Getting Ready for a New School Year

Who can do this with default user permissions?

District Level Administrators (some tasks can be done by other users)

What you need to do to get ready for a new school year depends on how you typically bring user and class information into Renaissance software. See the section below that applies to your setup:

If you use Renaissance during summer school, you may need to adjust your school year dates. For more information about setting the dates, see Knowledge Base article 13002496 at https://support.renaissance.com/techkb/techkb/13002496e.asp.

Since Star predicted/projected scores are based on the school year end date, the end date in the software should be as close as possible to the actual end of your school year. If students are using the software during summer school, you may extend the end date for the school year after you have run reports with projected scores.

Renaissance Custom Data Integration Service School-Year Preparation

When your district uses Renaissance's Custom Data Integration service (CDI), much of the preparation for a new school year happens in your district's Student Information System (SIS). That is where you enter or update the following:

  • Student information
  • Personnel information (may be teachers only or teachers and other personnel - check with your district Renaissance contact)
  • Class information and enrollment

If you have questions about updating student, personnel, and class information for the start of the new school year, contact your Renaissance representative.

There are some things, however, that you will still want to do in your Renaissance software. See the table below:

Tasks How to Do It
Enter marking periods (used for class duration, goals, and reports) if they are not added using CDI. If your marking periods have been added, review the school year and marking period dates.
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select School Calendar.
  3. If the new school year has not yet started, on the School Years tab, select Work In for that school year so that you are adding marking periods for the new school year.
  4. Select the Marking Periods tab.
  5. Select Add a Marking Period.
  6. Enter the marking period name.
  7. Select the Date Range field. In the window that opens, enter or select the start and end dates for the marking period; then, select Apply.
  8. Use the Type drop-down list to choose the type of marking period.
  9. Select the link next to "School." In the window that opens, choose whether to add the marking period for all schools or to select specific schools and check those schools. When you're done, select Apply.
  10. Select Add. Repeat these steps to add more marking periods.
  11. Select Save.

For detailed steps, see Adding/Editing Marking Periods.

  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select School Calendar.
  3. On the School Years tab, verify the dates for the new school year. If the new school year has not yet started, select Work In for that school year so that you can view the marking periods for the new school year.
  4. Select the Marking Periods tab.
  5. Verify the marking period dates.
  6. If you noticed anything in your school year or marking periods that needs changing, contact your Renaissance Data Integration Specialist.
  7. If you need additional marking periods for goal setting, you may add them; see the link above for steps.
Add days off (used to calculate the number of school days and for some report calculations).
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select School Calendar.
  3. If the new school year has not yet started, on the School Years tab, select Work In for that school year so that you are adding days off for the new school year.
  4. Select the Days Off tab.
  5. Select Add Days Off.
  6. Enter a name.
  7. Select the Date Range field. In the window that opens, enter or select the start and end dates for the days off; then, select Apply.
  8. Select the link next to "Schools Using." In the window that opens, choose whether to add the days off for all schools or to select specific schools and check those schools. When you're done, select Apply.
  9. Select Add. Repeat these steps to add more days off.
  10. Select Save.

For detailed steps, see Adding/Editing Days Off.

Check Star screening windows for testing and scoring (if you use Star assessments).
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select School Calendar.
  3. Select the Screening Windows tab. On this tab, you can see the screening windows that are already set up, and you can make adjustments as needed. For more information, see Viewing Screening Windows.
Add school and district administrators and staff who aren't teachers if your non-teacher personnel aren't added through CDI. Check with your Renaissance district contact to find out if CDI adds these users.
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select Users.
  3. To add school administrators and school non-teaching staff, select Add School Personnel.
  4. Enter the person's information and select the person's permission group and school; then, select Save and Add and enter the next person's information. After entering the last school staff member or administrator, select Save to go back to the Users page.
  5. To add district administrators and district non-teaching staff, select Add District Personnel.
  6. Enter the person's information and select the person's permission group; then, select Save and Add and enter the next person's information. After entering the last district staff member or administrator, select Save to go back to the Users page.
Assign products to your classes (the products that each class will use).
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. If the new school year has not yet started, select School Calendars. On the School Years tab, choose Work In for the new school year so that you are viewing the classes for that school year. Then, select < Back to back to the Manage Apps & Users page
  3. Select Classes & Courses.
  4. Select a school.
  5. Select the Only show classes not set up toggle to list those classes.
  6. In the list, check the boxes next to classes that have no products listed in the Products column.
  7. In the banner that opens at the bottom of the page, select Assign Products.
  8. In the window that opens, check the products that you want to assign to the classes. Then, select Assign Products.

For detailed steps, see Assigning Products to Multiple Classes.

Set Data Editing Restrictions to prevent changes to information in Renaissance that should come from your SIS
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select Product Administration.
  3. Select Data Editing Restrictions.
  4. For each category, choose whether to allow editing in Renaissance, to allow editing with the orange caution icon, or to restrict/prevent editing.
  5. Select Save Changes.

For detailed steps, see Set Data Editing Restrictions.

Set the Learning Standards used for assignments and reports.

Note: Learning Standards should only be set once a year at the beginning of the school year to avoid interfering with students' assignments and assessments.

  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select Product Administration.
  3. Select Learning Standards.
  4. For each subject, select a progression to use. Then, select Save Changes.

For detailed steps, see Set Learning Standards.

Check Security Options if you want to restrict student work in Star and Accelerated Reader to school computers.

Note: If you simply want to restrict the days and times when students can take quizzes and assessments, use the Dates and Times preferences instead.

  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select Product Administration.
  3. Select Security Options.
  4. Enter the external IP addresses or ranges of addresses that you want to allow to use the software, or update your existing addresses as needed to include new computers and remove discarded computers.
  5. Check the products that you want to restrict; students will only be able to use the checked products from computers whose IP addresses are in the list. Other products will not be bound by the restrictions.
  6. Select Save Changes.

For detailed steps, see Set Security Options.

Check preferences (district, school, class, and student), especially those that restrict quizzing or testing. On the Home page, select your name, then Edit Preferences to go to the Preferences page. Select each district and school preference to check the settings. Teachers can set the class and student preferences for their classes. For more information, see Preferences.
Check Star benchmarks (if you use Star assessments).
  1. On the Home page, select one of your Star products; then, select Manage Goals & Benchmarks.
  2. Select View or Edit Benchmarks.

For more information, see the following:
Viewing/editing school benchmarks
Viewing/editing district benchmarks
Viewing estimated cut scores (for state tests)

Check browser settings on school computers. • Set up shortcuts/favorites for your Renaissance site.
• Make sure popups are allowed for your Renaissance site.
• Set web filters to allow access to your Renaissance site (see this Knowledge Base article for more information).
Get student passwords.
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select Users.
  3. On the Students tab, select Password Report.
  4. If you have access to more than one school, you will see a School drop-down list. Use it to choose the school you want to work in.
  5. Use the Students drop-down list to choose a single class or all classes, or select the Classes link under the drop-down list, check the classes that you want to see, and select Save Selection.
  6. Use the Group By drop-down list to choose whether to group by class or grade (or not to group students).
  7. If necessary, check Page break after each group.
  8. When the list appears, select the PDF icon; then, select View PDF.

For detailed steps, see User Names and Passwords.

Print Send Home Letters if you plan to use Renaissance Home Connect (for Accelerated Reader or Star).
  1. On the Home page, select Reports; then, select either Accelerated Reader / Reading Practice or Star / Assessment.
  2. Select Send Home Letter.
  3. Select the link after "Export letters for."
  4. Select the classes, groups, and students to generate letters for; then, select Apply.
  5. Select Export Report.
  6. A PDF file will open; you can print this file to print the letters.

For detailed steps, see Send Home Letter.

School Year Preparation Using Import or Manual Entry

If your Renaissance site is not integrated with your School Information System, you can import or enter information to prepare for a new school year. You do not need to wait for the old school year to end to perform some of these steps.

Tasks How to Do It
Use the Set Up School Year page to set up your new school year (you can also copy classes, marking periods, days off, and other information from the previous school year). See Set Up School Year page; these instructions will guide you through the setup and the options that are available.
Note: If you have already started entering days off, marking periods, or classes in your new school year, you cannot copy them from the previous school year.
If possible, import your students, classes, courses, and teachers. You can import single-school files, multi-school files from your Student Information System, or OneRoster standard files. See Import Students/Rostering Data: Three Options.
Add marking periods, or check them if you have copied them from the previous school year (used for class duration, goals, and reports).
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select School Calendar.
  3. If the new school year has not yet started, on the School Years tab, select Work In for that school year so that you are viewing and adding marking periods for the new school year.
  4. Select the Marking Periods tab.
  5. Select Add a Marking Period.
  6. Enter the marking period name.
  7. Select the Date Range field. In the window that opens, enter or select the start and end dates for the marking period; then, select Apply.
  8. Use the Type drop-down list to choose the type of marking period.
  9. Select the link next to "School." In the window that opens, choose whether to add the marking period for all schools or to select specific schools and check those schools. When you're done, select Apply.
  10. Select Add. Repeat these steps to add more marking periods.
  11. Select Save.
  12. To edit or delete marking periods, select the links in the row for those marking periods on the Marking Periods tab.

For detailed steps, see Adding/Editing Marking Periods.

Add days off, or check them if you have copied them from the previous school year (used to calculate the number of school days and for some report calculations).
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select School Calendar.
  3. If the new school year has not yet started, on the School Years tab, select Work In for that school year so that you are viewing and adding days off for the new school year.
  4. Select the Days Off tab.
  5. Select Add Days Off.
  6. Enter a name.
  7. Select the Date Range field. In the window that opens, enter or select the start and end dates for the days off; then, select Apply.
  8. Select the link next to "Schools Using". In the window that opens, choose whether to add the days off for all schools or to select specific schools and check those schools. When you're done, select Apply.
  9. Select Add. Repeat these steps to add more days off.
  10. Select Save.
  11. To edit or delete days off, select the links in the row for those days off on the Days Off tab.

For detailed steps, see Adding/Editing Days Off.

Update students and personnel (if you did not already do so through import).
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select Users.
  3. On the Students tab, search for students and review their information. Administrators can search by school or grade as well as teacher or class.

    To check or update a student's information, select the student's name. You can then change the student's details, characteristics, or enrollments using the tabs on the View Student page; select Save when you're done.

    If you need to add new students, select Add Student and enter the new student's information.

    Note: When you select the grade for students, make sure it is the correct grade for the school year you are working in (old or new); student grades are automatically increased by one when a new school year starts.
  4. When you have finished checking students, select the Personnel tab on the Users page.

    Search for personnel and review the list; you can search by school.

    To check or change a person's information, select the person's name. You can then change the person's information, permission group, or schools; select Save when you're done.

    If you need to add new personnel, select Add School Personnel or Add District Personnel.

For more information about updating student and personnel information, see the following:

Add classes if you did not either copy them from the previous school year or import them. If you copied or imported classes, review them.
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. If the new school year has not yet started, select School Calendars. On the School Years tab, choose Work In for the new school year so that you are working in (and adding classes for) that school year. Then, select < Back to go back to the Manage Apps & Users page.
  3. Select Classes & Courses.
  4. If you are reviewing classes, search for classes and view their information.

    If you want to focus on classes that are missing information (teachers, students, or products), select Only show classes not set up. For classes missing teachers or classes, select the class name to begin adding them. For classes missing products, check the boxes next to the classes and select Assign Products; this is very important since students and teachers can only use products that are assigned to their classes.

    If you need to add classes, select Add a Class. Then, follow the steps in the wizard to enter class details, add teachers, and enroll students.

For more information about updating classes and courses, see the following:

Check Star screening windows for testing and scoring (if you use Star assessments).
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select School Calendar.
  3. Select the Screening Windows tab. On this tab, you can see the screening windows that are already set up, and you can make adjustments as needed. For more information, see Viewing Screening Windows.
Set the Learning Standards used for assignments and reports.

Note: Learning Standards should only be set once a year at the beginning of the school year to avoid interfering with students' assignments and assessments.

  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select Product Administration.
  3. Select Learning Standards.
  4. For each subject, select a progression to use. Then, select Save Changes.

For detailed steps, see Set Learning Standards.

Check Security Options if you want to restrict student work in Star and Accelerated Reader to school computers.

Note: If you simply want to restrict the days and times when students can take quizzes and assessments, use the Dates and Times preferences instead.

  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select Product Administration.
  3. Select Security Options.
  4. Enter the external IP addresses or ranges of addresses that you want to allow to use the software, or update your existing addresses as needed to include new computers and remove discarded computers.
  5. Check the products that you want to restrict; students will only be able to use the checked products from computers whose IP addresses are in the list. Other products will not be bound by the restrictions.
  6. Select Save Changes.

For detailed steps, see Set Security Options.

Check preferences (district, school, class, and student). On the Home page, select your name, then Edit Preferences to go to the Preferences page. Select each district and school preference to check the settings. Teachers can set the class and student preferences for their classes. For more information, see Preferences.
Check Star benchmarks (if you use Star assessments).
  1. On the Home page, select one of your Star products; then, select Manage Goals & Benchmarks.
  2. Select View or Edit Benchmarks.

For more information, see the following:
Viewing/editing school benchmarks
Viewing/editing district benchmarks
Viewing estimated cut scores (for state tests)

Check browser settings on school computers. • Set up shortcuts/favorites for your Renaissance site.
• Make sure popups are allowed for your Renaissance site.
• Set web filters to allow access to your Renaissance site (see this Knowledge Base article for more information).
Get student passwords.
  1. At the top of the Home page, select your name, then Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select Users.
  3. On the Students tab, select Password Report.
  4. Select the link after "Showing students in."
  5. Select a school, teacher, and class in the window that opens; then, select Apply.
  6. Use the drop-down list to choose whether to group by class or grade (or not to group students).
  7. If necessary, check Page break after each group.
  8. When the list appears, select the PDF icon; then, select View PDF.

For detailed steps, see User Names and Passwords.

Print Send Home Letters if you plan to use Renaissance Home Connect (for Accelerated Reader or Star).
  1. On the Home page, select Reports; then, select either Accelerated Reader / Reading Practice or Star / Assessment.
  2. Select Send Home Letter.
  3. Select the link after "Export letters for."
  4. Select the classes, groups, and students to generate letters for; then, select Apply.
  5. Select Export Report.
  6. A PDF file will open; you can print this file to print the letters.

For detailed steps, see Send Home Letter.