ASPEN PUBLICATION #14 January 5, 2015

 Posted by on January 6, 2015
Jan 062015



With the school year in full swing, Quincy Public Schools continues its successful implementation of Aspen, Quincy’s Student Information System. Below you will find specific details of our planning, implementation, and reflection/assessment process with NEW Aspen modules and features.

Gradebook Trainings ~ Approximately 75 middle/high school professional staff members volunteered to participate in Aspen Gradebook Trainings during the week of November 10-13. Quincy Public Schools Information Technology Team developed a three-tier Aspen Gradebook training model that included:

Aspen Beginners ~ Basic Gradebook: Teachers are learning basic features of using the Aspen Gradebook, including fundamentals, navigation, and managing student attendance.

Aspen Intermediate Gradebook: Teachers are learning advanced features of the Aspen Gradebook, including importing categories/ assignments from prior terms, setting up student assignment submission and creating online tests/quizzes.

Aspen Advanced ~ Aspen Teacher Pages: Aspen Teacher Pages allow staff to create their own webpage in Aspen. Aspen Teacher Pages will assist teachers to share information and ideas. Aspen Teacher Pages promotes real time student collaboration outside the classroom.

Various Aspen training offerings will continue for individual QPS teams, including principals, assistant principals, deans, secretaries, and student support services.

Staff Attendance ~ to accommodate new state reporting requirements, designated schools, including Bernazzani, Parker, Lincoln Hancock, Squantum, and Wollaston Elementary Schools as well as Atlantic and Sterling Middle Schools piloted the Aspen Staff Attendance feature during the month of November. All schools are currently utilizing the Aspen Staff Attendance feature. The district’s ultimate goal is integrate staff attendance with electronic payroll reports. QPS Information Technology and Business, Personnel, Payroll Teams have collaborated and established goals/action steps to implement the electronic payroll report features. Bernazzani and Wollaston elementary schools and Atlantic middle school will pilot the electronic payroll reporting during the month of January. In the weeks ahead, Ellen Hunter will continue to support and train appropriate personnel.

Elementary Report Card ~ Quincy Public Schools Superintendent’s Leadership Team and Principal Teams have begun the planning, design, and development of a new electronic standards based elementary report card. Quincy Public Schools Information Technology Team will collaborate with team members to design the Elementary Report Card standards in Aspen. Aspen designers have provided a January 1 deadline for a draft template of the new elementary report card. Training for elementary teachers will begin in the Spring 2015 and continue into the Fall with implementation scheduled to begin in the Fall 2015.

Special Education Module Implementation ~ The Information Technology Team in collaboration with the Special Education Team reviewed the requirements, training, and design necessary for a 2015-2016 Special Education Module Implementation. A training and implementation timeline is currently being designed for staff. Aspen Special Education Module provides a case management system and simplifies collaboration between general education and special education teachers.

Curriculum and Learning Module ~ High School Cabinet Council Team members, consisting of superintendent’s leadership, principals, assistant principals, and department chairs have begun a curriculum mapping design process, which includes a focus on units of study, unit lengths, content, core resources, instructional strategies, assessments, and standards. The Aspen Curriculum and Learning Module will support this endeavor and will improve teacher/parent communication.

Student Scheduling Process ~ QPS Middle and High Program of Studies and Scheduling Teams consisting of the QPS Information Technology Team, principals/assistant principals, and student support services staff will again, begin the scheduling process to produce and/or publish student schedules for 2015-2016.

Online Course Requests ~ After a successful implementation last year, both high schools will repeat the process of Online Course Requests in preparation for school year 2015-2016.

Aspen Support and Resources

FOR TEACHERS ~ Within Aspen under HELP Follett provides a variety of User Guides, Quick References Cards, and Short “How to Videos.” The videos are explicit and offer step by step help using various features and tools in the Aspen gradebook.

FOR STUDENTS and PARENTS ~ The Quincy Public Schools website ( provides student/parent links that you will find useful and guides that will help navigate various features of our Aspen Student Portal. Quincy Public Schools Information Technology Team continues its goal of improving and enhancing HOME to SCHOOL CONNECTIONS. Aspen provides effective communications and connections among our schools, teachers, students, and parents.

Communication * Collaboration * Connection