Can you believe that on April 1st, TADS will celebrate two years of ownership of the Cornerstone system?! At that time, Martin Peyer, the president of TADS, was quoted in a press release stating, “Cornerstone is a powerful and robust product. Married to our technology strengths, it will round out the most diverse service set for schools in the industry.”
Since that time, TADS has been boldly harnessing the power and robustness of the SMS product. We have boosted the interface. We have crafted features that improve your ease of use. We have analyzed and altered functionality to make the system smarter. And we have listened to our schools – to their staff, their teachers and their parents – to continue to make this system the very best fit for our end-users. We are proud of the work we are doing and please know that we could not do it without our partnership with you. So thank you – for every phone call, every chat message, every email, every meeting. You are a major player in bringing the Cornerstone product up to TADS-worthy.
Below is a list of updates that were included in the 3-23-16 release. There are some fun ones in there so as usual, enjoy!
- Have you checked out the new login screen? If your school had set their logo to display on the dashboard, it will now show on the login page for all your users! If you have not set a logo for your school, you can do this through School > Setup > General > School Contact Info > Upload a logo. If you would rather submit the logo to us, we can set it for you – simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The heading colors of the student and parent portals can also be customized to coordinate with your school colors! This magic can happen on that same page, through School > Setup > General > School Contact Info > Parent Portal Color > Select a color and click the “Choose” button > Save.
- This one is a special thanks to you for letting us know that you needed this! When using bulk actions to Send Correspondence through the Students page, you can now select BOTH students AND contacts! Previously, this item defaulted to select the student option. Now, users will need to determine if the correspondence message needs to go to the students, the contacts, or both!
- Would you like to bulk set the “Share” options for your contacts on their primary email and preferred phone number? Now you can! To bulk update this information for contacts, go to School > Households > Contacts > Bulk Actions > Bulk Edit and set the Share options.
- A widget to display Cafeteria balance information for the user who is logged in is now available on the School, Classroom and Cafeteria dashboard.
- If you add a course to the system, when you select Scores as a grading type, the fields Count Towards GPA, Allow Partial Credit and Allow Dropped Assignments are enabled. These are disabled when creating a course that only grades on skills or standards.
- In setting a course to “Yes” for the Count Toward GPA option, the system automatically enables the option to set the Credits.
- The “Attendance by Students” report will now display the student’s household and contact information, if those options are selected on the criteria page. This report is also very helpful to run at the end of the year when you are looking for a list of star students with perfect attendance!
- In Reports, the “Student Grade Outcome” data set now pulls the field “Course Name” (School > Reports > “Student Grade Outcome” data set).
- The “Student Labels” report will no longer display a prefix before the student name.
- The “Student Cafeteria Program” report now includes a column called “Date of Approval”.
- The “Safe Environment Check” report now has a multi-select filter that allows schools to pull multiple safe environment check types. You can also filter the report for volunteers, making it easy to display names of volunteers that have not completed the required safe environment checks.
- When setting up gradebook codes through School > Setup > Instruction > Gradeboook codes, the image of the code will now appear before you save it.
- When setting the alert default setup for your users (School > Setup > People > Demographics > Alert Defaults), you can select the option to “Overwrite Existing Preferences” for users.
- In the Communications module, you can now review a feedback page after messages were sent out. This page will let you know if messages were delivered and will provide details on messages that were not sent.
- When sending Communications to staff, the recipient list now displays the correct status for the staff members at the school.
- In a teacher’s Classroom view of the system, the Assignments page for a section now has an option to view all assignments for all grading periods at once.
- When teachers set comments on an assignment score in a gradebook, they now have the option to select a predefined comment of their own or one that was set by the school.
- Parents have contacted us through live chat and we are listening to their feedback! To provide more concise information on the “Current Grades” item on the dashboard, now it will only display courses and grades for the current grading period.
- The parent portal will now only display students with Active status on the dashboard.
- The text on the parent portal for parents that enter scheduling requests has been improved to help parents know the exact term and grade that is open for requests.
- If parents have the permissions set to edit their information, the system validates that their email address is in the correct format before the parent can save the email address.
- In the past, when the system auto-generated usernames, the system would sometimes include a special character (if a parent’s name had a special character in their name, i.e. “O’Leary”). The system will no longer assign a special character to a system-generated username. However, know that if a username already includes a special character, the system will function as expected.
Wow, what a list! Please let us know if you have any questions on these items, or anything else.
Take care and have a fantastic day,
Lisa and the SMS team at TADS
TADS SMS Support & Implementation Manager