Starting a new Facility CMIS Timetable in June
I am working at a school who have asked me to pop in their designed timetable into CMIS using scheduler. (no problem here done it several times). However they want to begin this new timetable at the start of the last half of the summer term.
This would mean importing the schedule into the current data set, otherwise i'm sure that they would have attendance and Slasc issues. Then once the change has been made rolling the timetable into the newly created dataset.
The real pain here being that it would all have to be done on thier live database in one massive intergration just before they wanted to make the switch.
However assuming this is the case, I was wondering if anyone else has done this before. What effect would it have on the current teaching groups? Would changes mess with current data especially assessment wise.
Can it be done vice versa? create the timetable incrementally in the new dataset and then import back into the previous one?
Starting a new timetable at the end of the year
I'm afraid that things are rather more complex than you all imagine.
You cannot successfuly integrate a timetable into a different dataset. Rolling timetables forward from one dataset to another is a nightmare and not to be recommended.
You do use 'weeks' to allow the new timetable to be started in the current dataset but effectively, the new timetable has to be entered twice. Once in the current dataset and again in the new dataset.
Timetabling a different timetable in a dataset that already has a timetable is difficult as both sets of events will often 'pop up' in the screens that are usually empty. You also have to cope with an entirely new set of teaching groups for the new start but you can't get rid of the old ones for a number of reasons.
Several schools in Birmingham have done this in the last couple of years. One did it 'manually' two years ago and found it quite difficult. Since then the schools that have needed this have done it with the support of Link2ICT. They did their new timetable in the new dataset as per normal and then Link2ICT SQLed the new timetable back into the current dataset for the weeks at the end of the year. This keeps the timetabling process as simple as possible and allows a relatively stress free switch over.
(Oh by the way, I should mention that I work for Link2ICT for part of the week)
Rolling the timetable forward...
Oh- and by the way..................
When a timetable is rolled forward, it seems to lose the connection between events and virtual groups which makes later maintenance and certain printouts (such as Master Class) a nightmare. When you look at a typical matrix, after rolling forward, all of the events are 'piled on top of each other' in an unassigned column at the right of the matrix! I seem to recall problems with the naming of teaching groups as well.