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Scheduling is a time-consuming process. The Veracross schedule builder may be ideal for your school; there are other software solutions as well. Once the majority of classes have been scheduled, it can be challenging to know when to move the work out of the scheduling software into Axiom to manually make final changes and tweaks. Part of the challenge involves the inherent complexity of schedule data. Even straightforward block schedules require many pieces of data to follow the rotations, grading periods, and meeting times.
This article outlines a feature — Auto Block Scheduling — that assists in the workflow to manually schedule or re-schedule a class, and provides a few use cases in which this may be a helpful feature to use.
Auto Schedule Block
Auto Schedule Block Prerequisites
If your school uses a “block scheduling,” then most classes that are scheduled in Veracross are typical academic classes that meet multiple times per rotation, following a block. The Auto Schedule Block feature allows the user to select a block that has been previously configured to be applied in its entirety to the class. Blocks, including the meeting time and day in the rotation, are typically configured prior to scheduling any classes.
To create blocks that can be populated with classes, navigate to the the the System homepage and from the “Add +” menu, select Blocks.
In addition to pre-configuring the desired blocks, another prerequisite requires that the block group be set correctly on the class. This Auto Schedule feature requires that any block picked for scheduling must match the block group.
This feature can be used on any Active or Future class. And finally, it can only be used in cases where the class has a completely blank schedule.
Using the Auto Schedule Feature
To use the Auto Schedule Block feature, there cannot be any schedule records already for the class. Select the block in which the class should be scheduled, bearing in mind that the block group must be the same for both the block selected, and in the block Group field on the class being scheduled. Once you pick a block in the Auto Schedule Block field and click “Update” on the class record, every single meeting time for that Block will be added to that class for the ALL grading period.
In this way, this is both convenient for straightforward block scheduling for ALL-year classes and also saves clicks for even partial-block classes, single-term classes, or period-scheduling classes. This feature can be used to schedule a class for a whole block for the whole year and after the fact, further specific modifications can be made to the class schedule.
The Auto Schedule Period feature updates immediately when clicking Update, meaning if there are any students enrolled, their schedules will be updated with the new class times. This feature does not look for class conflicts for student/teachers already scheduled and will still schedule the class regardless of conflicts that may result. Conflicts may be reviewed later, after the fact, by reviewing student schedule conflicts. In other words, this feature works exactly the same whether or not students are enrolled in the class in question.
This new feature may be used both on the class detail screen, and also from a “Find Classes” query results. It also may also be updated in a query result using batch update.
Use Cases for the Auto Scheduling Periods
Schools primarily use this feature to fill in the gaps after using scheduling software (either the Veracross Scheduler or a third-party tool) to build the bulk of their student schedules. There are various other reasons a school may need to make use of this feature as well:
- A school may need to schedule remaining or newly added classes after having already committed to a schedule via the Scheduler.
- Schools that schedule students in cohorts (or groups) may be able to incorporate this into Student Group enrollment workflows.
- For smaller schools where only manual scheduling is done, this new feature may help save a lot of time.