IRC log of #schooltool for Tuesday, 2009-06-16

dlobo_hey Lumiere: but are they any reviews / feedback on it? i'm trying to get an idea of how popular / deployed it is and what some of the other choices are00:36
dlobo_i'm the lead developer of civicrm with school kids and wondering if i should build an extension in drupal to do some of the things my kids school wants (and a bunch of other schools)00:37
Lumieredlobo_: there are the schooltoolers mailing list00:38
Lumieredlobo_: but really, th1a is the one to ask00:38
Lumierehe organizes a lot of that stuff00:39
dlobo_checked the feature list and realized the contact functionality is weak00:39
dlobo_and not a lot of support for things like day care / extended care / summer camp registration etc00:39
dlobo_things at which civicrm/drupal are quite good00:39
dlobo_too bad its in python :(00:40
Lumieredlobo_: contacts are something we've improved a lot00:40
dlobo_yeah, but i suspect schooltool will never become a contact manager :) (which civicrm basically is)00:41
Lumiereit isn't meant to be a contact manager00:41
Lumiereit's meant to be a SIS that has enough contact information to satisfy basic users00:42
Lumierethen we add what people need00:42
dlobo_Lumiere: yes agreed00:43
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replaceafillyvl, ping09:58
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yusufCan anyone help me print a report showing attendance of the pupil in shool tools?16:29
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th1aHi yusuf.16:41
th1ayusuf: As far as I know, you can only do that by class at this point.16:49
th1aMore reports need to be written.16:49
th1aAnd *will be*.16:49
Lumiereyusuf: what we need is detailed example reports of what people need16:53
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yusufLumiere: th1a thanks, I will try to draw up a sample report in xls17:41
th1aAnd I'll try to get to the point in the SchoolTool Book where we explain the report card system.17:42
yusufhow does the current format work, i think i read that it works with point system17:42
yusufwhat I want is minutes, but once i draw up the sample report it should become clear hopefully17:43
th1aBasically, what you can do (which isn't what you want) is create a special sheet that goes in every teacher's gradebook where they can enter the grades or other data that ends up in the report card.17:45
th1aSo right now it is both flexible and kind of manual.17:45
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Lumiereyusuf: what is possible, is looking in the attendence system for the number of periods absent and then calculating minutes from that17:53
yusufso is a pupil is 5 minutes late, where would you record it18:04
yusufLumiere: ^^18:04
th1aI don't actually remember for sure if that is logged.18:05
th1aOr, would you rather have that manually recorded than automatically.18:05
th1aThat is, if a student is not there, record an "a" until they arrive, at which point it becomes a "t" and the amount of time tardy is stored.18:06
* th1a wonders if the journal/gradebook and journal/attendance functions are going to have to part ways.18:07
yusufwill play around18:07
yusufonce i get some time, i will try to make that xls report18:07
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dlobohey tom :)18:27
dlobothis is lobo from groups.drupal.org18:27
yusufth1a: you from South Africa18:40
yusufI'm from South Africa18:41
th1aI am in the US.18:41
th1aHi dlobo.18:41
yusufoh, ok18:41
dlobohey th1a19:02
dlobohave time for a few questions19:03
th1adlobo: We're going a little asynchonous.19:22
dloboresponding to your post on groups19:23
dlobodo u have a few mins19:23
th1aI'm on the phone atm, actually.19:24
dlobono hassle19:28
dloboping me when u r off19:29
dloboalso responded to your post19:29
th1adlobo: I'm off.19:30
th1adlobo: The functionality you describe in the forum doesn't overlap much with an SIS at all.19:32
dloboyeah thats what i suspected19:32
th1aOr, it does fairly indirectly.19:32
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th1aWhich is good in a way.19:32
dlobosince i looked at the schooltool feature set19:32
dloboand there did not seem to be any19:32
th1aCRM is definitely a big deal for private and charter schools, though.19:33
th1aAn interesting thought is to make the CRM the parent-facing part of the system.19:34
th1aWe haven't decided how we're going to implement parent logons.19:34
dlobowe use drupal for the login part19:35
dloboand then work behind the scenes and will display the relationships etc19:35
dloboand allow them to edit/update/create stuff19:35
th1aI mean, we haven't decided if parents will be full users or a special limited kind of account.19:36
th1aActually having them access some SIS data through the CRM interface might be a nice idea.19:37
th1aGive them a single interface to deal with that.19:37
dlobostupid question: is there a classic definition of an SIS19:37
th1aI say: demographics, gradebook, attendance, reporting.19:38
th1aThat's the core.19:38
th1aDiscipline, perhaps.19:38
th1aStandardized test scores.19:38
th1aInformation about students ;-)19:38
dloboso other than the demographics aspect, there is not a lot of intersection19:39
th1aRight.  Which is much cleaner than when there is.19:40
th1aBut in an SIS you wouldn't let parents enter their own info.19:41
th1aSo we might be able to have a workflow like this:19:42
th1aparent comes to CRM, sets up account.19:42
th1aGoes through application process,19:42
th1aIs accepted,19:42
th1aCRM hook sends data into SIS.19:43
th1aSends demo and contact info to the SIS.19:44
th1aThe SIS would prefer not to have a lot of info about parents and students who are not admitted.19:44
th1aCRM does.19:44
dlobosounds quite reasonable19:47
dlobowith regard to schooltool, does it have pretty good api's etc19:47
th1aWe have excellent separation of model and view.19:48
th1aAnd originally we had an extensive REST api, for arcane historical reasons,19:49
th1abut ultimately it was slowing down development to the point where we were going to have an incredibly correct interoperable application that would never actually do anything.19:49
th1aSo we're focusing now on implementing the API's of other applications that people actually use.19:50
th1aIn particular, talking mnet (XML-RPC) with Moodle, which has its own funding stream right now.19:52
th1aI mean, Moodle-SchoolTool has its own funding stream.19:52
dloboalso curious about your statement: "open source philanthropy is not the shortest distance between two points"19:52
th1aWell... inevitably when someone decides they're going to create an open source project with a philanthropic mission,19:53
th1ait takes on grandiose and wide ranging goals.19:53
th1aMission and requirements creep is hard enough to manage when you've got a paying customer.19:54
th1aWhen you've got a pot of money and an abstract global customer...19:54
th1ait is difficult to go in a straight line.19:55
dlobocivicrm is in the same boat, but i think we've been quite focussed and nose on the grindstone etc19:56
th1adlobo: It is a somewhat easier case because you're much closer to scratching your own itch.19:58
th1aWe've gotten much better at it over the years, too.  It has just taken a few more years than I would have hoped.19:59
th1aYou can say that about a lot of software development projects, though.  ;-)19:59
dloboin case u have not read the chandler book20:01
dlobou should20:01
dlobodreaming in code20:01
dloboor something like that by the salon author20:01
th1aI've read it.20:02
th1aAnd lived it.  ;-)20:02
th1adlobo: I'm going to go get lunch.  Let's keep this discussion going.20:04
dlobocool. chat later. thanx for the feedback20:04
th1aThank you.20:04
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th1adlobo: My friend who is the IT guy for a charter school says "It's a very cool idea"21:11
dloboask him to get involved21:12
dloboi'm meeting the head of school etc on thursday21:12
dloboand we'll come out with a plan21:12
th1aAh.  Where is this?21:12
th1aWhat kind of school?21:12
dloboa bit dismayed as to the lack of open source software for schools21:12
th1aSchools have moved *more* slowly than other areas, which is the opposite of what I thought would happen.21:13
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dlobobut i dont think there are lots of options either that they can use easily21:14
th1aI would think they'd like a CRM if they don't have one.21:14
th1aI don't even know how common it is.21:15
dlobobut civi does not match their needs nicely, i.e. need better relatioship management and handle families more seamlessly etc21:15
dlobowhich we'll do :) since i want to scratch that itch21:15
th1aIt shouldn't be too hard, if you already have custom relationships.21:16
dloboit matches a lot of stuff they need though21:16
dloboyeah, we have the pieces and the data model, not just got to do it21:16
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th1adlobo: Do you know what they use for an SIS now?21:38
dloboth1a: not sure, i'll find out. if i had to guess some custom / proprietary stuff21:42
dlobobut the goal would be to convert the school and its fellow group of liberal schools to using open source :)21:43
th1aFor a smallish private school, there's a pretty good chance they're just running some custom thing.21:45
th1aFilemaker FTW!21:45
dlobothe admissions stuff is in filemaker21:46
dlobomost of the other stuff is in a oracle db!21:46
dloboth1a: r u fulltime on schooltool21:55
th1aMe and two developers.21:55
dlobocool. thats a small team :)21:56
th1aThere are also CanDo developers, who just work on the competency tracking part used in Virginia.21:59
th1aAnd a few others who can do contract work when it comes up.21:59
th1aWhat's nice is that we've hit enough maturity that schools are starting to include us in their grant proposals, which seems effective.22:01
th1aParticularly compared to trying to figure out how to just write SchoolTool grants.22:01
dloboyeah, thats cool when the community steps up and helps push the project forward22:06
th1aIt is difficult in this niche where schools don't have much development capacity themselves.22:11
dlobohey i think non-profits have even less development capacity :(22:12
dloboat least most private and soem charter schools have some money22:12
dloboth1a: some more discussion on the groups mailing list22:49
dlobomailing list == forum22:49
th1adlobo: Thanks.23:06
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