Cumulo Learningtm Details: Methodologies & Processes
- Student Enrollment
Parents of existing students can re-enroll their students from ensuing school years using the "Enrollment" link on their home page. All enrollments need to be activated by a school administer. School administrators may also enroll students. The process is two-fold:
- Enter the student into the database, and
- Enroll them for the year in question.
Students can be enrolled at any point in the year. Students can be entered individually or in batches. Non-member parents can create an account for themselves and their children but, again, does not become active until acted upon by the school administration.
- Unique student ids are generated by the database and these are used as a means for identifying students in the system.
- Student, staff, and family pictures are displayed in several places on the web site if they exist. If they do not exist, for whatever reason, a "shadow" image is displayed.
- Enrollment numbers can be total per school and total per district. No student is counted multiple times in the district totals.
- Student mode of transportation is included in the student information fields based on who is responsible for transport (school/bus, parent, walk/bike).
- Options for three telephone numbers and two email addresses are kept for each site user.
- Cumulo Learning has a complete system of emergency contacts, health insurance, clinics used, primary care physician, for all students.
- Transferring students between schools using Cumulo Learning involves changing the student's UID, enrolling them in the school, and adding them to any class rosters that they are in.
- Cumulo Learning "Families" are determined by linking adult users with student users. Adult users "log on" to their school and can see the kids in their family that are enrolled at that school. They can NOT see family members enrolled in other schools. However, by changing the school that they are viewing (no new login process needed), they have immediate access to their children that are enrolled at that school. Parents & students can have access to multiple schools.
Cumulo Learning has limited scheduling capabilities given its focus on elementary and middle schools. This utility is currently under development and will take shape in the early stages of the 2012-13 school year.
- Cumulo Learning does allow for multiple instructors for a single course.
- Historical data exists from year to year using the relational database approach. Each student can be in the system for multiple years and each year contains its own set of courses, academic records, and other data.
Attendance is recorded at the classroom level and/or at the administrative level. There are several reporting tools for attendance as well as a screen for identifying the nature of an absence as well as whether it has been validated.
- Teachers can go back to any point in the school year to update attendance records. All changes are time stamped. There is no utility for setting a date at which time teachers can not edit attendance at this time.
- Only administrators, teachers, and staff members who are given attendance rights can update attendance.
- Custom attendance fields are available. The school or district can determine the degree to which different absence fields are "counted" towards student attendance numbers.
- Absences and tardies are labeled as "excused, unexcused, and unverified".
- Only homeroom attendance is visible on report cards but this could be adjusted under the "continuous development" model that Cumulo Learning is based on.
- Cumulo Learning does log whether a teacher has taken attendance or not and when that attendance was taken. This can happen multiple times per day.
- Cumulo Learning can create aggregated reports of average daily attendance over a given date range. This can be done by class, school and district and made available to any staff members as determined by school administration.
- Cumulo Learning can report on attendance tracking across multiple levels and schools for individual students.
- Attendance reports can be run on a class, school, and district level.
- Grade Reporting
Grade reporting is done periodically and at the end of a marking period. Marking periods (terms and sub-terms) are set by the school administration. Grade reporting can be academic or non-academic (personal development) and can be gradebook or non-gradebook in nature. Schools may choose to require teaching staff to publish student progress periodically to parents or not. When publishing grade reports, teachers can choose to notify parents that a report was submitted or simply post it. Finally, report cards are created, formatted, and posted by school administration with almost no effort required by teaching staff beyond ensuring that their grades are created and ready to post.
- Report cards are created, run, and printed by school administration.
- Prior to publishing, teachers are given the opportunity to validate the report cards.
- Teachers can enter comments on the course/subject level as well as general comments for a class as a whole and for individual students.
- School Administration can include a message that appears on all report cards.
- School Administration can determine if/when report cards are viewed electronically by parents. If so, a link appears on the parent's home page.
- Grade weighting is done at the gradebook level.
- Standards-based grading is being developed and should be released for beta at some point during the 2012-13 school year.
- Homeroom attendance appears on report cards.
- Grades can be printed individually or by class by both the teacher and the administration.
- Multiple grading scales (symbols, weights, and description) can be placed on report cards.
- Schools can "hold" report cards and progress reports as they see fit for any reason.
Reporting takes on many forms. Reports can be academic in nature, fee account-based, state-mandated lunch reporting, attendance reporting, health office reports, and many more. Cumulo Learning has a wide range of reporting tools available and is always adding more. One unique approach to reporting is our "Data Extract" utility which allows administrators to pull data from the database resulting in filters and formatting that they indicate.
- All reporting is done via the web browser with a combination of printable screens and downloadable text files.
- All reports are designed to print on standard 8 ½ x 11 paper.
- Many reports are downloadable in tab-delimited format conducive to saving in multiple formats.
- Saved reports can be distributed to any appropriate email recipient using Cumulo Learnings communication tools.
- Many reports allow for custom sorting prior to creation.
- Many reports allow for system-level batch printing.
- Teacher Gradebook & Class Management
The Cumulo Learning gradebook has a spreadsheet lay-out. It is driven by school-defined symbols, weights, and items however each teacher has the ability to over-ride the school-defined functionality and create their own. It is up to the school to dictate to the teaching staff the degree to which they are allowed to do this.
Academic reports are "pushed out" by teachers or not as they see fit. In this sense the gradebook is not "live." It is generally believed that this is the best of both worlds, however a new gradebook is in the works that is standards-driven and when it becomes available (probably not before the fall of 2013), the ability to run a "live" gradebook may be an option.
- Gradebook grades can be modified by teachers prior to publishing.
- Teachers can copy assignments from class-to-class when creating. This same functionality is available for symbols, scales, and weights.
- Dropped students are immediately removed from external grade publishing but all their records remain in the system for academic reference.
- Gradebook reports can be viewed via site access if allowed by the classroom teacher.
- To create a report card-ready report, teachers create the report, edit any grades that need to be edited, indicate that it is a "report card" report, and then submit the report. Beyond validation before publication, that is all that needs to be done by the classroom teacher to create a report-card, ready report.
- School defined "flags" are available as grading symbols.
- A rectangular seating chart utility does exist, allowing the teacher to set the number of rows and columns. The students name and picture (if one is on file) are used in this utility.
- Gradebook items can automatically be included in the viewable "homework" utility on the student/pages if desired.
- The Gradebook has a visual indicator of late work.
- Teachers only have gradebook access to students in their classes however they do have access to the entire report cards of each student in their classes.
- Limited statistical analysis of grades (mean, median, mode, range, etc) is available.
- All gradebook categories are customizable.
- Parent Access
Parent access is as user-friendly and comprehensive as can be found on the market today. Suffice it to say that our name, "Cumulo Learning" is not a misnomer, as evidenced by phrase, "Now, parents know more." We believe that the home MUST be connected to the school. We believe we do that at least as well as others in the field.
Cumulo Learning has a two-pronged process for discipline. The first focuses on the concept of late work only. It is our belief that attending to pre-set deadlines on assigned work runs well beyond academia. We have a process in place for communicating to all of a student's teachers whenever they are behind on work in any class. This communication process is an escalating process depending on the number of assignments that are late on and can include school administration and parents at any level of escalation.
The second prong is a system by which schools can define custom behaviors, consequences for those behaviors, and track the implementation and results of intervention and discipline. This process is complete customizable (behaviors to flag, consequences, parent notification, etc.). Multiple students can be associated with the same incident.
Further customization is available by working with the Cumulo Learning development staff.
- Data Collection & Reporting
Data Collection & Reporting is becoming vital to all levels of education. Cumulo Learning has many standard reporting functions from its data stores. It also has a "Data Extract" utility allowing schools to create custom reports. One item on our "To Do" list is the implementation of standardized testing reports. Look for this in the 2013-14 school year.
Our staff expects to begin working with school administration once a school or district are on board to ensure that we put in place any state or local reporting utilities that are requested.
In the Cumulo Learning model, staff (teaching staff or non-teaching staff) are simply site users with different levels of permission. As indicated in the permissions-based portion of this bid, functionality is determined by staff roles. The basic staff roles are School Administrators, Site Administrator(s), Teaching Staff, Non-Teaching Staff, and Support Staff. All school non-teaching staff have a virtual office. All teaching staff have a virtual classroom (assuming the school is using the service as their web presence. If this is not the case, it is expected that the school web presence includes this type of functionality).
All adult users can maintain access to multiple sites regardless of if the is necessary due to parenting children in different schools or have duties in different schools. Staff may easily be "relocated" to a different school at any time.
- Early Intervention, English Language Learners (ELL), & After School Enrichment
These programs are considered as classes or courses in the eyes of Cumulo Learning. Cumulo Learning does little in terms of curriculum. These programs, much like the music, art, athletics, or other specialist-driven programs function within the Cumulo Learning model as seamlessly as any other "class". In Cumulo Learning, a "class" is any grouping of students for the sake of education, either core- , elective, or extra-curricular in nature.