HOWTO: Easy Grade Pro (EGP)
By L. Corey
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the LAUSD Easy Grad Pro (EGP) program are posted below. The latest version released in March 2004 supports Mac OS and Windows 95/98, ME and XP, and is Y2K compliant. EGP is available from Mr. K. Ballash. The documentation for the program is located on the hard drive, in the EGP directory. This page is intended to support Jefferson H.S. teachers in their use of the EGP software. We will hold regular user-group meetings for EGP users so that teachers can share their questions, solutions, tips and suggestions.
Why use EGP?
programs can calculate grades, and some will bubble, but only a small
number of programs are accepted by LAUSD SIS (such as Electronic
Rollbook) and can report grades via a floppy to an SIS server. EGP can
also function on a Palm Pilot. Like a spreadsheet, EGP can add up
points and calculate grades. EGP
also adds up and reports attendance. You can choose from 100 predefined
comments, plus you can write your own notes for each student. EGP can
include some student test scores and CUM information. You can use EGP
to create seating charts and track student textbooks and other
supplies. No bubbling is required when using EGP. An official printout
is only required at the end of the mester and final grades must be
verified. During other grading periods all you turn in to the
Attendance Office is your SIS grade report on a floppy disk.
Getting Started Basics
Installing EGP is fairly easy. In the classroom, the data file needs
reside on a drive where files can be rewritten. That is the T drive on
school computers. Create a folder there with your name on it for your
EGP class data. At home, you can have
the data files in your document directory. Once the program is
installed, you need to get your class data from the Attendance Office
by taking a formatted disketteto the office and have them copy your
Setting up the program the First Time
- Start the EGP program.
- Click on the button to create a NEW gradebook. Each teacher
should create a NEW gradebook and save it in the T drive. Create a
folder with your name so that other teachers do not save their EGP
files in with your classes.
- When the next window appears, select Import Classes to read the class data from the diskette. Select the LAUSD Import and Next buttons.
- Change the location to the diskette and select the CLASSES.TXT file.
- Select the classes you wish to import and select Next. You will
eventually select all the classes.
- Select the classes you wish to import and select Import. Select the term of the class and then Done twice. The program only allows you to import 1 class at a time.
- When you have all your classes, select Done and select No when it ask if you would like to import more classes.
- You should create your own password by selecting Edit, Gradebook Options. Select the Securities tab and select Set Teacher Password. Also select “When Lock, Close or Quit,” and either “Prompt for Backup” or “Display Backup Window.” You can also set the TA (teacher's assistance) password and what the TA can modify. Select Done when finished.
- Other options that may be modified will be discussed below.
- When new students arrive in your class, make sure the counselor or Attendance Office included their 4-digit ID number so you can add the student in EGP. That number is usually on the student's program card too.
- For every 4-week grading period, create an SIS grade report on a floppy and turn that into the Attendance Office in place of the class bubble sheets. You don't use the bubble sheets. You need to ensure the file is named WMR95.DAT on the floppy..
- See suggestions below on how to report grades to students and parents every grading period.
- At the end of the mester, create your final SIS grade report on a floppy and turn it into the Attendance Office. Verify your grades from the A.O. report/printout. Print out your official class reports for the Counseling Office, and Archive the gradebook onto a floppy and remove the file from the computer. Take the archive floppy home for safekeeping, in case you need to report grades again (you have already turned in the final mester grade floppy to the A.O.)
Suggestions on How to Set Up your Classes using EGP
(Each class can be configured independently, so each class needs to be set up once at the beginning of each mester. Unfortunately, there is no one-time setup feature for all the classes. So repeat the following setup for each class and/or period.)
In the Gradebook Options Dialogue box (select Edit, Gradebook Options), there are 6 tabs that set options for the entire gradebook. The tabs are labeled Display, General, Security, Clipboard Text, Report Labels, and Palm Setup. Although very little needs to be modified here, it is important to set up the Teacher's Password.
- Display: This tab has options to select the font on the screen, the size of the font, what is highlighted when selected, how to show student names, how to show the grades and if missing work is indicated.
- General: This tab has options to select which short cuts are
when warning messages are given, how to scroll when a condition is met,
where to place tool palettes, and if the gradebook is always compressed
(only needed with low disk space).
- Security: This tab has options to set the teacher's and TA's
as well as when to ask for the passwords. It also determines what the
TA is restricted to do.
- Clipboard Text: This tab has a list of items that can be pasted into student's notes. It will allow you to modify the items in the clipboard.
- Report Labels: This tab has a list of labels that is used in the reports (probably no changes are needed here).
- Palm Setup: This tab determines if the gradebook can be synced to a Palm OS device to modify grades and attendance when access to the computer is inconvenient. If you do not have a Palm device, you don't need to change anything on this tab. If you select Palm syncing, you also need to select which classes and what to sync with the Palm device.
In the Class Options Dialogue box (select Edit, Class Options) there are 10 tabs to set each of the class options. The tabs are labeled Scale, Round, Category, Footnote, Score, Attend, Calendar, Term, Seat and Color.
- Scale: This tab determines the grading scale used for the class. The standard scale is suitable for most classes. Round: This tab determines has the grade is displayed. The better choices are either whole numbers or tenths.
- Category: This tab allows you to define how to categorize the students' work into various topics, such as tests and quizzes, homework, portfolios, participation, notes and other topics. You can also define how much each topic counts towards the grade (e.g. tests can account for 50% of the grade). If you want each topic to be different, select yes for "Use Category Weights" at the bottom of the box. There is space for 15 different topics and each topic can be assigned a different scale.
- Footnote: This tab has a list of footnotes entries that can be attached to each grade to indicate a condition that occurred (e.g. the student was absent for a test and the grade was from a make-up test). There is only space for 7 different footnotes, since these are pasted into the footnote for the grade.
- Score: This tab has a list of scoring entries, with short cuts, that can be entered instead of a number grade. It also indicates if the entry should be counted as a missing assignment from the student.
- Attend: This tab has a list of the attendance categories and if the category should be counted as an excused absent/tardy, or unexcused absent/tardy. This may already be set up properly when the class information is imported.
- Calendar: This tab has the calendar for the school term. Select the start date of the term on the calendar on the left, and the end date of the term on the calendar on the right. On the middle calendar, select all the dates when there is a holiday during the term. This needs to be done for all classes if you want to take attendance in EGP.
- Term: This tab is used if you want to incorporate grades from a previous term. It is not needed in LAUSD.
- Seat: This tab defines how the students' names are displayed on the seating chart and if attendance is done on the seating chart screen.
- Color: This tab allows you to define the color of the class so it is easier to determine if you are on the correct class. You can have each class assigned a different color and you can match the screen color to the class color.
- The default attendance marks in EGP are not the LAUSD version.
You should customize the marks to resemble that standard LAUSD marking
Entering Class Data
Each assignment has its own information, so a new column is created
one. Click on Add Assignment in the data columns. Provide the name of
the assignment, the maximum score on the assignment, the number of
points for the maximum score, which category the assignment is in, the
status of the assignment (normal, extra credit, not for grade, can be
dropped), how to display the score, how the assignment is included in
the grade, and the date of the assignment. You can also provide a note
For B track classes, when you go off track in mid-mester input Zs
into the daily attendance to show days that the class did not meet.
If a student enters you class late without a school four digit code,
you can create a dummy code until you get the correct code from either
the counselor or the attendance office. Don't forget, because later in
the mester you will not be able to report the student grade to SIS
without the correct code.
Creating Class Reports
Will be provided soon.
Creating Grade Report for Attendance Office
To create the 4-week grading file for the Attendance Office, you will need a formatted diskette to place the data file to give to the Attendance Office.
- To add comments to the grade report:
- Select Chart, Summaries.
- Click on the Student tab. (If the list of comments are not from LAUSD district, get the LAUSD Comments file and import it into your gradebook.)
- Select comments for each student in each class.
- When finished, select Done.
- Select the Student tab and scroll to the right.
- Enter E, S, or U for each student under the appropriate column. You can also enter the comment numbers for the students in the columns to the right, or see the next section for viewing the comments and selecting the one you desire for the student.
- Select File, Export.
- Select the LAUSD Grade Export format, which classes you want
include in the data file and if you want only active students or all
students. Click Export. (If you don't have the LAUSD Export option, you
are using the wrong version of EGP)
- You may want to verify the information before selecting Export Records.
- Change the drive to save the file on the diskette, ensure the
file is WMR95.DAT, and select Save. Make sure that the file on the
floppy is labeled WMR95.DAT. This is the standard file that reports
grades to SIS. Macintosh users should take special care that this file
is correctly saved onto the floppy. If some other file format is
reported, then you are probably using the version of EGP that is not
LAUSD SIS compliant.
- When the file is written, take the diskette out of the computer and take it to the Counseling Office to hand in.