The Pulse

October 2015

Welcome to this Issue!

Welcome to the October addition of The Pulse! Fall is upon us, which means it's time to gear up for Semester Transition.

We also wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone on the SMS Operations team for putting together this issue! If you would like to contribute to an upcoming addition of The Pulse, or have topic ideas you would like to see included, please email Skye Roemer (

Spotlight: Linda DeWyke

Linda DeWyke has been a Project Analyst on the MPS Production Support Team for 5 years. She provides managed schools with support in the following areas: K-mail removal requests, staff systems access, teacher material orders, student replacement material orders, and SOX compliancy audits.

Before joining the K12 central operations team, Linda helped launch an iQ school, where she worked for 4 years supporting local school operations.

Born in Ontario Canada, Linda now lives just outside of Phoenix, Arizona close to her family. She loves living in the desert, but admits it can be a little rough in the summer heat. She has a son and daughter, and will soon be a grandma for the first time! Her granddaughter, Olivia Mae, will be born in February. In her spare time, Linda loves spending time with her family at Sunday brunches or BBQs, and enjoys crocheting, quilting, and painting. She considers her greatest achievement to be raising her beautiful family.

School of the Month: CVCS

Grade Levels Served: K-12

Enrollment: 680 students

School Logo: CVCS' logo is the Chicago Skyline; the city is known for its architecture and once held the record for the tallest building in America.

Highlights: Started in 2006, CVCS was the first hybrid school for Chicago and K12. Once a week, students attend the CVCS facility to socialize with other students and have the chance to meet face-to-face with a teacher who can help them work through questions. In 2012 they were named Chicago Magazine's best school of Chicago. They also have a successful and expanding Advanced Learner and Academic Support Program. Last year they received an AdvancEd accreditation and their ACT score increased 1.5 points overall, an 8% increase!

Featured Report:

This month's featured report is the All Learning Coaches Assigned to Students Report, which populates from the Family tab in TotalView.

This report shows all adults assigned to students, as well as student demographics, enrollment dates, adult demographics, and the adult's relationship to the student: LC/EC/LG role.

This report refreshes every Sunday at 10:00am ET, and can be accessed by adding your school's abbreviation to the link below:

Upcoming Events:

Open Office Hours: Every Wednesday, 2-3pm ET | Join Link:

SharePoint Admin Training (Restoring a Previously Published Page): Friday October 16th, 2-3pm ET | Join Link:

Engrade Shared Practices: Wednesday October 28th, 3-4pm ET | Join Link:

SET Reminder:

In preparation for SET, schools offering courses on the K12 Online High School should review the link below. This video will provide important updates regarding changes in the process for assigning final grades on the HS platform. This video can also be shared with teachers, as they prepare to assign final grades for students.

October Reminders:

  • Prepare SET Project Plan with school administrators and submit in Service Now for approval.
  • Complete SET Training on
  • Monthly validation on student count.
  • Civil Rights (CRDC) data audited/current.
  • Plan for state submissions (reports) for next 3 months to ensure data is available/clean (add this to every month).
  • Review Success Factors.
  • Make sure your spring testing plan is underway. Family messaging to save the date for testing is broadcasted.
  • State Assessment scores: Define data entry requirements.
  • Ensure you have official transcripts for all HS kids and they are entered into your transcript tool.
  • Prepare teachers for count day processes.
  • Set up Q1 parent/teacher conferences.
  • Catch up from launch: files, files, files!
  • Audit student files for compliancy on a weekly basis.
  • Document withdraw procedures and train staff for Q1 (grades K-12).
  • 45 day screenings/Health screenings due, if applicable
  • Continue to closely monitor Special Programs compliancy; IEPs up to date; RTI, McKinney Vento, Title I, files up to date to be prepared for count day/audit.
  • Ensure Academic team has the support they need for engaging students.
  • Review Omnibus for duplicate student records for transfer students Review how long it is taking school staff to process records requests and record transcripts. Evaluate efficiency with Academic Leader.
  • Complete any Systems & Tools K12 training not previously completed
  • Update your contact list in Service Now.
  • Ensure students are placed in courses/homeroom classrooms.
  • Verify official course start dates are assigned correctly for Fall assigned courses on a student schedule by using the Student Course Report on the Reports Server.
  • Monitor course reports to ensure appropriate number of courses are added in the appropriate subject areas for students.

Regional Highlights:

On September 22nd and 23rd, the Central Region held their “Bridging the Gap Between Academics and Operations” summit in Kansas. To kick the meeting off, the team dressed up as different characters from The Wizard of Oz.

The sessions involved presentations on reports from the NOHS, Office 365 features, operations manual planning, and shared practices. They also held group sessions that focused on the Heads of Schools, Operations Managers, Data Managers, and teachers.

The Central Region team was joined by Todd Goldthwaite, Teresa Scavulli, Kristin Jarvis and Nick Mahoney. The final question of the summit was “how do we contribute to student engagement/success based on our various roles within our schools?” This helped the team see that EVERY role contributes to student success!

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Compliance Corner

As we near the first midterm for 2015-2016, it’s important to make sure your school has a process to track and regularly update the placement status for any students who withdraw from K12 this year. Monitoring and documenting where withdrawn students have ‘landed’ helps with defending school funding, records management and, of course, keeping the dropout rate as low and the grad rate as high as possible for your school.

Some helpful data points to track include:

  • Date of withdrawal from K12
  • Name of next school and date of records request received, OR name of next school and date of verbal confirmation from parent or guardian
  • Placement if other than a public school (home school, GED, etc.) and date of confirmation of placement

As you can see, it’s a good idea to connect this tracking process with the process you use for fulfilling records requests. Any records requests received can be noted in your withdrawn student tracker and your SIS as official confirmation of a student’s next placement.

Official confirmation is always the goal no matter where the student ends up. Even if the student is no longer attending a public school, confirmation of a home school or GED program can still be requested and tracked. In cases where no official confirmation of next placement is received, schools should follow up regularly throughout the year to fill in as many gaps as possible.

For a good example of a student withdrawal tracker in MS Excel, check out WYVA’s tracker in the Excellent Examples library on the Ops One Stop:

Happy tracking and remember: Compliance = Happiness!

Recipe of the Month:

This recipe for Apple Pie Cookies came to us from Sabina Bologna on the SMS Ops team. If you have a recipe to share in an upcoming issue of the The Pulse, please email Skye Roemer (


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large apple, peeled & grated
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream together sugar, butter & vanilla.
  • Add in grated apple.
  • Sift together dry ingredients.
  • Add gradually to creamed mixture, combining thoroughly.
  • If dough appears slightly dry and doesn't come together, let it sit for a few minutes to allow the sugar to pull the juice from the apples.
  • Roll in walnut-sized balls and roll in mixture of 2 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes on aluminum foil or parchment, until cookies are golden brown and appear crackled.
  • Let cool on cookie sheet for 4-5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

Training Reminders:

  • SMS Operations: Semester Transition SY15-16
  • SMS Operations: Semester Transition - Tasks and Processes SY15-16
  • SMS Operations: Grademark Sets and Credit Values
  • K12 Online HS Training Bundle

Microsoft Office 365: OneDrive Tip

Regional Technology Managers have released Microsoft Office 365 to school staff during launch. With Office 365, schools not only have the ability to download a new version of Microsoft Office programs (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, Access), but can also collaboratively share important documents in real time.

OneDrive is a file sharing application within Microsoft Office 365 that allows each user to share files with other users. Every user has his/her own private OneDrive 1TB storage space. As you begin working in OneDrive, be sure to review the guidance document by clicking the link below. You will then want to select “Office 365 Job Aides," and "OneDrive."

Raffle Participation:

Participate and earn entries into a drawing! The prize and winner will be announced on the Ops Call at the end of each month.

Want to earn an entry today?

  • Read the newsletter: email Kristin Jarvis the secret phrase (located somewhere in this newsletter)
  • Complete a training
  • Attend a best practices session
  • Participate in the quiz bowl
  • Bring a question to open office hours
  • Complete a morning mind bender survey

Earn double entries:

  • Earn a point for your region in the weekly quiz bowl
  • Win the quarterly quiz bowl
  • complete all morning mind bender surveys in a calendar month

Raffle Winner:

We are excited to announce that Andrea Hampton is the winner of the September raffle! Andrea earned raffle entries by completing Ops trainings, participating in the Morning Mindbender, reading The Pulse, and participating in Quiz Bowl. Congratulations, Andrea!

Secret Phrase: After the launch storm comes a moment of calm…enjoy a moment to catch your breath this month!