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What’s New in the October 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 School Business Suite and this guide for the Student Management Suite. Both of these guides can also be found on SkyDoc.

Editor's Note: We now issue enhancements (sometimes even big ones) throughout the year in addenda, not just releases. We'll be highlighting more of these in the months between releases. 
Without further ado, here are some of our October highlights…  


School Business Suite

New ACA Portal

With the ACA this year, just knowing where to start is almost as important as having the information you need to track and report correctly. We've worked closely with many of you to determine what you need from us. The new ACA portal is a direct result of that collaboration. We've organized everything you need to know into relevant categories and created a library of video and written tutorials to help you through every step along the way.

Be sure to visit and bookmark the portal at your convenience. Please note that there is some critical information you should know before running your first payroll on the October release! Click the ACA Resources button below for more details.


Employee Replace/Clone

When it’s time for hiring, do you use the Employee Replace/Clone feature? Many of our district partners aren’t aware of this timesaving tool. Therefore, we’ve moved it to the Employee tab where it’s more visible and easier to access. We’ve also added more options to the function to give HR personnel more flexibility while using it. 


Portfolio Importer

With the updated Portfolio Importer, you can import attachments directly for employees or vendors. You can start by creating a document, such as an employee letter, in a program outside of Skyward. Then import it into the system, and attach the file to the corresponding employee(s) in Profile. That way, all of the documents pertaining to each individual employee or vendor can be found in one location. 


Student Management Suite



SpO2% Reporting in Health Office Visits

Nurses will have another statistic to report in Skyward when recording students’ vital signs. In addition to monitoring temperature, blood pressure, and heart and respiratory rates, nurses can now record the pulse oximetry (Sp02%) of their patients. Report printing of vital signs will also include this value.


Greater Accessibility of Positive Attendance Log 

The in/out log for Positive Attendance will be easier to access than ever before. The log has been added as a button to the following tabs: student profile attendance, attendance entry by date, and attendance entry by student. (Note: To access the log, users must be assigned to a security group that has access to the Positive Attendance Log.)



Formative Assessment Item Bank Updates

In the October release, the Question Bank will be new and improved, featuring more than 83,000 questions aligned to state and federal standards. On district assessments, academic standards and benchmarks will be displayed and selected together. The selection screen will allow teachers to view questions by academic standards, passages, or the questions themselves. The Quick Quiz feature will help teachers generate assessments with a few simple clicks. There will also be multi-series graphing capabilities and question and assessment reporting options.
In an effort to help ensure the fidelity of Question Bank exams, new security measures can prevent teachers from seeing the actual questions or answers they are selecting. Once questions are imported, teachers cannot delete or edit them – they can only alter the settings for how the questions will be used. 


LMS API with Canvas

Skyward’s Student Management Suite is now integrated with Canvas! This new connection will eliminate dual-entry for teachers. Contact us today to learn more about how you can experience the best of both worlds.



Staff Meal Payments through Educator Access +

This October, staff members will have a convenient way to make payments on their school lunches. With the new release, all staff members will have the freedom to buy lunch through the Educator Access + portal, regardless of whether their children are enrolled in the system as students.   


Section 504 IAP Cloning

With the October release, you will have the ability to clone Section 504 IAPs. Security has been added that will allow only users with a level 5 access to see the clone link.



Beta Version of New Mobile App

Our new mobile app will be fully released in February 2016. As of now, the app is available in beta. We encourage everyone to try the new version now, before the changeover in February. For more information and a video on the new app's features, click here.

We hope these enhancements will benefit your district and help you become even more dynamic, capable, and Skyward-savvy. We're already looking forward to providing you with many more come February!
Please share your questions and feedback in the comments below or contact us directly. We’d love to hear from you!



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