Instruction for Admins

Chapter 2: Schools & Groups

Instruction connects you and your colleagues, allowing you to share lessons, assessments, and other resources. Create sharing groups and share across a department, grade level, or your entire school.

This learning guide will help familiarize you with the features of the Instruction solution for users with Administrator privileges. If you want to learn how to take advantage of this solution as a teacher, please see our Lesson Planner 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 Live Chat service (available Monday through Friday, 8am-4pm EST).

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

  • Create and add users to Schools and Groups
  • Set off-days for a specific School or Group
  • Create templates for a specific School or Group

What are Schools and Groups and why should I use them?

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

What are Schools and Groups?

Within Admin, there is a feature that allows you to create two types of smaller sub-groups within your institution. These sub-groups are called Schools and Groups. Having a School or Group allows you to set up roles and content specific to a group of people within your institution. This includes being able to create lesson plan templates, off-days and curriculum maps for one School/Group that are different from another School/Group, as well as set admin roles for a specific group of individuals.

Schools and Groups work very similarly and offer many of the same features. Here are some key features to take note of that apply to both Schools and Groups:

  • There is no limit to the number of Schools and/or Groups an individual account can be in
  • An individual account can have roles set for a specific School/Group (e.g. A teacher who works in two Schools may have admin rights and be able to view accounts, provide feedback on lesson plans or view insights in one School while having normal teacher-level permissions for the other School)
  • Schools/Groups can have their own lesson templates, off-days and curriculum maps that are only made available to accounts within them
  • Insights and lesson feedback features can be looked at through the lens of a specific School/Group, making it easier to focus on a specific sub-set of accounts within the institution

The key difference between Schools and Groups, is that Schools are created to represent the physical buildings within an institution (i.e. If you have multiple schools in your district, they’ll each have a School sub-group). A Group can be created to be within a specific school (i.e. School-wide Group for all of the Grade 3 French teachers within the same School) or span across the whole institution (i.e. Institution-wide Group for all of the Grade 3 French teachers within the district/institution).

Why create a School Instead of a Group?

An Admin is able to create their own groups within their school and have more independence.

This makes it much easier for a school administrator to manage their own staff, set their own off-days, as well as empower individuals within their school (e.g. Math Department lead) to take more ownership over their teams.

Why create an institution-wide Group instead of a Group within a School?

Institution Groups allow for teachers across different schools to more easily collaborate.

Consider a district with 2 (or more) elementary schools. Each School can have a Group within their School for their Grade 2 teachers to share week-to-week quickly and effectively. They can also set-up an institution-wide Grade 2 Group so that resources can be shared to the whole district. This makes it much easier for teachers to collaborate and have district or institution-wide cohesiveness.

Note: Make sure to continue with "How do I create Schools and Groups?" and "How do I add users to Schools and Groups?" to take full advantage of these features.

How do I create Schools and Groups?

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

This article is a quick step by step guide on how to create Schools and Groups within your institution. For more information on what Schools and Groups are and why they are useful, read the article here

Step 1:

Open the Admin menu at the top of the page, then click Organization Settings.

From here, you will have a few options on what you can create.

Step 2: (Option 1) Creating Schools

Click the Schools tab, then click Add School in the top-right corner.

Step 2: (Option 2) Creating Institution-Wide Groups

Click the Groups tab, then click Add Group in the top-right corner.

Step 2: (Option 3) Creating School-Wide Groups

Click the Schools tab, then select the School that you would like to add a Group to.

Once you've selected a school, click the Groups tab, then click Add Group in the top-right corner.

Step 3:

Enter a name for the School or Group. If you need to change the default role for its members, click the Edit button and select a new default role. Click Add School/Group when finished.

Step 4:

You'll see the newly-created School or Group appear in the list. Click on its name to view and manage its users.

You can click the back arrow at the top of the page to return to viewing users for your institution, or to select another School or Group to view.

Unfortunately, Admin features are not available on mobile.

Unfortunately, Admin features are not available on mobile.

How do I add users to Schools and Groups?

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

This article is a quick step by step guide to add users to Schools and Groups. While the actions are very similar, the navigation to get there is slightly different. For more information on School and Groups and why they're useful to your and your institution, click here.

Note: Only institution and school admins will be able to add users to Schools and Groups. Group admins will not have access to that feature.

Step 1:

Open the Admin menu at the top of the page, then click Organization Settings.

Step 2:

Click on the Schools or Groups tab in the top-left corner of the Admin view, depending on your need. For this example, we'll add users to a School.

Note: To add users to a School-specific Group, navigate to that School and then click on the Groups tab you see there.

Step 3:

Select the School that you would like to add a user or users to, then click the Add Users button in the top-right corner.

Step 4: 

In the box that appears, enter the emails of the accounts you would like to add, with each email on a separate line. For example:

Step 5:

Click Add to add the accounts with the default roles set for your school or group.

If you would like to assign different roles for these accounts, click the Assign New Roles text at the bottom of the window.

Next, select the roles you would like to assign to all of the accounts being added. Click Save to apply these changes.

Click Add when you are ready.

Unfortunately, Admin features are not yet available on mobile.

Unfortunately, Admin features are not yet available on mobile.

How do I set off-days for a specific School or Group?

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

Off-Days block out a day in the lesson planner so lessons can't be created that day. These are to reflect days such as PD-Days, Holidays, unexpected days off due to weather, etc. This article will tell you how to set off-days for users that belong to a specific school or group so that the off-day will not affect every user in the institution.

Note: As an individual teacher it is possible to create these for their own account. To see how teachers can edit their own off-days, click here

Step 1: 

Open the Admin menu at the top of the page, then click Organization Settings.

Step 2:

Navigate to the School or Group that you would like to view by clicking either the Schools or Groups tab near the top-left corner of the page.

For this example, we'll use the Schools tab.

Step 3:

Select the School or Group that you would like to add an off-day or holiday too.

Step 4:

Select the Off-Days tab across the top of the page, underneath the title of the School or Group.

Step 5:

From here you have two different options to create off-days:

  • Add Holidays
  • Add Off-Day

Both of these options are found in the top right corner. 

Option 1: Add Holidays

This option lets you select from pre-existing national holidays by country for a specific date range:

Option 2: Add Off-Day

This option lets you create an off-day with a custom reason (for example, Professional Development), and a start and end date. Select the same date as the start and end date if only one day needs to be blocked.

Step 5:

Select Add and you're done!

Click here for more information on how to edit and remove off-days.

Admin is not yet available on mobile.

Admin is not yet available on mobile.

How do I create lesson plan templates for my school?

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

Lesson plan templates give teachers a starting point when organizing lessons so that they don't have to start from scratch. As an administrator you can create templates that are accessible to all teachers in the institution so they won't have to create their own, or have an example to work off of. 

This article will go over how you can create a lesson plan template for your institution or school.

Step 1:

Open the Admin menu at the top of the page, then click Organization Settings.

Step 2:

If you wish to create a lesson template for your institution, click the Lesson Templates tab near the top of the page.

If you wish to create a lesson template for a particular School or Group, you can navigate to that School or Group from within Admin and click the Lesson Templates tab there.

Step 3:

Click Add Template in the top-right corner.

Step 4:

Here you will be able to create your template using the same text editor used in Curriculum & Instruction. This allows for the creation of rich content including tables, images, videos, hyperlinks and more!

Note: Be sure to add a title to your lesson plan template so that teachers can easily identify it when they want to use it.

Using the Templates for Lessons in the Planner

All templates created in Admin will be available to accounts within that institution when they go to Templates in the Lessons menu. 

Note: If you create a lesson plan template within a School/Group it will only be available to accounts that are within that School/Group

From Templates is where you or teachers can View the template as well as Assign it to subjects. For more information on how teachers assign templates within their planner to a single class click here.

Not only will teachers see templates that have been created for them, they will also be able to create their own template as outlined in this support article.

Note: Templates created by an Admin can NOT be edited by individual accounts from the lesson planner. These can only be viewed and assigned. If they'd like to edit this template they will need to manually copy it from the View page and paste into a new template they create themselves. 

Admin is not yet available on mobile.

Admin is not yet available on mobile.