Contact: Chris Gauldin
For Immediate release
March 2015 Product Release
Common Goal Systems, a leading developer of cloud-based software for schools, announces several enhancements to TeacherEase and SchoolInsight. TeacherEase is software for the digital classroom and SchoolInsight is a comprehensive student information system.
The new functionality includes:
Online Renewal Management. Schools and Districts now have more flexibility managing their subscriptions. Users can update their student/teacher counts, add new modules, print order forms, and pay online. We also added authentication into the emailed link, so bookkeepers with no login access can access self-service functionality just by clicking on the link
(District) Admin Main > Manage Subscriptions
Free-Reduced Lunch Application Tracker. Free-Reduced Lunch Applications can now be accessed outside of Online Registration. Applications can now be entered at any time (in addition to during online registration). Entry by district personnel has been reworked to more easily enter a family’s application for students across the district. Application approval and rejection has also been made easier and flows seamlessly into notifications.
(District) Admin Main > Options > Lunch
(District) Admin Main > Free/Reduced Lunch Applications
The income verification process is not yet supported, look for it in an upcoming release.
Report Card Upgrade. The grade reporting module, one of our oldest blocks of software code, was due for an upgrade. We rewrote it from scratch to add many of the features our customers have requested. This includes:
Better Standards-based support. Course standards now flow into report cards without any additional work. This makes setup and maintenance easier (no need to create assessment lists that parallel standards). This greatly reduces effort when standards are updated.
Multi-page support through PDF. Many customers have wanted multi-page report cards, which were fragile within the old HTML framework. The new mechanism generates report cards in PDF, which gives us greater control to page break and better handle margins. Data will flow across columns and pages, headers will be repeated when starting a new column/page, and intelligence applied to the process to nicely handle “widows and orphans.”
District management. Many of our mid-size to larger customers want to manage report cards centrally (the old code supported setup at each school only). Assessments lists are now specified for courses, which works well for both centrally managed districts (which have district courses) and individually managed schools (with school-defined courses). There is now a permission structure to explicitly allow/prevent report cards changes at schools. This will also help dioceses who want individual schools to strictly adhere to the approved diocesan report cards.
Easier yearly setup. In the past, report cards have required repetitive yearly setup. The new structure better utilizes the initial setup and greatly reduces annual effort. For customers who prefer to stay in “Classic” mode, we created an annual copy mechanism to reduce some of the labor.
Better control of course ordering. We created a list to specify ordering by subject and course. With very little effort, the report card order can be specified.
Improved preview and design. The classic report cards were challenging to setup because they lacked a good design mode. Users basically had to imagine what the cards would look like until they were nearly complete. We added a nice preview mechanism to allow customers to modify their report card settings and easily see how it looks (portrait vs landscape, 1 column versus 2, etc). This area is a work in progress and will receive more investment in the future, but is a nice improvement over the previous functionality.
Most of the functionality you already use. For all it’s shortcomings, classic report cards are mature software with many small but important features. We have a tradition of enhancing our products based upon user feedback, and this code had a long time to grow and mature. In the new version, we made an effort to support the vast majority of these features, so upgrading won’t feel like a downgrade.
For users who prefer “Classic” report cards, they will continue to be supported (but will likely not receive any future feature enhancements).
- Common Goal Systems, Inc Press Release, 4/7/2015