Helping The Settlers High School Achieve their Goals. 

Academically the school is strong, and The Settlers has been acknowledged as a leading school in the Allan Gray Circle of Excellence. At The Settlers, we are enriching our local communities while preparing our learners to be part of a global community. 

The Settlers High School is an incredibly special place. The school believes in a balanced approach to education, focusing on our four pillars of academics, sport, pastoral care, and culture, and it prides itself on offering wonderful opportunities for all who attend the school. 

With all this greatness, the staff at The Settlers still need a helping hand and that is where Staffroom perfectly fits in to help keep the achievements at Settlers at their best! 

Staff achievements with the help of Staffroom 

We have better access for all teachers to subject set lists and therefore better oversight over the learners. The fact that absentees and late-comers are indicated on the set lists is extremely helpful. Staffroom is an excellent platform for marks imported to the WCED mark books as we can make them mirror those perfectly. We can put together a learner profile looking at all aspects including academic, attendance/late coming, discipline issues and extramural participation. 

At Settlers high we can pull almost all the reports the WCED is requesting from us in the format they want it. Our communication with parents is kept under the profile of a learner which is also great for intervention record keeping. 

The best part of Staffroom 

Everything is well-integrated into the system. As the system administrator, marks processing and schedules are part of m core role. So, for me, personally, ASESS2 must be one of the many “best” parts of Staffroom. This feature would of course not work without Infobase – where bulk uploads and updating of learners can happen quickly and efficiently.  

The software comes with a customer service team that is always quick to respond and find solutions to the issues presented. Sometimes with forwarding instructions on how to do something or other times for you to correct or re-set something. One thing that makes Staffroom stand out above other school management systems is the fact that Staffroom is super user-friendly.  

This review was supplied by the System Administrator Belinda, at The Settlers High School. 

Want to learn how you too can benefit from using Staffroom as a school administrative system? Reach out to our friendly sales and services teams today for an obligation-free demonstration. 

Staffroom – centralising administration needs

“Staffroom has let Bergvliet High School operate as a modern school by securely centralising our school’s administration needs. From absenteeism to mark input to serving as a hub for generating MS Teams classes, Staffroom has eased the administrative burden of the school over the last almost 8 years of use. Staff no longer need to contact the front office or another member of the admin staff to find out a parent’s contact details for example and the Journal feature also allows secured and important information about a learner to be stored in one centralised place.

My personal favourite feature of Staffroom would probably be the integrated SMS functionality, as it has let the school communicate information quickly and easily to parents without needing to make use of the actual SMS provider’s somewhat arcane web interface. That was a big administrative burden lifted, as well, once that integration was enabled.

The Service

Customer service has always been good at Staffroom, as answers to initial queries usually come pretty quickly and if the first line support team members can’t solve the issue, it’s escalated to the core developers who then usually fix the issue. Although we haven’t needed onsite training from Staffroom in many years when training was required it was performed well. On the billing side of things, things have always run smoothly and we have had no billing hassles over the years. The first line team support staff such as Shane, Dimpho and Thembisa have always been friendly over the phone and have answered our queries, even to some of the sometimes sillier issues or requests we have had.

The Software

What comes to mind most when I think of Staffroom is that it is a piece of software that has become a very necessary tool in the arsenal needed to keep a modern school running. We have appreciated the measured pace of introducing new features as a sign that Staffroom isn’t just rushing to cram in new features but that a lot of thought goes first into developing and testing new features before they are deployed. This has also led to a very stable platform that rarely has technical issues anymore and as such can generally be relied upon in a school context.

It also feels good to support a local Cape Town born and bred software company that actually understands the complexities and vagaries of the South African education market vs an international company that has no idea about the difference between CEMIS and LURITS for example.”

This review was supplied by the System Administrator, Craig,  at Bergvliet High School.

Want to learn how you too can benefit from using Staffroom as a school administrative system? Reach out to our friendly sales and services teams today for an obligation-free demonstration.

End of term 3 guide! 

End of term is here and we at Staffroom know how stressful it can be. We are here to help you! 

We have gathered all the important tips and videos we have shared during the month of September that we thought you could use to help you get you over that finish line, if you haven’t yet! 

Tip 1:  

Are you working in large markbooks with lots of results in them and finding it quite difficult to navigate? 

Staffroom has a filtering feature that helps make this easier, this feature allows you to view results for just one term.    

You can remove a filter and display all results again by pressing the filter button and then clicking the clear filter button in the filter options. 

Can’t see the buttons and screens we’re talking about above?  

Staffroom features are controlled by permissions so if you can’t see the buttons and screens, we are talking about you may need to talk to your Staffroom Administrator. 

Read More: https://support.mystaffroom.net/filtering-markbooks/ 

Tip 2:  

Want to edit your activity titles, descriptions, and term totals quicker? 

Here is an easy way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHL4sPkNnWc 

RECOMMENDATION: Only grade or subject heads should be allowed to edit markbooks via the settings & quick edit features. 

Tip 3:  

Not sure who has completed capturing marks? 

One of the health checks you will find in Staffroom is the Missing Marks Health Check. This check allows you to select the category (grade) and term you are interested in and see which teachers have yet to complete their marks capture for that term. 

Haven’t had time to update your Mark Summaries? It is easier than you think, watch our explanatory video on how to make your life a little easier. 

Follow our social platform for more tips and tools to guide you through each phase of the term. Also feel free to reach out at any point if you need more help: support@mystaffroom.net 

Your school has the control!

The uncertainty of our school year has affected so many schools and educators. Early school closures, rotating students, catching up on curricular outcomes…It becomes challenging for parents, teachers and learners. During these times Staffroom is here to help you. With our dedicated support team and developers, we are always trying to improve your teaching experience. Staffroom offers a variety of features, but we would like to highlight our InTouch portal to help make communication a little more easier.

Communicate with Parents and Caregivers

Staffroom’s InTouch module is used for communicating with school staff, as well as people who are external to the school such as parents and caregivers.  InTouch allows you to send emails or SMSes to groups of people that Staffroom knows about e.g., all parents of students in a particular grade, all the school staff, or the parents of absent students.  

All emails and SMSes that are sent using the Staffroom InTouch module are visible on the student records in the Staffroom Infobase module.

The InTouch portal is a website that students and parents can use to see information about their family and school.

Share With Parents and Students

Schools can use the portal to share useful information with families about their children and about activities at the school.  Your school can use the InTouch portal as a convenient way to help keep parents and students up to date with a variety of information, including:

  • School announcements
  • Upcoming events
  • Calendar and timetable information
  • Student & family contact information
  • Student journals
  • Correspondence sent to the family
  • Homework tasks
  • Attendance records
  • Assessment marks
  • Student behaviour
  • Copies of term reports

The InTouch portal is a separate website from a school’s Staffroom site and a school can control what information they wish to share with their parents and students on the portal. Each school’s InTouch portal is separate from other schools and is accessed via its own web address (URL) like a school’s Staffroom site.  Schools are also able to do some simple branding of their InTouch portal site so that their school’s portal reflects the colour and logo of the school.

Targeted Information for Families

The information that family members see on the InTouch portal is tailored to their family:

  • Parents only see information about their children
  • Parents only see announcements and events for grades, classes, and groups that their children participate in
  • Students only see events and information for grades, classes and groups that they participate in.

There is some more important information you should know about the InTouch Portal – Click the link to read more: https://support.mystaffroom.net/important-information-about-intouch-portal/

InTouch: Communicate with Parents and Caregivers

Your school has the control!

The uncertainty of our school year has affected so many schools and educators. Early school closures, rotating students, catching up on curricular outcomes…It becomes challenging for parents, teachers and learners. During these times Staffroom is here to help you. With our dedicated support team and developers, we are always trying to improve your teaching experience. Staffroom offers a variety of features, but we would like to highlight our InTouch portal to help make communication a little more easier.

Communicate with Parents and Caregivers

Staffroom’s InTouch module is used for communicating with school staff, as well as people who are external to the school such as parents and caregivers.  InTouch allows you to send emails or SMSes to groups of people that Staffroom knows about e.g., all parents of students in a particular grade, all the school staff, or the parents of absent students.  

All emails and SMSes that are sent using the Staffroom InTouch module are visible on the student records in the Staffroom Infobase module.

The InTouch portal is a website that students and parents can use to see information about their family and school.

Share With Parents and Students

Schools can use the portal to share useful information with families about their children and about activities at the school.  Your school can use the InTouch portal as a convenient way to help keep parents and students up to date with a variety of information, including:

  • School announcements
  • Upcoming events
  • Calendar and timetable information
  • Student & family contact information
  • Student journals
  • Correspondence sent to the family
  • Homework tasks
  • Attendance records
  • Assessment marks
  • Student behaviour
  • Copies of term reports

The InTouch portal is a separate website from a school’s Staffroom site and a school can control what information they wish to share with their parents and students on the portal. Each school’s InTouch portal is separate from other schools and is accessed via its own web address (URL) like a school’s Staffroom site.  Schools are also able to do some simple branding of their InTouch portal site so that their school’s portal reflects the colour and logo of the school.

Targeted Information for Families

The information that family members see on the InTouch portal is tailored to their family:

  • Parents only see information about their children
  • Parents only see announcements and events for grades, classes, and groups that their children participate in
  • Students only see events and information for grades, classes and groups that they participate in.

There is some more important information you should know about the InTouch Portal – Click the link to read more: https://support.mystaffroom.net/important-information-about-intouch-portal/

New Terms and Policies for POPIA and GDPR Compliance

Over the past few months we have been busy with our lawyers completing a thorough review of all of our terms and conditions including updates for compliance with POPIA and GDPR. 

Our new terms and conditions are now available on our website here: https://www.mystaffroom.net/legal-page/.

On this page you will find:

  • Terms and Conditions – are our general terms that govern our relationship with you and how we offer certain services such as onboarding and support services.
  • Privacy Policy – which tells you how we process data about you / your school as a client.  We collect this information about you / your school and may share it within our group of companies for sales and marketing purposes.
  • Data Processing Agreement – which tells you how we process data that you / your school collects from parents and students and put into your Staffroom site.  We do not share this data and only use it to provide the Staffroom service to you / your school.
  • PAIA Manual and Form – this describes how we comply with law that governs access to data and provides details for how data can be requested from us.

Please note that the Data Processing Agreement is the document that governs how we process student and parent data in your Staffroom site, not the Privacy Policy.  Also, please note that our main obligation under POPIA and GDPR is keeping the data in your Staffroom site secure, but your school also has obligations under POPIA as the “responsible party” so you may want to seek legal advice about this.

We do seek to make our terms and conditions transparent and easy to understand, but they are still written in legalese and may be difficult to follow at times. We are happy to discuss any concerns that you or your school has so please get in touch with our support team via support@mystaffroom.net if you would like to discuss anything with us.

How to with Staffroom: Duplicating Classrooms

Want to save time creating classes for the new academic year? 

This academic year started later than usual. We received many calls and emails to support our schools using Staffroom with their administrative side of things at the beginning of the new academic year. One of the most asked questions included ‘how do I create new classes for 2021’. 

We have compiled a quick “how-to-guide’ that will help you going forward for when you have to tackle this for the next Academic year. We are using classes that need to move from 2020 to 2021 in our below steps. 

How to duplicate classes from one academic year to the new one: 

Staffroom has a feature that allows you to copy previous academic year classes without students. 

This then eliminates the process of having to create the classes one by one – while saving you time. 

Please note: If you have manually created a 2021 class this option will not appear on your screen. 

Here are a few easy and simple step by step guide on how to save time creating classes for the new academic year. 

  • You will first login to the system 
  • Once you have logged in – you then navigate to the infobase module 

You click on the classes option – then click on view  

The screen should show you all your 2021 class lists, but since you have not created your 2021 classes yet, nothing will appear. Now let’s says for instance you have already created a 2021 class, you will now see a button that gives you the option to copy 2020 classes into 2021. This is referred to as ‘Duplication of Classes.’  

How to Duplicate 2020 Classes: 

Click on the duplicate option and a warning message will appear – select the “all good” option. 

If you are not going to be changing any class teachers, then you don’t have to take any further steps: Your 2021 classes have now been created. The only thing left to do is assign the learners to their classes. 

Scenario 1Changing Class Teachers 

If you want to change the class teacher for a grade – you will have to click on the edit option.  

  • Then change the teacher’s name and abbreviation and choose to ‘update’ your class. 

Scenario 2New Grade 

Say you did not have a grade 11 in 2020, but for 2021 you do have a grade 11 class, you will have to create the class manually. To do so, click on the ‘add new option’, then type in your grade and assign the teacher. 

Note: This is a required field so every time you create a class you must select a class teacher otherwise it will not save the class record or add the abbreviation. 

The click the save option. 

This about sums it up for creating classes – quick and easy! Especially if you did not have to create your classes for the next academic year manually. 

For ease of implementation, we strongly recommend that you use the duplicate option for the previous year classes, 

Once you’ve duplicated your classes for the next academic year, you would need to initiate the year-end roll-over which means that you assign all the 2020 students to their 2021 class. 

This will be explained in the next article in our “How-to with Staffroom” series. 

A New Finance Module for Staffroom

Staffroom is getting some great new features this year!

Over the past 18 months our development team has been busy with several large updates to the Staffroom Infobase. The first of these: flexible profiles, was released in February, and this will be followed by:

  • Online student applications
  • Improved attendance capture including per lesson attendance
  • A new finance module and integrations

We’re expecting to have these updates completed around June or July this year, which is just around the corner.

Put your mouth where the money is…

Do you have some advice you’d like to give us about how to build THE BEST FINANCE MODULE EVER? We have a lot of ideas about this already, but we’re keen to hear yours too.

Some of the things we’d like to know are:

  • Which of the online accounting systems are the best and why? We’re looking at Sage Accounting, Xero, and Quickbooks.
  • If you are getting great support for the accounting system that your school uses, who is giving you this support?
  • We think schools will want to see finance features like:
    • Automatic account creation and synchronisation.
    • A statement or balance display in Staffroom and on the InTouch portal.
    • Generation of batches of fees from Staffroom.
    • YOUR IDEA HERE: What else do you think we should include?

If you would like to make suggestions or ask questions about this, please get in touch with us via our support team here: support@mystaffroom.net

Update on Infobase

Hooray for newness!

Over the past 12 months, the Staffroom team has been busy with updates and improvements. We’ve been reworking the Infobase, which is one of the older parts of the Staffroom system. We’ve been doing this in order to make Staffroom more flexible and so that it can do more of the things that our schools have been asking for!

The good news is that we’ll be releasing the first part of these updates later this week (12th of February 2021). The first release is an update to the student profile to make it much more flexible. You can read more about the new flexible customisable student profiles here:

The changes to the student profiles are the first installment of changes that will include customisable online applications and customisable student profiles on the InTouch portal. They are also the first piece of work which will ultimately bring a complete upgrade to the Infobase; and include much of the fantastic feedback that everyone has been giving us over the past few years.

As with all changes, you and other staff at your school may find issues or have questions. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our support team (support@mystaffroom.net / +27 (0) 87 095 3444) they will be happy to help!

#MyStaffroomHero

\“(n) tee-cher: A multi – tasking educational rockstar who lives to inspire and loves to encourage. They’re kind of a big deal.” 

We recently ran a competition to recognise one teacher who does an extraordinary job when using the Staffroom Software. Each and every finalist was nominated because they are willing to walk the extra mile  – making a difference in their students’ lives and making school admin a breeze. 

Finalist: Aubrey Des Fountain from St Josephs Marist College (Primary) school was nominated for being pro-active in using Staffroom. He only contacts the Staffroom Support Team when he gets stuck, but he is always intuitive and tries to work out how best to use the system for the school’s needs. 

Finalist: Henry Freeman from Fairmont High School was nominated for being hands on and taking on the responsibility of managing Staffroom like a Staffroom Hero. Henry picks up on reporting issues from his side and his insights and knowledge of Staffroom mean he often resolves them without contacting support. He is the key point of contact for the school and has embraced Staffroom as both a product and a tool to improve the lives of teachers, learners and staff. 

Finalist: Alex Wilson from Claremont High School. Alex is the IT contact at the Primary school and is pro-active in using Staffroom. He only contacts the Staffroom Support Team when he gets really stuck. He acts intuitively and always finds the best ways to apply the system optimally to the school’s needs. 

Finalist: Ian Houston from Unicorn Preparatory was nominated because Ian introduced Staffroom to the teachers. Ian leads by example and assisted with training educators in Staffroom. Ian says that teachers of all ages can use and understand Staffroom. He never expected the simplicity there is to record the marks. “It’s a simple and easy to use program but it is simple in usage but not its output – what you get out of Staffroom is magnificent.” His team supports him, describing him as professional in his dealings with parents, staff and pupils, with a great sense of humour. He is a fine role model for his pupils and manages to earn both their respect and love. His enthusiasm for his chosen career is evident. We need more people like Ian in education. 

Finalist: Andrew Crole from Rivonia Primary School was nominated because he believes that Staffroom is for any aspiring academic institution, it has the flexibility and simplicity to fit any needs and objectives. “We’re a highly aspiring public school who provide, in my opinion, the best value for money education in Johannesburg. To be able to affect young lives in such an environment is a great privilege!” Andrew says that with the complexity involved with the children’s data and results with a school of this size, there are always bound to be mistakes made. I have so appreciated the ease of identifying possible mistakes and the correction thereof. It also provides me with some wonderful analytics that provide worthwhile debate. 

Finalist: Gwen Terblanche from Paarl School was nominated because she is in contact via Staffroom 24/7. Gwen even has the Staffroom Icon on the home screen of her cellphone. When the school was in lockdown for almost two months, she kept in touch with the learners of the school, sending them messages on their birthdays and making sure they know they have not been forgotten. Teachers can contact her anytime should they urgently require contact details of the learner’s parents. She tries her best to stay up to date with the functions of the school’s Staffroom package and ensures the school maximises its benefits from it. She motivates her colleagues to make use of Staffroom every day, because she knows how much we could all benefit from it.

Finalist: Shandre Otto from Zwaanswyk High School was nominated because she says that the process before Staffroom was uncontrollable. For Shandre the most important aspect of administration is recording and reporting. Having Staffroom helped keep all the assignments in one place. SR allows Shandre less time behind a computer and less time doing administration, giving her more time doing what she loves – spending time with the children. 

 

In the end Alex Wilson from Claremont High School won the title of our Staffroom Hero. Even though there could only be one final winner, we regard each and every teacher who continued so diligently throughout lockdown, a hero. You are all winners in your own right. Thank you for all you do! 

Want to know more about Staffroom? 

Source:https://support.mystaffroom.net/what-is-the-infobase/

STAFFROOM: Most Common Support Questions

Staffroom creates, supports and implements software solutions and services for schools to use. This means we develop the software, look after the servers, man the phones, train the teachers and help schools set up their systems and more.

The Staffroom Support Team has gathered the most frequently asked questions and complied a how-to guide.

Password Changes

When Staff forget their passwords to login to Staffroom, they can click on the forgot password option under the login screen as indicated below:

This will send them an email requesting them to reset their password and they can then login.

Assign Students to Classes

This is done normally from the Infobase module under the students – lists. Students get assigned to classes at the beginning of the year, but you may have students joining your school at other times in the year.

You go to Infobase – Students – Import/Export (If you have an excel sheet for import)

If the student is already on the system, they are normally marked as future enrolment, and this will show them in the future enrollment list.

You will then see the future enrollment page where you can assign the student to a class.

To assign the student to a class, select the class and then click marked as enrolled.

Assign Students to Assessment Groups

After assigning students to a class, you will need to assign the students to assessment groups in order for them to show in the markbooks.

This is done via the:

  • Settings
  • Assessment groups option

You will see the following screen below
Select the checkbox next to the title on the left
Then select assign students

You can now add a student or students by name, class or grade.
Once you have done this, select the checkbox at the top of the screen to select all the students.
This will then finalize the assessment group setup.

You will then see the student names in the markbook

Change Term Dates

With COVID 19, we have seen many changes and adaptions to the academic year. One thing that has been necessary is to adjust the term dates.

As per the educational department, the new term dates are set however, in Staffroom these need to be manually adjusted as they have a direct effect on absentees, reports and schedules.

You can edit or amend the term dates from the messenger page by clicking on the date at the left-hand side.

Once you have gained access, you can then edit the term dates.

Emailing of students and parents

You can email reports, correspondence, letters to parents for students directly from our intouch module.

email reports

You can also send SMS’s; however, this will require a third-party SMS provider.

For SMS’s, the main accounts setup is SMSWeb, SMSportal and Bulksms.

You will need to contact those providers directly to get an account with a username and password and then we can setup that account in Staffroom.

Once done, you can then start sending SMS to parents who have been marked to receive SMS’s and have a valid Cell phone number.

For Emails, you can start sending immediately as that is an in-house feature.

Make Changes to Markbooks in Staffroom

When you need to make changes to your markbooks be it a title change, weightings, calculations or you need to remove assessments from final calculations, you can do this using the:

  • Quick Edit function
  • Settings function in the markbook

Quick Edit

Quick edit allows you to edit the title, description, total and weighting for an assessment or in a result set.

Settings

In the settings of the markbook, you can do the same as with quick edit but with the addition of adding new results, deleting results, editing result sets, tags (necessary for reporting) and calculation types with the bulk options to hide, archive or lock down results for terms.

We love working in education and solving our school clients’ problems. We actively and constantly think about how to use technology for the real practical benefits it can bring teachers, parents and students.

Want to know more about Staffroom? 

Source:https://support.mystaffroom.net/what-is-the-infobase/