Thursday, 17 May 2018

Autumn Colours

The photographer in me has always enjoyed Autumn .. the change in colour palette, no day like the previous, and clouds racing each other wherever you look.

Autumn also brings a bundle of changes in Edge. First out the door are a number of additions to the Edge Mobile App:
  • Caregivers payments to the school via the app. Third party payment providers must be supported by the school.
  • You can now choose between the default email app, Microsoft Outlook and the Gmail client app for sending emails on an iPhone when tapping contact details.
  • Teachers can now view a list of all unmarked rolls on the Attendance screen, not just those for the current day.
  • Caregivers can view student attendance on the student timetable. This is colour-coded: green = present, orange = late, red = absent, blue = unmarked.
  • There is now a warning when overwriting attendance codes.
Following close behind will be additions to timetabling that will bring the full functionality down to year 1 for all school types .. then more features as the term progresses.

Edge Conference
With about three weeks until our first Edge Mini Conference, registrations continue to roll in, and it's definitely a case of the more the merrier.


Palmerston North           - June 7 & 8 Conference Centre, 354 Main St, Palmerston North
Auckland                        - June 14 & 15 Holiday Inn, 2 Ascot Rd, Mangere, Auckland
Dunedin                         - June 19 & 20 The Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop St, Dunedin

As well as a range of workshops covering three streams, Administration, Management and Achievement, there will be time to network with other educational professionals from all the different types of schools who will be attending.

To encourage the attendance of a range of staff from each school we are offering a number of registration options: Pay for one attendee and another can attend for free. Pay for two attendees and three others can attend for free. Half price to attend for just one of the days.

If you are taking advantage of one of the above options, please make a note in the Special Conditions field when registering.

Click here to register

See you there.



Monday, 23 April 2018

Term Break

Traditionally a term break gives staff a chance to recharge and catch their breath or if they are very lucky .. get ahead. So with just a few days left of the break it's probably timely to remind schools about a few tasks that should be ticked off before term 2 arrives:

- If you are using a timetable .. Activate it before Monday (Timetable>Create or Edit Timetable .. choose the right timetable for term 2 .. then Activate it in Step 8

- Check all Attendance Rolls have been marked for term 1 (Attendance>Unmarked Rolls)

- Check all ?'s have been updated to the correct code (Attendance>Search by Code)

- PDF & Print then securely store your term 1 'Audit Term Attendance Registers' (Attendance>Audit Term Attendance Register)

- NCEA - Review the standards attached to students (Achievement>Edit Course Standards)

- Check that Assessment Points are set up as required to track data as the year progresses.(Achievement>Achievement>Setup of Assessments)

 - Staff Changes?? - For staff who have left, add an End Date In People>Staff>View/Edit Staff. For new arrivees, fill out their details on People>Staff>Register Staff Member, then edit their rights on Admin>Security>Configure User Responsibilities. They can then use the Forgot Password? link on the Edge login page to get themselves in.

- Announcements - Many schools are already using the School Announcement functionality in Edge to keep staff, caregivers and students up to date. The announcements appear on the Dashboard page as well as on the mobile app. To add/edit them you need the Communications role ticked in Admin>Security>Configure User Responsibilities.



Enjoy the rest of the break.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Easter is looming

Easter
The end of term 1 is nigh, but we all get a little practise break with the Easter holiday in a few days. Just enough time off for students to wind down .. then not quite wind up again for the week and a half before the April holidays .. and just in case you didn't know .. The date of Easter Sunday is usually the first Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the March equinox .. glad we cleared that up.

SPANZ & Edge Conferences
Our time at the SPANZ conference was very well spent with a lot of new connections made as well as catching up with acquaintances, both principals and sponsors. Many ideas and thoughts were shared especially around the likely changes Labour is indicating, although the detail is still up for debate. There is likely to be more clarity by the time our Edge conferences roll around in June. Please click here for more details on these as we are holding three conferences; Palmerston North, Auckland and Dunedin, and the programme has something for everyone.

NCEA Submission
For schools with NCEA students the first NCEA submission time is not too far away. This page in our Answers knowledge Base overviews the whole NCEA process in Edge, but the key points are:
  • Check the standards attached to each course .. including the version of the standard
    • Timetable>Information>Courses Lists .. Course Summary
  • Use the Edit Course Standards page to edit the standards attached to each student, NB. prior to the first submission un-ticking means 'unattached'. Once a standard has been submitted, un-ticking means withdrawn.
  • The standards attached to an individual student can be viewed en masse' on the Student Summary page, or the Assign Standards page. This can be bulk printed on the Achievement>View Results page. They can also be viewed in the portals and on the mobile app.
  • The submission file is created on the Admin>Import/Export>NZQA Import/Export page. For most of the year we recommend you tick, 'Only internal standards with results are submitted to NZQA'. NB. Attached external standards are always submitted so you may choose not to attach them until later in the year.
Training in the South Island
As indicated earlier in the year our South Island partner, Solutions and Services will be solely focusing on the financial work from the start of term 2, with MUSAC taking over the SMS and Library training from that point. We would again like to thank Solutions and Services for all their dedicated work and kilometers traveled over many years in supporting our software throughout the South Island. Feedback from schools over this time has been full of praise and we will look to carry on this excellent service from the start of next term.

For all schools, if you need training please email services@musac.io

Assay Analysis
An optional data analysis tool that takes your NCEA, PAT and OTJ data stored in Edge and presents it using an extensive range of filters in a colourful and graphical format. The data can be displayed in Teacher, HoD or School Leader centric views.


For example; Assay can show you how each of your students is going compared to their other classes, previous years’ results and their data such as PATs..... Assay can also give you your current classes by student in a form which gives an instant picture for each individual.


Assay is a separate 3rd party product that MUSAC has partnered with then embedded into Edge. For those schools wishing to enable this functionality please contact sales@musac.io


For more information, visit the Assay website.


For an interactive demo, click here and login with Username: demo and Password: demo.

National Standards Reporting
We have noted that a number of schools are still using the template report “Detailed Key Competencies and Flexible Comments” but are no longer reporting on National Standards. We are therefore changing the heading within this report from “National Standards” to “Curriculum Achievement”.

If you still would like the original heading then you can tick “National Standards” in the design area.

No other template reports have this heading to be changed. If you are using custom reports and would like changes made to them please contact services@musac.io

This change will be available after the next release which is scheduled for later this week.



Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Conference Season

The year keeps marching on ... March Returns are now behind us and SPANZ, the first major conference MUSAC is attending, is just over a week away.

This year SPANZ is being held in picturesque Queenstown and after a couple of years away MUSAC is pleased to be back as a Silver Sponsor. With the Labour Government indicating that major changes to the educational system are in the wind it's also very timely as the  conference will be the ideal forum for discussing where things might be heading.

One area that Labour has been mentioned already is closer engagement between home and school, which segues nicely into a reminder about the Edge mobile app. The Edge app is already being used on a daily basis by thousands of staff, caregivers and students. Staff are entering attendance and looking up student details, senior students are keeping tracking of their NCEA results and caregivers can read the school announcements. The Edge app is free and can be downloaded from either App Store (Apple) or Play Store (Android). Once installed make up a pin number, enter your Edge login details and start using the app. No extra permissions are needed for staff, but for caregivers and students the Portal access settings need to be enabled



Monday, 5 March 2018

Edge 5th March Technical Issue Update


Edge 5th March Technical Issue Update

Thank you very much for your patience during yesterday’s issues. We appreciate your support and understanding.

The issue has been resolved and it was identified to be related to server swap. The impact was reduced due of the extensive backup routine we have in place and we were able to restore the data.

Thank you once again for your patience.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

URGENT Edge Technical Issues

IMPORTANT MESSAGE

Our server partners are experiencing significant technical issues due to an upgrade that was carried out over the weekend.
They along with our help are working to have this resolved as soon as possible however they do expect this will take until mid afternoon today.

This issue is affecting only certain parts of Edge ie: Edit Student, Printing of receipts, batch reports and some other queued print jobs including MoE Returns.

Attendance has not been affected so rolls can still be marked.

An update will be sent out a soon as we know anything more.

Thank you for your patience.


Update - 3.40pm:   There is still some testing needed over the next few hours however all going well this issue should be resolved by tomorrow morning.


Update - 1.45pm:   The team having been working very hard to stabalise the servers and at this point things are back up and running, however we do ask that users refrain from doing any large data changes or printing until tomorrow where possible.  There is still more remedial work to be done this afternoon so there may be more interruptions from 3.30pm.


Update - 11.25am:  We have had a meeting with our partners and they are in the process or restoring a backup which is likely to take 5hrs.  This time frame will be updated at 1pm today but at this stage we are looking at 3.30pm.


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Settling into the term


It’s only the first full week back for schools, but with this interesting weather we are having it probably feels like much more than that. For those of you just settling in, welcome back and we hope you have had a good break.

It’s going to be a big year for Edge with several positive changes happening in and around the software. I would like to welcome all our new schools that have recently moved onto Edge SM and Edge LM.

I would also like to welcome back Deborah Sims who will be looking after our Northland and Auckland schools. Deborah has hit the ground running and is looking forward to reacquainting herself with schools she has worked with in the past plus all our new Edge SM & LM users. We will also be adding more resources on the ground to support our schools and we will update you on these changes shortly.

It’s also probably timely to remind everyone that March Returns are not far away. Some recent changes relating to these returns will be included in an update this Friday evening (Feb 16). Details about the Returns can be found here.

There will also be an update to Edge LM this Friday (Feb 16) that will include new SCIS functionality.

A reminder that if you are unsure about some of the features in Edge you can click the Help button that is at the bottom of nearly every page in Edge. If you are still stuck email our Support Desk (support@musac.io) or give them a ring on 0800 600 159.

A quick update on training in the South Island .. there is no change for term one with Solutions and Services continuing to provide the high standard of service that they are known for. From term 2 training in the South Island will be managed from Palmerston North but we will have people on the ground in South Island as currently is the case.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Underway in 2018

We are now nicely into double digits February so all schools are well underway. Good to see a range of schools opting to start on Feb 7 giving their students a few more of these very hot summer days at home.

Primary teachers and principals may also be feeling a tad more relaxed starting this year compared to the last few because of the recent changes to National Standards. Maybe we need to stay tuned to see if they are going to be replaced by anything, but quite nice to have a little less compliance at the start of the year.

Speaking of compliance, specifically attendance,the use of the Edge mobile app has ramped up very nicely from day 1 this year. All the feedback tells us that staff are really appreciating the convenience the app brings to marking attendance, looking up student and caregiver details as well as being able to add pastoral transactions and general student notes on the fly.

For those not so aware of the Edge Mobile App it can be downloaded from either the App Store (Apple) or Play Store (Android) by searching for Musac Edge. NB. in the App Store make sure you have the search filter set on Phone apps, even if you are using an iPad .. which it runs very nicely on. Once installed add a pin number, login in once with your usual Edge email and password, and away you go. More features to be added not too far away. NB2 .. NCEA students are also making good use of the app as it keeps them up to date with their historic and on-going results. 

With the new year we also have new staff .. Deborah Sims is back with us as a trainer based in Auckland. Dawood Ali has joined the development team in Palmerston North, and for those that missed it last year, Innocent Bindura also joined the development team late in 2017. Always good to have new people involved as they bring a fresh perspective to what we do.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Sunny Weather

It's perhaps mildly ironic that the weather has dramatically improved just as NCEA exams get into full swing. Silently sweating brain cells whilst in a room in a row with a group of your peers isn't likely to be top priority for anyone, let alone thousands of teenagers.

Related to this the Labour coalition election win has resulted in a number of announcements around changes to National Standards and perhaps also to NCEA. To date MUSAC hasn't received any subsequent software specification changes from the MoE, so it's status quo at the moment.  We'll keep you posted.

Also top of mind for many schools is end of year reporting. We have had a bit of a rush on schools wanting minor tweaks to existing custom reports. If you do need a change made get hold of us as soon as you can at services@musac.io. 

In thinking about caregiver reporting many schools have shifted to using the ATL reporting functionality found in Edge. In brief this is reporting to caregivers in small amounts at regular intervals. Caregivers can view the graphical output on the parent portal giving them almost live feedback on their child. More information can be found here.

The last two weeks of our regional training workshops are on at the moment. Participation has been very pleasing with schools learning from each other as well as by the topics being delivered. After getting feedback from schools we'll be looking to continue these workshops in 2018.

The Edge Mobile app is also getting more and more use, especially after the addition of pastoral functionality.
This is as well as being able to being able to mark attendance, look up student/caregiver details, contact caregivers and view announcements. More is on the way so we highly recommend you download it from either the App or Play store and start using it.





Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Sprint to the Finish

Is it just me or does term 4 somehow seem to just flash by? It's already T4 W1 D3 .. next week is a short week .. for schools with Y11+, NCEA exams start not so very long after that (Nov 9). Not to mention After 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 OTJ's looming ...

Also in the Edge SM world report writing will begin not too far away so for those schools needing tweaks or otherwise to their Custom Reports contacting MUSAC Services ASAP to avoid a last minute rush is recommended. (services@musac.io).

Use of the Edge App by Staff, Students and Caregivers continues to ramp up very rapidly. The recent addition of Pastoral functionality to the app for staff to view and enter has been very well received and in practical terms means that from a teachers perspective nearly all regular day to day SMS work can be done on the app . .very convenient.

The number of schools moving across to Edge Library Manager from our own MLM and other library packages is keeping us nicely busy. With the only cost to move being a small amount of training, enquiries are coming through on a daily basis. For those of you who have not seen Edge LM this video will give you a good overview. Edge LM Overview Video

Quick Reminders

  • To speed up your enrolment data entry, use the Admin>Setup>School Settings page to pre-populate selected fields.
  • New Filterable lists can create tables of statistics as well as lists of students. Have a look at the ones created by MUSAC then make some of your own.
  • 2018 calendar - set this up now so it's all ready to go next year - Admin>Setup>Define School Calendar.
  • Need to know which caregiver belongs to a phone number you have? Use Quick Find in the right hand end of the purple banner to do this and much more.



Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Spring Break

The gusty winds and sweeping rain have both announced that Spring is here. At least the temperature is climbing nicely. With luck there will be some settled time on the holiday weeks where both staff and students can recharge for the run through to Christmas .. hang in there parents.

We here at MUSAC are still on deck so if you have a query or question give us a call .. 0800 600 159 .. or drop an email to .. support@musac.io .. Otherwise kick back and have a happy holiday.



Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Time Saving!!

It's the time of year when lots of pre-enrolments are being added to Edge. Filling out default field values on the Enrolment Settings page (Admin>Setup>Enrolment Settings) can save you a lot of time and help to ensure data accuracy.

Just go to this page and add those values that are common across most or all of your pre-enrollers. These values will then be in those fields every time you do a new enrolment.


How many??

As well as listing information New Filterable Lists is great for giving you tables of totals on the data you have stored in Edge. e.g. Ethnicity by Year Level, Class by Gender by Year Level. 

Select the fields as you usually do then at the end of the field row choose a 'Group by' value. Finally tick Summative in the Output Options area. The PDF output will give you a table with the totals of the fields you selected.

The number you select in 'Group by' determines how the data appears across and down so adjust them if you need to.

If it's a table you might need again give it a name and Save it.

NZPF Conference

Queenstown truely turned on the good weather for the annual NZPF Conference last week, where hundreds of primary school principals have gathered to listen share and contribute.


Great to catch up with so many of you as well as meet new people. Thanks to all those who dropped by the MUSAC stand for a catch up or to find out a few things.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Solutions & Services - Annual Roadshow

Our annual South Island Roadshow is back on in 2017, coming to a town near you. This is a great opportunity to catch up with developments in your areas of interest.


There are three sessions, focusing on two strands, Finance and edgeSMS. You can mix and match your sessions over the three time slots at a cost of $60 per seminar or $180 for the day (plus GST). Full day registration includes a light lunch. Please do not send money with your registration – your school will be invoiced.


To register, follow this link, registration form



Edge Feature Reminders

It's been great meeting so many of you at recent conferences, workshops, road shows and schools visits. Part of your feedback has been about keeping up with the feature updates in Edge and the best way to use these. So here is an overview of some of the recent additions:

- Enrolment Settings - Admin>Setup>School Settings .. enrolment officers can set up default values for a range of student core details such as Date Started Here. This can save a lot of time when pre-enrolling students.

- Custom Categories - Admin>Setup>Category Setup .. Edit/View on the Custom Categories tab on the Student Details page .. these are school defined fields for holding information such as Internet Permission, Sports Choices and How Getting to School.

- NCEA - Unattached Standards - Achievement>NCEA>Unattached Standards .. on this page unattached standards can be viewed, removed or withdrawn as required.

- Mail to Greeting - People>Students>Student Details>Caregivers .. a Mail to Greeting field is now available on each caregiver. If a Caregiver has a Mail to Greeting, this is used when Financial Documents are sent.

- Announcements - Admin>Setup>School Announcement .. you can now send an announcement to more than one portal at once.

- Billable Items (Teacher Mode) - My Class>Finance Details .. a Year Level, Class and Group filter has been added as well as ‘only show my students’ .. unless the Show All Students right from School Settings has been enabled. This will help teachers see who has paid for a school trip or similar.

Finance Bulk Discount/Reversal - Finance>Processing>Bulk Discount/Reversal:  The ability to bulk discount or reverse billable items has been added.





Assay Analysis

Assay Analysis has now been included in Edge as an optional data analysis tool that takes your NCEA data stored in Edge and presents it using an extensive range of filters in a colourful and graphical format. The data can be displayed in Teacher, HoD or School Leader centric views.

For example; Assay can show you how each of your students is going compared to their other classes and previous years’ results. Assay can also give you your current classes, by student, in a form which gives an instant picture for each individual.

For more information: https://www.assay.co.nz/assay-3

For and interactive demo: https://hosted.assay.co.nz/demo/   Username: demo   Password: demo

Assay is a separate 3rd party product that MUSAC has partnered with then embedded into Edge. For those schools wishing to enable this functionality the annual license fee is listed below.

NB: Not all features available in the demo will be included in Edge. The functionality available in Edge will be: Wizard, Global Dashboards, Growth Dashboard, My Classes Student Graphs, My Classes Graphs / Tables, All Classes Student Graphs, and Whole School Graphs / Tables.

Annual license fee
Tier 1 - up to 300 students - $150.00
Tier 2 - 301-750 students - $250.00
Tier 3 - 751-1200 students - $400.00
Tier 4 - over 1201 students - $600.00

All prices are +GST

To enable this functionality or for further information contact: sales@music.io

Monday, 17 July 2017

Term 3 Roadshows: August - September 2017

Straight off the back of our very successful conference in Christchurch (with 160 attendees) we are back into Roadshow mode.
 
The Term 3 Roadshows will see us offer 2 half day sessions for Senior Management throughout the North Island.
You may wish to register for the morning, afternoon or both.  There will be a 1 hour break between sessions.  
It will be a long (and we feel worthwhile) day.  The morning session starts at 9.30am and the afternoon session at 1pm with both running for 2.5 hrs.
 
From the feedback we have had, parking has been an issue in the past for our Auckland sessions so both will be held at the Highbrook BNZ Centre, as there is plenty of onsite parking.  We realise this will mean more of a drive for some but it was the best option we felt would work for attendees.
 
Locations and Dates:
 
  • 21st Aug – Porirua, Wellington
  • 23rd Aug – Lower Hutt, Wellington
  • 24th Aug - New Plymouth
  • 28th Aug - Wanganui
  • 29th Aug - Auckland
  • 30th Aug - Auckland
  • 31st Aug - Whangarei
  • 5th Sept - Hamilton
  • 6th Sept - Rotorua
  • 7th Sept - Hamilton
  • 11th Sept - Hastings
  • 12th Sept - Gisborne
  • 18th Sept - Palmerston North
 
Even if you are a MUSAC Classic user, we do encourage you to come along to see what the next generation software is doing.
 
Below is a brief outline of what we will be covering during each session.
 
Senior Management (9.30am – 12pm)
 
  • Reporting (ATL, Custom, Template)
  • Markbook Setup and Use
  • Achievement Setup
  • Analysis / Overall Tracking
  • Assessment – NAG2a
  • Open Session – Questions & Answers
 
Senior Management (1pm – 3.30pm)
 
  • Mobile App
  • Filterable Lists Summary Tables
  • Enrolments Online – An Overview
  • Pastoral Setup, Management & Analysis
  • Attendance Setup, Management & Analysis / Reporting
  • Open Session Questions & Answers
 
 
The cost per half day (GST excluded) is:
 
1 person = $125
2 people = $225
3 people =  $300 
 
Morning or afternoon tea will be provided.
 
To register for the Term 3 2017 Senior Management AM Roadshow please click HERE
 
To register for the Term 3 2017 Senior Management PM Roadshow please click HERE

Monday, 10 July 2017

Edge Mobile Release Notes – 10 July 2017

Available for Android (v4, Ice Cream Sandwich, or newer). iOS (8.1 or newer)

New Features

School Announcements: the most recent can be viewed on the home page, earlier announcements can be viewed on the Announcements page.

NB. these are the same announcements that are configured in Edge Desktop and show on the Dashboard page.

High resolution student profile images: Tap the thumbnail on the student details page to view. Pinch to zoom.

The option to refresh data has been added to the Settings page. This can be used when very recent timetable changes have invalidated rolls that have already been downloaded to the phone.

Bug fixes and improvements:

- Pull down to refresh function added to user profile and student profile screens.

- Expired attendance notes no longer shown when marking rolls.

- Unmarked rolls sorted time of day.

- Shortcut button added to Student Search results to open Student’s Timetable.


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Custom Categories

These are configurable fields that can hold any additional information relating to your student’s. i.e. sports activities, awards, internet access, etc.

The setup is similar to markbook configuration where data types are first created (Category Value Setup) then applied to the relevant categories (Category Configuration). An example of this would be: .. create a Lookup Data Type of Yes/No, this could be then used on categories such as Internet Access Permission and Prefect. i.e. the data type is created once then applied to as many categories as needed.

The available data types are: Text, Number, Lookup, Comment (max 50 characters).

Custom Categories can be set up by staff with Enrolment Office User Responsibility. 
Admin>Setup>Category Setup.







NB. up to eight values can be applied to each category. Designated under the Maximum Value column.


Data Entry is by staff with Enrolment Officer responsibility. People>Student Details .. select student .. >Custom Categories. All staff can view Custom Category entries via Classes>Student Details>Custom Categories







There is also the option to show the Value 1 entry at the bottom of the Student Profile page. People>Student Details .. select student.

Data can be output via New Filterable Lists from the Student Details fields.