Skyward Updates – Winter 2017 Skyward Updates – Winter 2017

Skyward Updates – Winter 2017

by Leslie Strong
Leslie Strong Leslie Strong Director of Product Owners
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The Skyward Updates series offers a snapshot of the key features we’ve recently released and how they’ll help you work smarter. This article features Business and Student updates for both SMS 2.0 and Qmlativ. Read on, or jump right to the section that matters most to you:
For a more in-depth look at all enhancements, including configuration guidelines and step-by-step instructions, please reference the SMS 2.0 guides on SkyDoc (Business and Student) or look up any of the Qmlativ features in our Help Center.


SMS 2.0—Business

Additional Pay Records Account Masking

Chances are, your district enters various kinds of additional pay records into Employee Management. These amounts may be hourly, daily, or overtime rates, or another form of additional payment. Previously, account distribution always pulled these funds from each staff member’s main assignment. But we realize this is not always the way your district wants to handle these payments. What if you prefer to expense staff members’ overtime, for instance, separate from their main pay?
With the Account Masking enhancement, you can. You now have the flexibility to expense payments in one of three ways:
1. Pull payments from the main assignment (the way the system has always run).  
2. Pull payments from the assignment and overlay specific values.
3. Use a totally separate account distribution from the assignment.
With this enhancement in place, you’ll now be able to take full advantage of the additional pay code feature.


Vendor Profile Cash Receipt Tab

Say a question comes up about a payment received from a vendor—when did they make the payment? How much was it for? You can now look up the vendor and review the receipts that have been entered into the system in a snap.
Instead of running a report of receipts to the vendor or looking up the information by posting date or receipt number, you can simply take a look at the new tab in Vendor Profile which displays any receipts associated with that vendor. Voila!    


Mobile App and Time Off "Sub Need"

Does your district use Frontline's Absence Management (formerly Aesop) to get substitutes in place for absent teachers? Great news – you can now submit time-off and substitute requests straight from your mobile device! Just like on a laptop or desktop computer, now when you enter your time-off request via the mobile app, you’ll be routed directly to Frontline to complete a sub request as well. We hope you’ll enjoy freedom to complete this task on the go!



Account Merge

Say you find yourself in one of these situations:
  • Your state makes changes to the state’s account structure
  • An auditor informs your district that you’ll need to make changes in order to comply with regulations
  • Your district decides you want to change the way you code things to different accounts
How will you move your historical accounting records from the old account to the new one? The new Account Merge process!
Account Merge is a handy tool that helps you merge all of an account’s history from an old account into a new one. The new account can either be an existing account in your system or a brand new one that doesn’t yet exist. This tool will save you a lot of time and make the process of merging accounts significantly easier.


Supplemental Pay

Do you wish it was easier to break down employees’ contractual wages into their base salaries plus any supplemental wages they receive? Turn to the Supplemental Pay feature. Use this tool to keep record of additional hourly, daily, and annual amounts added to an employee’s contract, as well as any incentivized/performance wages.  


Asset Management

Isn't it a hassle to keep track of data on your cars, technology, buildings, and other assets? We think so too. That’s why we created the all-new Asset module.
Want to add a new purchase to your list of assets? You can pull this information straight from Purchasing. The Preliminary Asset feature will automatically create a new asset based on information pulled from your corresponding Purchase Order. Wondering who is using a set of Chromebooks? Use the module to look up assets you’ve lent out to employees. Looking to automate asset depreciation calculations? The Asset module can do that, too.

SMS 2.0—Student

New Standards Gradebook Calculation Options

We’ve made some exciting enhancements to the Standards Gradebook! You can now calculate grades using the Decaying Average option. Decaying average puts more weight on students’ most recent scores than previous scores they earned. It is used to reflect that students’ most recent work is a stronger indicator of their current knowledge level than scores they earned earlier in the term.

Another new Standards Gradebook option is the ability to calculate grades on a point-based scale, rather than one that is percentage-based. With this setup, you’ll be able to average point-based grades to get subject and skill grades. For example, you can choose to base calculations on a 4- or 5-point rubric scale.


Mobile Conference Scheduling 

All areas of conference scheduling have gone mobile: Parent/Teacher, Scheduling Team, and General Conferences! Gone are the days of needing desktop computers to schedule conferences. Now parents can use the mobile app to view, schedule, or cancel their conference time slots. Features are in place to add these conference times to personal calendars and to create alerts for families and staff when a conference is scheduled or cancelled so everyone can stay in the loop.


Mobile Student ID Cards

What’s one thing students are never without? Their cell phones. We’ve harnessed the power of these devices to make sure students also never find themselves without their ID cards. The configuration options for mobile ID cards are available in Student Access in Entity Configuration. Here you can determine which fields will appear on the card, such as a student’s name, photo, grade level, and school. You can also choose which type of student ID number will be used to generate the barcode, so your lunch line processes and positive attendance devices will continue to work seamlessly once the cards are activated. Want to start by trying it out with only a small group of kids? No problem! This feature can be turned on universally, or on an individual basis, giving you total control.



Canned Report Cards, Transcripts, and Attendance Letters

Ready to go! That’s the status of these report cards, transcripts, and attendance letters. You can take them as they are, personalize them to fit your district, then use and print them without ever touching the manual report creator. These documents can be used by all states and grade levels.


School Pathing

The School Path feature can help with a host of tasks. During registration, you can use it to mass assign students to appropriate schools based on their grade levels, home addresses, and any special circumstances. You can also map out future schools they’ll attend on their journeys toward graduation. If a student requires an alternative placement due to program availability, academic/behavior/cognitive purposes, individual request, etc., you can enter a path override and reason to help identify those unique paths.
School Pathing not only provides a fast, accurate way to view the paths students are assigned to, it also helps with tracking student populations, which can help determine future staffing and resource needs, and can call attention to capacity issues you may face down the road.   
School Pathing Screenshot 


Attendance by Seating Chart 

Rather than taking attendance alphabetically, and repeatedly scanning the room like you’re completing an eye-tracking exam, you can now take attendance by seating chart in Teacher Access. Build a map of your classroom and assign students to each desk. Then during attendance, give the room a once-over, take note of which desks are empty, and quickly mark those students missing. By simplifying this process, you’ll save valuable instruction time. This feature would also be beneficial for substitutes too, as it would be easy for them to match the faces on the seating chart to those at the corresponding desks in front of them.  

We hope you’ll enjoy these new features, and we’re confident that they’ll make your life a little bit easier. Be sure to share these notes with colleagues who might benefit from them.
Stay tuned for more updates for Qmlativ and SMS 2.0 throughout the year in the Educator Newsletter. You can subscribe at the bottom of any article or by visiting our Educator Newsletter page.
Your feedback shapes the future of our technology! Please share your questions and ideas in the comments below or contact us directly.


Leslie Strong Leslie Strong Director of Product Owners

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