The Month in Review: October 2021 Feature Releases
Spooky skeletons! October is coming to an end! Before the month flies off like a bunch of bats into the moonlight, let’s take one final look back at everything we added to the Education management products inside of October 2021.
Academics once again led the way in terms of changes this month, starting with Seating charts. Teachers can create and view seating charts for their classes. In future releases, teachers will be enabled to take attendance via the seating chart. To check this out under Faculty, head to Classes, then select a class name. Near the top of the page, below the class name, you will see a new button labeled View seating chart. Select it to open the seating chart in a new window.
This month also saw a number of changes to the Area of study page in Grading setup. For example, the primary button on this page is now labeled + Add, with three options that display when you select it: Add major, Add minor, and Add concentration. The Sort and More... buttons have been removed, and a Columns button allows you to choose which columns display. Select the header on any column to sort by that column. The page is now full-screen width, so it will adapt to the width of your browser window automatically. The page will now list up to 15 areas of study before creating a second page of results (previously the threshold was 10).
- The Report Card Builder and Transcript Builder will automatically check for space constraints and prevent elements from shifting off of the page and becoming inaccessible when users rearrange the layout.
- Unicode characters are supported in numerous fields, including Assessment Skills and Grade Plan Grades.
- When See rubric is selected from the Assignment details page for an assignment, the full rubric will appear in a new window. This is a view-only version of the rubric for teacher reference.
- Teachers can now easily move from student to student on Assignment details using Next student and Previous student. In addition, teachers can use Hide student list to hide the roster list on the Assignment details page, allowing more room for viewing student work.
- Attendance managers can count attendance across multiple terms to calculate full-year truancy rates. Previously, attendance rules always ran on a per-term basis.
- A school nurse can create a list of students with athletic clearance information to verify they are eligible to play sports for the year. In addition, they can filter a list of athletic clearances by school year.
- The Rename option has been removed from the context menus on the Diploma and Area of study pages in Grading setup.
- When adding courses to a Diploma requirement, the Course name search bar will exclude inactive courses and show a maximum of 10 search results. If the current course selected is inactive, it will remain a valid choice for its row.
- Teachers can now access the Faculty Resources page right from their My Day page.
- Teachers can add comments for assessments as well as delete assignments in their Gradebook.
- When a teacher is on the Import to these sections step in Import assignments, if their school does use Gradebook, this dropdown will default to the current marking period.
- Teachers can more easily add, edit, and delete comments from Assignment details. We received feedback that the Save button was hard for some users to find, leading to unsaved and lost comments. Now, comments open in a new modal, making it easier to save comment changes.
This month in Core, we wanted to remind you of a couple upcoming security changes. Starting October 19, 2021, if a user has not logged in for a while, the account is considered inactive and will be disabled for security reasons. A couple of things to note about this:
- If a “legacy” user does not sign into Education Management for 365 days, their account will be disabled/locked. This policy is new.
- If a user is re-enabled/unlocked and their “legacy” password expired during their 365 days of inactivity, the user will be prompted to reset their password the first time they sign in after their account is re-enabled.
Users whose accounts are locked or disabled for inactivity will continue to receive PushPages (Newsletters), emails, and notifications that they’ve opted into. List managers should use the Disabled column and filter in the User list to review which accounts have been disabled, locked, or inactivated.
In addition, also starting October 19, 2021, we’ll require stronger passwords for users who don’t use Blackbaud ID. This is necessary to increase security. Users with weak passwords will be prompted to create stronger ones when they attempt to login. You are not required to change passwords prior to this date.
Also released this month:
- When a SKY reporting manager views Performance by Department, the names of each department now indicate that they are static, not clickable links.
- We've added a counter to the Core home screen that displays the number of unhandled profile changes waiting.
- When sensitive situations occur, like divorce or a death in the family, a contact card manager at your school can now add a notice to the student’s profile under their Contact Card.
- If a user has a relationship with at least one person at a shared address, they can be added to a shared address too. Users don’t need relationships with everyone at the shared address
During the October month for the EMS team, they updated some of the labels of Billing management contracts for re/enrollment managers. For example, the warning banner regarding fees has been updated to show BBBM (Blackbaud Billing management) rather than BBTM. In addition, the description for changing fees now shows Billing Management rather than Tuition management.
Also this month:
- We now have an option for Enrollment management schools to turn on BBID for users. This can be enabled from Enrollment, Admissions, Admissions set up, then Applications.
- We've added Step Parent as a relationship choice for when parents of candidates create a new account, inquiry, or application.
- Re/enrollment managers now have a column on the cover page that displays the contract name.
- We’ve added support for additional file types including .avi, .flv, .f4v, .mpg, .mpeg, .rm, .wmv, .mp4, .m4v, .mov, and .qt.
For September, BBBM enabled billing clerks to review the total Amount qualified and the total Amount granted for the selected school year. This is found under Financial aid on billing profiles.
- The Transactions list, Recent payments, and Work with transactions lists now features the Electronic payment summary column. The Electronic payment summary column information appears once the respective transaction has a status of Approved in Blackbaud Merchant Services.
- Billing clerks can now opt to show the payer user id on billing statements.
In October, the Tuition management website URL as finally updated from school.smarttuition.com to tuition.blackbaud.school to align our site URL with our rebranding efforts. Users attempting to access the old website will automatically be redirected. One thing to note is that schools that do not yet use BBID should be aware that users will need to remember their password or they will need to reset it in order to log into the Tuition Management site.
- We have removed the Smart tuition branding and standardized the header for several reports. In addition, the file names for these reports have been updated to reflect the name of the report within Tuition Management.
And that’s going to put a bow on the month of October. We’ve got a jam-packed month of blogs coming throughout November, so I hope you’ll join us! See you next Tuesday!