General Information

What are academic sessions?

Academic sessions represent a school year. For example, an academic session might be August 17th 2020 - June 6th 2021.

What are grading periods?

Grading periods are used to create date ranges within an academic session (school year) This allows a district to have the ability to distinguish between quarters, semesters, trimesters, or any other custom time-frame within a school year.

Where in Otus are grading periods used?

  • The gradebook: teachers can view their gradebook by grading periods, or by the entire school year.
  • Report cards: if a grading period is selected when running report cards, only data that has been gathered within that date range will appear on the report card.
  • The mobile app: users can view performance by grading period while in the mobile app.

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Setting Academic Sessions

  • Step 1: While in the Main Admin account, navigate to the Control Center.
  • Step 2: Select Academic Sessions from the Control Center sub-menu.
  • Step 3: Choose the correct site you wish to set the grading periods for.
  • Step 4: Select + Add Year
  • Step 6: Add start and end dates.

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Setting Grading Periods

  • Step 1:    While in the Main Admin account, navigate to the Control Center.
  • Step 2:   Select Academic Sessions from the Control Center sub-menu.
  • Step 3:   Choose the correct site you wish to set the grading periods for.
  • Step 4:   Select the ellipsis and then select Edit.
  • Step 5:   Select Add Item.

  • Step 6: Add start and end dates. See the example below:

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Grading Periods FAQ

  • What if we don't use grading periods? Grading periods are optional. If you don't use grading periods, you can run report cards using a custom date range. Keep in mind, however, that not having grading periods means that your teachers will always see every assessment they've given since the beginning of the year in their gradebook. There isn't a way to filter the gradebook by a custom date range.
  • What is the difference between an Academic Session and a Grading Period? The Academic Session represents the entire school year. Grading Periods are set within the Academic Session.
  • Can we change the names of our Grading Periods to something custom? At this time, grading periods aren't able to have custom names.
  • My district has many different schools - can they each have different grading periods? Yes. There is a drop-down menu in the upper-right corner. Select the school from that menu to edit the grading periods.
  • Gaps between grading periods are not ideal - it is best to begin the next grading period the day after the previous one ends, like the example shown above. Why? If there are gaps between the grading periods, that puts gradebooks and report cards at risk of not showing assessments that may have been assigned, graded, or given a due date of a day that isn't included in a grading period. For example: Grading Period 1 ends on 10/31/2019, but Grading Period 2 doesn't start until  11/5/2019. If a teacher were to assign, grade, or have a due date on an assessment for 11/1, 11/2, 11/3, or 11/4, that assessment will not show up in the gradebook or in the report cards because those dates are not included in a grading period.
  • Try to avoid due dates that have the exact start or end date of a grading period - it is best to choose a date between the start and end dates. Why? When running report cards, assessments that have a due date that is the same as the end date of a grading period may not show up on the report card because of time stamps.
  • What happens to teachers' gradebooks if grading periods are changed? The data will remain in the gradebook, but a shift in grading periods may cause some of the students' grades to change. For example, if an assessment was in Grading Period 1 prior to the change, and is now in Grading Period 2, the student's grade for both grading periods will now be different. It is best to make teachers aware of when a change in a grading period is made, so they can expect the changes to their gradebooks.

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Next Steps

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