Monthly Mentions Newsletter – September 2019

September 2019

For most of our schools, the Summer Transition steps have been completed and the new school year is underway. Reviewing your report cards is a very important step and should be completed during these first few weeks of school. This step involves looking over each grade level’s report cards to make sure all courses, sub-categories, grade scale and layouts look correct. When you complete this step early in the school year, you help support your teachers by making sure they have what they need and reduce last minute report card corrections at the end of the grading period. Please note that report card changes can take up to a week to process.

Here are the steps to view a report card:

  1. Go to ‘Grades’
  2. Choose a homeroom instructor in the ‘select instructor’ drop down then click the ‘view instructor’s grade book’ button
  3. Click the button ‘view report cards’
  4. When the homeroom roster appears, click ‘print’ next to any child’s name

Here are the components to review on a report card:

  • Course names
  • Course subcategories
  • Grade scales/marking codes
  • General formatting, for example school header, course list columns, layout

Click here to read the FAQ on how homeroom teachers can view their report cards!

Click here to read the FAQ on how administrators can view report cards!

Not all staff accounts in FastDirect Communications need to receive FDmail.  There are some circumstances when specific staff accounts aren’t logged into very often (or at all) and should be removed from the recipient lists. When those staff accounts aren’t logged into, there will be unopened and unanswered FDmail, which can be frustrating to the sender.  Here are the steps for removing an account from FDmail:

  1. Go to People, then Staff
  2. Click on the name of the account that should be removed from receiving FDmail
  3. In the account’s information, scroll down towards the bottom near the Save Changes button
  4. Check mark the option that appears after the heading that reads: ‘Hide from FDmail recipient lists: Exclude [account name] name from appearing in any recipient lists for FDmail messaging:’
  5. Click Save Changes

Here are some examples of accounts that might need to be removed from the FDmail recipients lists:

  • Secondary accounts
  • Athletic Calendar accounts
  • Newsletter accounts
  • Maintenance/janitorial accounts
  • Volunteer accounts

Comment codes for report cards are available as clickable, customized options for your teachers! If your school uses a set of comment codes for report cards, those comments can now be added to the system and teachers are able to select the comments they need for each student.

Here is some important information about the clickable, customized comment codes:

  • Comment codes are supplied by the school and added to the system by the FastDirect HelpDesk
  • Comment codes can be applied to one grade, several grades, or all grades
  • Teachers simply select from the list of assigned comment codes to be added to a student’s report card

Contact HelpDesk if you are interested in adding clickable, customized comments for your teachers!

When entering in grades in your grade book, it is important to know how entering in letter/symbol grades vs. number grades can yield different results. When entering in grades in FastDirect (either in the grade book or in a report card), we recommend using number grades (instead of letter/symbol grades).  The reason why is because when the system calculates grades that have a letter/symbol, then the system must use the click percentage. The click percentage (or click value) is a numeric equivalent of a letter grade (ie. A=100; B=90).  The click % provides the system a way of calculating a letter grade by giving it an exact numeric value. Therefore, when a student receives a grade of a B+, the system needs to use the click % for that grade, which is specific to the grade scale that has been applied to that course.

Click here to see examples of letter vs. number discrepancies

These examples (in the link above) show how using click percentages will slightly change a student’s grade over time.  While the report card grade differences can be minimal, grade book grade differences can be substantial especially if there are many grade book event grades.

If your school is tracking attendance hours for day care or before/after school care in our Timer feature, then you will have access to an Extended Care Report in your Parent account.

Timer is a new component in FastDirect that allows schools to track the attendance hours of students who are in day care, preschool, before/after care etc.  If your school is using this component, then the time that you are being billed for in Timer will be in an Extended Care Report.  This report not only allows you to view specific date ranges, but you can also specify which children you want to view in the report.  For those parents that need to submit forms to their employers or for taxes, this report will be exactly what you need! To access this report, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your parent account
  2. Scroll below your FDmail and below all of the grade viewing report options
  3. Underneath the line that reads ‘Extended Care Report’, select the dates you need and the student option then click ‘View Report’

If this report is not on your Home page, then consider talking with the administrators at your school about using Timer.

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