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iTCCS Insight Masthead
Volume 2 | Issue 4 | Summer 2017
Image of Lynn Heatherly, iTCCS Programming Services Director
Message from Lynn Heatherly

iTCCS Programming Services Director

What does summer mean to you? A beach vacation? Playing in the sprinkler on a hot day? Eating watermelon at a picnic in the park? Watching fireworks and enjoying barbecue at the lake? That all sounds wonderful! Please go pursue all of these interests and more – because the iTCCS team is taking care of the business side of things!

For us, summer is final report cards, AARs, PEIMS submissions, end-of-year backups, move to grade reporting, fiscal year roll-over, budgeting, position management forecasting, disaster recovery exercises, and infrastructure maintenance and upgrades. That may not sound as exciting as what you have lined up this summer, but we love it all. We exist to serve you, your employees, your students, and their families and it is our great pleasure to do so.

The Business software has just undergone a major undertaking! We have increased the length of the invoice number field from 10 to 15 characters. Seems like a minor issue, but it actually means that iTCCS is much more flexible and able to handle future changes to the way vendors use invoices. We’re always looking to the future at iTCCS.

On the Student side, you can look forward to a more stream-lined and robust enrollment and registration process. The districts have more control over the entire process and the parents will love how easy it is to provide their information. A win for everyone!

At iTCCS, we are all about making your life easier, whether it is with state and federal reporting, management of student information, or running the financial side of a district. We are proud to have served the administration, faculty, and students of the state of Texas for over 40 years! Now y’all go out and have a great summer. We’ll be ready for you at the beginning of the school year.


See What People Are Saying about iTCCS

"I love iTCCS! The Student application is robust, easy to use, easy to navigate and allows for a certain amount of customization that makes our day to day jobs easier when it comes to working with student data. We are excited about the ongoing improvements that are constantly being added such as the new customized reports and we look forward to the addition the snapshot customized reports. One of the most important things I have to say about iTCCS is how much we appreciate the consulting team we work with. There is no area where they aren’t willing to help. The team always provides support above and beyond and when it comes to helping keep up with State mandates you can’t put a dollar amount on the value of the service they provide."

-Sally Andruzzi, Director, PEIMS & Student Information Systems, Emma Frey Service Center

iTCCS Insight: The Latest in Texas School Software


Welcome, Jennifer & Arturo

Jennifer has worked as the Texas Computer Cooperative (TCC) Component Director, TxEIS Programming Service since 2013, but has been with the TCC for since 2000. iTCCS would like to welcome her as the new Associate Director for the TCC. Congratulations, Jennifer!

Arturo joined the Documentation team — he’ll be working mostly with iTCCS  after a brief stint as a Public Information Officer with the San Antonio Public Library. Prior to the library, he spent a few years as an online producer with mySA.com and also wrote columns for the San Antonio Express-News during Mexico’s presidential elections of 2006 and 2012. We’re glad to have him on board.

Congratulations!

iTCCS would like to congratulate our 2017 Blue Ribbon honor nominees:

  • Austin Elementary School (Edinburg CISD)
  • Jefferson Elementary (Edinburg CISD)
  • Travis Early College High School (San Antonio ISD)

They were all nominated as exemplary high performing schools as measured by state assessments. Next they’ll complete an application process through the U.S. Department of Education. Winners will be announced in September of this year. Stay tuned, we’ll be watching.

System - JasperReports

iTCCS offers premiere administrative software for Texas schools. You know that already. But did you know that it offers value added tools like JasperReports, a Java-based data analysis and reporting engine? This versatile addition to iTCCS lets you create ad hoc reports and dashboards, export data in many different formats (PDF, .csv, .rtf and HTML to name just a few). Schedule reports to run on particular days each week or month and have them sent to you when they’re done. The whole world of data from your district is at your fingertips. Want to know more? Contact us.

Student

You probably know about this one. It was a doozie. Attendance Calendar Minutes. In short, Minimum Daily Minutes and Shortened Minimum Daily Minutes fields were added to for TEA-defined minutes of instruction per day. Daily Minutes and Shortened Daily Minutes were added for LEA-defined minutes, which can be more but not less than the TEA-defined minutes. Plus four new Day Type Selections were added to the campus calendar. As always, you can count on iTCCS to make sure you're compliant with all state and federal mandates.

Contact

We're here for you. Contact information is just a click away. Let us know what you think or ask questions. And don't forget about social media. We've got the bases covered: 

Business

Hourly Employee Timesheets are available in Employee Access. What does that mean, exactly? It means that hourly employees can input their work hours directly into Employee Access. Once approved, exceptions to the work hours, overtime and absence deductions will be transferred directly to the Payroll application in iTCCS. The more we do means the less you have to.

We introduced the Dashboard of Approval not all that long ago. And now we've added Leave Requests and Grants. Just as promised. iTCCS: moving you forward.

We've made a change to the maximum length of invoice numbers. Doesn't sound like much? It is. As vendors change their invoicing methods, iTCCS is able to quickly change to remain the powerful, flexible School and Business software you've come to expect. There's nothing small about anything we do.

txSuite

One of the biggest changes you'll see with this Release are the changes to Online RegistrationPrimarily it will be a step-driven process for both administrators and end-users. This means that the process for both setting up Online Registration as an administrator and completing it as a parent/guardian will be more intuitive and faster. From a clear starting point -- click the Start Registration button to get going -- to easy navigation -- Back and Next buttons -- to a defined finish, the newly rewritten Online Registration is a breeze to use. These are exciting indications of what's to come. 

txConnect

Primarily, the Online Registration process has been redesigned for ease of use. The wizard-style process walks parents through each form, step by step, with the option to review and complete the form, or save and complete later. And when you've gone through all the steps, you can submit everything to the district. It's a simple, intuitive way to get through those necessary annual forms. And simply click the student drop-down at the top-left of the page to change students.

Parents can now log on even when their email address does not match the email for the parent/guardian contact. That gives you access to your student's attendance, grades and other information. You won't, however, be able to update any information.

Need that form to fill out ASAP? No need to log in. A list of downloadable forms (and a link to them) is listed right on the login screen.

Now it's easier than ever to get your email verified for your new txConnect account. You can do it right in process of registering, as a matter of fact. Or you can do it later from the My Account page.

Step 5 of the new student online enrollment includes Standard Enrollment Forms with symbols that show if you've completed the form or not. And there's a progress bar showing how much you've completed and how much you have to go. 

Quickly see if registration is open. If you see the box with "Registration for yyyy-yy is active!" then you're ready to get your student registered. Take a look down the list of registration forms to easily see which ones you've completed and which you haven't. Then just click the yyyy-yy Registration button to be taken directly to the registration process.

On My Account you'll see a column that says Rights. A check mark means that your txConnect account matches your email address in the campus student record and that you're a guardian. An "X" means that it doesn't. This determines whether you can update your student's information or not (see above).

It's even easier to switch between multiple students on forms such as contact forms. You'll see student names listed as buttons or drop-downs.

txConnect Admin

Online Registration, a new page in Forms Management, allows you to create an online registration template using a wizard-style process. Parents will see the forms you select (and their order) when they go through Online Registration.

There is now a separate section for student data, which allows you to add forms. Parents are then able to update this information throughout the school year. This includes things like phone numbers or addresses -- information that might change halfway through the year.

Turn Online Registration on or off in txConnect Admin by using a beginning and ending date for registration.

You are now able to change the language context in the Form Editor so that you can maintain a form in multiple languages. Just change the language, add a name and any special instructions in the language you want to use. Then you can select Language Context on the Form Group Detail page to organize forms by language.

The new Group Type field allows you to label groups by how they're being used. Student Data is where forms that have to do with updating student data go. External (No login required), which is where you would put forms for parents to grab without having to log in to their account. There is also a New Student Enrollment group, which provides any static and standard forms that a district requires for enrolling a new student. These show up in step 5 of the new student enrollment process.

The statistic tables are now graphs! Easily see what's happening. Here's what's available:

With the User Activity graph, you can specify a date and view total txConnect users in the district or campus who have been active (i.e., logged on to txConnect) and inactive as of that date.

Student Accounts provides a count of parents in the district or camps with a txConnect account who have added at least one student to their account, and those who have not added any students to their account.

Student Enrollment in Portal indicates the count of students at each campus who are attached to a parent's txConnect account.

Get a month-by-month count of students who were successfully enrolled in the district via txConnect online enrollment, as well as those who have started the process and those who have submitted enrollment forms but do not have a record created in the student system with Online Enrollment. You can view up to 12 months of data.

Admins Dashboard shows you the number of district-level and campus-level administrative users at each campus.

TSDS, OCR & End-of-Year

We've worked hard this spring on changes to TSDS PEIMS and OCR. And with the End-of-Year upon us, there are so many things to do to make sure everything runs smoothly.

iTCCS caters to your needs no matter if that's building new functionality (like the Dashboard of Approvals) or maintenance and upkeep to make sure you're in compliance with ALL state and federal mandates. 

Voting for Enhancements

We're in the midst of enhancement voting. Here's a quick overview of how it works:

  • Lynn assigns a deadline for all suggestions from Education Service Centers (ESC) who in turn query their clients directly.
  • Once those lists have been reviewed a combined list is provided to the ESCs and the enhancements are ranked with client input.
  • Those are then returned and reviewed and the top enhancements get scheduled.

What a great way to make sure the most important enhancements are given the most attention.

News

We just wrapped up our Summer Conference season. This year we had a booth set up on the 10th hole of the Moody Gardens Golf Course in support of TASBO. Couldn't ask for a better place to be or a better organization to support.

10th Hole

10th Hole

Bring in the Best

CareerPortal, Texas Computer Cooperative's latest addition, is an online job recruitment and applicant management application. Flexible, powerful, a breeze to administer, simple to navigate and a delight to use, both as a business and as an applicant, CareerPortal is fast becoming one of Texas's favorite job recruitment tool. For more information, contact your local Education Service Center or visit us online

In Case You Missed It

Fitness Challenge

Not too long ago, iTCCS fielded a five-person team (the Scrambled Legs!) to take the Fitness Challenge. Squats. Pushups. Even a 30 second plank (the giggling nearly did them in there). But they did awesome. iTCCS is healthy and fit and so is the iTCCS Development team. It takes one to know one!

Fitness Challenge

Selfie with staff or a client day

Meet the TCC

Arturo Gallardo

System Documentation Analyst,
Texas Computer Cooperative

Q. How long have you worked at the TCC?

A. Three months — it will be four on July 6.

Q. What were one or two of your favorite projects?

A. Working on the Attendance Calendar Minutes. It was very interesting to learn about how the calendar works.

Q. What’s something you enjoy doing when you get home from work or on the weekends?

A. Playing tennis and "attempting" to work out, which is really not working out great lately — but I keep trying.

Q. Do you have any pets?

A. Nacho, a German Shepherd. 

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Published: June 23, 2017

The Texas Computer Cooperative (TCC) is a cooperative of 19 Texas Education Service Centers (ESCs) serving 875 districts across the state and over 1.1 million Texas students. For over 45 years the TCC with the TxEIS and iTCCS systems has been the leader in delivering products and services that support Texas LEAs in managing student and business information. Going forward, the TCC will continue to enhance its suite of products, building on our success as the leader in the state in compliance and reporting, further empowering the LEAs to easily make informed decisions and engage stakeholders through powerful yet flexible tools and applications.

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