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MIS Systems Thread, new to all this, question for tomorrow's census, and something on discover in Technical; First off, hello. I'm new to all this school stuff, and a bit behind from the start as I'm American, ...
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    tombry's Avatar
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    new to all this, question for tomorrow's census, and something on discover

    First off, hello.

    I'm new to all this school stuff, and a bit behind from the start as I'm American, and have never worked in a school (this will identify me if anyone at my school is on here). A bit of background on myself though - I'm a longtime DB Admin, over multiple systems, generally proprietary, and generally have taught myself with all the experience over the years. I've had multiple roles in various forms of IT, handling all sorts, from front-end support to training, as well as managing (both users and employees), I also have a moderate knowledge of many systems, and generally can figure out software given time to play (which I'm quickly learning is in short supply working at a school).

    anyways.

    two issues I currently have:

    1. Discover will not launch for me - it continually tells me that my username/password are invalid (they aren't), and even SITTS is stumped. Anyone else have this? For some follow up, the only person in the school that used Discover previously also lost his access when the upgrade was performed, anyone have anything I can tell our IT lead to get Discover working again?

    2. We have a census due tomorrow, and while I have cleaned up all the data I found, I'm having an issue with attendance marks not being made by a few teachers - is there a way to identify immediately what students were not in at all on a given day that marks are missing and to automatically give them an N for the day? Is there a way to transfer over attendance marks based on whether a student was marked as present in the classes before/after the class? I'm trying to save myself hours of manual looking.

    Anyways, I hope to have found a nice community that I can share things I've built to make my day easier (while taking things you all have shared), and a place to get ideas for moving forward. I really like this new job I got, and feel that in time I can make things easier to understand for the non-computer people I seem to work with (and if you know me, I do not at all mean that as an insult).

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    tombry's Avatar
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    So I got a reply in my email, but for some reason can't see it here.

    anyways, to answer the person's questions:

    1. Discover is provided by SIMS, which is the MIS we use. It seems to be a nice graphical representation of reports and such, but I need it mainly for tracking achievement points, and when students hit certain levels.

    2. The Census tomorrow, is the national one I presume, but the school I'm at uses SIMS, and Collect (as they recently became an Academy - I'm still waiting for a un/pw for Collect.

    Other bits that were asked for:

    I'm on windows XP with RM as a front end (I assume that's RM Connect, I don't like it, but it's what's there). SIMS is fully updated, as is Discover, I have some top level admin rights to SIMS (I can assign myself new rights with no problem), and anything I need for my user rights will be easily given to me. I have only been on my job since start of term (January), so anything more I might have to ask about for (specifics of network build, specifics of servers, etc.) but I think that should be enough for a start.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    1/ Put it on the back burner mate. Most likely something in logs - normally it's SIMS is upgraded but Discover hasn't been. Could also be your SIMS permissions.

    2/ This census is done by all government fund schools across England, ie most of them - it's what funding is heavy dependent on. Collect uses the same user\pass as S2S - where you get your CTF from other schools. You should hopefully know this already if not chase them. Get the census done tomorrow, if you still have bits to do on Friday, you have to worry about back dating certain changes (like ethnicity etc) and it becomes 10x harder. If it's just missing marks, then go Focus | Attendance (or Lesson monitor) | missing marks, if you can't see this, you most likely don't have access rights within SIMS - or I've not remembered it correctly!!

    Just to confirm get the Census done ASAP or you'll find yourself volunteering next year

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    matt,

    discover is on the back burner, as much as all my stuff to simplify the day-to-day is, but not too far back, as the sooner I get to doing my daily quicker, the sooner I can get to learning more, and then doing more.

    as for the census, I got it all done besides the attendance, accounting for the sixth formers, SEN statuses, free meal stuff, etc. - and to see focus->register->fix missing marks, I had to give myself attendance operator rights, so I'm pretty sure I can assign myself any rights I need.

    I'm just seeing if there is a quicker way to go through the attendance marks for that part - I found out today that the lady in charge of keeping that stuff up-to-date has been out for a couple weeks.

    as for the Collect login, I don't have any of the logins that would give me access to it. I've been there about 3 weeks now, but just realized today that nobody gave me access to that, and that no one there already has the access.

    I let the phone ring for about a half hour earlier, sent in a support ticket through their webpage, and emailed the people to email to get an account, with no reply, which I understand, as tomorrow shall be a busy day for them, but otherwise my stuff is in order. while having never worked in a school, I have worked with securing budgeting, so I understand the importance of tomorrow.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 21st January 2012 at 11:09 AM.

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    Cool, good luck.

    Just checked - Focus | (Lesson Monitor or Attendance) > Deal with Missing Marks - I had to add myself to the Attendance manager to see the menu option.

    Don't forget to change the date range - I think it's 05/09/11 to 31/12/11.

    Did the attendance thing come up as an error? If so, you do know clicking on it normally takes you to where you need to go (was going to put "where you want to go" but I think they're very different).

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    tombry (18th January 2012)

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    ah matt, you may have just saved me quite a bit of time, as I know for a fact quite a few of my missing marks were from January.

    the attendance thing wasn't an error, it was more a warning to say "hey, you're missing some attendance marks, this is going to affect your attendance numbers", without actually saying that. It did give me an option to go to "Deal with Missing Marks", but since I didn't have the rights, I had to give them to myself, and then restart SIMS, so at that point I just went to the focus rather than go back into the census.

    the census is complete, and error free (I have two queries, but they are both for students that are a year behind where they should be, and from what I gather from the Collect documentation, I can just type that into a note field when I upload the census).

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    hit
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    Just before you do upload it, check your procedures (if you have one). The LA I currently work for (and my previous one) insist on it being transmitted to them first, they like to take a quick look at it before it gets uploaded to S2S/Collect.

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    why would the LA have anything to do with the Academy census? that just doesn't make sense from what I understand of the Academy system.

    isn't the point of the Academy status to get away from the LA's authority?

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    hit
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    Sorry, missed the bit in your second post about being an academy, been a very long 24 hours!

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    Is the census a national thing then?

    I was thinking it was, but wasn't positive.

    I'm really looking forward to getting involved in some of the local groups that deal with this stuff, as much as the internet, if not more, as I always have enjoyed dealing with the annoyances of a job with other people in the same area.

    the weekend is but 2 days away, 1 really if you think about it, although tomorrow will probably be pretty annoying.

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    hit
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    it is indeed a national thing, everyone is doing it this week. The on roll count in this census will basically work out how much funding we all will get next year. Good to heaqr yours is running pretty smoothly, at one of my schools the admin team are still there now fixing things. They were one school on two sites with two SIMS systems. The databases got merged together in a bad way (nothing to do with me BTW) and they lost all of the attendance records for the primary phase and a hell of a lot of the staff details, it's a real mess!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hit View Post
    The databases got merged together in a bad way (nothing to do with me BTW) and they lost all of the attendance records for the primary phase and a hell of a lot of the staff details, it's a real mess!
    I twitch when SIMS merge is mentioned. I understand not even Capita have the guts to use it!

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    hit
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    So I understand...
    Quote Originally Posted by Capita
    Advice for Academies merging School databases..... Some historical data will be lost.
    Ewwwwww!

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    Yer, rather glad when they said old type Academies (with a sponsor) don't need a new database.

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    tombry's Avatar
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    I hope I don't have to do that, that would really annoy me.

    they just became an academy in October or so, so the School info wasn't even set as academy yet.

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