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What's New in the June Release?

Ray Ackerlund
Ray Ackerlund - VP of Sales and Marketing

The "What's New" series is meant to serve as a brief overview of some of the key features from our most recent release. For a more in-depth look at many of these enhancements, including configuration guidelines and step-by-step instructions, please reference this guide for the Student Management Suite and this one for the School Business Suite. Both of these can also be found on SkyDoc.


Student Management Suite

Test Bank Management Solution

We are pleased to announce our new Test Bank Management Solution, the latest addition to our Student Management Suite lineup. Districts adopting this solution will have access to the Formative Assessment Item Bank (FAIB) from Certica Solutions, Inc., a professionally developed item bank of high-quality, standards-based items. With this option, your teachers will be able to design a variety of custom classroom assessments based on one or multiple standards. At the district level, you can build interim or summative assessments to specific standards or to match pacing guides. As of the release date, the FAIB includes the following:
  • Items for Mathematics, ELA, Science, and Social Studies
  • Alignment with state standards (including Common Core) and Next Generation Science Standards
  • Over 83,600 total items with 55,000+ CCSS-aligned Math and ELA items
  • A variety of types, including technology-enhanced items
  • Lexile® measures for reading passages
  • Alignment with Webb’s DOK and Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy
  • QTI v2.1 validated
The FAIB is dynamic and is updated twice a year with new items, new reading passages, updated alignments, and other possible improvements to the item bank.

By combining your assessment and student management tools, you will benefit from improved efficiency (no need to import or enter grades from external sources), increased accessibility for formative purposes, and a student-friendly engagement experience. For more information on the all-new Test Bank Management Solution, contact us today.


Online Registration: Schedule Visibility

Online registration is a significant timesaver for parents and office personnel alike. With this enhancement, we are offering families even more incentive to complete the registration process for returning students by displaying their students’ schedule after a successful submission. Why wait for a schedule in the mail or stand at the school office waiting for a printed copy when you can take care of everything in one shot? Districts are encouraged to promote this feature to push for broader and more timely use of online registration.


Behavior Management: Classroom Referral Actions

Back in February, we unveiled classroom referrals as a way to handle behavior incidents in the classroom without office intervention. For tracking and follow-up purposes, teachers needed a way to track the actions they took in more detail. This enhancement will give teachers an opportunity to tie one or more actions to their classroom referrals. The actions will appear on the student profile, display on reports, and can be turned on/off in your district’s discipline setup.


Food Service: Cash Drawer Closeout

Whenever cash is involved, accuracy is of the utmost importance. Food service cashiers can now electronically close out their cash drawers at the end of the day, while administrators will be able to review, make changes, and finalize the closeout. This new feature will be linked to the Sales Activity Report and includes the date and time stamps necessary for precise auditing.


Electronic Device Management

1:1 initiatives are a great step for leveling the playing field and giving all students an opportunity to take advantage of digital classroom materials. It is more important than ever for districts to be able to track their devices in an accurate, accessible, and user-friendly manner. We have enhanced our Textbook Tracking feature to provide device tracking, including make, model, serial number, and tab number.
These records can be manually entered or imported, and attachments can be added to each as needed. With this new device management functionality, you will be able to view and run reports on all of your district’s devices in real-time so you'll never again have to solve the mystery of the missing Chromebook. 


IEP Management: The Clone Wars (aka Form Administration)

The ability to clone forms has been a valuable timesaver for years. However, too much reliance on the cloning feature can result in forms that are no longer compliant, especially in sensitive areas such as IEP management. With this enhancement, special education administrators will be able to decide whether or not specific forms can be cloned, thus ensuring more accurate data for those forms that require a little more individual attention.


School Business Suite

Note: If this section seems smaller than usual, it is because ACA compliance remains a major area of concern for school business administrators, and with good reason. Due to evolving requirements, a large chunk of our School Business Suite development time has been dedicated to improving and maintaining our ability to support your ongoing compliance.

ACA Import Utility

If you work in the HR department, you know that the thought of entering ACA information for all of your district’s employees can be daunting, to say the least. In many cases, we have found that districts are receiving this information directly from their insurance companies. In an effort to reduce manual data entry, we have added the ability to import ACA information from an Excel file, including Offer of Coverage, Safe Harbor, and Covered Individual data. With this utility, you’ll be able to bring your employees’ information up to date in just a few steps, resulting in a much easier path to compliance.


Prevent Zero-Hour Time Off Requests

When we heard from you that employees were frequently entering 0 hours/days for time off requests, we realized that we could reduce some back-and-forth between HR staff and those requesting the time off by simply changing the settings for this particular feature. Now, when the “prevent employees from submitting a Time Off request with a zero amount” box is checked, an error message will display, requiring the employee to enter a non-zero amount prior to submission.


Coming Soon (via addendum)...

  • Time-Sensitive Tool Tip Messages
  • Diabetes Log

As always, we thank you for the opportunity to continue growing with you. Please share your questions and feedback in the comments below. 



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