ESSMaker Instruction Manual

Table of Contents


FAQs

You may have a question that is commonly asked. We cover most of those in this section of this instruction manual. For additional guidance look through the rest of this table of contents and then click through for detailed guidance. Contact us for anything that is missing.

How do I handle pull-outs?

Pull-outs refer to specialized instruction given to part of class while the remainder of the class stays with the classroom teacher. Details…

How do I handle lunch?

If you have a cafeteria, there is functionality to keep you from putting too many classes in there at once. But there are other options depending upon your needs. Details…

How do I handle recess?

We can suggest several approaches. One of them probably fits your pattern for recess. Details…

What’s included in the Premium Level for $19?

Most functionality is available at the Standard Level. Some helpful features are provided by the Premium Level for $19. Details…


Finding Your Way Around

Overview

ESSMaker is able to manage multiple schedules for you, but only one of them is active at any one time. The active schedule is displayed along the very top rail of the screen next to your email address.

You can change which schedule is active on the Schedules tab, along with other similar administrative actions that affect your collection of schedules.

The other tabs operate upon your active schedule, except for the User tab which allows you to change your password and other account related items.

Schedules tab

This is where you manage your list of schedules: creating new ones, activating the one you want to work on, changing schedule titles, etc. Details…

Setup tab

Setup takes you through a series of forms where you can specify the various details concerning which classes you need to schedule and how long they last. Those details are different between the various kinds of schedules you can create. Specific instructions are found in the rest of this instruction manual.

It’s good to get things close to correct the first time through, but you can come back later and make changes to the setup. Certain kinds of changes will require you to move things around on your master schedule, so it’s good to avoid that when you can.

Planning tab

Planning presents you with a holding area of class boxes for every session you must schedule. You drag and drop them onto your schedule. This is where the advantages of ESSMaker really shine. Conflicts and omissions will be a thing of the past.

Detailed instructions can be found for each of the kinds of schedules that ESSMaker produces. Look below in the correct section.

Reports tab

ESSMaker produces PDF files as its output reports. You can choose color or black and white, and you choose which of the many reports should be included in any one output report.

Build a master copy with everything or individualized reports for specialists or grade-level instructors. All with just checking the appropriate boxes.

User tab

The User tab gives you the ability to change your email address or your password. It also lets you know about your premium level renewal date and enables you to buy the premium level when that is appropriate.

If you are having trouble logging in, the password reset functionality lets you fix that for yourself. It will email you a link that gets you back into the system. When there is a problem with that, it’s often a typo with the email address.

Choosing Which Schedule Type

The first step in getting started is selecting which kind of schedule will fit the needs of your school. Details…


Traditional Master Schedules

Create new schedule

This page sets the basic structure for your school: the number of grades and classes, cafeteria, times, 5 or 6 day schedule. Details…

Classroom teachers

Each class has a teacher’s name and a class code.

By default the class codes are the grade plus a sequential letter of the alphabet. Some schools opt for the grade plus the first letter of the teacher’s last name. There are many options here, but we do encourage you to keep the code to 4 characters or fewer. It will fit better on your master schedule.

Lunch and Special Areas

Special services provided to students like Music or Phys. Ed. are entered here with times per week and duration of sessions. The actual placement of each block into a schedule happens on the planning page. Details…

Detailed Provisioning

This page adjusts each grade level individually for differences in special area provisioning. Details…

Availability Times

Specialists may not be in your building full-time, every day of the week. This page lets you enter their availability, so that ESSMaker can help you not schedule them for classes at inopportune times. Details…

Planning

Turning your plan into a concrete reality happens on the planning tab. There are numerous tools ESSMaker puts at your fingertips on that page. Details…

Grade-level

With the master plan in place, your attention may well turn to core subjects or other class-specific blocks that are hard to represent on the master schedule.

The Traditional Schedule provides all of that with buttons for each grade level that are placed horizontally near the top of the planning tab. There is no need to make a separate Classroom-only schedule. All the functionality of Classroom-only schedules is found in the Traditional Schedule. Details…


Rotating Specials Schedules

Create new schedule

This page sets the basic structure for your school: the number of grades and classes, cafeteria, times, and calendar. Details…

Classroom teachers

Each class has a teacher’s name and a class code.

By default the class codes are the grade plus a sequential letter of the alphabet. Some schools opt for the grade plus the first letter of the teacher’s last name. There are many options here, but we do encourage you to keep the code to 4 characters or fewer. It will fit better on your master schedule.

Special Areas Provisions

Special services provided to students like Music or Phys. Ed. are entered here with the number of instructors available for your rotations. The actual placement of each block into a schedule happens on the planning page. Details…

Lunch times and Special Area Teachers

This page simply collects the names of your specialists and your lunch start and stop times.

Rotations

A rotating specials schedule groups the classes into rotation groups that are typically all the classes in a grade level. ESSMaker sets up default groups and rotations, and the rotations page enables you to adjust those in all the various ways that you might want. Details…

Durations

The Durations page allows you to enter the amount of time for sessions of the special area rotation, an intervention/enrichment period, and lunch.

Planning

Turning your plan into a concrete reality happens on the planning tab. There are numerous tools ESSMaker puts at your fingertips on that page. Details…


Classroom-only Schedules

Create new schedule

This page sets the basic structure for your schedule: school times, 5 or 6 day schedule. For labelling purposes, enter your grade level.

The number of classes you enter should be the number you want to have in your schedule. You can put 1 if it’s just your class.

Classroom Teachers

When you save the schedule, you will be taken to a page where you enter teacher names and class codes. We suggest you keep the class codes shorter than 4 or 5 characters so that there is room for them on the schedule.

Planning

If you copied items from a master schedule, then your specials will already appear on your schedule. The planning tab allows you to add your core classes and whatever other blocks you need. Details…