Summer Intensives

Summer Intensives vs Summer Programs

As of July 12, 2021, this "Learn Veracross" site has been deprecated.  It will remain live at least through October 1, 2021, but will no longer be updated. All knowledge content has moved to the new Veracross Community.  Please update your bookmarks. 

Overview

The term "Summer School" covers a wide variety of offerings that differ from school to school, ranging from simple class re-takes occurring during the summer to fully-fledged summer camp programs. Given all of the different possibilities, it can be difficult to determine whether or not Veracross supports your scenario and, if so, how to configure the system for your use case.

In this article, we'll discuss the difference between "summer intensives" and "summer programs" - two categories of summer school commonly modeled by schools.

What is a "Summer Intensive"?

Veracross defines a summer intensive as class-based academic activity that acts as an extension of the academic school year for participants in the academic school year, occurring outside of the date range of the ALL grading period. 

Other key aspects of a summer intensive include:

  • Participants (by role): students and faculty
  • Structure: Summer school year record and corresponding Summer grading periods
  • Administration: Typically managed by the same personnel as the academic school year
  • Assessment: Assignments, grades, report cards, and transcript items (for upper school classes)
  • Purpose/Goal: Allow students to complete academic coursework over the summer that will be counted toward their academic progress tracked during the academic school year via credits earned and/or transcript items
    • Summer intensives are often structured to allow students to re-take classes taken during the previous school year, complete prerequisite classes ahead of the next school year, or participate in experiential learning for credit (internships, volunteer work, etc)

What is a "Summer Program"?

Veracross defines a summer program as enrichment activity that operates independently of the academic school year for a variety of participants, occurring during the summer months.

Other key aspects of a summer program include:

  • Participants: Can include participants in the academic school year as well as persons not associated with the academic school year
  • Structure: Typically modeled as date range based sessions
  • Administration: Typically managed by different personnel than the academic school year
  • Assessment: Typically participatory or intra-session acknowledgment (ribbons, badges, etc)
  • Purpose/Goal: Provide child participants with a fun and enriching experience geared toward their interests during the Summer months when they are not in school.

What does Veracross support?

Veracross supports summer intensives and summer programs using different functionality. 

  • Summer intensives: standard academic functionality using appropriate school year and grading period configurations
  • Summer programs: use the extra-cost Program Registration module

Summer Intensives

Summer Intensives closely resemble the academic school year structurally and are able to make use of much of the same standard academics functionality. For instance, Summer Intensives are able to use the Learning Management System components of the Portals platform; enabling teachers, students, and parents to interact with classes in the same way they do during the academic school year. Grades and Report Cards (using school-configurable documents) can be issued for Summer Intensives and transcript items can be generated and included on transcript documents.

Read more about:

  • School Year and Grading Period configuration for Summer Intensives
  • Portals configuration for Summer Intensives
  • Issuing report cards for Summer Intensives
  • Managing transcript items for Summer Intensives

Limitations of Summer Intensives

  • Participation is limited to students and teachers who participate in the academic school year - program students and other non-students cannot utilize Learning Management System components of the Portals platform
  • Summer grading period date ranges cannot overlap with the academic school year and should be associated with the summer school year record
    • The Portals platform does not support concurrently active academic and summer school years

Summer Programs

Summer Programs can vary greatly from the academic school year and are best managed in Veracross using the Program Registration module. 

Read more about:

Limitations of Summer Programs

  • Veracross does not offer a standard Portals experience (for post-registration engagement) for Summer Programs
  • Veracross does not offer a Learning Management System solution for Summer Programs
  • Veracross does not offer Report Card or other report documents for Summer Programs
  • Veracross does not generate transcript items for Summer Programs

Configuring Veracross for Summer Intensives

As of July 12, 2021, this "Learn Veracross" site has been deprecated.  It will remain live at least through October 1, 2021, but will no longer be updated. All knowledge content has moved to the new Veracross Community.  Please update your bookmarks. 

Before requesting configuration changes, please review our documentation on the difference between Summer Intensives and Summer Programs.

Overview

Summer Intensives are an excellent way to provide your students with opportunities for success. Whether it's to allow students to re-take classes taken during the previous school year, complete prerequisite classes ahead of the next school year, or participate in experiential learning for credit (internships, volunteer work, etc), configuring your database for Summer Intensives is the right place to start.

Consultation

The first step in configuring your database for Summer Intensives is to familiarize yourself with our documentation about Summer Intensives and reach out to your Veracross contact person for a consultation. As you'll see in the sections below, configuring your database for Summer Intensives does require the involvement of Veracross engineering, so please allow at least two weeks lead time for new configuration requests.

Configuration Overview

The sections below are a deep dive into configuration - here's an outline of what's covered in those sections:

  • Axiom Configuration
    • The Summer School Year Value
    • Summer Grading Period Group/Grading Periods
    • Summer Scheduling Configuration
      • Block Configuration
      • Rotation Configuration
    • Summer Class Configuration
      • Summer Intensive Courses
      • Summer Intensive Classes
  • Portals Configuration
    • Setting the Portal School Year and Reports Year to Summer
      • Example Scenario
        • Transitioning from the Academic Year to the Summer Year
        • Transitioning from the Summer Year to the Academic Year
  • Configuring Summer Reports
    • Summer Intensive Document Configuration Considerations
      • Report Cards
      • Final Grade Summaries
      • Transcripts
    • Summer Intensive Document Publishing Considerations
    • Additional Considerations & Limitations

Axiom Configuration

The Summer School Year Value

Veracross differentiates between the academic school year (everything occurring within the ALL grading period) and the summer school year. These values are exposed in the "Years" query (available on the System homepage) with summer school years represented as negative values of the academic school year they precede, e.g. we just ended the 2020 school year (2020) and began the Summer 2021 school year (-2021). If you do not have summer school year values, the Veracross engineering team can add them for you.

It is of critical importance that all components of a Summer Intensive be correctly associated with the correct summer school year value, including classes. 

Summer Grading Period Group/Grading Periods

Summer Intensives require their own grading period group and grading period(s). For the purpose of differentiating between grading period groups used for the academic year and those used for the summer year, grading period groups (and the grading periods belonging to them) are delineated by the Group Type field. Grading period groups and grading periods associated with Summer Intensives are associated with the "Summer" group type while grading period groups and grading periods that occur within the ALL are associated with the "Academic" group type. The group type designation is set at the time new grading period groups are created and is read-only in Axiom. The addition of new grading period groups and grading periods is done by Veracross engineering.

The group type designation on the Grading Periods query.

Summer Scheduling Configuration

Block Configuration

The block configuration used for Summer Intensives typically differs from the block configuration used during the academic school year. If you require new blocks for use with Summer Intensives, add them as you would for the academic school year ("+Add" menu on the System homepage). New block groups should be added by Veracross engineering.

Rotation Configuration

Rotations used for the academic school year can be re-used for Summer Intensives if both follow the same rotation schedule. If a new rotation is required for use with Summer Intensives, the new rotation must be added by Veracross engineering. 

Initializing your summer rotation is part of the transitioning between the academic year and summer year process - read more about this process.

NOTE: Summer Intensive classes must be scheduled on summer grading periods and should NOT be scheduled on the ALL grading period.

Summer Class Configuration

Class configuration for Summer Intensives is very similar to configuration for classes offered during the academic school year. As Summer Intensives are an extension of the academic school year, it is advantageous to model your data consistently across both the academic and summer school years. 

Summer Intensive Courses

When configuring courses for use with Summer Intensives, it is important to set the course type to "Academic", rather than "Summer" or "Other Programs". Doing this will ensure that classes associated with the course will be treated like academic year classes and will be useful when filtering enrollments by course type on academic documents.

A course configured for Summer Intensives.

Summer Intensive Classes

When configuring classes for use with Summer Intensives, it is of critical importance that you select the summer school year and summer grading period group values. Attempting to submit an invalid pairing (e.g. an academic school year value paired with a summer grading period group) will yield an error message.

NOTE: Veracross does not currently support the ability to associate a Summer Intensive class with a grading period occurring during the academic school year. Read more about the implications of this limitation in the "Configuring Summer Reports" section below.

A class configured for Summer Intensives.

Portals Configuration

The standard Faculty, Student, and Parent portals can be configured for use with Summer Intensives but there are a number of considerations you should take into account when developing your Summer Intensive workflows. 

Setting the Portal School Year and Reports Year to Summer

You may recall that part of the process of transitioning between academic school years is rolling the portals school year and reports year forward - read more about this process. Similarly, in order to use the portals for Summer Intensives, the portal school year and reports year must be set to the summer school year value. This is accomplished using the "Toggle Academic/Summer School Year" and "Toggle Academic/Summer Reports Year" procedures available in the action menu of the portal. 

The "Toggle Academic/Summer School Year" and "Toggle Academic/Summer Reports Year" procedures on a student portal configuration.

These "Toggle..." procedures alternate the year values between positive numbers (used for academic school years) and negative numbers (used for summer school years). Running the "Roll..." procedures will move the year value forward or backward within the school year type designated by the "Toggle..." procedure.

Example Scenario:

Transitioning from the Academic Year to the Summer Year:

The current portal school year value is "2020". I run the "Toggle Academic/Summer School Year" procedure, which changes the portal school year to "-2020". I then run the "Roll School Year Forward" procedure to set the portal year to "-2021". My portals are now ready for use with my Summer Intensives.

Transitioning from the Summer Year to the Academic Year:

The current portal school year value is "-2021". I run the "Toggle Academic/Summer School Year" procedure, which changes the portal school year to "2021". My portals are now ready for use with the academic school year.

NOTE: Portals cannot be configured for the academic school year and the summer school year concurrently. As with rolling the academic school year value forward, toggling between the academic and summer school years will have an effect on what faculty, students, and parents see in their portals.

Configuring Summer Reports

Configuring and issuing report cards for Summer Intensives is easy to do using school-configurable academic documents. If you are not familiar with school-configurable academic documents or the document publishing process, please take a moment to familiarize yourself using the articles below.

Read more about:

Summer Intensive Document Configuration Considerations

Report Cards

It is a best practice to create a new layout of the "Academic Document" document for Summer Intensives. Here are a few things you should consider when configuring this new layout:

  • Ensure that the values you set for the grading period configuration options align with your summer grading period configuration.
  • If you intend to display GPAs on your Summer Intensive report cards, ensure that your GPAs are configured for that purpose.
  • Take advantage of the text insert fields available on the "Content" tab - these fields allow you to display hard-coded text on the document that can be used to provide helpful information about your Summer Intensives.

Final Grade Summaries

The Final Grade Summary document can be used to show a multi-year history of report card grades for both academic and summer school years. Here are a few things you should consider when configuring a Final Grade Summary document to include Summer Intensives:

  • There are a number of summer-specific configuration options - type "summer" into the search bar to quickly access them.
  • If you intend to display GPAs on your Summer Intensive Final Grade Summaries, ensure that your GPAs are configured for that purpose.
  • Final Grade Summaries will display Summer Intensives in separate school year tables, which may extend the length of your document significantly. If this is problematic, consider adjusting the "Font Size" configuration option.

Transcripts

The Transcript document can be used to show a multi-year history of transcript items for both academic and summer school years. Here are a few things you should consider when configuring a Transcript document to include Summer Intensives:

  • There are a number of summer-specific configuration options - type "summer" into the search bar to quickly access them.
  • If you intend to display GPAs on your Summer Intensive Transcripts, ensure that your GPAs are configured for that purpose.
  • Transcripts will display Summer Intensives in separate school year tables, which may extend the length of your document significantly. If this is problematic, consider adjusting the "Font Size" configuration option.
  • If your school must display courses taken over the summer as part of the academic school year, please consult with your Veracross contact.

Summer Intensive Document Publishing Considerations

The first step in publishing report cards for Summer Intensives is to create a new academic document header record. The academic document header record facilitates the generation and publishing of a document for specific students for a specific school year/grading period combination. 

When creating a new academic document header record for Summer Intensives, it is critically important that you select the summer school year value and a summer grading period belonging to a grading period group with the "Summer" group type - the interface used to add this record will filter grading period values based on the type of school year you select.

An academic document header record configured for a Summer Intensive report card.

Additional Considerations & Limitations

  • Grades issued for Summer Intensive classes CANNOT be displayed on report cards belonging to grading periods that occur during the academic school year.
    • Example: Showing Summer Intensive classes on Spring or Fall report cards is NOT supported.
    • Explanation: Documents will render data as it is stored in the database - Summer Intensive classes are structured as part of the summer school year and cannot be manipulated to appear as if they are part of the academic school year.
  • Grades issued for Summer Intensive classes CAN be displayed on the Final Grade Summary document and the Transcript document and will be displayed in separate summer year tables.
    • Exception: The flexibility of transcript items allows them to be altered for the purpose of displaying classes taken during a Summer Intensive as part of an academic school year. Read more about this process.

Transitioning Between the Academic Year and the Summer Year

As of July 12, 2021, this "Learn Veracross" site has been deprecated.  It will remain live at least through October 1, 2021, but will no longer be updated. All knowledge content has moved to the new Veracross Community.  Please update your bookmarks. 

Overview

You may recall that part of the process of transitioning between academic school years is rolling the portals school year and reports year forward - read more about this process. Similarly, in order to use the portals for Summer Intensives, the portal school year and reports year must be set to the summer school year value. This is accomplished using the "Toggle Academic/Summer School Year" and "Toggle Academic/Summer Reports Year" procedures available in the action menu of the portal. 

The "Toggle Academic/Summer School Year" and "Toggle Academic/Summer Reports Year" procedures on a student portal configuration.

These "Toggle..." procedures alternate the year values between positive numbers (used for academic school years) and negative numbers (used for summer school years). Running the "Roll..." procedures will move the year value forward or backward within the school year type designated by the "Toggle..." procedure.

Transitioning from the Academic Year to the Summer Year:

  1. Navigate to the portal detail screen from the portal admin homepage in Axiom.
  2. Navigate to the configuration screen and verify the current "School Year" value. 
  3. Run the "Toggle Academic/Summer School Year" procedure, which changes the portal school year to the negative version of the current school year value. Refresh your browser tab to see this change.
  4. Run the "Roll School Year Forward" procedure to set the portal year to the current summer school year value. Refresh your browser tab to see this change.
  5. The portal is now ready for use with Summer Intensives.
  6. Repeat this process for other portals, if applicable.

Transitioning from the Summer Year to the Academic Year:

  1. Navigate to the portal detail screen from the portal admin homepage in Axiom.
  2. Navigate to the configuration screen and verify the current "School Year" value. 
  3. Run the "Toggle Academic/Summer School Year" procedure, which changes the portal school year to the positive version of the current school year value. Refresh your browser tab to see this change.
  4. Run the "Roll School Year Forward" procedure to set the portal year to the current academic school year value. Refresh your browser tab to see this change.
  5. The portal is now ready for use with the academic school year.
  6. Repeat this process for other portals, if applicable.

NOTE: Portals cannot be configured for the academic school year and the summer school year concurrently. As with rolling the academic school year value forward, toggling between the academic and summer school years will have an effect on what faculty, students, and parents see in their portals.