Closing Out the Year in Skyward: SIS Edition Jason Anderson by Jason Anderson Jason Anderson Director of Customer Consulting & Support Read time: The end of the year can be a busy time, but it doesn't have to leave you frazzled. With the help of this checklist, you can put yourself on the right track to a smooth end-of-year experience. Please note: This checklist includes only general considerations. It is important to be aware of any specific processes required by your state. For further reference, check out the Help Center for in-depth documentation of student processes, ranging from state-specific instructions to year-end procedures. Jump to the Qmlativ checklist. Jump to the SMS 2.0 checklist. Qmlativ Checklist Qmlativ Checklist + General Considerations 0/5 Complete all data entry and corrections prior to year-end processing. We recommend that you have two complete backups of your Student system prior to completing year-end processing. Keep one of these data sets offsite. In order to avoid an overflow of emails and reports, consider deactivating Scheduled Task notifications for events such as reports you’ve scheduled to run automatically. When running processes for Year End, always pay attention to the year in the upper left of the screen to make sure you’re in the appropriate school year. (You want to make sure you’re withdrawing students from the current year, for instance, not the next one.) Year-end utilities are usually run between January and the end of the school year, depending on their function. For example, in order to do Next Year Scheduling, elements may need to be in place in January. On the contrary, the Roll of Unapplied Payments and Unpaid Customer Fees for Fee Management will need to wait until the current year is over, so these may not be run until May or June. + Preparation 0/10 If your state requires specific reports for audit purposes, make sure you have a copy of them. You can run most reports for a prior school year, but if you have any that you feel can only run based on the current year, run and archive those reports. Run a current Student Rank if one has not yet been completed. Make sure this rank is updated to the Student GPA. If your preference is to do so manually, mark the seniors who are graduating on their graduation info tab, found under Student Profile > Grad Requirements > Graduation Info. (This is usually done for early grads along with the early graduation date.) If you choose not to mark the rest of the seniors who will graduate at the end of the year, the Mass Withdraw Student process will set these records appropriately. Note that scheduling processes can continue in the current school year, along with future scheduling processes, as long as the correct school year is selected when running them. Review students marked for retention/advancement. The Mass Withdraw Student process will review these records and enter a different withdrawal code, depending how they’re marked. If the Mass Enroll Student process has been run, verify that their enrollment records for the next school year are displaying the correct entity, grade, and graduation year. Mass Enroll Students. Run this step even if it was completed as part of Future Scheduling to ensure that all students have been moved into the next school year. If you have multiple calendars for an entity, make sure that the students are attached to the correct calendar after they have been mass enrolled. You will review this while in the future school year. Review staff records for the next school year and make updates for staff who will be leaving (inactivate) or no longer working in the same role (edit their function). Carry out supplemental year-end processes, such as Food Service or Fee Management. You can find the steps for Fee Management in the Help Center by reviewing the Checklist – Student Year End process > Fee Management. Complete any state reporting that must be finished prior to the year’s end. You can find instructions specific to your state in the Help Center under Checklist – Student Year End. + Year-End Process 0/2 When running the processes for Cloning, you have the option to put the system in a lockdown mode. If you do lock it down, consider sending a notification email to all users (found by going to Message Center > Message). Run the Year End Clone utilities that may not have been run for Future Scheduling processes. District Year End Clone utilities should be run first. Then you can run the year-end clone utilities at each entity. These may include but are not limited to: Discipline Codes, Family Codes, and Gradebook Codes of the clone processes. If you’re using Fee Management, you’ll need to run the Clone Fee Management Codes process in order to enter fees for the next school year. The Roll Unapplied Payments and Roll Unpaid Customer Fees processes will not be done until after the school year has ended. + Finishing Up 0/4 When the Clone processes are completed, clear the System Lock by going to System > Utilities > Clear System Lock. Reactivate scheduled tasks with the new appropriate start date. Go to Family > Entity Group Configuration and review the settings. Decide when to display Future Schedules and Grade Information. (You may not want to display this information until a date nearer to when the next school year begins, for instance.) Consider temporarily disabling the Teacher Access role if you do not want teachers seeing their classes and students prior to a certain date. After the school year has ended, you’ll need to mass withdraw students. This process involves creating the withdrawal record in mass, which can be done at any time as long as you follow your state guidelines. Some fields will autopopulate based on your school’s calendar. Students will have both an entry date and a withdrawal date representing each school year. The withdrawal code should be created for YE-Year End and should not be attached to any state reporting crosswalk (since the student will already have a new enrollment record for the next school year). When retaining/advancing students, you can use separate codes that signify their differences. Note that this withdrawal process needs to be done for all students. SMS 2.0 Checklist Student Checklist + General Considerations 0/5 Complete all data entry and corrections prior to year-end processing. We recommend that you have two complete backups of your Student system prior to completing year-end processing. Keep one of these data sets offsite. Consider disabling automated emails for events such as "anytime a new student enters" to avoid overflow of e-mails. When running the actual Year End Wizard, always pay attention to the year at the top of the screen to make sure it is the year you are closing out. Year-end processes can be run at different times for each entity, based on when they are ready to run. It may not be necessary to perform all the year-end processes for all entities. Keep in mind that District Year End (000) should always be run last. + Preparation 0/11 Save report cards to the Portfolio tab. Doing so will enable you to print report cards after the year-end process is complete. Run a current Student Rank report. Use the information to update the Student Master List. Mark the seniors who are graduating as “Yes-Graduated” and enter their graduation date on the General #1 tab. If you choose not to mark them as graduates, a default will be set during year-end processing. This information can be changed at a later date. In each of your entities that does Future Scheduling, complete the Future Scheduling process. Skyward recommends that you carry out an Actual Auto Scheduling run as well. Once these steps have been completed, all scheduling will need to be done in Current Scheduling. There is, however, an option on the Scheduling Entity Year Setup screen that will enable you to continue working in Future Scheduling after year-end processing is completed. It can be turned on after Year End/Start has been run and should be turned off again once the campus is finished with Auto-Scheduling. To enable this feature, choose the “Allow Current Year Scheduling” option. Mark students for retention. If retained students have been pre-enrolled at another entity as part of Future Scheduling, you will need to manually remove those records. If you do not, year-end processing will re-enroll these students at their current entity. Mass-add students to a new entity. Run this step even if it was completed as part of Next Year Scheduling to ensure that all students from a feeder school have been enrolled in the new entity. Also ensure that any scheduled tasks set with Mass Add are disabled. If your school has students on an AM or PM calendar, such as pre-K children that are switching to a full-day calendar, withdraw and re-enroll them to the new calendar. Switch any staff members that will not be returning to ‘inactive’ for the new school year. Ensure Grade/ Grad Year Cross is set for the new year. Consider checking how many years it is cloned out for. Carry out supplemental year-end processes such as food service, fee management, and special education. These processes can be done before or after the end of the student year-end processing. Complete any state reporting that must be finished prior to the year’s end. You can find instructions specific to your state in SkyDoc. + Year-End Process 0/6 Inform all Skyward users of the date and time when you will run the year-end process. Consider sending an email, using the district newsfeed, or putting a message on the login page alerting users that you will need to lock them out of the system while year-end processing is underway. Update the new year’s Calendar with attendance and grading items. (This can also be done after the year-end process is complete.) Enter the Student Entry Date (first instructional day) for the upcoming school year. If you are unaware of the date, pick a date prior to the first day of school. This date can be changed at a later time using the Mass Change Date Utility. Be consistent with the date you choose, however, because this utility can only correct one date at a time. Enter the Student Withdraw Date to be used when mass-withdrawing students (for example, 06/07/16). Once again, if you do not know the withdraw date, be consistent with the date you choose. Enter the Student Graduation Date on the General Profile screen. Be sure to mark whether students have already been tagged as ‘graduated.’ Complete the Year Start Utilities process. Search “Year Start Utilities” in SkyDoc for detailed directions. + Finishing Up 0/5 Unlock the system when processing is complete. Reactivate scheduled tasks with the new appropriate start date. You may also want to revisit other established dates to ensure they are correct. Determine the visibility of important information. Within Student and Family Access, set visibility for information such as schedules, homerooms, and teachers. Consider temporarily disabling teacher access if you do not want teachers seeing their classes and students prior to a certain date. If you are using the Future Scheduling tools, ensure “Use Current Year Scheduling” is enabled and that the correct year is selected. Use the First Day of School Checklist found in SkyDoc to ensure all items are complete for the start of the new school year. We hope these checklists will help you simplify your year-end processing. If you need further assistance, we're more than happy to help. Need a refresher on all the different support options available to you? Check out Know Your Skyward Support Options today! Follow-Up Resource: Quick Hits Want to work smarter not harder in Skyward? Check out our Quick Hits video series! Jason Anderson Director of Customer Consulting & Support Share this story: Want tips, tricks, and feature updates delivered to your inbox once a month? Sign up here!