Traditional Schedule Planning Page

Planning presents you with a holding area of class boxes for every session you must schedule. You drag and drop them onto your schedule.


  • The title row has buttons for switching to grade level planning
  • The holding area under the title has buttons for the planning tools, buttons for the grade levels, a Move-to-Ribbon button, and boxes which represent every class that you must schedule.
  • Under the holding area is the actual planning calendar with hours depicted down the left side and days/specialists across the top.
  • To the left of the calendar is an area where you set your lunch schedule, if you opted into the cafeteria functionality.
  • Light gray boxes in the planning calendar mark off times in which the specialist is available.
  • The Lunches on the planning calendar with a gray background are the lunch assignments for the specialists.

Moving Class Assignments onto the Calendar

When you click on a class assignment to drag it, the shape will change such that the top left corner becomes a pointer. That’s the corner you should observe as you move it to a place to position it.

When the assignment is over a legitimate place, that box on the planning calendar will turn dark. Note that you can only drop Art classes into an Art column, for instance.

You can drag items out of the holding area onto the calendar or back to the holding area, if desired.

Making the Dragging Much Easier

It is tedious to drag items long distances especially if scrolling the window is required. This would be common for classes late in the day or late in the week. The ribbon comes to the rescue.

Click the Move to Ribbon button to place all those classes in a ribbon that sticks to the top of the window. Now you can scroll the ribbon left and right for the class assignments you wish to work on. You can also scroll the calendar such that the area you need is close the ribbon. Now your dragging and dropping is all short distance. So:

  • use the ribbon
  • scroll first
  • drag and drop over short distances

Adjust Class Assignments by a Few Minutes

You don’t need to drop the class exactly where it goes. You can move an assignment up and down in small increments very easily. Just click on a class assignment on the planning calendar. It will be highlighted with a dashed border. Now you can move it up and down with your arrow keys in one minute increments.

Warnings for Overlapping Classes

From time to time you may drop a class assignment on top of another one on your planning calendar. If you do this within a particular margin of error, ESSMaker will pop up a warning to let you know that this is what you have done. It doesn’t change anything, it just warns you.

Some schools in some circumstances will actually want to assign multiple classes to the same slot, because some sort of regrouping is happening or because a bunch of students from both classes have left for some other actvity.

ESSMaker does the right thing in this fully overlapping scenario: it keeps track of this multiple overlapping assignment such that the reports for those classes show the right schedule and the class codes for the multiples are shown on the master schedule.

The validator will still warn you that this overlap exists, just to make sure you have done it intentionally.

Planning Tools


This should reverse whatever action you just took. The behavior here may not be perfectly reliable, but the software will do its best to undo whatever move you just applied to class assignments.


This button runs the validator logic against your schedule and generates a summary report for problems that it finds. Here is a successful run:

  • All the classes are assigned.
  • Classes do not have the same special on the same day.
  • Classes do not have the overlapping commitments.
  • Special Areas do not have the overlapping commitments.
  • Classes are within the window of availability for Special Areas.
  • Lunches are not exceeding the maximum tables in the cafeteria.

There is a link to the full details, in case you have many errors detected.


This form allows you to adjust the heuristics for the single-pass automatic scheduling. For some schools the resulting schedule may not have all your required classes assigned to the schedule, and there can be other validation issues as well. You can fix those issues manually or try different settings for the heuristics.

Create Blocks

This tool enables you to add blocks to the master schedule for ad hoc things like 5th Grade Chorus, specialist planning, or whatever.

Edit Block

This tool asks you to click on a block to edit. It then will permit you to change the date, start time, and duration to whatever custom value you wish.

Delete Block

This tool asks you to click on a block to delete. It then will show you the details for the block you selected and present a button to actually delete the block.

If the block is a main block created by the setup process, you will not be allowed to delete it. Only custom blocks may be deleted. The logic there is that if you told setup that you need that block, ESSMaker wants to guarantee you schedule everything you said you need.

Shift Times

This tool will shift a designated time window of your master schedule a certain number of minutes, either earlier or later.


This tool permits you to switch parts of your master schedule. You can switch:

  • one day with another
  • one grade with another
  • one class with another

Start Over

This removes all classes from the calendar. Really, ALL of them. Undo may work, but be careful.

You press the “Start Over” button along the top. It will prompt you with this warning and give you a second “Start Over” button. That second one does the work.