Otus for Support Staff

Ways support staff such as school counselors, psychologists, and social workers can use Otus.

Monica Burke avatar
Written by Monica Burke
Updated over a week ago

Are you looking for ideas on how support staff can use Otus? Examples could include:

  • School Counselors

  • Psychologists

  • Social Workers

  • Special Education Teachers

  • Paraprofessionals

  • Librarians

  • Coaches

For most districts, Otus connects to the Student Information System (SIS) (such as PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, or Skyward) for rostering teachers and students to classes. Otus mirrors the enrollment of the classes in the SIS and generates those classes into teachers' Otus accounts accordingly. Many times, support staff do not have their own classes in the SIS, so how are they able to interact with students?

Gaining Access to Students

There are two ways for users to gain access to students without having their own classes rostered in an SIS.

Option 1: by becoming a co-teacher in a class

  • When a user becomes a co-teacher of a class, they will have almost all of the same capabilities as the main teacher of that class.

  • The co-teacher will have access to all students in the class.

  • Here are instructions for adding a co-teacher to a class.

Option 2: by becoming an administrative user

  • When a user becomes an admin user, they are able to see all classes in the school and grade level they are given permissions to access. Admin users aren't considered teachers or co-teachers on classes, but they have all of the same capabilities.

  • Admin accounts look different than teacher accounts since they now have access at a district level.

  • Here are instructions for adding admin users. This can only be done from the main administrator account.

Distributing Resources to Students

Do you have resources, such as articles, websites, or schedules that you'd like to distribute to students?

Use the Bookshelf:

  • Sharing resources through the bookshelf is like adding something to the student's personal library. It will be visible on their bookshelf for easy access at any time. Family accounts also have access to students' bookshelves.

Communicating with Students and Families

Do you need to send a message to students or family members?

Use the Mailbox

  • You can use the Otus Mailbox to send messages to students and/or family members. Messages will go straight to the recipient's regular email inbox. If they reply to your message, the reply will be sent to your regular email inbox as well.

Uploading Documentation

Do you have documentation that needs to be uploaded to a student's profile, such as IEP documents, behavior plan supports, college prep worksheets, or schedules?

Use the Attachments Section of the Student Profile

  • Uploading files in the attachments section of the student profile allows you to attach documentation to a student that isn't viewable by student or family accounts. Files added here will remain with the student from year to year.

Use the Portfolio Section of the Student Profile

  • Uploading files to the student's portfolio allows you to store documentation that the student may want access to in the future. This can be a place to highlight important work, such as resume examples or plans for their high school class schedule. Student and family accounts are able to view the information added here. Files added here will remain with the student from year to year.

What is the difference between using Attachments vs. the Portfolio section?

Anything uploaded to the attachments section is not able to be viewed by the students and family members; only the teachers and administrators can view these attachments. On the other hand, students and family members will be able to view any files added to the student portfolio.

Notes and Report Card Comments

Do you want to leave a note on a student's profile or leave a comment on a student's report card?

Use the Information section of the Student Profile

Assigning Work

Do you have worksheets, assessments, or lessons you'd like students to complete?

Use an Assessment

  • Even though they are called "assessments" in Otus, they don't have to count as a grade! There are many different ways to use assessments to have students complete activities or worksheets. Click here for a few examples.

Use a Lesson

  • You can assign lessons to your students that include different learning activities and questions. Click here for more information. Lessons do not count toward a student's grade.

Creating Groups

You can create groups of students that you can use for assigning lessons or assessments as well as distributing resources through the bookshelf.

Create Student Groups

Creating and Updating Plans

If your district has Otus Plans, you can track student progress on any district-specific, itemized plan.

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