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The Report Card System


The report card system is designed to report on student progress using up to 20 objectives per subject and an unlimited number of subjects. As such, it is suitable for use in both elementary and secondary grade levels. The report card system can print these subject results (along with unlimited size comments) in any desired order in a high quality PDF. It includes a tabular design, with subject shading and table lines. Since the source to the report card layout is available, report cards can easily be customized for individual school needs. The report card script has been rewritten several times and will continue to improve and evolve.

The use of the word subject is roughly equivalent to the word course. When you define a subject and a section you are really defining a course in a particular subject area taught to a particular group of students. We will use the word subject in this context.

Getting Started

The main steps in getting started with the report card system are:

  1. Entering the Subjects - only has to be done once to setup (although they will likely be changed slightly every year as teachers change or terms taught differ).

  2. Enrolling Students in Subjects - done yearly or per semester.

After that, the teachers will enter student evaluations for each class (subject-section). Report cards are then printed after that.

Once the subjects are setup for your school, there should not be a lot of work maintaining them. In a particular year, the teacher for a subject may change or a particular object, etc. Otherwise, subjects only require adding, once.

However, student enrollment in subjects is done at least once a year, and likely twice or more often if semestered. As well, there will be subject drops and enrollments on an ongoing basis as well.

At the end of the school year (after all report cards and other reports have been run), all subject enrollments should be erased by your system administrator, before you begin a new year of school. The subject enrollment records store all the students' evaluations for the year. These should also be posted into the transcript system (and other reports run), before being deleted.

Once a student is enrolled in a subject, they will also appear in the gradebook in that subject for the teacher of this course.

Terms or Reporting Periods

In this program, a Term or reporting period is a period of time with exams or tests of some kind at the end. A report card / progress report is generated for parents.

Most scripts can figure out the current term by using the current date and values stored in the configuration file.

There is also a term setting button on the report card page. It has a different purpose. This is used to lock mark entry by teachers into a particular term. It can also turn off mark entry by teachers (and also posting from the gradebook) if set to 0.

In a multi-track school where different grade levels have different numbers of terms (with different start and end dates), the terms for different tracks may be set separately. This is a configuration setting controlled by your system administrator. This will be an issue if you have a grade K-12 school with 3 terms K-9, and 4 terms 10-12. Setting these separately allows report cards (and mark entry) to be done separately for these 2 groups (Elementary and High School). This will ensure that teachers put their evaluations (marks and comments) in the correct term.

Entering the Subjects

The subject is entered using the button called Add a Subject on the report card page.

If the subject you are entering is similar to an existing one, you can clone it using the clone button after entering the subject-section (subjsec) of the existing one. This might be an advantage if there is a large amount of text in objectives, etc. Of course your new subject (or course), must have a different subject code and/or section code. Typically we use a one (1) for a section code and a 4 digit number for a subject code. Some schools include teacher initials in the section code '1LR' to give it some mnemonic value if there are several sections of the same subject. The subject code for schools in Saskatchewan (Canada) have to use the Saskatchewan Learning subject codes in order to use the online xml transfer system for synchronizing data with the provincial SDS (student data system). Other jurisdictions may have similar requirements for the subject codes. I have also provided a link to online codes that may be used if desired. This is on the top of the subject entry page and is called Other Codes.

You enter values as outlined below.

The subject table also has other fields that cannot be seen from this form that are used to control scheduling of this subject. These are accessible from the schedule page.

Subjects can also be edited, deleted, and cloned using the Edit/Delete Subjects button. Deleting subjects can only be done if there are no students registered in that class.

The View Subjects button allows a view of all subjects in the school. It can be viewed in several different orders.

The Subject Aliases are deprecated. They are small numbers that uniquely identify a subject-section and are used only for doing particular types of subject based attendance. They are not used by the report card system at all. This section, below the subject management area, allows the management of subject aliases (if required in your school).

Entering Subject Enrollments

Students must be enrolled in particular sections of particular subjects before report card marks can be entered, subject based attendance done, or the gradebook used.

There are several ways that students may be enrolled depending on your school situation:

  1. Enrollment by Grade - In most schools at the lower grade levels students are grouped by grade and classroom (homeroom). The By Grade approach works well at these levels. All students are listed for all subjects of that grade. By checking/unchecking the checkboxes for each subject, appropriate enrollments can be made for students.

    The Chk selection box is used to set whether all students are initially checked or unchecked in checkboxes. Use whatever state (checked or unchecked) is faster to select subjects and students for enrollment. (ie. Use chk and then uncheck the ones you don't want or vice versa)

  2. Enrollment by Homeroom - This option will be faster for those schools that have several sections of the same class. These scripts allow you to first pick the subjects/sections that you're enrolling students in (and also choose if you want them all checked). At the next screen you can then check (or uncheck if you have them all checked) those students that you wish to enroll in each of your subjects.

    If you have several sections of the same subject, it might make sense to give section names that are somewhat mnemonic. (6FS for Grade 6 Fred Smith).

    Both of these methods check that enrollment/evaluation records don't already exist. It will skip over existing records. If you put a wrong term into a subject (term 1 to 3 instead of 1 to 4), you can simply re-enroll that subject, and it will add in the term 4 records while skipping the term 1, 2, and 3 records. This is not a recommended approach, but it does work.

  3. Enroll a Single Student - Invariably, a student will turn up just after all subject enrollment is done. This method is for him/her. It will find all subjects in their grade and allow subjects to be checked off for enrollment. This also does existing record checking.

  4. Enroll a Single Subject - All students in the school are listed and can be checked off for enrollment in that subject. This approach is appropriate for high school subjects, although slower than the other methods.

  5. Matrix Entry - Deprecated. This option is little used, so will be withdrawn in future versions. A group of subject-section codes and a group of local student numbers are entered. A list of checkboxes is produced that list those subjects and allow all students entered to be enrolled in those subject-sections. This is a fast way to enter a heterogenous group of students into several subjects with significant overlap. You can simply unselect (uncheck) those that do not take particular subjects.

Note: When a student is enrolled in a particular section of a particular subject (course), multiple records are added to the eval(uation) table. There is one record for each reporting period of that subject. If there are 4 terms (quarters, reporting periods) in that subject then 4 records will be entered... one for term 1, term 2, etc. These are, of course, required to record the marks/evaluation for each of those terms.

Editing Student Subject Records

Students drop courses. Students change courses. This will allow you to make those necessary adjustments.

Click on Edit/Delete Student Subject Records, and choose the subject-section that you would like to change. These are sorted by grade and then subject. There are two options:

  1. An Edit/Delete function to change or drop individual records.

  2. A Power Delete function which can delete large numbers of records at one time. If a student drops a course, then all of his/her records must be deleted for that course. The number of records will vary depending on how many terms a course runs over. (ie. all year or semestered, etc.)

Notice that these records are the records used by teachers to record their evaluations of students.

Delete Individual Student Enrollments is used to search for the enrollments for a single student. Like the student search function on the main page, you may search by Lastname, Lastname and Firstname, or Initials (my favourite). You can then make the required changes to enrollment. Do not remove subject enrollments until you are certain the student is not returning, etc. These records contain all of the student's evaluations and would have to be re-entered if she/he returned, in order to print their report card.

View / Report Subject Enrollments

There are a couple of reports used to view various aspects of subject enrollment:

  1. Enrollment Summary - Web is a web based report listing subjects with students enrolled and a count of students enrolled (although no individual names are listed). It also lists those subjects with no students enrolled.

  2. Empty Subject List - PDF is a pdf report that prints a report suitable for teachers to use for recording marks. From a secretaries perspective, it is also useful to give to teachers to verify that all students have been added correctly. (none missing, no extras)

  3. Subject Enrollment - by Grade is a web based report similar to the above but listing only students enrolled in subjects by grade. It also lists the terms that records are stored for. So for a 3 term school year, each student should have a 1, 2 and 3 listed as terms.

  4. View Student Enrollments - by Term gives a listing by term for enrollment records. This conveys less information than the report above, but may be used for checking missing term records.

  5. View Individual Student Enrollments - As the name suggests, this will allow the viewing of all subject enrollment records for any student.

  6. The Enrollment Journal is no longer used. It is a table which records changes in subject enrollments just like the transfer table records changes in school enrollments. The Enrollment Journal View button allows you to see those transactions (changes).

The Report Card

The report card is normally generated on a per grade or per class basis to keep the size of the files generated to a reasonable size. This PDF file can be saved for reprinting later in the event of problems in printing (although it can also be easily regenerated). As well, individual report cards can be printed from this single file by being selective in the printing dialogue box of the Adobe Acrobat Reader client. (You can also find the record of interest by doing a search for his/her name in the PDF. Click the binocular icon.)

The starting screen for this script includes the following options:

  1. Student Group - Select the appropriate group, either homeroom or grade. Then enter the name of the group in the entry box.

  2. Font Size - Sets the base font size for the report card. Options are 10pt, 11pt and 12pt.

  3. Show Withdrawn Students - Students who have withdrawn do not have their report cards printing unless this is checked. Of course, their subject enrollments must not have been removed, since these contain the evaluations.

  4. One Student per File - When this is selected, each report card is put into it's own file. Then all of the pdf files together are zipped up into a single file for downloading. Once downloaded, they can be extracted and then printed all at once by selecting them all and then printing them.

    The reason for this is so that printers and digital photocopiers that have duplexing can then correctly generate the report cards on both sides of the paper, saving a lot of paper. The other advantage is the most digital photocopiers can also staple the report cards at the same time. This saves secretaries a lot of stapling time. They can simply be taken out of the photocopier and distributed.

  5. Alternate Report Card System - this option will generate a Pre-Kindergarten (Alternate) report card using an entire different system of tables. This system is described below.

  6. Override Term Days - will allow the entry of alternate days in each month that the school was open. These are often needed in Kindergarten and PreK classes where students do not come on a full time basis. The values below this are the current months in the school year.

Other reports in this section include:

Pre-Kindergarten (Alternate) Report Card System

This is an alternate report card system with predefined choices for all objectives. This makes it quite simple for teachers to quickly enter assessments for their students without large amounts of writing (since the objectives and choices themselves are quite long). The other goal was to have a less formal appearing report card for parents, while still maintaining good reporting practices to parents, including attendance, etc.

All of the scripts for this system are accessed from the report card page. Most of the scripts are on the bottom left of this page, in blue. The process of setting up this system consists of:

  1. Add the Subjects - similarly to the normal system, we first create 'subjects' (or perhaps more correctly, groupings of objectives) appropriate for these beginning grade levels. This includes a subject-section to uniquely identify it ( See main subject entry section for more details).

  2. Add Objectives to the Subjects - enter descriptions of your objectives in the description field. Add a group name to control the grouping of objectives on the report card. This is currently unused. The sequence number is the ordering of the objectives within the group on the report card.

  3. Add Choices to the Objectives - you then add choices to your objectives. Use the 'View Objectives' button, which gives a screen where you can add/edit/delete objective choices.

  4. Add Subject Enrollments - you then enrol students in your subjects, using the 'Add Subject Enrollments' button in the same section.

    You first select the type of group: homeroom, grade, or alt grouping, and then put in the value for that group in the next field. Separate multiple groups with spaces (ie. both grade 2 and 3 would be '2 3'). You then select the subjects for this student group either based on their group value (which you put in as one of the fields of the subject) or else just select 'All' to show all subjects in this system (not the main report card system). The students and subject check boxes will mean that the next screen will have them all selected (to speed up the selection process). You could first select all and then simply uncheck a few on the next screen if this is faster than just selecting some students and subjects on the next screen.

    The next screen will show the students matched with each subject in turn. Uncheck (deselect) those who are not taking a particular class. Once this is done and submitted, your enrollments are done.

  5. Add Assessments - on the teacher site, when logged in as the teacher giving these classes you will see these subjects below any existing subjects from the main report card system. You may select multiple subjects to enter at the same time and once you've selected the ones to enter, click the Continue button. You will be in an entry screen for this system with students in order with all the subjects you've selected. Each has only pull down selection choices for all objectives. Use the tab key to navigate to the next objective and use the up/down arrow keys to select particular choices. Click the 'Save Assessments' button to save your work. You may return later to change or add to these entries.

  6. Main Office - Change Assessments - the main office site can also make changes to the assessments entered (usually at the last minute before printing report cards). Use the normal 'Edit/Delete Student Subject Records' button, and at the bottom of the screen will be these PK/Alternate subjects. Edit and Change these as normal to the main report card system.

  7. Print Report Cards - Click the 'Print Report Cards' button as normal, but select the Alternate Report Card checkbox, and as well the group that is using this system. If you have large classes and a lot of text, it may crash the PDF generator due to limits built into the program. This is solved simply by using the 'One Student per file' option. There are several options that can be changed to alter the look and feel of the report card.

Report Card Configuration

There are several options for controlling report cards, now stored in a separate configuration file called repcard.conf. These settings may be viewed by using the View Configuration Files button on the EOY page. All new settings will be placed at the top of the file to make it easier to update.

It is shown below:

# New for 3.50 release
$r_Divlogofile = 'divlogo.jpg';
$r_Divlogowidth = '18mm';

$r_Showlogo = 1; # Show School Logo rather than school name.
$r_Logofile = 'schoollogo.jpg';
$r_Logowidth = '42mm'; # Printing width of the school logo.
$r_Schooladdresswidth = '70mm';
$r_AddressSpacer = '5mm'; # adds space below the address to align logo.

# Pre-kindergarten report cards (or Alternate system)
$r_Altlogofile = 'bus.jpg';
$r_Altlogowidth = '96mm';    # width of bus logo.
$r_Altdivlogowidth = '20mm'; # smaller div logo.
$r_Altaddresswidth = '70mm'; # width of division name
$r_Altspacer = '10mm'; # pushes up division name

# show provincial education number (or state #)
$r_Showprovnum = 1; 
# Show administrators in the page header; names must be set.
$r_Showadmins = 0; 
$r_Principal = 'Principal';
$r_Viceprincipal = 'Vice-principal';

$r_ShowMonthlyAttendance = 1;
# 3 Lates = 1 Absent; for calc subject absences.
$r_LateAbsentRatio = 3;
# default periods per day for teacher mode report cards.
$r_defaultppd = 4; 

# Personal Development Section

# Subject that these evaluation keys apply to.
$r_personal_growth = 'Personal and Social Development';

# PD (Personal Development) Evaluation Keys

$r_pdeval{a}[0]='I - Independent - Student is able to demonstrate
appropriate social and personal behaviours independently and
$r_pdeval{a}[1]='M - Meeting Success - Student demonstrates
appropriate personal and social behaviours in the school
$r_pdeval{a}[2]='P - Progressing with Support - Student is progressing
towards an awareness of appropriate personal and social behaviours in
the school environment. He/She often requires guidance.';
$r_pdeval{a}[3]='D - Experiencing Difficulty - Extensive guidance is
required for student to display appropriate personal and social
behaviours in a school environment.';

$r_pdeval{b}[0] = 'O - Outstanding';
$r_pdeval{b}[1] = 'G - Good';
$r_pdeval{b}[2] = 'A - Acceptable';
$r_pdeval{b}[3] = 'NI - Needs Improvement';

# New for 3.25 release
# All values here are replaced in 3.50

# New for 2.50 release
# Calculate GPA ( 0 = no, 1 = yes )
$r_calcgpa = 1;

# Values for Paper Size: letterpaper, a4paper, legalpaper removed
# since new 'defaultpapersize' defined in admin.conf for ALL pdf
# reporting.  NOT USED $r_papersize = 'letterpaper';

# Change to match your paper size setting (in admin.conf)
# Letter Paper: 279mm x 216mm; shorter and fatter than a4. 
# A4 Paper: 297mm x 210mm
$r_textwidth = '184mm'; # 32mm hor margin total - letter size
$r_textheight = '244mm'; # 35mm vert margin total - letter size

$r_fontsize = '10pt'; # 10pt, 11pt, or 12pt only
$r_voffset = '-15mm';
$r_hoffset = '-8mm';
$r_grayscale = '0.90';

$r_NewPageBeforeAttendance = 1; # (0 = No, 1 = Yes)

$r_ShowAdditionalComments = 1; # (0 = No, 1 = Yes)

# room for parent signature at bottom of report card;
$r_PrintParentSig = 1; 
# normally below a tear off line. 

# last term printout with special graduation box.
$r_PrintYearEnd = 1; 

# 2.40 and earlier ------------------------------------------

$subjspace = '8'; 
# cm width of subject field in tables. Used in calcs so no unit.
$markspace = '1.5'; # centimeter width of mark field in tables.

# Assessment Key printout widths
$assesskeycols = 3;  # keys are 3 columns wide...
$assesskeywidth = '5.5in';  # 5.5in is used for assessment keys

# Show a 'final' column and calculate average from term values
#  (ie. NO summative evaluation.)

# Calculate Final Average from term values.(0=no, 1=yes)
$calcfinal = 0; 

$clasavg = 0; # Show Class Average (0=no, 1=yes)

# Show homeroom teachers on report card.(0=no, 1=yes)
$showHomeroomTeacher = 1;

# Show tearoff line for parent signature return (0=no, 1=yes)
$showTearoff = 1; 

# Show grading scheme on the report card. (0=no,1=yes)
$showGradeScheme = 1;  

# No Longer used in 3.50 and later; remove with version 4.00+ release.
#$showLogo = 0; # Show School Logo rather than school name.
#$logoLocation = '../../etc/schoollogo.jpg'; #left in etc folder...
#$logoWidth = '2.5in'; # Printing width of the school logo.

$finalterm = 3; # The last term to print assessment values.

# Descriptive Text for each term. Note: no zeroth term.
$term[1] = 'Term 1';
$term[2] = 'Term 2';
$term[3] = 'Term 3';
$term[4] = 'Term 4';
#$term[5] = '';
#$term[6] = '';

# Teacher/Admin Signature Line
# Select who signs the report card (except for the final term)
# Accepted values: teacher, principal, or combo.
$teachersign = 'teacher';

# Skip printing of any report cards which
# have no assessment values for the current term.
# 0 = 'Show Everything' 1 = skipBlanks
$skipBlankReportCard = 0; 

# The position of the staff member who show up on report cards...
# They have to be a teacher, and have grade and class set correctly
# in the teacher data area.
$position = 'Classroom Teacher';

# The subject that is 'hidden' on the report card and is used to place
# additional comments at the end of the report card. This MUST be the
# name of the subject, otherwise it will show up as a normal subject.

$additionalcomments = 'Additional Comments';

# The field that is used as a mark. Normally the first one... a1.
# It is used to calculate class averages, etc.
$markfield = 'a1';

# Evaluation Keys for Various Grades

$g_eval{a}[0]="E - Excellent";
$g_eval{a}[1]="G - Good";
$g_eval{a}[2]="S - Satisfactory";

$g_eval{b}[0]="VG - Very Good";
$g_eval{b}[1]="G - Good";
$g_eval{b}[2]="I - Improving";

# Notes=============

# A note section just below evaluation outline on report card.  
$note1 = 'All comments are those of the Homeroom teacher, unless
otherwise indicated.';

# AR Filtering - students who have a failing mark, but teacher doesn't
# want to show that mark but only an 'AR' for 'At Risk'. She/He puts
# in the mark with a trailing AR (ie. 45AR ). The report card script
# will then strip the 45 and display only the AR.
$arFilter = 1; # (0=no, 1=yes)

Technical - How the Main Report Card System Works

The report card system makes use of a couple of tables as well as the main student table. They are:

  1. The subject table - this table stores the subject inforamtion. It lists the subjects, who teaches them, the course code and section number and the starting and ending reporting periods and up to 20 objectives. Each subject-section is identified by a unique subject-section code which is the subject code, a hyphen, and a section code (ie. 8415-1)

  2. The eval(uation) table - this table stores the teacher evaluations for a student in a particular class and section. When a student is enrolled, one record is entered for each reporting period in that class and section. For example, if there are 4 reporting periods (terms) for a particular subject-section, then 4 records are added for each student enrolled in that subject-section.

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