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: August 2020 Feature Releases

As the end of summer draws ever so closer and the new school year fast approaches, things may be a little different than we’re all used to. While we all continue to adjust to a new way of life, we’ve continued to update the system with new content to continue improving your experience. So, let’s take one last look back at everything added in August.
Shockingly, the summer is at an end as schools are reopening across the country for what will likely be one of the most unique school years in quite some time. To all the parents, students, and faculty out there, I wish you all the best as you navigate these unprecedented times.

As you log back into the Education management products, you may have noticed a number of new things. We’ve continued to enhance and update the products throughout the month of August, so let’s take a look at everything that arrived this past month.

In the month of August, Academics may have had to most changes arrive.  

Teachers now have the ability to add downloads to assessments. New options allow downloads to be applied to individual questions by selecting Add Media and then Add Download. Create a title for the download and then the file to add. Once Save is selected, students can go in and download the field while viewing the question it is attached to.

The Classes page now has a new filter option to display courses without any sections added. Under Class Status, select the No classes filter option. The Class status column displays (no classes) for courses without and scheduled sections. Keep in mind that this filter applies automatically from the Class list under the Courses without sections part of the Master Schedule tile.

Grading managers can now enable additional translations in the new report card and transcript builders. Use these to convert letter abbreviations for standard grades into numerical scores for grade point averages (GPAs). Keep in mind that these new translations are not supported in the old builders.

Other updates this month include:
  • The default Number of submitted files allowed per student for In-system submissions has been changed from 0 to 1.
  • When importing assignments into their classes, teachers can now view the assigned date and time.
  • The system now checks to see if a teacher has a cached view of the Assignment center when they open it. Without a cached view, the Assignment center then displays based off the default settings set by an Admin.
  • If a skill or sub-skill has been disabled, it’ll no longer appear as an option for teachers when creating an assignment, assessment, or graded discussion.
  • Teachers have access to a Mastery export in section assignments which allows them to export all Mastery data for the section into an Excel file.
For August, the biggest Core update is to the TinyMCE editor. Actually, this update impacts most of the other products as well considering it changes the way text input boxes not only look but function as well.

In order to clear up the cluttered appearance of the text editor, the second and third row of tools are initially hidden. You can find them by selecting the triple-dot icon () near the top right of the text input box. Some icons have been also been replaced like the Anchor tool which is now represented by a bookmark icon. Hover over any icon in the text editing window to see a label explaining what it does. The Paste from Word and Spell Check tools have been eliminated while Paste as text is still available.

In addition, Other Core updates this month include:
  • The User Profile changes list now has filters for Emergency contacts, Relationships, and Business.
Enrollment management
This month in Enrollment management, the big news was Student checklists finally going live for all schools!

With Student checklists, schools can assign specific checklists to students. For current students and parents, these checklists show a list of items that need to be completed before coming back to school. Additionally, incoming students and parents can use these to see what else needs to be finished before they come to school. If need be, schools can even assign multiple checklists to a student. For more information, make sure to head over to
our online help

In addition to getting it live for all EMS schools, we’ve continued to add functionality to it over the following weeks. When all signatures have been added to a submitted contract, the Student checklist step status is automatically updated to Submitted. If a contact is submitted but does not have all required signatures, the status remains set to Started.

In addition, admissions managers, faculty, and staff can now view checklist steps set to Started. Student Checklist administrators can also now view all school forms from the drop downs.

When a parent of candidate adds a second household, Grandparent, Sibling, Sending School, etc to an application, it will no longer auto scroll back to the top of the page. When copying an existing school form, inquiry, or application, the Race block now shows by default.
We've added support for two new components to SAO for the 2020-2021 academic school year. Teacher Recommendation Forms for Grades PK-1 and Teacher Recommendation Forms for Grades 2-4.

The EMS team also have made a ton of updates to the Candidate list with new columns and filters.

Columns Include:
  • Student ID
  • Decision date
  • Inquiry date processed
  • Application date processed
  • Interview date
  • Interview type
  • Interview time
  • Visit date
  • Visit type
  • Visit time
  • Events attended
Filters Include:
  • No school decision
  • Inquiry date processed
  • Application date processed
  • Interview date
  • Visit date
  • Events attended
School Website
For School website, we made an important update to Distribution Groups. When creating a new one, the list selector now displays more characters to help you see the full distribution list name when making a selection.

If you want the full and complete details of everything we’ve added to the Education management products in August, 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.

And of course, make sure to bookmark these links if you haven’t already as we’re continuing to add resources over time. Thanks for joining me this week for a look back at August. In case you missed it, our annual Summer blogging break is officially over. We hope you’ve been enjoying it so far and make sure to keep it bookmarked as we have even more great stuff coming up. As always, stay safe and we’ll talk again next week!
Posted by Derek Nichols on Sep 1, 2020 9:00 AM America/New_York

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  • Posted Thu 03 Sep 2020 02:59 PM EDT