Support

Setup Screen

Here is where you adjust settings to customize ThinkWave 3.0 for your school. If you ever need to make a global adjustment of any type, come here first.

General

School Name & Address

To input or edit the school name, motto and address, click the School Name & Address link (the school logo is added in the Reports tab). Then customize the information as necessary. The customization settings are:

  • Name: Input the school name here.
  • Motto: Input the optional school motto here.
  • Address: Input the school address here.

Lock & Unlock

To lock a year so no changes can occur, put a check next to "Lock" and click "Save". Locking a year may be helpful to prevent changes to previous years' data.

Grade Levels

To add grade levels to your school (such as Kindergarden, 1st, 2nd) click the Grade Levels link. Then click the Add Grade Level button (in the orange box in the top left). Type in the name of the grade level and press Save.

To edit a grade level, click on the grade level in the left navigation column. Make your changes and Press Save.

If you would like to add a custom field to a grade level, for example, if you want to track PSAT scores for all 10th graders, click on 10th grade in the left navigation column. Then click on the "add" link to the right of the Custom Field header. Add PSAT Score as a custom field and press Save. To edit a custom field, click the name of the custom field and edit as necessry.

Maximum to Display

This sets the maximum number of student and classes to display in the left navigation column. The default number is 30 and the maximum is 50. You may want to adjust this setting if your computer monitor is larger or smaller than normal.

Manage Online Access

To allow or deny access online for student and parents, check or uncheck the appropriate boxes. This function may be useful if you want to rollover data to start a new school year before the end of the current school year and you would like to limit access until the setup for the new year is done.

Rollover

The rollover is used to:

  • Roll back data to previous years to input historical transcript data.
  • Roll forward data to start a new year.

During rollover:

  • Students are moved to either the previous grade level or the next grade level (depending if data is being rolled backward or forward)
  • Courses, Groups and Custom Fields can be copied.
  • Many settings are copied.

To complete a rollover:

  • Click "Rollover". Then choose a rollover direction. Choose backward to enter historical transcript data. Choose forward to start a new year. Note: You do not need to wait until the end of a school year to roll backward or forward.
  • Edit the names and dates of the new terms. To edit them, click on the name of the year or term. Then change the name of the term or adjust the start and end dates of the term and click "Save".
  • Select the grade level students should be copied to. If a student is graduating, select "Do not copy student".
  • Select the custom fields to copy. Note that custom field data that only applies to specific grade levels is not copied since typically students move up or down a grade level during rollover.
  • Click Finalize. Browse through the newly created year to ensure data was correctly copied. Then certify the rollover to open the new year for data entry. If there are errors, cancel the rollover and redo the rollover again.

Schedule

Year

Every school must be associated with a year. Select the start and end dates and press Save. Note that a school year must be shorter than 370 days.

Terms & Subterms

Every school year must have at least one term, for example: First Semester. To add a term click the "add term" link to the right of the Terms & Subterms heading. A school can also have subterms, such as First Quarter, Second Quarter and Final Exam. To add a subterm click the "add subterm" link to the right of the Terms & Subterms heading. The term dates cannot overlap. As well, the subterm dates cannot overlap, and a Final Exam subterm must be at least one day long. Subterms are useful for reporting purposes and also if you want to calculate a Term grade from a combination of Subterm Grades. For example, the First Semester can be calculated as a combination of 40% First Quarter, 40% Second Quarter and 20% Final Exam (teachers would set up those percentages in their Gradebook | Grading Options screen). An example of just some of the term structures you can use is:

  • Two Semesters, subdivided into Two Quarters.
  • Two Semesters, subdivided into Two Quarters and Final Exam.
  • Three Trimesters.
  • Four Quarters.

To edit a term, click on the name of the term and adjust the name, start date, end date and press Save. To delete a term or subterm click the "delete" link to the right of the term or subterm name.

Periods

Your school must have at least one period defined. To add a period click the "add period" link to the right of the Periods heading. Enter the name of the period and the start and end time. The start and end times for a period are important if you calculate Average Daily Attendance by using the number of minutes a student is in school. Check the box if you want to take attendance for that period. If you only take attendance once a day you can select only one period during which to take attendance.

To edit a period, click on the name of the period and adjust the name, start date and end time and press Save. To delete a period click the "delete" link to the right of the period.

Day Schedules

Day Schedules are set to define the collection of periods (and associated times) that meet during the day. Typically, the Default Schedule includes all the periods you have defined with those periods keeping the default start and end times (although this arrangement is not required). You can then add other Day Schedules such as Minimum Day, for example. To add a Day Schedule, click the "add schedule" link to the right of the Day Schedule header. Type in the name of the new Day Schedule. For the Minimum Day you can eliminate certain periods by clicking on the "remove" link. You can also adjust the start and end times of the periods. The adjusted period start and end times you make here will only apply to that Day Schedule, not to the period overall.

You can also make "MWF" days with certain periods and "TuThu" days with other periods. You can then alternate them by scheduling them in the Monthly Calendars & Holidays setup area. To set that up:

  • Create 5 "Day Schedules". Name them Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.
  • Go to Monthly Calendars & Holidays. Mark Mondays as Monday Day Schedule, Tuesdays as Tuesday Day Schedule, etc. on the monthly calendars. You will need to click on every day in the calendar and change the schedule in the pulldown from the 'Default Schedule' to the Monday Day Schedule (or Tu, Wed as appropriate.)
  • Create a MWF period. Then add the MWF period to the Monday, Wednesday and Friday Day Schedules.
  • Create a TuThu period. Then add the TuThu period to the Tuesday and Thursday Day Schedules.
  • Then, in the Classes tab, choose MWF period for the MWF classes, and TuThu period for the TuThu classes. Then, attendance will only appear for the correct days.

Days of Week

You can add and remove days of the weeks as appropriate for your school. Click the "remove" link to eliminate a weekday from your schedule. Click the "add" link to add a weekday to your schedule.

Monthly Calendars & Holidays

To assign certain Day Schedules to certain days, click the "month/year" link. The click on a date in the calendar. Assign the desired Day Schedule to that date. Please note that by default the Default Schedule is automatically assigned to each school day. So you don't need to assign a schedule to every day if they all use the Default Schedule.

To assign holidays where school does not meet during the term, click the "month/year" link. Then click on a date in the calendar and mark it as a holiday.

Grading

School's Final Grade Scales

School's Final Grade Scales are the grades that appear on your reports cards (as opposed to Your Custom Grade Scales, which you use to grade assignments and are adjusted below.) You can use the traditional A, B, C, D and F grades or you can make your own system, such as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, or Pass / Fail. You can add as many different grade scales as you like. For example, you can have A through F for your high school students, and O, S, and U for your elementary students.

To edit the grades, click on the grade itself, make an edit and click Save, or delete it.

To create a new Grade Scale, click "add grading scale". To add a Grade Type within that new scale, click the "add grade" link on the bottom of the new scale. Then assign the following parameters:

  1. Grade: Enter the grade here as it should appear on the report card. By default the grades are A+, A, A-, B, etc., but you can use almost any type of symbol.
  2. Description: Enter the (optional) description of the grade. For example, the description for "A+" could be "Excellent".
  3. Calculated: Check the box if the grade is calculated. If the grade is assigned, uncheck the box.
  4. Minimum percent: Enter the minimum percent a student needs to get this grade (the maximum grade will be set automatically by any other grades you create, or by 100%).
  5. Earns credits: Check this box if getting this grade will give students credits for taking the class. For "A" this would be checked, for "F" probably unchecked - few schools give credits (credits) for failing a class.
  6. Include in GPA: If unchecked, the class would be "excused" from GPA calculations (0 out of 0 possible.)
  7. GPA value: Define the value of this grade for GPA calculations (e.g. A = 4.0, B+ = 3.3, etc.)
  8. Honors GPA value: Define the value of this grade for GPA calculations (e.g. A = 5.0, B+ = 4.3, etc.) for Honors classes. Honors GPA values are typically higher than for normal classes.

Additional Options:

  1. Default Final Grade Type for New Classes: Choose the final grade scale that is selected by default when you create a new class. Please note that you can change the final grade scale after you create the class, so you're not locked in to this default value.
  2. Rounding Places for Final Grades: To round percent grades to whole numbers, tenths, or hundreths, enter 0, 1, or 2.

Your Custom Grade Scales

This is where you can define the grades you will use to grade your assignments. By default, A through F grades are defined. You can add your own grading tables. For example: Pass/Fail, 1 through 5, or almost any other custom table. To add a new grading table, click "add" next to the My Grading Table heading. Enter a name for the table and click Save. Then, to add a new grade to that table click "new grade". Enter the name of the new grade as well as the minimum percent a student needs to earn to receive that grade.

Graded Skills

Graded skills are additional parameters upon which a class can be graded. For example, if you teach an elementary Math class, and you want to give an overall grade for Math, but also want to grade Math on additional paramters such as: Multiplication, Division, and Word Problems, create three Graded Skills called: Multiplication, Division, and Word Problems. Then go to the classes screen and assign those three Graded Skills to your Math class. The overall grade for Math will be calculated from all the class assignments, but you would manually assign the Graded Skill grades for Multiplication, Division, and Word Problems. The final grades for Math and all its associated Graded Skills will appear on the report card for an elementary style report card.

Point-Weight Equivalent

Flexible Grading Options lets you combine assignments graded by Points, Percent, and Custom grade types. For any classes using Flexible Grading Options, this value defines the number of points required for a Points assignment to be equivalent to a Normal (1.0x) Weight assignment of another type.

Attendance

Attendance Types

You can add and remove attendance types. By default, the attendance type are: Absent, Absent Excused, Tardy, and Tardy Excused. To add an attendance type:

  • Click the "add" link to the right of the Attendance Type heading.
  • Name: Enter the name of the attendance type.
  • Excused: Check the box if this attendance type is considered excused.
  • Record minutes: Check the box if you need to record minutes. For example, recording the minutes that a student is tardy for a period.
  • Optional Code: Enter a shortened code here. For example, for Absent Excused the Optional Code can be AE.
  • Attendance Type: To calculate Average Daily Attendance and to properly display in reports, all attendance types must fit into one of four categories:
    • Present
    • Absent
    • Tardy
    • Early departure
  • Status for ADA calculation: Select the status of the Attendance Type for Average Daily Attendance calculations. The choices are:
    • Don't include
    • Paid: Funding received if a student receives this attendance mark.
    • Unpaid: Funding is not received if a student receives this attendance mark.

Average Daily Attendance (ADA) Setup

ThinkWave Administrator automatically perform the complicated Average Daily Attendance calculations required to determinine if a student is present or absent for the day. ThinkWave Administrator takes into account teacher and administrator attendance marks, the classes and periods a student is in, whether the day is a school holiday or not and if the day's schedule is a Default Scheule or a custom schedule, such as Minimum Day. Also, the students' add and withdrawal dates to and from classes are taken into consideration. Finally, Averate Daily Membership is also calculated by considering the add and withdrawal dates of students from the school.

Since most absences are not funded (such as unexcused absences) but some absenses ARE funded (such as a field trip, for example), settings need to be specified for both Calculating PAID ADA values and for calculating UNPAID ADA values.

  • Calculating PAID ADA values: This setting is for calculating absenses that are funded. An example of such an absence would be a field trip, where a student is off campus, but still funded. The least complicated way of thinking about this setup is to look at the default setting first. The default setup states: a student is given a paid absence (in our case a Field Trip) if they have been marked "Field Trip" in over 50% of the periods, say 4 out of 6 periods in the day. From here you can tune the setting as necessary. For example, instead on "percent of periods" you can select just "periods". This way you can put "2" periods in the box to the left of the radio buttons, and then marking a student PAID Absent 3 or more periods would give a student a PAID Absence. Also, you can select the radio button for "percent of time". In this case the actual number of minutes a student is present in school is the basis for the calculation. The start and end times of periods are taken into account. Also, any minutes tardy are subtracted from the total time present. If a student needs to be marked with a PAID Absence mark for over 50% of the time, and the student is Marked PAID Absent for 181 minute out of a possible 360, then the student will receive a PAID Absence for the day.
  • Calculating UNPAID ADA values: This setting is for calculating absenses that are not funded, the typical absent scenario. An example of such an absence would be an unexcused absence. The least complicated way of thinking about this setup is to look at the default setting first. The default setup states: a student is given a unpaid absence (in our case a Unexcused Absence) if they have been marked "Unexcused Absent" in over 50% of the periods, say 4 out of 6 periods in the day. From here you can tune the setting as necessary. For example, instead on "percent of periods" you can select just "periods". This way you can put "2" periods in the box to the left of the radio buttons, and then marking a student UNPAID Absent 3 or more periods would give a student a UNPAID Absence. Also, you can select the radio button for "percent of time". In this case the actual number of minutes a student is present in school is the basis for the calculation. The start and end times of periods are taken into account. Also, any minutes tardy are subtracted from the total time present. If a student needs to be marked with a UNPAID Absence mark for over 50% of the time, and the student is Marked UNPAID Absent for 181 minute out of a possible 360, then the student will receive a UNPAID Absence for the day.
  • Precedence: If there is a "tie" in calculating whether a student should be marked a PAID Absence or an Unpaid Absence, select whether the student should be given a Paid Absence or an Unpaid Absence.

Assignments

Assignment Types

You can add or delete Assignment Types (for example Homework or Test) by clicking the Assignment Types link.

Account

Purchase Subscription

To purchase a subscription click here.

Import & Export

Import Students

To import students prepare a text file with student names and associated demographic information. Each column of information should be separated by tabs, semicolons, colons or commas. Delete the top row containing the names of the data fields. Then select the grade level you want the students to import into. If you want to designate the grade level later, select "Do not assign grade level". Choose the data delimiter you are using, and paste your student data into the Import Data box. Click "Save".

Use the pulldown selectors to choose the data fields to import the columns into. If after clicking "Save" there are errors in the data file, you can scroll down to the Import Text box at the bottom of the page and correct the errors inside the box. There is no need to click "Back" in the browser to open the previous page. Click "Save" again, and if the data is correct, click "Finalize Import".

Export Attendance Marks

To export a text file that includes all attendance taken during the whole year, click the Export Attendance Marks link. The export file will include a list of all attendance organized by the following columns of data: Date, Class, Student, By (attendance taken by), Value (attendance value), Minutes (for tardies) and Comment.

Export Grades

To export a text file that includes all grades given during the whole year, click the Grade Archive link. The export file will include a list of all grades organized by the following columns of data: Class, Term, Student, By (grade given by), Skill, Percent, Grade and Comment.

Export Custom Field Data

To export a text file that includes all custom field data collected during the whole year, click the Export Custom Field Data link. The export file will include a list of all custom field data organized by the following columns of data: Group, Custom Field, Student and Value (data in that custom field).

Videos

Custom Fields for All Students

Custom Fields for One Grade Level

Custom Fields for a Group of Students

Custom Fields on Report Cards

Edit Year, Term & Subterms

Edit Periods

Simple Schedules

A/B Schedules

MWF Schedules

Special Day Schedules

Monthly Calendar and Holidays

Enter Old Transcript Data

Rollover to New Year

Student and Parent Access