2013 Planning Sprint Report

Written for SchoolTool Project by Tom Hoffman on 2013-02-14

2013 SchoolTool Planning Meetings

The week of January 27th, Justas Sadzevicius, Gediminas Paulauskas, Douglas Cerna and I met in Providence, RI to plan this year's development. Overall, the meetings went smoothly. We've all been working together for several years, and while two years ago we had to sketch out a complete re-design of the user interface, and last year we planned a ground up reimplementation of CanDo, this year we are planning a less ambitious variety of smaller refinements and enhancements to existing components.

In general, the developer roles break down with Justas handling most of the new development, Douglas focusing mostly on reports and being on call for bugfixing, and Gediminas handling release management, packaging and some quality assurance.

The one new feature we came up with, which solves a number of current and upcoming issues, is to convert the essentially unused "Home" tab to a newsfeed that will be familiar to, say, Facebook users. This will give teachers and administrators a place to be notified about the completion of long-running or scheduled tasks (reports, imports, etc), and also give students and parents updates on assignments, messages from teachers, etc.

Here's the planned monthly breakdown. Time estimates are highly estimated.


* Finish, test, refine asynchronous task management (aka, "celery").
* Set up printed reports to be generated ansynchronously.
* Implement basic notification and download page for printed reports.
* Write more reports (mostly CanDo).
* Make packaging changes necessary to handle the task management architecture.
* Change "Intervention" into "Goals" in the UI.


* Administrative roles remap (in response to user feedback):
  - Site Managers can only change Server settings.
  - School Administrators cannot edit most school data.
  - Clerks can edit most school data.
  - Note that people can have multiple roles.

March 7 -- 13.04 Feature Freeze

* Bug month for everyone.
* More reports.


* Split journal into two gradebooks: attendance & participation grades.
* Implement excused absences.
* Add homeroom periods.
* Add autofill menu widgets to gradebooks.
* Improve XLS import usability and prune old CSV imports.

April 25 -- 13.04 Release


* Set up some basic infrastructure for tracking the status of various things (enrollments, etc).
* Set up messaging infrastructure and UI (both person to person and system to person).
* More reports!


* Enrollment statuses within sections (e.g., enrolled, withdrawn, completed).
* Grade level implementation.
* Reports!


* Promotion workflow between school years (promoting students to the next grade level).
* Add CanDo skill goals to Goals.


* Year statuses:
  - If a year is in "setup" mode you can freely delete most objects.
  - If the year is "active" you can enter grades, etc., but not delete basic objects.
  - If the year is "archived" it is basically read-only.
* Newsfeed (see above).
* Improve group/section membership forms.


13.10 Feature Freeze

* Calendar improvments.
* Guided initial setup.


* Parent login.

13.10 Final Release

Updated on 2013-04-25.

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