Once you log in for the first time, you are shown a screen as given below. The screen has 6 categories with items that you have to set before you can start enjoying openSIS.
You will notice that the left panel with the system menu is not clickable and out of focus. This is by design. To ensure the proper experience we request you to fill out just the very required information so that you can start your journey within this awesome SIS. Please take a few minutes to complete these steps.
1. School Setup
(a) Calendar - The calendar will be already created for you. Just click on the calendar days and mark the events and holidays of your institution.
Click on any calendar day and a pop-up will open allowing you to enter an event or mark the day as a holiday. It is important to mark the holidays because if you don't then the system will generate missing attendances for those days.
(b) Marking Period - Begin the marking period by creating a full year with start and end dates. Now the full year needs to be divided into semesters & quarters as per school requirements. To create a marking period of a semester/quarter, click on the (+) and fill out the Title, Short Name, Marking Period Begins & End date, and Grade Posting Begins & Ends dates for that marking period. Grade posting begins & ends indicates the span of time in which users can input final grades.
As a good practice, you want the beginning date to be close to the end of the marking and the end date to be a few days after the end of the marking period.
(c) Periods - Create the period by defining the time division of a school day. Click on add new period and fill out the form with the title, short name, start time, end time, and calculate attendance.
(d) Rooms - Create and define the classrooms that are used in the school. Click on Add New Room to add title, and capacity along with a brief description
(e) Grade Levels - Create different grade levels as per school requirements. Click on add new grade level and fill up the form with the title, short name, grade level equivalent, age range, educational stage, and next grade.
Pay particular attention to the Next Grade field when the school is rolled over at the end of each academic year, the students who are set to be promoted to the next grade are done according to the value you set here.
(f) Report Card Grades Scale
Navigate to Settings >>Grades>>Report Card Grade Scale.
Click on + Add Grade Scale. In the pop-up window fill out the form with the correct information. A sample is given below. Click Submit to save the information.
After the Grade Scale is added, you have to add the individual grade items.
Click on + Add New Grade
Fill out the grading items one by one based on the letter grade scoring scheme of your school. A sample is given below.
An example of a typical High School Grade Scale with grading items is given below.
You have now completed the School Setup. At this time your screen will look like this:
2. Add Staff
Click on Add Staff to add teachers and administrators to the school. You can start with minimum information like first name, last name, and staff ID and click on Save & Next to proceed to the next form.
Fill out the fields marked in red boxes. These are the minimum data you need to add staff into the system properly.
You can continue to add more staff manually or import in bulk via an Excel sheet.
3. Add Student
Click on Add Student, you can just enter the mandatory fields to start with and populate the rest later. Click on Save and Next to advance to the next screen where you will enter the enrollment information.
You will notice that the Student record is already created. Just choose the correct Grade Level and the Enrollment Date and click update. That's it. The first Student is in the system.
You can continue to add students manually or import them from a spreadsheet.
Clicking on the Student bread crumb will display the list of Students you have in the system.
4. Add Course
Click on add course and a pop-up will open. Here fill out the necessary fields. If you are adding a course for the first time, the Program and Subject will not be in the database. So add a Program and Subject name and save. Next time onwards that program and subject will be available in the drop-down.
After you complete up to this point, the main menu on the left-hand side will open up. You will be able to navigate throughout the system.
5. Add Course Section
A Course Section is an occurrence of a course. In order to add a course section, you need several key information beforehand.
Navigate to the side menu Courses>>Course Manager
Select the Course under which you want to create the course section. In this example, we will select the Reading course.
Click on the + Add New Course Section button.
A new screen will open with many fields and switches. Let's inspect the top portion of the form which is the identification information of the course section.
When you create the course section, by default it will be set to active. You can turn off the switch if you do not want it to display in the course catalog.
- Enter the Course Section Name.
- Select the Calendar the course will follow. The default school calendar will be available for selection.
- Select the Grade Scale that you just created.
- Credit Hours will be pre-populated from the course entry screen, however, you can edit the value.
- Enter the number of Seats available. Make sure to enter a number equal to or less than the room info you created during the school setup.
- If the teacher will take attendance, then select the Attendance Category.
To keep this course section entry simple and quickly create it, you can ignore or skip the following switches that have other functionalities. It is discussed in detail in the Course Section creation article.
Select the duration. You can either select by marking period or by custom date range. In this example, we will select the marking period and select the full year as the duration, meaning the course section will run for the entire academic year.
Select the schedule type. There are four options. Most schools will use the first two options and we will discuss those here. You can read about the other options in the Course Section article.
Fixed Scheule follows an occurrence at the same time in the same classroom during the week.
- Select Fixed Schedule
- Select the Room where the class will meet
- Select the Period of the day
- Check the Meeting Days
- If the teacher takes attendance, then turn on the Take Attendance switch
Click Submit to save the course section.
Variable Scheule occurs at different times in the same or different classrooms during the week. In the example below, the class occurs at different periods on different days and in different rooms.
After you finish the entry, click Submit to save the course section.
After you have created at least one course section, you are ready to schedule teachers and students into it.
6. Schedule Teachers and Students
The scheduling feature supports one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, and many-to-many scheduling
You can schedule Teachers and Students from the Scheduling menu.
For Teacher Scheduling go to Menu>> Scheduling >> Schedule Teacher
Search for a Teacher with the available option and select a Teacher from the list that will be generated after searching. You can schedule more than one Teacher for a particular course section and you can assign a teacher for more than one course sections.
To search a course section follow the same process, before scheduling check the availability of the Teacher. If the staff will be available for that time you can schedule the staff for the same.
For scheduling students, navigate to Menu>> Scheduling >> Schedule Student
Search students with the search criteria or blank submit to see all. Select one or more Students from the list and find course sections to schedule. You can search for course sections based on criteria or blank submit to get a list of all. Once you select the course sections click on Schedule Students. The system will check against conflicts and if there are none will let you schedule the students
Once all the setup will be completed you will get a congratulatory message like this:
At this time, the setup screen will disappear and then you will get the real dashboard of the school, which will look somewhat like this:
Congratulations, you have successfully completed the setup. Now you can continue with the digital transformation of your current school to openSIS.