I have moved several times as an adult. Each move has started out much the same: I am charged with a burst of energy to reorganize and evaluate all my worldly possessions. I purge and develop a unique color-coded system to organize boxes. I tell myself, “This move will be different! It won’t be stressful!” But life happens, and inevitably as the big day arrives I find myself throwing random items into boxes (those juice glasses don’t need to be wrapped in newspaper, we can just put them in this bin of baby clothes!) and then dumping said boxes into a spare room of my new abode to be dealt with later.

Maybe you have not physically moved recently, but have you embarked on a digital migration or move? Often when moving to a new database or school year, you start off with great organization intentions (just like me). But as reality sets in and timelines rapidly progress, you fall into a similar practice of dumping everything into the database to be organized and evaluated later.

The good news is that Blackbaud’s education management portfolio has several new data imports that can help you feel less overwhelmed when sorting through and organizing your school’s data. Use this robust tool to add large quantities of new, clean data to your system, or to quickly and efficiently update and tidy up data that you are already storing.
Want to learn more about the data import process as well as tips and tricks for working with large data files? Register today for the new Blackbaud University course, K–12 Core: Importing Data.

Good news for Blackbaud Learn® training subscribers! If your school has a Learn More subscription, this class is included. Not a subscriber? Find out how a Learn subscription can help develop efficiency and build skills for every user of your system.

The Month In Review: June 2020 Feature Releases

The heat is on and the Summer is in full swing! We’re not resting on our laurels though as we have an all new feature recap for the month of June to get to.
I don’t know about you all, but it’s hard to believe that the month of June is already complete. We’re in the heart of summer now which means most of you are likely out on summer vacation. It may be a bit different than previous years, but I hope you’re all continuing to be safe and healthy.

Even with schools out on break, we’ve continued to plug away on the Education management suite of products with new features and updates. So before we dive into July, let’s look back at everything that arrived in June for Education management.

Academics
It was another big month for the Academics team in the month of June.

First up is Assignment notifications. We added two this month the first being Assignment Graded and the second one Assignment Missing. Graded notifications are sent out once a student’s assignment has been graded by the teacher. Missing notifications are triggered when a student’s assignment is marked missing.

The other major feature this month is that Competency Based Education is here! This method of grading allows schools to move away from the traditional alpha-numeric grading system and instead rate students based on skills that need to be mastered. They also have the option of using a hybrid model of skills evaluations as well as total score to allow them to continue grading traditionally. There’s a lot to it so if you want to learn more about teachers and Competency based education, see our help and this video!

Other updates include:
  • Assignment Center and Assignments tab within their courses have been completely updated with new options and settings to work with.
  • Due times for all assignments are now visible in the List view of the Assignment center and Section assignments. 
  • When a teacher edits the display options for their Gradebook, under Submitted indicator, they can select to Show for online submissions and/or Show for assessment submissions.
  • If an Assessment has been setup to allow Save and continue, students are able to resume their assessment without an educator needing to select Allow continue first.
  • The character limit for Grade Labels on Report Cards has been extended from 20 characters to 50, and text can now wrap around to a second line.
  • We reduced the amount of white space around the student summary header on the Edit student enrollment screen to help improve visibility.
  • The date can now be displayed on the left or right side of the footer on report cards and transcripts.
  • In Edit student enrollment, when an alternate course has been added to a course request, schedule managers can now see all available course-blocks for the alternate course.
Core
In May, we added a number of updates to Core.

When information about a user’s Citizenship/Residency is edited, a contact card manager can view and acknowledge the updated information from Core, Users, Handle profile changes. This includes updates to fields like Visa details, Race, Ethnicity, and more.

We have a few more Preferred name changes this month as well. List managers now select Preferred name instead of Nickname when they create Advanced lists and the results column will be labeled as Preferred name. Additionally, when a contact card manager views and acknowledges the updated information in Core, Users, Handle profile changes, the interface uses the label Preferred name instead of Nickname.

Other Core updates this month include:
  • School created customize gender values now appear on Candidate Diversity reports instead of simply showing as Other.
  • From a user’s profile in Core, you can now choose to filter the PushPage (newsletter) history by the dates they were Sent on and Viewed on from View communications.
  • User profiles can now hold digital contact information for details like Skype, Zoom, Twitter, and more. These are displayed in the directory for others who are not in the user's class so they can still connect.
  • Thanks to your suggestions in the K12 Community Ideas, we've also added an audit log for relationship changes to fields like Responsible Signer, Primary, Resides with, Relationship, List as Parent, and No contact to name a few. You can also Handle profile changes for Emergency Contacts.
Enrollment management
In June, forms were a big focus for the EMS team. In terms of school forms, User preferred name is available as a block prefill option. Better yet, it automatically updates on the user profile after a student or parent submits a profile update form. Application and Inquiry forms now utilize customized Gender options set in Core. Lastly, Country/Province and Home Phone Number fields are no longer locked and can be turned off though admissions managers can still make them required if needed.

Outside of forms, we also made it so users can select multiple filters at a time when working with Candidate checklists.

The last big update made this month came to candidate file submissions. Admissions managers can now add multiple attachments to a candidate profile either in a new school entry or adding them to an existing one. Any uploaded school attachments through the student checklist can also be linked to an existing school entry.

If the candidate already has school entries, a dropdown appears for the parent to select which one the uploaded file should be associated with. Use Other if the file needs to be associated with a School and/or year that isn't part of the candidate profile yet. 

School Website
The School website team made significant improvements to the mobile view of the app. School website now features a hamburger style menu when the navigation is closed. Expanding it displays a vertical navigation list that will take you directly to a page when selected.

Lastly, we also added a filter to Pushpage History, so you can now refine the data that is displayed in the list.

If you want the full and complete details of everything we’ve added to the Education management products make sure to visit our 'What's New' letter. Use the Recent option at the top of the page to view past and archived releases. Want to stay updated whenever we have a new release? Get notified via email by signing up for our mailing list here.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, make sure to bookmark these links if you haven’t already as we’re continuing to add resources over time. That’s going to do it for this month. In case you missed it last month, the weekly blog posts have slowed down a bit since we’re now into the summer months. This is our annual break as well, but I’ll be back every now and then to give you monthly release recaps and anything else that may need your attention. We’ll be back to our normal weekly schedule at the end of August.

At the very least, I’ll see you all back here very soon hopefully with things a little better off than they are currently. As always, we are in this together everyone. Stay safe and see you next time.
Posted by Derek Nichols on Jun 30, 2020 9:00 AM America/New_York

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