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Preparing Your School's Data for the New Academic Year
Rob Rawcliffe

As a proud Englishman, my Queen turns 90 this year and so I've got anniversaries on my mind. This anniversary reminds me that, once more, it's time to start thinking about the end of the year. I'm sure many of you are already dreaming about what comes after that, but for data folks the End-of-Year rollover is the ultimate stress test, and it's looming large.

There are a lot more aspects of a year-end process to think about these days. "Do I add students to my Alumni role so they can login and change their email addresses?" or "Do I REALLY need to keep my graduating students' parents in the database?"

I have listed below a series of steps that should help you navigate your year-end and get the necessary pieces in place to enjoy your summer AND be ready for the next school year.

For those of you that prefer a visual representation, here's the procedure in flow-chart form:


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What to do in June?

For schools with integrations, Finalsite will turn off your enrollment AND classes feed around the first week of June (since it's pretty safe to say that students will not be changing classes at this point!) This will ensure that no students are added to classes when the school's SIS system is updated during the summer.

Schools should be planning when to move their schools database forward to the next year.

Of course you can contact us in Support and request that we don't turn off your feeds by emailing emailsupport@finalsite.com or calling 1-844-322-8109

What to do after Graduation?

Once you have moved your School database forward for the New Year, you can now schedule your End of Year (EOY) service via Site Administration > Modules & Settings > Modules > Services Manager. Click on the green New Service button to begin.

EOY Service.png

There are going to be a ton of questions about how to handle your data. Here's what you should be prepared to answer:

All Schools:

  • How should your graduating students be handled? (i.e., moved to the 'Alumni' role, deleted, etc.)
  • Bulk increase student grade levels? If yes, please list grade levels in order (youngest to oldest)
  • Delete withdrawn students in bulk?
  • Delete Alert Subscriptions for graduating students?
  • Import new student information from a datasheet?

For Schools with 'Parents' Role:

  • How to handle parents that no longer have students at the school?
  • Delete parents of non-returning students in bulk?
  • Delete Alert Subscriptions for Parents who no longer have children at the school?
  • Import new parent information from a datasheet?

For Schools with Classes:

Do you use the Finalsite Academic Classes/Learning Management System (LMS), and if so:

  • Did you use Gradebook, Attendance, or Reports last year?
  • Are you planning to use Gradebook, Attendance, or Reports next year?
  • Are you planning to use the schedule feature next year?
  • Delete archived classes older than two years?
  • Import new class information from a datasheet?
  • Should we delete personal reports from graduates?
  • Would you like us to delete school email from graduates?

Read more about Services manager

Options for Passwords

Existing Faculty, Students and Parents will keep their existing password unless you specifically ask to reset them during the EOY process.

If you have an integration, a credentials feed that is enabled, will create usernames and passwords for your new users. Otherwise you will have to supply Finalsite; or let them know what to do; with new usernames and passwords. These passwords can be generic, random or same as the username.

To alert your constituents of their new credentials you can use eNotify to send out personalized emails to your constituents. You can read more about personalized emails here.

Your sites login page will have a link to reset passwords. If you authenticate through another system (Check the Authentication tab in ISM). There should be custom instructions on your login page that point the user to the alternate password reset options.

Finalsite can force users to change their password on the first login, but this is NOT set by default, if you would like the new users to force reset their new passwords, please let us know.

Schedule the EOY service, and then relax until you hear from us

In Services Manager, you will answer the applicable questions, and then the system will schedule your EOY service based on the closest available date you requested. A support ticket will be automatically generated on the day that you schedule this service, and a member of our support department will reach out to you via that ticket.

Get ready for the New Year!

  • If you have an integration, now is a great time to make sure you have your settings correct. Your integration is still functioning, so try adding some of your new parents and students into your SIS system and see if they come over in the next sync.
  • Start bugging your Athletic Director for any new athletics teams that may need to be setup in Athletic Manager; you will also need the details of any events, new coaches and updated locations. Alternatively, sign up for a CIAC or ScheduleStar integration.
  • Do you have a School Store? Now is a good time to check store inventory and remove or add any products that need changing.

Finalsite EOY Service done; School SIS rolled over; Students 90% complete

For integrations and data uploads alike, you can now start adding your new students to Finalsite. For data uploads you can get datasheet templates from the Finalsite Templates page in the Support Portal.

You may submit datasheets for the new school year via the EOY ticket, or in a separate ticket, at your earliest convenience.

Schools with integrations should see your new data populating in Constituent Manager and Group Manager after you turn the feeds on. Items to check include:

  1. Fields displaying in the correct place (e.g. does Nickname = Firstname)?
  2. Are emails populating?
  3. Do the graduating students reflect this upcoming class year (2017)?
  4. Do students that use portals have a username?
  5. Do relationships display correctly, are students & parents linked as expected?
  6. Do dual-role constituents display correctly (e.g. Parents that are also Faculty)?
  7. Check your SSO's! Do new accounts need to be added to those systems (e.g. Naviance, Schooldude, Magnus and Careflow)?
  8. For schools with LDAP, do usernames in your LDAP DB correspond with those in Constituent Manager?
  9. Are the correct classes displaying with the current school year in Group Manager?
  10. Check your SSO's! Do new accounts need to be added to those systems (Naviance, Magnus, Careflow etc.)

If you get to this point and everything looks good, YOU ARE FINISHED!

If you have LMS or Gradebook, please read on...

Finalsite Learn Gradebook and Schedule

Now your Students, Faculty are in Constituent Manager, and you can set up your Gradebook.

If you have previously used the Gradebook, we'll have rolled up all of your data and moved the year forward.

If you have not previously used the Gradebook, you will be asked by Support to complete a survey outlining your grading scheme and term information. Once that is complete, we'll work with you through the ticket to complete the setup process.

Regardless of whether or not you have used the Gradebook before, it is imperative that you check your LMS Manager settings. This can be found under Modules and Settings (Site Manager) > LMS Manager. Check each tab individually and make sure years and dates are correct. If you have questions about how terms are set up, please contact Support.

Even if you have an integration, you will need to submit a data sheet to connect the schools from LMS Manager with the individual classes in Group Manager. This will need to be submitted to our data team for them to upload. Once that is complete, check and make sure each academic class is associated with the correct school in Group Manager.

Please note: Once teachers begin to enter grades, any changes in LMS Manager could result in data loss. Also, changing schools associated with group spaces can cause unexpected consequences.

In the LMS Manager, there is a schedule tab. If you have decided to use this feature, you will want to make sure that the "Period" listed for each academic class matches a period/block that is listed in the block schedule. Again, Support is ready to answer any questions you might have with this new process.

So Very Close

At this point you're close to being done, you should only need to un-archive your classes (if applicable) and populate them with students.

To add the students to their classes:

  • Go into Site Manager > Modules > Integrated Services Manager and click on the Integration tab.
  • Locate the classes feed and if it is off, turn it on.
  • The feed will have a LOT of data, so leave it to run fully overnight and check it the next morning for accuracy.

If, like Veruca Salt, you "want it now," call or email us in Support and we can force the feeds to run for you. You can reach us at: emailsupport@finalsite.com, or call 1-844-322-8109

Remember: check ALL your data for accuracy!


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