20 Jul Beginning-of-Year Checklist for Atlas System Admins
By Gwyneth Manser and Joseph Lanigan, Rubicon International
Need help with your “to-do” list to kick off a new school year? It’s easy to be a curriculum mapping superhero if you follow our easy guidelines. We created a simple checklist for System Administrators to use to update Atlas at the beginning of the year. During the course of this blog post we’ll cover how to update your academic calendar and teacher accounts, train new faculty members, and make advanced changes to your system.
Before starting your beginning-of-year work in Atlas, we recommend rounding up your Atlas resources. Not sure where to find these? Your Atlas Admin Orientation is housed under the Admin tab. For help, you can also email us anytime at email@example.com!
1. Timing is everything – update your academic calendar
You might recognize this advice from our end of year checklist, but System Administrators have the ability to adjust the Academic Calendar in the Site Configuration section of your Admin Dashboard.
Make sure that your system’s start and end dates are updated to reflect the new academic year. These dates correspond to the Unit Calendar that teachers use to map curriculum. This is an essential first step for getting your Atlas system ready to go for a new school year. This is also a great time to input key dates, such as the end of term or grading period, and to pick your system’s archive date. The archive is a snapshot of the current year’s curriculum; we recommend setting the archive date about two weeks after the end of school.
2. Don’t leave anyone out – add new teachers
Did you hire new teachers during the summer? Make sure to welcome them to Atlas! As the System Administrator, your role is to manage the list of teachers and users who have access to your Atlas system, under Teachers & Privileges (in the Admin Dashboard). When adding new teachers, check the “send login info” box to send an automated email to new users that contains your Atlas URL and default password. Looking to remove old teachers for your Atlas system? Skip ahead to step three!
Have a lot of new hires? System Administrators also have the ability to import a large number of teachers from a CSV spreadsheet into their Atlas system. You can read more about this feature in the Admin Support tab, under Teacher and Course Assignments. See the image to the right for a snapshot of how this appears in Atlas!
3. The art of tidying up – adjust your course assignments
Tidy up your Atlas system by adding new courses and removing ones that aren’t being taught in the current academic year. When you delete material, you don’t have to worry about losing it forever. Deleted courses are saved in your Admin recycle bin, and can be restored at any time. Additionally, a copy of all courses from previous years is accessible to teachers through your curriculum archive.
Removing old courses isn’t the only step to ensuring you have a tidy Atlas system. This is also the time to ensure that your courses are assigned to the correct teachers, and to add or remove teachers from courses as needed.
4. Changing of the guard – remove old faculty members
Keep your Atlas system from getting cluttered with old accounts! The start of a new school year is the perfect time to remove old faculty members from your system. This can be done in the Admin tab, under Teachers and Privileges. Do you have some teachers that want to take their curriculum maps with them when they leave? It’s easy to export your Atlas curriculum as a PDF or as a Word document.
5. Get new (and old) faculty up to speed!
It’s easy to get rusty over the summer. Both new and old teachers can benefit from the training resources available under the Support tab. The “Atlas Academy” is a perfect place for teachers to get a basic understanding of the system. We also offer a wide variety of online and in-person advanced training opportunities. Check out your options here, and check out the image below to see what your Support tools look like in Atlas.
6. Extra credit – assessing your assessments, changing your template…
Looking to make other changes to your system before faculty return? Once you feel like you’ve mastered the tasks above, consider how else you can make your Atlas system work for your school. As needed, we recommend reviewing your assessment methods list, planning template, and standards. If you need to update one of these areas, contact us! We’re available to help make these adjustments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Last, but not least – ask for help when needed
Still feeling confused? Review your Admin Orientation in Atlas, or reach out to us for help at email@example.com! Want more? Follow up with our end-of-year checklist for Atlas system administrators. Finally, need help managing the System Admin workload? We offer system administrator trainings that will help you get new admins up to speed!