October 2017 Update

During the fall SIS conference some information was shared to us about upcoming changes and curriculum implementation. Here are some of my notes. Timelines for upgrades to version 5.8 are at the bottom.

  • November 24 is deadline for Enhancement Requests to be considered for current budget year. ERs can go through Jennie Copeland and must be approved by the Service Management Council representative, Jarrod Bell. ERs are small functional improvements to the systems that are costed, budgeted, approved etc on a yearly basis by the Service Enhancement Committee (SEC). The SEC is a sub committee of the Service Management Council (SMC).
  • New GDEs in MyEd for class size and composition need to be investigated.
  • Student Learning Committee focus is Standards Based Grading. New videos available at http://www.mytrainingbc.ca/learningsupport/ . Curricular Competencies are available in the system for K-9 and require some minor setup at school level before they can be used. If you are interested contact Jarrod Bell. Of note Nanaimo has gone to SBG K-9.  For more on SBG see http://mctownsley.net/top-10-standards-based-grading-articles/ . We could request Judy Smith from MoE to join us for free for some more sessions on Assessment and SBG.
  • End of November we should see new Grade 10 courses in Provincial catalogue for planning for the 2018/2019 school year. Will need to check closed courses list for grade 10 courses that we cannot use in the future.
  • BAA course review mentioned. This has been identified to Grad Program schools and a review will start after an upcoming TBD DLTM.
  • Current Grade 10s and 11s will need to write the Numeracy Assessment. Grad Path info available at https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/graduation-info
  • Extension of implementation of grad program was based on feedback from a variety of partner groups.

Coming up in Version 5.8

  • Some of these will come with the December upgrade and others may appear in March
  • Next School Homeroom field will be coming in 5.8 and should be available for us to use in spring to not only set the next school (which we currently do), but what will be the next homeroom. This will be editable by the Next School. This will be helpful for all schools.
  • Course Nicknames will be usable in Planner *currently the course codes show even when a nickname is created for a course (MEN–10-003 rather than En10 B Block nickname that the teacher assigned)
  • Combined Classes enrollment totals will appear in Workspace and Schedule>Master in School View and Build. Important change to support schedule builders and counsellors.
  • Designation Tallies will show in Workspace. Helpful for counsellors and administrators considering class size / composition.
  • Categories side-tab returns for gradebook based on teacher feedback.
  • SDTest database will be upgraded Dec 1 @ 5pm pacific until Dec 4 @ 7am pacific
    • We will need to do some verification in SDT to look for potential problems and identify anything we find to provincial team. There is a thorough process currently underway provincially on the upgrade but we will have a look through at our usual processes in SDTest after Dec 4.
  • Production database will be upgraded Dec 15 @ 5pm pacific until Dec 18 @ 7am pacific (8am our time).

BAA Courses

The process for creating a Board / Authority Authorized course will be changing with the new 2018 Graduation Program to meet the “Know-Do-Understand” curriculum model.

As a result, Boards of Education will need to

  1. Review BAA courses being offered in the 2018/2019 year to determine which BAA courses are to be retired (due to new courses or an out of date course/not meeting requirements) OR are to be revised following the new “Know-Do-Understand” curriculum model.
  2. Determine a regular review cycle for BAA courses to ensure that their content remains current.

Ministry Documents have been updated to assist with the review and development of new BAA courses.

More will come on the process of updating and reviewing historical BAA courses. For creating new ones start with the documents above and contact the Director of Instruction for questions and eventual submission to the Board for approval.

List of SD60 BAA Courses (to be reviewed)


Practice – Unique Parent Emails in Contacts

Contacts that are parents should have unique email addresses or only the email address listed on the priority 1 contact.

Example of what should not happen

Jane Parent – 1 – Mother – jparent@someemail.ca
Joe Parent – 2 – Father – jparent@someemail.ca

In the above case please remove the email on the contact with priority #2. If they have a different email that is best to enter. If not leaving the second contact email blank is best.

The rationale is due to the Family Portal Account creation process. We use parent email accounts to create the login account for parent portal. The above situation creates 2 accounts with the logins are jparent@someemail.ca and jparent@someemail.ca2. The passwords for both accounts are sent to the same email address which causes significant confusion for parents.

Change the visibility type on an assignment

For teachers in schools with Family Portal available the visibility type on the assignment determines whether parents and students can see anything about the assignment.

To quickly change the type click on the icon in the column header in the scores side tab. You can also do this in the assignment side tab for a specific assignment in the field called Visibility Type.

Red no entry icon = Private (only teacher and staff with access to the gradebook can see)

Blue info icon = Public No Grades (details of assignment are available in portal)

Green Checkmark = Public (Student and Parents can see info and marks in portal)

Can a teacher see what parents/students see in Family Portal?

Teachers can’t see exactly the same thing that parents see in Family Portal but you can see pretty much everything they can just in a different location.

There is a video of the family portal at http://www.prn.bc.ca/myedbc/?page_id=486 that you can watch so you can see what the portal looks like.

To see the Assignments and Attendance that parents see, teachers have access to a Side Tab called Academics that is available under the Student Top Tab. The Academics Side Tab is enabled by a second provincial security role called Teachers – Academics Add-On for the information of district users.

Follow the steps in the images below.

Bus Students and Physical Address

Transportation needs to be aware of Physical Address changes for any busing student. A change to a physical address can remove a child from their mapping software and they need to be manually moved / replaced. A specific identified challenge is that parents often will identify their physical address with a road name that does not exist on the official PRRD road maps which are used by the transportation department.

The .Default Field Set has been changed to include a column called Bus Reason AM that shows if a student is Bused.

Please inform Transportation via Sabrina Emslie of Physical Address changes for Busing students.

Do not change the Physical Address for Busing Students.


Adding Flavours

Flavours allow schools to organize courses, name them and report differently. For Grade 10-12 courses keep in mind that the first seven characters are all that matters to the ministry in terms of trax and credits.

If a student has multiple courses with the first seven characters with the course code matching they would only get credit for the one course successfully completed with the highest mark.

A significantly different curriculum should use a different 7 character course code. Characters after the first seven are for school organization only.

Having said the above, to create a flavour at a school it must first be flavoured at the district level. Course codes look like the following

A Ministry course: MEN–10

A District Flavoured Course: MEN–10FLV

A School Flavoured Course: MEN–10FLVDRB

The first seven characters of a course code belong to the ministry. The next three are district characters. The last three characters are set by the school. A course must be flavoured at the district level before it can be flavoured at the school level.

District Flavours are often FLV (general flavour created so schools can flavour), FL1 (1 credit flavour), FL2 (2 credit flavour), FL3 (3credit flavour). Even though some flavours reference credits, always check for appropriate credits on the course. There are also some flavours attached to PHE courses like SOC or HOC instead of FLV so schools don’t need to create a hockey flavour or soccer. They can just use the district flavour for the course.

To create a school flavour

  1. Download the 10 character district flavoured course from Schedule TT > Courses ST> Options > Add (not pictured below)
  2. in Schedule TT > Courses ST > click on the course with 10 characters in the course code
  3. Options > Copy


    picture describes step 2 and 3 above

  4. You must use the same 10 characters of the course you are copying and add 1 to 3 more characters that make sense for your context.
  5. Add a description to the copied course in the field called Flavour (required).

    picture describes step 4 and 5 above

    picture describes step 4 and 5 above

  6. Next go back to the course list, click on the new 13 character course code you have just created and update the
  7. DONE!