For Texas Districts trying to meet the requirements, House Bill 4545, a key element is for students in accelerated instruction to have 30 hours of instruction in the subject they struggled in. We’ve talked about how schools can create time for accelerated instruction, and how to schedule students, but how can schools keep track of how many minutes of that 30 hrs a student has met, and how much they have left?
Some schools may be using spreadsheets to enter this data and keep track of it. For Enriching Students users, there is a simpler solution that involves scheduling students with a custom appointment type, and running reports.
How can schools make tracking accelerated instruction time easier? One solution may be by selecting the time with the student’s attendance. This starts with a step taken by an Enriching Students admin user.
Creating Appointment Types with Timestamps
Appointment Types are used within Enriching Students to identify what kind of appointment a teacher is scheduling with a student. For example, are they being scheduled for extra help, enrichment, or in this case, accelerated instruction. A school can have an unlimited number of appointment types.
So, creating an appointment type specifically for AI would be the first step. Logged into their account, an admin would go to the Admin page, and then select Appointment Types. On this page they could add new appointment types so that they would reflect the time each student spends in Accelerated Instruction.
On the Appointment Types page, the admin would add a new appointment type by entering a description, as you see in the image below. They would need to make sure ‘Is Active?’ is selected, and save, in order for this new appointment type to be available when teachers are scheduling.
Some teachers may spend varying lengths of time with students during the time the students meet with them for accelerated instruction (AI). For this reason, in the image of the saved Appointment Types page below, you will see that there is an option for 10, 20, and 30 minutes.
Once these appointment types have been saved, any teacher in the school can create an appointment for AI and at the same time track the minutes a student is spending in each subject area.
Let’s take a quick look at how a teacher would schedule a student with this appointment type. First, they would navigate to the Scheduling page, and find the student they wanted to schedule. They would select the ‘Schedule’ button for that students’ name, and this would take them to a page where they can set up the appointment. After selecting the right course for AI, in the ‘Appointment Types’ dropdown they would select the appointment type for AI, that corresponds to how long this appointment will be. Get an idea of what this looks like in the image below.
Learn more about scheduling in our post Scheduling Students for Accelerated Instruction. In addition, a school could use attendance types to track this time. Taking attendance with a custom attendance type may look something like you see in the image below. But keep in mind, a school can only have up to 4 attendance types.
But how can you actually track this time, without having to manually enter it into a spreadsheet? That’s where reports come in.
Run Appointment Type Reports to Track Time
Now that you know how to take attendance, how does this help you keep track of how many minutes a student has spent in accelerated instruction, out of the required 30 hours?
Of course, it will take a number of sessions for a student to meet that time requirement. Regularly running and downloading reports will help a school, and District, keep track of this kind of data.
But to do this, it’s important to remember that there needs to be a time period defined in the appointment type names, as in the previous example.
One way to track this data is to have an Enriching Students admin user set up a report on the Export Appointments page. This is a page accessible only to admins.
Logged into their account, an admin would access this page by going to the Settings page, and then Export Appointments.
To run a report, first they would need to set up a ‘data definition’. This basically means that they would identify the specific data they want the report to pull, for a selected date range. To do this they would select the ‘Create Data Definition’ button you see circled in the image below. This explanation will be brief, so to learn even more about this feature watch the video Export Appointments.
What is important to know for Districts implementing HB 4545, is how this can help them report AI time for students. So on the Data Definition page, an admin would want to select the dates they want data for, and be sure to select the appointment types under ‘Data Filters. Whichever appointment types they want to have displayed in the report should be the ones they select. For example, they could select all of the AI appointment types, or maybe they want a list of all students who attended AI for 10 minutes. In that case, they would select the corresponding appointment type, as you can see in the image below.
They would then want to choose at least these data fields: Student FirstName, Student Last Name, Instructor First Name, Instructor Last Name, Course Name, Attendance Description, and Attendance Comment. Basically, by selecting these fields the report would show who the student was scheduled to, for which course, and how long they spent there.
Other fields could be added as well, depending on what data the school wants to see in the report. If attendance types are also being used as an indicator for what AI is, for example, an admin would add the Attendance Type field, and likely choose to add that appointment type under Data Filters.
See an example of the data fields are set up for a report in the image below.
Once the admin has added all of the data fields, they could export the data from here by selecting ‘Save’ at the bottom of the page, and then ‘Export’ and ‘Download.’ Saving the data definition will allow an admin to edit it in the future, and keep exporting it again and again, without recreating it.
The report will be downloaded as a CSV file. An example of what a report would look like, using the settings above for a few students scheduled to an AI course for a single date, can be seen below, with the appointment type ‘timestamps’ circled.
This report could be printed, or imported to another source. Specifically if a school runs a report for each appointment type, it would be easy to add the minutes. The data filters can be used to make reports even more specific, for example only viewing students in a specific graduation year, on a specific day.
Other Useful Reports for Accelerated Instruction
Enriching Students offers a number of other reporting features that may be useful for schools, many that are available to teachers as well as admins. One note about this — it is up to each school which reports, if any, they want teachers to be able to create. An admin has the ability to set these permissions.
If a school allows teachers to view the Analysis page, this is where they can find reports.
For example, if a school chooses to use appointment types to track time, on this page in the Attendance section, there is an option to run a report for Daily Attendance.
This is an approach a school could use, but we recommend you use appointment type method.
In another example, students may be reluctant or unsure of how to check their schedule, and may be frequently absent for AI.
To find out which students have not logged in to their Enriching Students account, a teacher could run the Students Never Logged On report under ‘Students.’ To learn more about this and other reports on the Analysis page, check out the video Create Analysis Reports.
These features can help your Texas School District implement HB 4545 in a way that makes it easier to meet student needs. View the other articles in our HB 4545 guide here.
Another aspect of this bill is how to serve students who will be part of Accelerated Learning Committees. Learn how to set up these committees, set goals, track tasks and notes, and manage committee meetings in our post Managing Accelerated Learning Committees.