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Six stages to creating a master schedule
Six stages to creating a master schedule

Simplify building your master schedule by breaking the process into six manageable stages.

Jacob Van Scoyoc avatar
Written by Jacob Van Scoyoc
Updated over a week ago

One of the more challenging tasks a high school or middle school administrator or counselor is faced with year to year is building a master schedule. jmc has simplified the process by breaking the master schedule into six easy to follow stages. Focusing on each of these stages one at a time will help you stay organized while building your master schedule. In jmc Office, head to the Schedules module to get started.

Editing course data

Stage One of the master schedule building process involves removing any courses that are no longer being offered and adding new courses for the upcoming school year. No need to remove the existing periods from the previous year -- stage four's Scheduling Aid will adjust the periods for you! Head to Schedules > Course > Edit Course Data to begin!

Registering students for courses

Stage Two of the master schedule building process is where you register students for courses. jmc gives you several different options for registering students for courses whether it's bulk loaded required courses, hand registering students into electives or allowing students to register themselves for courses with the online registration tools. Head to Schedules > Develop or Schedules > Student to register students for courses.

Analyzing registration

Stage Three is where you make sure students are signed up for the courses they need and decide how many sections of each course you will offer. Decide on any course constraints, such as limited teacher or room availability and make the appropriate number of course sections available so the average number of students meets your student to teacher ratio needs. Head to Schedules > Course to utilize the reports such as the Course Tally, Course Registration and Unscheduled Students reports.

Building the master schedule

Stage Four is all about placing students into the appropriate sections. Use the Scheduling Aid to let jmc pick the optimal term and period for each course section based on minimal conflicts and maximum student registration requests. Make adjustments and run the scheduling aid multiple times to get the highest percentage of students with no conflicts. Schools choosing to build their master schedule by hand (where most courses are single sections and/or the meeting period is already determined) do not need to use the Scheduling Aid. Head to Schedules > Develop > Scheduling Aid to run this powerful tool.

Analyzing student conflicts

In Stage Five, users review the percentage of student conflicts and make adjustments until the percentage of students with no conflicts reaches about 80%. Adjusting course constraints or changing course offerings can help reach a higher percentage of students with no conflicts. Once you have reached your goal of student conflicts, you can manually adjust the few students with special circumstances. Analyze student conflicts on the Schedules > Develop > Student Conflicts or Conflicts for a Student pages.

Scheduling the students and study halls

The Sixth and final Stage is where it all comes together. The Schedule Students feature schedules students into the specific course sections which best fit their schedule and overall classroom balances as determined in Stages Four and Five. Use the handy study hall tools to help identify and list unregistered students in study hall for any unfilled periods of the day. Students are scheduled into sections on the Schedules > Develop > Schedule Students page.

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