Thursday, October 30, 2014

Skyward: Elementary Grading - Entering Grades Directly and Overriding Grades

Entering Report Card Grades Directly without Adding an Event

There are times when entering grades directly into the report card column is logical, or even necessary.  An example of this is the Learner Behaviors, but it can be done in any area on the report card.

Step 1: Click on the Gradebook for the class for which you want to enter report card grades.

Step 2: Click on the Skill (striped) header row.

Step 3: Type in the grades for each student, or use the autofill drop down menu to select a common grade for all students.

Step 4: Click Save when finished.

Overriding/Adjusting Report Card Grades

Sometimes the grade that is calculated by the gradebook using the trend grading does not accurately represent the child's true performance on the skill.  When this occurs, it is important to adjust the grade.

Step 1: Click on the Gradebook for the class you wish to adjust.

Step 2: Click on the M, P, or L in the report card grade column for the child whose score you wish to adjust.

Step 3: Change the score.

Step 4: Click Save.

You may see up or down arrows in a column in your gradebook now.  This is okay.  It is simply letting you know that you have adjusted the report card grade manually.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Skyward Tech Tip: Entering Discipline Referrals

One of the features in Skyward is the ability to input discipline referrals. Several of our buildings have begun to transition to this method for discipline referrals. Once inputted, the office will be notified of the referral and they will finalize the discipline information.

Here is how you enter a discipline referral from the teacher side of Skyward.  To view a printer-friendly version, click here.

There are two ways to get to the discipline entry screen, through your gradebook or through the student’s profile screen.

Entering and Viewing Referrals through your Gradebook

1. Click on the Other Access menu in the top left.
2. Click on Discipline.

3. Type the name of the student in the search box. Click on the student, then click select.

Entering and Viewing Referrals through the Student’s Profile Page

1. From your Home screen, click on the student’s name.

2. On the right side of the Profile screen you will see the word Discipline. Click on it. This will take you to the screen where you can view referrals and enter new ones.

Add a New Referral

1. This will bring you to a screen where you can see any referrals the student has entered in the system already. There will be an Add button in the top right corner. Click this to add a new referral.

2. This will bring you to the referral screen. Enter the appropriate information from the drop down boxes. The school and offense will be automatically selected. You will need to choose the location, motivation, date and time. If you contacted the parents, check the box that says Parent Notified. In the comment box you will describe, in narrative form, the details of the referral. If you are an elementary teacher, the first thing you should enter is whether the offense was a major or a minor offense. Once you have all the information entered, click Save.

3. The office will now be notified that you have entered a referral and they will be able to finish processing the incident.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Digital Citizenship Week: Let's keep the learning going!

Well, today marks the end of Digital Citizenship Week 2014.  I hope you all learned a lot about what you can do as educators to foster digital citizenship in your students.  Technology is an amazing tool, but as educators we know it isn't the technology that teaches the students, it is the teachers.  We need to foster digital literacy skills in our students so that they can use the tool in a manner that is safe and enhances their education.

Below is a list of some great resources, curated by Edutopia, that you may want to check out in regards to Digital Citizenship.

To read a description of these resources head to

Remember, digital citizenship is not just a once a year activity.  It is a skill that we need to nurture each day in our students.  With teachers as their amazing guides and mentors, our students are off to a great start.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Skyward: Secondary Grade Adjustment and Credit/No Credit

As we approach the end of Quarter 1 (Q1) teachers may find it necessary to make slight adjustments in a student's grade or apply the use of Credit/No Credit. Below, we will cover how to accomplish both.

Adjusting Grades

In the scenario at the right, we have a student who is particularly close to the next grade mark. A 79.36% C+ could easily adjust to a B-. To make this adjustment, click on the letter grade in the quarter column in which you wish to enter a change (in this case, Q1).

The "Grade Adjustment" screen will appear. In that screen, locate the student's grade you wish to adjust. Here, under the Adjustment Column, in the Grade Field, I have entered a "B-" (1). In the Amount Field, an adjustment of 0.14 percentage points has automatically been calculated and entered by Skyward (2). And the new percentage applied to the gradebook as the student's new adjusted grade appears in the "Total Percent" column. A teacher may also adjust the number of points to add to a score in the Amount Field (2) and Skyward will calculate the new letter grade earned (1).
(Note: Score changes will appear in green until the save button is pressed.)

Credit/No Credit (Override)

The possibility to Override a student's grade also exists for reasons such as a student or course which requires a Credit/No Credit mark. In the Override column, click on the wedgie to activate the dropdown menu (below left). Select the override necessary for each student. When finished adjusting grades or choosing the proper override, be sure to click "Save" at the upper-right of the screen (below right).

Override Codes: CR (Credit), F (Fail), I (Incomplete), NC (No Credit), P (Pass)

After clicking save you will see your students' grade adjustments as pictured to the right. Additionally, you will notice a new column titled "Grade Adjust" for the quarter in which scores were adjusted.

NOTE: Please keep in mind that grade adjustments are visible to both students and parents through their web access portals.

Digital Citizenship Week: Partnering with Parents

DigitalEDTeaching digital citizenship is not something that we, as educators, can do alone.  We need to partner with parents and the community to help guide our students as they navigate their digital world.  With this knowledge in the front of our minds, last year we launched DigitalED.  DigitalED is a partnership with Portage Public Schools, parents, and the community to foster digital citizenship.  The DigitalED website offers resources like family contracts, family tip sheets, information on Internet filtering and lists of top social media applications and what you need to know about them.  DigitalED also offers workshops for parents and community members to help start conversations about digital citizenship with our students/children.  Our next workshop is coming up on November 18th at 7pm at Lake Center Elementary.  We topic will be: The Holiday Shoppers Guide - What you should know before you buy!  Check out the DigitalED website today to learn more, and head on over to one of our favorite resources - Common Sense Media - to check out their Parent Concerns section.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Digital Citizenship Week - FBI Cyber Surf Island

Today's great Digital Citizenship/Internet Safety resource comes to us thanks to a tip past on from Jeanna Walker, Teacher Media Specialist at PNHS.  Thanks Jeanna!

The FBI has put together a wonderful interactive website, FBI Cyber Surf Islands, to help teach students in grades 3-8 about Internet safety.  The goal of the website is to promote cyber citizenship and help students learn about online safety while engaging in fun, interactive games.  The program was designed to address current Internet safety threats while keeping each grade level's Internet usage and knowledge in mind.

Check out this fun resource today and get your class set up and ready to play and learn about Internet safety and digital citizenship!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Digital Citizenship Week: Oversharing - Think Before you Post

Brought to you by the fabulous people at Flocabulary and Common Sense Media, this great video/song teaches our students the 10 things to think about before they post something on social media or the Internet in general.  They include:
  1. Remember the Golden Rule
  2. Don't Brag
  3. Avoid TMI
  4. Think about the reader
  5. Keep relationship details to yourself
  6. Don't be cryptic
  7. Quit complaining
  8. Curate your photos
  9. Change your settings
  10. Post smart
Check out the video (3:35 min), download the posters and learn more at:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Skyward: Secondary Marking Period End

Entering Comments and Citizenship

It’s that time of year… It’s the end of the marking period and time to shore up your gradebooks.

In this tech tip we are discussing…
  • Citizenship
  • Entering Comments


Perhaps you have seen the column at the right in your gradebooks. You are looking at the column used to enter a student’s Citizenship mark (C1). Below you will find the steps necessary to enter a student’s citizenship mark.

  1. Click anywhere in the C1 column
  2. In the screen that appears 
    1. There is an option for Mass Assigning
    2. Individual Marks
    3. Viewing the mark table
  3. To the right, see the citizenship marks and the description of each.

Entering Comments

Now, let’s work on entering our marking period comments for the report card. From within a selected gradebook, next to the “Reports” menu, find and hover over the “Posting” menu. From that list choose “Post Comments” as shown to the right.

On the screen that appears, locate the quarter for which you intend to enter comments and click the “Post Comments” link on the right.

On the Comment Entry screen, you will find a list of all your students. You have the option to enter up to three comments for each student. If you need a refresher on what each comment code means, you may click on view comment codes to the left or refer to the last image in this document.

You may bulk enter comments by choosing from the drop-down list at the top of the column (recommended). Or comment codes can be entered individually, one at a time.

Make sure to finalize comments by clicking “Save” at the upper-right prior to exiting the Comment Entry Screen.

Digital Citizenship Week-October 19-25, 2014: Let's all help our students become positive digital citizens!

It's time for Digital Citizenship Week! October 19-25, 2014

Every day, your students are tested with each post, search, chat, text message, file download, and profile update. Do they connect with like minds or spill too much information? Do they behave creatively or borrow ideas recklessly? Do they respect relationships or inadvertently damage reputations?

Let's all get on board for Digital Citizenship Week and engage students, our fellow teachers, and families in our community in thinking critically, behaving safely, and participating responsibly online. Dive into the suggested activities and these helpful resources provided by Common Sense Media and start helping your students become digital citizens you and their family will be proud of.

Get connected: Be sure to post what you’re doing to the Connected Educator Month calendar and tag your plans as “DigitalCitizenshipWeek” to inspire others to get involved.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Google Classroom: Great updates just released!

Google made some major updates to Google Classroom yesterday!

Teachers can now:

  • Invite students using Groups
  • Control permissions on the Classroom Stream
  • Sort students by first or last name
  • Export Grades

Students can now:

  • Mark assignments as "done"

Great updates!  To learn more check out this post from Google for Education.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Skyward Tech Tip: Elementary Gradebook - What do I do if I have a question/event linked to multiple standards?

As we figure out how the new math program and Skyward's standards-based gradebook work together, we have come across a few situations where you may want to attach multiple skills to one event and then give all the skills the same score. For example, in your mid-module, question #3 may be linked to three different standards. In this situation, you would add an event for mid-module question 3, then link it to three standards. (For directions on how to do this check out this tip: If you immediately click save and score it will take you to a screen that allows you to type in the score once and it fills across all the skills.

If you hit save and add another, or save and back you will not have this option to fill across unless you turn on Multiple event scoring. Here is how you do it:

Go to your mathematics grade book.
Click on Display options
Click on Event Display

Scroll down until you see "Event Score Entry". Select Use multiple skill event scoring screen. Click Save.

Click on the Event you want to score in your gradebook grid either by clicking at the top of the column, or by clicking the *.

Type the score for that event in the first white box. It will automatically fill across. Click Save when finished.

You can then go back in to your Event Display Options to change back to single event entry if you want to in order to be able to select the no count and missing options.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Skyward Tech Tip: PPS Elementary Report Cards

It is October and soon it will be time to run your elementary report cards to send home to parents. Below you will find some resources to help you work through the printing of your card, as well as the procedure for adding comments.  For a printer-friendly version, click here.

In this tip:

Entering Comments (Quarter 2 and 4)

Login to Skyward.

Go to your Learner Behavior Gradebook by clicking on the blue book.

Select comments from the menu at the top.

Click Post Comments for the quarter you wish to enter.

Click the icon at the right to get the larger editing window.

Enter in your comments. Click OK when finished.

  • There is NO FORMATTING!
  • To do a template, you can set up the basic information for one child, then apply to all. Then you can edit for individual students.

Running Report Cards

Go to reports menu and select Custom Report Card.


Select Add a new Template.

Give it a name (Ex: Marking Period 1, Marking Period 2, Marking Period 3, Marking Period 4).

Click Save.

Select your options:
  • Select term for that card (Ex: Q1).
  • Report Card: Select your grade level along with the current grad year (Ex: 2017 RC 3 (401).
  • Select For All Students.
  • Don’t check any of the boxes.
  • Print for All Families.
  • Print in English.
  • Save.
Repeat for the other three quarters.


To print, click print
To print for just select students click Select Different Students

The report will run, when it is complete click Display Report

You will now see a print preview of your report. Hover your mouse in the lower right corner of the screen. Click on the printer icon to print or the disc icon to save to print later.

If you are printing, choose your printer settings as usual and print.
If you are saving, choose where you want to save the document and click Save.

Friday, October 3, 2014 - New K-5 Curriculum

New K-5 Curriculum!

Looking for a fun, engaging way to teach problem solving, collaboration, and STEM skills?  Check out the new K-5 curriculum.  From pre-readers to 5th grade, this free curriculum takes students through off line and online activities that are fun and engaging in order for them to learn the real world skill of basic coding.  The best part - as a teacher, you do not need to know ANYTHING about coding!

Check it out at

They also offer an introduction course for K-8th grade and many other curriculum resources.

Mark your calendars for the hour of code week! 

Computer science is foundational for all students today. Yet 90% of schools don't teach it. Last December, 15 million students tried computer science in one week, thanks to educators like you! Since then, over 40 million students have tried the Hour of Code. Please help this grassroots, teacher-driven campaign reach 100 million students by the end of the year. Sign up to participate in Hour of Code 2014 during December 8-14, Computer Science Education Week.

Let's all learn together!'s Educational Philosophy

We believe that:
  1. There is more to computer science than coding; we’re just called because it’s short and snappy.
  2. Students should learn the why of computer science, not just the what and how.
  3. Technology should be used to allow a teacher to do what they do best, which is why we promote a Blended Learning model (not just for students, but for teacher PD as well).
  4. Learning computer science is useful no matter what field a student eventually goes into.
  5. The best learning is relevant and active.
  6. Computer science is creative and exciting, and you can use it to make the world a better place.
  7. Students are diverse, both in their prior knowledge and their needs as learners. They deserve to learn in an environment that is equitable and accessible.
  8. Failure is good. Students need to learn how to persevere in solving difficult problems.
  9. Bringing computer science to K-12 schools nationwide is something that we’ll achieve by all working together. It won’t be one person or one organization.
  10. It doesn't matter if you’re 8 years old, an 8th grade teacher, or 80 years old; anyone can learn computer science.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hangout with Lemony Snicket

Want to go on a virtual field trip and meet Lemony Snickett
When: Tue, Oct 14, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free
Who is Lemony Snicket?  Why are there so many mysteries surrounding him?  Is it really possible to "hang out" with someone who is not even in the same room?  Shadowy author Lemony Snicket will sit in a room filled with technology and be interrogated by TIME For Kids Kid Reporter Andrew Mancini, who will ask all the wrong questions and receive some alarming answers—assuming of course that this mysterious man actually shows up. Tune in on October 14, 2014 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #LemonySnicketLive.

Skyward Secondary Gradebook, Midterm Column

Secondary Teachers,

At some point while opening your gradebook, you may discover the appearance of a new column titled "M1". This new column M1 is a midterm column and provides a snapshot of a student's grade on a specified date. The presence of this column is required for office staff to run certain reports related to student progress.

As you may find this column unnecessary to view within your gradebook, you may simply ignore it and even turn off its display from view.

Note: Teachers have the ability to adjust the grade in this column. Before doing so, look for communication from your building office as to when certain reports will be run. Midterm grades should not be altered after that point as reports will reflect one grade while the gradebook reflects another. Look to your building office for policy on the use of this column.

Instructions for Turning Off the Midterm Column (M1)

Hover your mouse over "Display Options" and choose "Grade Period Display"

Then either uncheck the box to the left of Mid-Term 1 or click the "Hide All" button to turn off the display for all columns except the current quarter.

Finalize your selections by clicking "Save" at the upper-right of these options. Now your gradebook will no longer display the midterm column.