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About Courses

Course catalogs store general course information for the courses offered in your district. This data affects how students can request courses and how course-sections are defined and scheduled in the Master Schedule.

In eSchoolPlus, two types of catalogs can be used, depending on your district's procedures: District Course Catalog and Building Course Catalog. While there are differences between the two catalogs, the following information applies to all courses, regardless of where they are stored.

What is the difference between a regular course and block course?

There are two types of course records:

Regular Course

A course that students can request and have scheduled. Besides actual courses, a regular course record can include a study hall, lunch period, or any other type of period you want to fill in the Master Schedule.

Block Course

Contains multiple regular courses (blockettes), any one of which can be requested and scheduled. With a block course, the regular courses must be set up in a course catalog first, before you can create the block.

How can requests be prevented for a course that is no longer offered?

There are three ways to prevent a course from being requested:

  • If a course is no longer needed and is not being used elsewhere, you can delete the course by selecting its 
     (Delete) checkbox in the Building Course Catalog Search or District Course Catalog Search page, then clicking Save.
  • If the
     (Delete) checkbox does not display, then the course is in use elsewhere and cannot be deleted. In this case, you can prevent requests for the course by clearing its Active checkbox in the Building or District Course Catalog record.
  • Another way to prevent requests for a course is to clear both Course Availability checkboxes in the Building or District Course Catalog record: Regular Year and Summer School. At least one of these checkboxes must be selected for a course to be available for requests.

What are course sequences?

Course sequencing sets up relationships between courses. A primary use of sequencing is for prerequisites. With prerequisite checking, the first course in a sequence must be successfully completed before the student can be scheduled for the second course. Mark types and minimum marks are used in a sequencing record to define the required achievement level.

Sequencing can also be used to identify courses that should be scheduled or not scheduled in the same marking periods. For example, with a Chemistry Course and Lab, you could use sequencing to schedule the two concurrently, while with a two-semester course such as Biology A and Biology B, you could set up a sequence to keep the two in separate marking periods.

Course sequences can be created in the District Course Sequencing page (Scheduling > Courses > District Courses > District Course Sequencing) or Building Course Sequencing page (Scheduling > Courses > Building Courses > Building Course Sequencing). If you use the District Course Catalog, in most cases, you can define course sequences at the district level, and you will only need to set up building-level sequences when a building's courses differ from those in the district catalog.

How are course groups used?

Course groups are used in sequencing to link multiple classes that fulfill the prerequisite for a course. For example, if Algebra I has a prerequisite of Pre-Algebra and Pre-Algebra can be taken at any of your district's middle schools, you can define a course group that includes the Pre-Algebra course codes for all middle school buildings.

Course Group codes can be defined on the District Course Group page (Scheduling > Courses > District Courses > District Course Groups) or Building Course Group page (Scheduling > Courses > Building Courses > Building Course Groups). If you use the District Course Catalog, in most cases, you can define course groups at the district level, and you will only need to set up building-level groups when a building's courses differ from those in the district catalog.

How are study halls set up?

Study halls can be set up in two different ways. You can have the software fill in study halls in open periods in students' schedules, or you can set up study halls as regular courses that can be requested and scheduled.

  • To fill in study halls, select the Study Hall box in the course's District or Building Course Catalog record. You then can create study hall sections in the Master Schedule and assign the study halls using the Schedule Study Halls option (Scheduling > Student Schedules > Student Scheduler > Schedule Study Halls). This automatically fills in open periods in students' schedules. However, in this case, the study halls cannot be requested.
  • To enable students to request study halls, set up the study halls as regular courses, in which case, you do not select the course's Study Hall box. You then can use the scheduler (Schedule Students option) to schedule the study halls along with other courses.
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