The Awards and Graduation Report allows schools to set up single-instance or multiple instances of achievement levels for students to meet and then reports on the students' progress. This article takes you through a basic honor roll. Other articles detail a more-involved honor roll and a Graduation Requirements setup. We advocate you begin by writing down on paper the various criteria students have to meet, then set that "bar" in SIRS.
Begin on Requirement Tab
1. Most operators will log in as a School person. This makes the Award list shorter on the first display at far left, and frankly, less confusing. High Schools and elementaries generally take very different approaches to this arena.
2. Once logged into your school, go here: Grades menu > Awards and Graduation Requirements.
3. On the Requirement tab, to begin a new honor roll or other award, Click Add on the bottom, left. Then enter the name of your honor roll in the white box to the right of name. We recommend: Be specific. If this honor roll is open to only certain grade levels, many schools include the levels in the name. If this is a "high" honor roll, include "high" in your name.
4. For all courses considered.....we advocate you set broad, general parameters on this tab card and save the nitty, gritty of the requirements for the next tab card. Most schools pay more attention to the minimums than the maximums in this group of settings; remember: This screen is just the summary. We screen very broadly here.
Course Count: In total, how many courses must students be currently enrolled in, to get on this honor roll? We might recommend 1 to 999.
Total Credits: In total, how many credits must students be currently enrolled in, to get on this honor roll? We might recommend 1 to 999
Average Marks: Set the low and high range for classes which you want considered toward the award. In the example above, if your student has any grades below 80, those classes will not even be considered when the student's average is calculated to test whether their average is high enough to be on the honor roll.
Decimal places to calculate: Self-explanatory. Most schools choose two, although picking three does allow for greater precision in tie-breaking.
5. Average or GPA? If your school intends to do its Award and Graduation calculations based on the raw scores which teachers enter, choose Average. If your school intends to do the math based on a GPA number, then choose GPA. If you choose GPA, the classes you intend to consider must have a Grade Legend assigned to them (which is how SIRS produces a GPA number that is based on the scores teachers enter) so in the long box, choose a Grade Legend which the calculation will consult, to learn the GPA number it should use. Then, in the shorter box at far right: Choose which of the numbers from that Grade Legend will be the number used in computations.
6. Calculation Method: In the screen shot above, this operator chose Straight Average, which is one of six mathematical calculations available in the picklist. Your choices are explained here.
7. Duplicate Course Selection: If a student can take the same course in the same year and you want BOTH instances of the Course to be considered, select Allow Duplicate Courses on the Requirement Area tab, then come back here and make one of these three choices:
Grade highest to lowest: Within a duplicate set, the Report Period with the higher grade will be considered first;
Credits highest to lowest: Within a duplicate set, the Report Period with the highest credits will be considered first
Lowest to Highest: First select one of the above, determining whether credits or grades will be deciding factor, then select this if you want the lower-graded Report Period or the lower-credit Report Period to be considered first within a duplicate set.
NOTE: If the Allow Duplicate Courses is not selected on the Requirement Area tab, and a student has taken a course twice, the criteria in the above fields will determine which course is used. i.e. If you choose Grade Highest to lowest, the instance of the Course with the higher mark will be considered. If you choose Credit Highest to lowest, the instance of the Course with the higher Credit will be considered.
8. Use School mark (instead of Final Mark) for Exam Courses. If your Provinical education authority sends you a blended Final Mark at the conclusion of Provincial testing but you prefer using the School mark, not the blended mark, select this choice.
9. Disqualify Students with any mark less than: We recommend leaving this blank on this cover page and setting requirements for this area on the next tab.
10. Disqualify Students with a qualifying mark less We recommend leaving this blank on this cover page and setting requirements for this area on the next tab.than:
Requirement Area tab
This form can get quite complicated, especially for things like Graduation Requirements, where multiple copies of this form are put into play. When doing a straight-forward Honor Roll, filling this in is less complicated and generally only one copy of it is configured.
Area Name: Be specific when you do work on an Award which requires multiple copies of this form. For a basic honor roll, use a name like All Courses or similar. The bottom line: You want the Area Name to be descriptive so that the next time you use this, or during Troubleshooting, the name tells you which types of courses are in play.
Area Weight: This only comes into play if you use multiple copies of this form. Then, this number allows you to make one version of this form more important than than another. Default: 1.
Only Consider courses that have....
Credits: Enter the credit range an individual course must have in order to be considered in your calculations. Note: The credit number considered is credits possible, not credits earned. For a course to be considered, it's good enough that credits are assigned to it; Madeline does not have to have earned the credit yet.
Mark: Enter the mark range an individual course must have in order to be considered in your calculations. Note: You want to make this wide open…this is not the place to say: "I’m creating a honor roll with a low range of 80"…don’t enter the 80 here, because then ANY COURSE with less than an 80 is not even considered; it is not part of the average. If you do that, kids who ordinarily wouldn’t be on your honor roll will suddenly pop in. Why? Because we’re telling the system to ONLY look at the classes which DO have an 80. If Michelle has one or two 80s and four classes in which she scored 78, she’d be on the honor roll, since only the classes with an 80 or higher would be considered.
The three checkboxes in the middle:
Begin with All Courses -- Always select this UNLESS you are using Course Types on the right side of this form. Course Types are less likely to come into play in an Honor Roll, unless you are creating a speciality honor roll, such as a Math or a Science honor roll.
Re-Allow Used Courses -- If a student takes the same course in different years, do you allow both grades earned to be considered? If so, select this check box. Otherwise, the calculation will consider only the first instance of the course.
Allow Duplicate Courses -- If a student takes the same course in the same year, do you allow both grades earned to be considered? If so, select this check box. Otherwise, the calculation will consider only the first instance of the course.
For all courses considered, make sure there is/are...
Course Count: Enter the minimum and maximum number of courses a student must be taking during the Grading Period(s) in question in order to earn the Award. If you set the minimum at four and Jeanne is taking only three classes, she's not on the Honor Roll.
CUT OFF: Most schools, most of the time, select this on the right side of both Count and Credits. Selecting this makes the maximum number requested, not required. For instance: In the example above, the maximum Course Count is eight. If you did not engage cut off and Michelle had nine courses, she could not be on the Honor Roll. But if you select Cut off, she could still qualify because that makes the eight a suggestion, instead of a hard-and-fast rule. Most schools never select this in the left column; only the right column.
Total Credits: Enter the minimum and maximum number of credits a student must be enrolled for during the Grading Period(s) in question in order to earn the Award. If you set the minimum at four and Julie has three possible credits, she's not on the Honor Roll.
CUT OFF: Same rules as above.
NOTE: Between Course Count and Total Credits is a gray box, in which you can toggle between AND and OR. That does what you think and it makes a huge difference. If your students need to meet BOTH the Count and Credits criteria you establish, choose AND. If your students need to meet EITHER the Count OR the Credits criteria, then choose OR. Meeting and is more challenging than or.
Average Mark: This does what you think. In the example above, the minimum is 80 and the maximum, 100. If Jacob's courses being considered don't average at least 80, Jacob is not on the honor roll. Note: Most schools don't pay much attention to the maximum here, unless the school plans two or more honor rolls. i.e. A "high" honor roll of 90-100 and a "regular" honor roll of 85-90. In that case, the maximum of the high honor roll is not so important, but the maximum of the "regular" honor roll is. It must be set at 89.99 so that students with an average of 90 or above do not show up on it.
Min. Mark: In the example above, this is set to 70. If Maureen does not have at least a 70 in each Course being considered, she is not on the honor roll, regardless of what her average is.
The remainder of this tab: Set GPA/Average, calculation method, your Grade Legend choice and which GPA number to use identically to the choices you made on the Requirement tab. Note: Equal means Straight Average.
Your choices here control the basic format of the printout.
Summary List -- Is just that; a summary. It prints your students' name/grade/homeroom and then the number of courses considered for this student; the average of those courses; credits earned/possible and whether the student matches the criteria. If the student qualifies and you set up ranking (below), then the Rank prints in the final column. If the student fails to qualify, the final column prints "non matching." A fine report to perhaps turn in to the Principal but not very good for troubleshooting.
Detail by Area: Each student is one piece of paper. This shows, area by area, each grade the student received in the Grading Period(s) in question; the grade/credit information about each and whether that class qualified to be part of the Award calculation. The student's Rank is also displayed, if applicable. Areas the student did not pass print in bold. This report is extremely valuable for troubleshooting. Many schools also print them out for parents who question their student's outcome.
Detail by Year: Similar to Detail by Area, but broken out by Year. This is a valuable tool when you wish to include history years.
Matching Students -- Whichever report you choose above, you will print only those students who meet the award criteria. Not very valuable for troubleshooting, but if you're looking for a finished report of matching-only students, perhaps to turn into administration, many schools make this choice.
Non-Matching Students -- Valuable for troubleshooting. This report filters out the matching students, allowing you to concentrate on those who, literally, didn't make the grade. TIP: Parents whose students made the Honor Roll will not contact you. Parents in this group will.
All Students -- Also valuable for troubleshooting, because this allows you to compare and contrast the students who made the grade, as well as those who did not.
Rank -- Choose a means to Rank the students on the Report, or choose not to rank them. Students are ranked highest to lowest, unless you engage the checkbox at the bottom of this column, which reverses the default order.
Include Current Marks -- Select this if the report should include grades from the current year. Then in the box below, choose which Report Period(s) you want.
Use Final if Available -- If a Final Mark is available within one of the chosen Report Periods, selecting this box means the Final Mark will be used, rather than the Term Mark.
Average Grade from Selected Periods -- If you choose multiple Report Periods and an individual class has grades in more than one Period, all available grades will be averaged from that class, before the class is put into the overall calculation.
Include History Years -- If you want the award to include Student History grades, select this check box. Set the years to include in the date range boxes below. If your school has defined Sessions and you wish to restrict which ones are used from history, specify those Sessions in the box at the bottom of this column.
Click Sort/Group tab to select which students to include for this award and to select a sort order for the report.
Click Group to select a group of students. Then click Students to select/deselect specific students from within your group. By default, all students are selected.
You can select a sort field from the list of available fields to determine the order in which the report will print information.
Select the relevant buttons to print or preview the report. You can also save it to file -- perhaps to open and study it later in Excel.
To email your report rather than bringing it up on your screen or printing it to paper, click the Email tab. Enter the recipient(s) email address(es). The actual report is always an attachment; never part of the body of the email. Choose whether you want an HTML attachment or a .pdf. Anything you enter in the Message box becomes the body of the email. Most users will choose Print or Preview from the button bar at right, but you could also send an Excel-compatible data file by choosing To File. When ready, Click Send to start the email on its way.