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MIS Systems Thread, PARS question - registering 6th form free periods in Technical; We have a 6th form who have free periods and these aren't tracked as part of the SIMS timetable (no ...
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    PARS question - registering 6th form free periods

    We have a 6th form who have free periods and these aren't tracked as part of the SIMS timetable (no teacher, set or subject assigned, thus no set "lesson").

    Half of those free periods, the students should be in one of ~20 free classrooms and we'd like to be able to register them there via PARS to ensure they do work and for EMA (educational maintenance allowance) accounting. For added fun, we run a 2-week timetable, with 6 periods a day - 60 periods per cycle.

    As PARS writes to and reads from the SIMS database, any modifications to allow registering of free periods needs to play nicely with SIMS.

    The only thing I've considered so far is setting an admin staff member up as a "teacher" for those periods in SIMS, however IIRC SIMS doesn't allow teachers to be set up with multiple lessons going on at the same time (and / or soon breaks horribly).

    Has anyone else had to work round this?

    (I'm aware there's a signing-in module for PARS, but the Head of 6th Form would prefer a staff member to go to each room and tally who is / isn't there via PARS).

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    Re: PARS question - registering 6th form free periods

    We don't use PARS but our 6th form students have to go to one of the two libraries to register in if they want that time to count towards EMA.

    I would have thought that leaving kids alone in classrooms isn't ideal anyway and having a member of staff wandering around the site constantly to tally the kids. This would surely defeat the point of electronic registration (saving money on staffing).

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    Re: PARS question - registering 6th form free periods

    @Ric
    We don't have anywhere that's both consistently free for sixth form use / registration and conducive to private study.

    The sixth form tend to get work done when in the classrooms. Free periods have never been supervised here and this hasn't been considered a problem. Unproductivity occurs when they're all in the 6th form centre for free periods.

    The point of electronic registration (from our perspective) is to have lesson-by-lesson tracking of attendance, not saving money on staffing. There's a sixth form admin person who'd take the registers as part of their existing duties - it'd take about 5 mins using a PDA (when I say 20 classrooms, I mean 20 that could be used, not a trek around 20 ).

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    Re: PARS question - registering 6th form free periods

    @pete: Sorry, I misunderstood slightly. Our electronic registration was primarily introduced to reduce the workload involved with inputting the attendance data into SIMS and also to track the time spent studying by 6th form for EMA payments. I guess we must be lucky that we have a 6th form library where they can work... although some make a lame attempt at working in the common room (you should hear the volume that the music is played at in there!).

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    Re: PARS question - registering 6th form free periods

    No worries, I could have been clearer. Ours probably will reduce workload a bit, but no-one around here is likely to get much more free time (school = creeping featurism).

    My office is opposite our 6th form centre . As I'm the neighbour, there's an unofficial agreement that they keep the door shut and I don't creatively rewire their speakers. Not too bad, since they're only allowed to play it without headphones at break and lunch .

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    Re: PARS question - registering 6th form free periods

    Hmmmm... tricky. Going off your original suggestion, how about one class of all the pupils on free - with whoever assigned as the teacher. They nip round all the classrooms and save it at the end.

    I can't work out from your post if a particular student should be in a particular classroom. If they swap around and you have multiple registers, you're going to have to save part done registers - which in PARS, you can't!

    I'm sure this hasn't helped one dot - but we've been getting PARS finely tuned ourselves here lately, so I felt I should post something!

    Andy

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    Re: PARS question - registering 6th form free periods

    @andy
    Student A should always be in classroom B for period C. I think what we're after is doable, it's just the "working it out and not breaking the existing timetable in the process" part that I'm concerned with.

    How much database tuning did you do (if any)?

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    Re: PARS question - registering 6th form free periods

    None (well not directly) - all ours was done on the timetable. Ours was pretty straightforward though. We moved our statutory register to 5th period, which meant we then couldn't register form period (which is at the end of school). we just had to add an extra period on the end and set the classes up to match the form groups. Very simple. I guess your problem is just the teachers for the "un-taught" periods!

    Andy

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    Re: PARS question - registering 6th form free periods

    Hi

    Not sure if this have been resolved as yet; yes we (PARS) do have the swipe / signing in option for sixth form and I understand your Head of Sixth wants to check heads however you have the added bonus... if you dont swipe you dont get paid. If swipe cards are inconvenient and you find pupils start to loose them then you have the Biometric route; finger, retenal ...

    Do you use our EMA option also? If not, firstly make sure you have the permissions in System Management. EMA in PARS will allow you to see all attendance and behaviour information allowing you to assess whether you agree to pay. When you are about to enrol a student, contact EMA and they will give you any links required and also check that all is ok on 1st enrollment so you can continue to enter the rest of the students with no issues.

    Jenny

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    Re: PARS question - registering 6th form free periods

    Hi

    Not sure if this have been resolved as yet; yes we (PARS) do have the swipe / signing in option for sixth form and I understand your Head of Sixth wants to check heads however you have the added bonus... if you dont swipe you dont get paid. If swipe cards are inconvenient and you find pupils start to loose them then you have the Biometric route; finger, retenal ...

    Do you use our EMA option also? If not, firstly make sure you have the permissions in System Management. EMA in PARS will allow you to see all attendance and behaviour information allowing you to assess whether you agree to pay. When you are about to enrol a student, contact EMA and they will give you any links required and also check that all is ok on 1st enrollment so you can continue to enter the rest of the students with no issues.

    Jenny

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