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Using the District Course Catalog

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The District Course Catalog in eSchoolPlus enables you to create a central collection of your district's course records. Each course in the catalog is assigned at least one Building Type to identify the buildings where the course is offered, such as high school or elementary school. If a course is taught in more than one type of building, multiple building types can be assigned.

Where Building Course Catalogs are always associated with a specific building, the district catalog enables you to distribute courses to all buildings of the same type. For example, you could set up an Algebra I course at the district level to be available in the catalogs for all of your high schools and middle schools.

We recommend using a district catalog for the following reasons:

  • With a district catalog, you only need to enter information for a course one time, whereas if you only use building catalogs, you must enter the course individually for each building.
  • If you allow course requests to be entered in the Career Plan option in eSchoolPlus or Home Access Center and your district has more than one high school, course requests can be entered for future years even if the student's building assignments are not known. In addition, administrators and parents can use Career Plan to track subject area credit requirements within the supplemental requirement groups defined in Mark Reporting's Graduation Requirement option.
  • If in some cases courses vary from building to building, you can enter the differences at the building catalog level and thereby override the district-level versions of the courses. Usually, these differences only affect a few fields so the changes are easy to enter and maintain.

The District Course Catalog Utility option enables you to build a district catalog from representative building catalogs throughout your district. Using the utility, you can:

  • Copy the representative building's records to all buildings for multiple building types
  • Update the central district catalog with courses unique to a building.
  • Copy district records to specific building catalogs.

This topic provides information on the following District Course Catalog concepts:

  • Validation of Mark Reporting data when district courses are distributed to buildings.
  • Entry of building-level overrides of district course information.
  • Use of the District Course Catalog in the student course request process through Student Career Planner.
  • Special maintenance of Building Course Catalogs when you implement the district catalog for the first time.


Back up your database before implementing the District Course Catalog, especially if you want to run the District Course Catalog Utility. This utility has far-reaching effects on Building Course Catalogs which can be undone only by restoring a database backup.

Mark Reporting Table Validation

When you add or update a district course, table-validated Mark Reporting fields allow you to select any code defined for any building for the building types assigned to the course. For example, if a district course has both a High School and Middle School building type assigned to it, then its table-validated fields accept any code set up for any building of these types. This applies to Level table codes, Mark Types, and Honor Roll setups.

When you save the district course, eSchoolPlus performs the following validations at the building level:

  • For each building that is updated with the district course information, eSchoolPlus checks whether Mark Reporting codes are valid based on that building's Level table, Mark Type, and Honor Roll setups. If the district course has a setting that does not exist for the building, then the building-level course is updated only with the valid selections.
    Example: District course 100 has Issue Marks selections for mark types with codes of SEM, EX, and TERM. The course is defined with a High School building type. Building 10, a high school, does not have the TERM code defined in the Mark Types table. The course 100 record for Building 10 will then have selected only the SEM and EX mark types.
  • If there are no matching Level table setups to select at the building level, an error dialog displays, identifying the building and missing setup. You will not be able to save the district course until you resolve the data conflict.

Setting District Course Overrides at the Building Level

The District Course Catalog is designed to synchronize course setup at the district level with course information for individual buildings. Through the Scheduling District Configuration, you also can allow building-level overrides for field sections in a Building Course Catalog record as needed.

An override is a change to a building-level course that otherwise would be maintained through the district catalog. The Building Course Catalog page includes five panels that allow overrides to their fields: General Course Information, Scheduler Options, Mark Reporting Information, State Course Information, and Teacher Qualifications.

Your ability to access and override the values on a given panel is determined by the Scheduling District Configuration. For example, you could set up the configuration to allow building-level changes for the General Course Information, Scheduler Options, and Mark Reporting Information panels, but not the Teacher Qualifications and State Courses panels. The configuration also controls whether overrides can be entered in individual district-defined building catalog pages.

Once an override is set for a panel in a course record, the panel's fields are no longer affected by updates at the district level. To alert you to an override, the following message displays at the top of the panel: Section Has Overridden District Values. This also applies to district-defined pages; that is, if a change is made at the building level, an override is created protecting the entire page from district changes.

Course page panels and district-defined pages that do not have overrides will continue to be maintained through the District Course Catalog.

Example: The following steps show how an override is set for a course, if allowed by your Scheduling District Configuration:

  1. For high school building 20, course 1150 is synchronized with the District Course Catalog through the District Course Catalog Utility.
  2. An administrator in building 20 changes the Grade Restriction setting for course 1150 so that it differs from the corresponding district catalog record. The Grade Restriction field is on the Scheduler Options panel.
  3. When the administrator saves this change, an override to the Scheduler Options panel is set for course 1150 in building 20.
    • The override means that future changes to the panel for course 1150 in the district catalog will not affect the panel for the course in building 20's catalog.
    • To undo the override and synchronize the building course with the district course, the administrator can access the Building Course Catalog page and use the District Reset option on the
       (Additional options) menu.

You can search for courses in your Building Course Catalog that contain overrides by running an advanced search and selecting Building Course Catalog Overrides as the Area in your criteria. For the complete procedure, refer to Search for building-level courses that contain overrides.

Processing District Course Requests

If the Career Plan options in eSchoolPlus and Home Access Center allow entering course requests for more than one year, you must implement the District Course Catalog, since building assignments are required for scheduling requests. By using the district catalog, you can request courses in advance for future years without knowing students' future buildings.

To allow flexibility when planning a student's high school courses, eSchoolPlus assigns -1 as a generic building number for use in Career Planner course requests. A course request with -1 as its building number, the request is considered a district request.

When you are ready to schedule district requests for the next school year, eSchoolPlus lets you convert the -1 building to the student's next-year registration building. If needed, you can change the building through the Scheduler Error Scan or Requests option.

Example: The current school year is 2015. Andrew Allentown is in middle school building 4. Next year, 2016, he will move to high school building 2.

  1. Andrew's middle school counselor accesses the 2016 eSchoolPlus environment to prepare a high school curriculum path. She assigns a Mark Reporting graduation requirement group for Andrew.
  2. The counselor uses the Career Plan option to add course requests covering 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. These requests are district requests, and accordingly, each has -1 assigned as its building number.
  3. Through the year-end rollover process, the school year advances to 2016, and building 2 is assigned as the building for Andrew's courses.
  4. Andrew's graduation and supplemental requirement group information displays on Home Access Center's Career Plan page. Through HAC, his mother enters a course request for 2018. This also is a district request, in which case -1 is assigned as its building number.
  5. When the year-end rollover process is run for 2017, building 2 is again assigned to Andrew's courses.
  6. During the 2017 school year, Andrew transfers to another high school building in your district. He is now in building 22, and you are his counselor.
  7. You reach the time in the 2017 school year for entering and reviewing student course requests for 2018. eSchoolPlus will give you the opportunity to convert the building for Andrew's district request in one of the following ways:
    • When you access the Requests option in the 2018 environment, you will be prompted to convert the building for the district request.
    • When you run the Scheduler Error Scan for Andrew Allentown in the 2017 school year, you can select the Import District Requests option to convert the building.

Handling Shared Course Numbers When Implementing a District Catalog

When you first implement the District Course Catalog, you may have cases where a particular course number is used in multiple buildings to identify different courses. For instance, course 5130 might identify 9th Grade English in one of your high school buildings and Creative Writing in another.

We recommend against using the same course number for different courses in different buildings. Besides the confusion that can result, this can pose a significant problem when you run the District Course Catalog Utility. The utility lets you identify a representative Building Course Catalog to use for the following purposes:

  • To create a portion of the District Course Catalog, where a particular building type is assigned to each course generated. For example, all middle schools in your district catalog could have a building type of M.
  • To update the Building Course Catalogs in all buildings defined by the building types you select. For example, you could download courses to your middle school catalogs by selecting M as the building type.

To help you set up your course coding, the utility enables you to identify representative Building Course Catalogs to use as the foundation for the catalogs used by each of your building types. For example, if you have High School, Middle School, and Elementary School as building types, you would run the utility to identify a representative building catalog for each type.

To avoid losing a course number that is already being used in your Master Schedule, follow these steps:

  1. Select Scheduling > Utilities > Setup Utilities > District Course Catalog Utility.
  2. Select the Building you want to use for generating District Course Catalog records.
  3. Select Create Analysis Report for Courses.
  4. Click Run.
  5. Review the report to determine how you want to handle running the utility for the building you selected in Step 2.

For cases where the same course number applies to different courses in different buildings, you can use the utility's Filter criteria to exclude these records from system processing.

  • To replace duplicate courses for buildings of the selected building type, re-run the utility with the Rebuild Entire Catalog box checked. This replaces existing course catalogs for the appropriate buildings with the catalog from the building you selected.
  • To retain duplicate courses for buildings of the selected building type, re-run the District Course Catalog Utility with the Rebuild Entire Catalog box unchecked, and select Overwrite from the dialog that displays. For the appropriate building catalogs, the utility adds courses that are unique to the building selected in Step 2 of the procedure.

In either case, the utility creates District Course Catalog courses based on the selected building's building type.

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