Assessment for Admins

Chapter 2: Setting Up Your School Year

Chalk Assessment will help your school shift from outdated evaluation to true real-time assessment strategies. Support learning growth for students with standards-based grading, online assessments and transparency with parents through student ePortfolios that capture both formative and summative assessments.

This learning guide will help familiarize you with the features of Chalk's Assessment solution for users with Administrator privileges. If you want to learn how to take advantage of this solution as a teacher, please see our Assessment for Teachers guide.

While this guide will cover many of the features available, please refer to our extensive support articles for specific questions or reach out to us at support@chalk.com or through our in-app Live Chat service (available Monday through Friday, 8am-4pm EST).

The following chapter of our learning guide will go over how to:

  • Set up your school year
  • Create terms within the school year
  • Create grading periods
  • Utilize reporting groups

This lesson will provide you a step by step guide on setting up the school year in Chalk. This is important to do so that classes, and grades are properly organized for the year. We will start by becoming familiar with Assessment solution terminology, and then setting up the year. This should be done ahead of any CSV uploading, which will be discussed in the next chapter.

To download a printable guide for setting up your school year, click here.

Assessment Terminology Overview

This is part of our Assessment Solution. These may not be relevant to your experience if you are a free user.

With schools in so many different districts and areas of the world, sometimes the words we use at Chalk mean different things to how your school refers to them. This brief overview will help you to understand what we mean as we discuss Marking Cycles and Reporting Options, and setting them up as an Admin.

School Year

The start and end date-range that encapsulates the entirety of the school year.

Example: School Year 2018-2019

Term

The duration of time in which a class runs with the same students. This can either be for the entire school year or only part of the school year.

Example: Full Year, Semester, Trimester, etc

Grading Periods

Non-overlapping time ranges within a Term that represent the student’s average within that time-frame. The students’ average for a Grading Period is determined by the assessments with due dates that fall within the Grading Period date range. Grading Periods have a weighting attached to them that you can customize. This impacts how averages for both the Term as well as Reporting Groups are calculated.

Example: Quarter, 1st 9 Weeks, etc

Reporting Groups

Used to group Grading Periods together to provide flexibility with displaying grades to students and guardians. You can think of them as “buckets” that Grading Periods can be grouped into. A Reporting Group represents the students’ average of all Grading Periods within it.

Example: Mid-term report, Fall Semester

How do I set up my first School Year?

This is part of our Assessment Solution. You will not have this option if you are a free user.

This article will help you set up your school year. You should always set the school year to be from when students begin to when they’ve completed their year. This will set the stage for setting up specific terms and grading periods that live within the school year.

Step 1:

Under the Marking Cycles tab within the Settings view in Admin, click on Click Here to Add a School Year.

Step 2:

Enter the School Year name, start & end date, rotation schedule and the days of teaching.

What’s a Rotation Schedule and Days Teaching?

If your school uses Planboard and/or Chalk Attendance, please note that the Rotation Schedule and Days Teaching settings are relevant to you. The “Rotation Schedule” determines the repeating cycle of your instructional days and the “Days Teaching” determines what days of the week your school is in session for classes.

For exampled, at Chalk Academy the School Year runs from September 1st, 2017 until May 24th, 2018, Monday-Friday with a weekly rotation of classes. As such we will setup our School Year to be:

  • Name: 2017-2018 School Year
  • Start Date: September 1st, 2017
  • End Date: May 24th, 2018
  • Rotation Schedule: Weekly
  • Teaching Days: Monday-Friday

Assessment features are not available on mobile.

Assessment features are not available on mobile.

How do I create Terms within a School Year?

This is part of our Assessment Solution. You will not have this option if you are a free user.

Now that we have a School Year in place, your school may break the year up further into different terms. As a reminder, we define a term as the duration of time in which a class runs with the same students. This can either be for the entire school year or only part of the school year. 

Step 1:

From Settings, select Marking Cycles. Depending on what level of Admin you are, this will be either be on the menu on the left hand side, or along the top. You will see your School Year name and dates here. Select Add Term at the bottom of the page.

Note: If you are an admin of multiple schools, your screen will look like this:

Step 2:

Enter the Term Name, Term ID and start & end dates. Click Create, and you will be able to manage terms from the main page. Once your Terms are created, you can toggle between each of them to edit Grading Periods

Important Note: It is possible for a given school to have multiple, overlapping Terms that accommodate both types of classes.

As an example, at Chalk Academy, a Biology class runs the entire year (from September-May), and a Dance class runs from September-December and starts up again January-May with different students. They are both in the same School Year, but Dance is term based, and so we will need to create Terms within Marking Cycles to accommodate this.

For Chalk Academy, there are some classes that will have the same students all year long as well as classes that are semester based. As such we will want to setup 3 Terms to accommodate all types of classes we have. The Terms we will create are as follows:

  • Term 1: Fall 2017 (September 1st, 2017 - December 21st, 2017) TermID = fall2017
  • Term 2: Winter 2018 (January 1st, 2018 - May 24th, 2018) TermID = winter2018
  • Term 3: 2017-2018 School Year (September 1st, 2017 - May 24th, 2018) TermID = 20172018

Assessment features are not available on mobile.

Assessment features are not available on mobile.

How do I create Grading Periods?

This is part of our Assessment Solution. You will not have this option if you are a free user.

As a school, grades are often collected in time periods within a Term. A common example, is the grades collected for "Midterm" reports in many school districts. You may set up Grading Periods to collect reports by considering how you want grades broken down within a term.

Note: You can edit and adjust weighting as needed ahead of teachers using Markboard, but once teachers begin to input grades and use these periods, you will cannot adjust these periods on your own, and will need to reach out to support@chalk.com in order to update the weighting.

Step 1:

Within Marking Cycles in Admin, click “Add Grading Period” in order to add Grading Periods within the Term. Enter in the Grading Period name, start & end date as well as the weight value if applicable. If you do not put in a Grading Period, reports will not run correctly.

An In-depth Example

At Chalk Academy, grades are reported out to Students and Guardians broken down by 9 week periods. We must also report out the semester exam. As such Grading periods within each Term need to be setup as follows:

Term 1: Fall 2017

  • Grading Period 1: 1st 9 Weeks (Sept 1st, 2017 - Oct 15th, 2017) - 40%
  • Grading Period 2: 2nd 9 Weeks (Oct 16th, 2017 - Dec 15th, 2017) - 40%
  • Grading Period 3: Fall Semester Exam (Dec 16th, 2017 - Dec 20th, 2017) - 20%

Term 2: Winter 2018

  • Grading Period 1: 3rd 9 Weeks (Jan 1st, 2018 - March 7th, 2018) - 40%
  • Grading Period 2: 4th 9 Weeks (March 8th, 2018 - May 20th, 2018 ) - 40%
  • Grading Period 3: Winter Semester Exam (May 21st, 2018 - May 24th, 2018) - 20%

Term 3: 2017-2018 School Year

  • Grading Period 1: 1st 9 Weeks (Sept 1st, 2017 - Oct 15th, 2017) - 40%
  • Grading Period 2: 2nd 9 Weeks (Oct 16th, 2017 - Dec 15th, 2017) - 40%
  • Grading Period 3: Fall Semester Exam (Dec 16th, 2017 - Dec 20th, 2017) - 20%
  • Grading Period 4: 3rd 9 Weeks (Jan 1st, 2018 - March 7th, 2018) - 40%
  • Grading Period 5: 4th 9 Weeks (March 8th, 2018 - May 20th, 2018 ) - 40%
  • Grading Period 6: Winter Semester Exam (May 21st, 2018 - May 24th, 2018) - 20%

Assessment is not available on mobile.

Assessment is not available on mobile.

What is a Reporting Group?

This is part of our Assessment Solution. You will not have this option if you are a free user.

Reporting Groups can be setup to include Grading Periods across multiple terms so you can report on a given time frame all within one report. Mainly used to support students who have classes that are in different terms.

Note: Any custom Grading Period weighting will be considered in the average calculation for the Reporting Group. If students do not have the same class in different terms, you do not need to set this up.

Step 1:

To get started, from your Admin App, click Create New Reporting Group under Reporting Options.

Step 2:

In the window that appears, give a name for the Reporting Group, select the Grading Periods you want to include, and click Create

Step 3:

Once you have collected the Grading Periods into Reporting Groups, you will be able to manage them from the Reporting Options view. From here you will be able to edit the name of the Reporting Group, add or remove Grading Periods, and delete the reporting group all together.

In-depth Example of Reporting Groups

Chalk Academy will need to report out on semester averages which will leverage the Grading Periods setup in the previous step. Reporting Groups will be setup as follows:

Reporting Group 1: Fall 2017 

  • Term 1, Grading Period 1 
  • Term 1, Grading Period 2
  • Term 1, Grading Period 3 
  • Term 3, Grading Period 1 
  • Term 3, Grading Period 2 
  • Term 3, Grading Period 3 

Reporting Group 2: Winter 2018

  • Term 2, Grading Period 1
  • Term 2, Grading Period 2
  • Term 2, Grading Period 3
  • Term 3, Grading Period 4
  • Term 3, Grading Period 5
  • Term 3, Grading Period 6

Assessment is not available on mobile.

Assessment is not available on mobile.