit Sections page. Dependent sections are used to associate one section with another, requiring students to enroll in both; i.e. one section is "dependent" on the other. For example, students may be required to enroll in Reading Comprehension if they are enrolled in Writing Comprehension. Enter dependent sections in the course.section format, comma separated. The function is often used by elementary schools when students take a set of classes. If a student is enrolled in 1 of a set of 5 classes, the administrator can enter the 4 additional sections in the dependent sections field, so that when the student is registered for the first class, he or she is also registered for the other classes. If a dependent section conflicts with another class, manually drop the student from the class and add him or her to another section. This function does not affect prerequisites or graduation requirements.

          My example will be for 6th graders at school - obviously your section and course numbers may vary from my example. They need Christlight, Catechism, Reading, English, Spelling, Penmanship, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music and PE.

          Start Page>School Setup> Sections

          Click Homeroom on the left side of the page Select Homeroom section 6

          Look for the Dependent Sections Box and enter the following information: 271.6,401.6,701.6,141.6,121.6,601.6,501.6,251.6,211.6,201.6,301.6,611.6

          Those are the course.section identifiers for each 6th grade section: 271.6 is Penmanship section 6. Notice there are commas separating the sections and no spaces.

          Click Submit. When you enroll a kid in 1001.6, that kid will be automatically enrolled in all of other sections as well. The first page that appears is a verification. You must scroll to the bottom of the page and click Enroll Students in order to verify the enrollment.

          You could select the 6th graders, choose mass enroll from the functions drop menu and then enroll the kids in 1001.6. Done. Move on to the next grade level.

          In multi-grade classrooms you would need to choose a section other than homeroom for students in a grade. English the entire grade level might be a good choice.

        10. Reset Current Grade Display   Start Page>School Setup>Current Grade Display    Change back to Q1. current grade dis
        11.  Reset Quick Lookup Preferences  Start Page>School Setup>Quick Look Up Preferences

          Screen_Shot_2016-06-11_at_7.39.43_AM.jpg

          Change the 1st Quarter to Gradebook and all the others should be blank. Most elementary schools will not have semester entries on this list

        12. Verify Attendance Setup View the attendance setup manual appropriate for your school (Elementary or High School) and verify your attendance settings match the manual. Very frequently you will need to adjust these.
        13. Check Grade Scales in Your Sections Start Page>WELS Custom>Section Report    This report will check all of your current year sections and allows you to verify you are using your school's grade scale.  There is also a link to show you any sections with unassigned grade scales. Enter a support ticket if you want to have all sections changed to a specific grade scale. There is a View Grade Scales page on WELS Custom.  You can change the grade scales for individual classes on the Start Page>School Setup>Sections page  and choose your individual sections.

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