Overview of Systems at New Hope
This is an overview of the various systems we use at New Hope, a "crib sheet" of sorts for instructors.
Bookmark the Tutor Portal in your browser. The same URL works for instructors, parents, students, and staff, which is handy if a parent or student isn't sure where to get access. The system knows what type of portal to show you based on your login credentials.
1. Take Attendance Every Class (see article)
Try to do this on the spot during or after every class. You can always click the date on the attendance screen to enter old classes. The only options to use are Present, Tardy, and Absent. This is just for record-keeping and is reported on quarterly evals; it is up to you how you want to handle tardies and absences in your class.
2. Stay in Regular Contact With Parents Using Distribution Lists (see article)
You see your students once or twice a week, but generally not their parents. Please reach out via email distribution lists at least every three weeks, even if just to give an update on what the class is doing. As a rule, cc parents on any individual communication with students, and cc Chris and Ian on any email correspondence of significance. It goes without saying that all emails to parents and students should be composed carefully and follow professional standards of grammar and mechanics.
3. Record Grades in the Gradebook Throughout the Quarter (see article)
It is helpful to parents and students if you keep your gradebook up to date, because it lets them see how they are doing in the course. It also enables Chris and Ian to see how students are doing across their coursework. Whether you record homework completion every day, or just enter a few big grades for the quarter, please consider the gradebook the location of record for all major class grades. Also note that you can have students submit assignments via the portal.
4. Enter Grades and Comments at the End of Each Quarter (article forthcoming)
Enter class comments and quarter grade on Veracross at the end of each quarter. We give instructors two weeks to complete them, at which point we "release" them to parents and students via their portals. Grades and comments are typically opened two weeks before the end of a quarter so you can start entering information ahead of time.
5. Use the directory to find contact information (see article)
You can always find contact info for colleagues, parents, and students on your Portal. If a someone gives you updated contact info, please ask them to update their own information via their portal, or send it to Ian or Martha.
Google Drive (see article)
You have access to 30GB of space with your New Hope Google account. We recommend using Google Docs to create your syllabus and class schedule to share with students and parents. You can store any kind of files: not just Google Docs, but also Word files, images, PDFs, etc.
Before the start of the year:
- Create your syllabus and schedule for at least the first quarter. They may be different documents or the same.
- Make them publicly available to anyone with the link. Copy/paste the link into an email to share with students and parents. Cc or bcc Chris and Ian.
- Download the document(s) as PDFs and put them in 2016-17 Syllabi folder in the Teaching Folder. This lets everyone see everyone else's syllabi and schedules. The PDF is helpful because it creates a "snapshot" of the course.
As the year progresses:
- Add updated schedules to the Syllabi folder.
- Update the schedule and remind students and parents to check it.
Email (see article)
Your New Hope email account is part of Google Apps. You can access it on the web, or set up a local mail client, like Mac Mail. Use it to communicate with your students and parents, and as a "paper trail" for important conversations.
Audio/Visual Projection in Class (see article)
New Hope has six projectors and two Bluetooth speakers available. The six projectors are assigned to particular classrooms; the first tutor in a room for a day is responsible for bringing it over (even if they don't use it every day), and the last tutor is responsible for packing it up and bringing it back. Tutor are encouraged to have students in charge of these tasks. The two Bluetooth speakers are available to use as needed.