Interesting Workaround

Have you had the situation when there is a significant timetable change for the whole school during Term 1 or 2?

If you ever find yourself in that situation there is an interesting MyExtras workaround to reduce the impact on teachers generating extras.

  1. Select the date that the new timetable is going to start, and import the timetable as “Semester 2”.
  2. Once that date has past, re-import it but this time as “Semester 1”. The previous “Semester 2” timetable will be automatically removed.
  3. Immediately after the re-import, change the Semester 2 changeover date back to your original date in July.

Then you are right to go!

Start of a New Year – 2020

At the start of a new school year there is a lot to do, with limited time. Prioritisation is essential.

The following quote from the science fiction movie Ad Adstra reminds us at this time to focus, prioritise, and to enjoy re-connecting with our colleagues and working together as a team. We only have the present moment, but as educators we should look forward with hope and optimism. Teaching and learning requires hope for the future, faith in one’s ability to get there, and love, in the form of patience, to sustain the effort.

“I’m steady, calm. I slept well, no bad dreams. I am active and engaged. I’m aware of my surroundings and those in my immediate sphere. I’m attentive. I am focused on the essentials, to the exclusion of all else. I’m unsure of the future but I’m not concerned. I will rely on those closest to me, and I will share their burdens, as they share mine. I will live and I will love.”
— Roy McBride (Brad Pitt), Ad Astra

Summer Holidays – Lock

MyExtras now automatically prevents teachers accidentally generating extras for 2020 under the 2019 timetable. This sometimes happens in January before the new timetable has been imported.

As soon as you import your new Semester 1 2020 timetable, this lock is automatically removed.

You can also manually remove the lock by visiting Section 16 of your admin panel.

Bulletin Update

We have made several optimisations on the bulletin page to help speed up its loading, particularly with larger numbers of teacher absences when the bulletin is long and requires a lot of scrolling.

We have also tested version 10 of The Timetabler for the first time. The bulletin feature is slightly different in that you have to click on the print icon to get to the MS word version of the bulletin. Initial testing indicates that the import into MyExtras works correctly as expected.

Seasons Greetings

MyExtras would like to thank you once again for your support in 2019 and wish you and your families all the very best for Christmas and the new year.

Please note that that the end of December (after schools finish) is when we roll over our databases and perform server maintenance. You can import your Semester 1 2020 timetable starting January 1.

End of Year “Head Start” Programs

How does your school manage the end of year for Yr.10 and 11 students? In recent years “Step Up” or “Head Start” VCE programs for the following year are becoming more common in the final weeks of Term 4. This is generally considered to be a very positive development for students.

However, we realise that changes of timetable, in addition to overlapping exam supervision rosters, marking, report writing and restless students can make the end of year very stressful for teachers.

This is also particularly so for Daily Organisers who are often the ones left to try and patch the mismatch of timetables, clashes, and oversights in addition to the busy conference period with absent staff.

It is also imperative that the Daily Organiser does their best to make arrangements that are fair for all concerned. Workloads can be highly variable among teaching staff at this time and this can sometimes lead to resentment. Teaching load data can also often be difficult to collate and may not be entirely accurate. The only way around it is to use the data available to you in your calculations and be open and transparent in your organisation. The complexity of this task is high and not all the data is quantitative. You will most likely make oversights and you are not going to keep everyone happy. However, you can do your best to distribute workloads fairly and efficiently and finish the year on a positive note. With everyone working together as a team the job is much easier!

At MyExtras we consider ourselves part of your team. To help, we have been working on the ability to run two Semester 2 timetables at the one time to help with the generation of extras at the end of the year. This would work by selecting a date that the modified end of year timetable would start on, then importing the new “2nd” Semester 2 timetable. This feature is currently being developed and tested and may not be fully ready for 2019.

If you would like to know more, or be involved in testing of this new feature or to comment on this post, please contact us.

Timetable Import

We have now built in a reminder to help admins import the correct timetable file into MyExtras – TTable.txt