In Plymouth, at the end of the year, our schools print all of the students’ report cards and then file them away as an official copy. There are times when this system gets a little messy and we were noticing some of the following issues:
- Because each school was responsible for printing these instead of one administrator, there was a possibility that the report cards were being printed at different times with different inputs
- All of these copies were stored in different locations (at each school)
- It was difficult for users to find these copies when needed
Of course you could run a report card for a previous school year and get the results right from Aspen. However, depending on the fields being displayed on the report card, some of the values may no longer be what they were (for example, homerooms and grade levels). We needed a better solution. Keep reading to see what we did.
Aspen 5.2 allows you to extend your reports, procedures, imports, and exports with an “External source.”
This basically lets you write your customizations in one location and then attach those changes to multiple tools. This is exactly what we needed seeing that we have more than one report card that we wanted to file and editing all of the report cards (although it could have been done) would have been very time consuming. I wrote my customizations all into a procedure and then attached it to my Middle and High School report cards. This procedure allows us to decide whether or not we would like each student’s report card to be saved as a PDF in Aspen as a student document (District or School view, Student > Documents > Documents).
With the ability to set up optional user defined fields to store data like run date, school ID, report OID, and user OID, this customization gives you an easy way to file reports electronically and view, sort, and query them out as needed.
You can download the procedure we created and view the instructions for adding this customization to your district by visiting this page on the Aspen Inside Out Wiki.