Support FAQs

This page aims to answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that arise from the academic year rollover and the impact on your Salamander Integration Suite installation. If you have any questions about how the rollover process will relate to your installation, or require any changes, please contact our team via support@salamandersoft.co.uk

New Pupil User Accounts

 

I don’t have future pupils created at present – when will my new intake/cohort/year 7’s AD accounts be created?

Your new user accounts will be created once the pupils become ‘CURRENT’ pupils – i.e. they have been admitted and their start date has passed.

My installation is configured for Future Pupils, when will my new intake/cohort/year 7’s AD accounts be created?

If we currently create future pupils for you, then your new pupil accounts will be created once they have been ADMITTED and their start date has been set.  Please be aware, that if you ADMIT students ahead of the start of the new Academic Year set in the MIS, and their start date is also before the start date of the new academic year; then the users will be created in the Current Academic year.

For example, if you admit next year’s Y7s in early August with a start date of 1st September but your new Academic Year is set to start on the 4th September, then the pupils will be created as Y7s in the same OU as your current Y7s, and may use the same intake year. We can test this before you admit them and override this behaviour if needed, please contact our support team.

My new intake/cohort/year 7 are in pre-admissions, and I need them available before the start of the new academic year – what can we do?

We can create your new pupil accounts for from pre-admission data if supported for your MIS, commonly using the status of Accepted. Other statuses can be used if required. Some data will not be available until the student has been admitted – for example Admission Number. If this is a required data item to create a user, the user will not be created until that data is available. If you require this configuration or need to check any part of this, please contact our support team.

 

New Staff User Accounts

 

I do not have future staff created at present – when will my new staff AD accounts be created?

Your new user accounts will be created once the staff become ‘CURRENT’ staff – i.e. their start date as set in the MIS, has passed.

I have future staff created at present – when will my new staff AD accounts be created?

Your new user accounts will be created once the staff member has a start date entered. If you do not have this functionality but would like it or are unsure, please contact our support team.

I need to create some staff accounts manually, as the HR team haven’t entered these in the MIS yet. How can I avoid them being duplicated?

Commonly our processes which look to see if a new account is needed for a person will check for an unmatched account by forename and surname. As long as the same details are used in Active Directory as -are subsequently entered in the MIS, a duplicate should be avoided and the manually created account will be matched by our process. To check this functionality, please contact our support team.

 

Timetables

 

I need to stop students (and /or staff) seeing the new timetable. What can I do?

Most customers will already have updated to a version of the software where the new timetable would only appear once the new timetable is published and applied and the new academic year starts. By default, our processes use 6 weeks of data. If you require confirmation of the number of weeks ahead in place, or to check the version of the software you are running; please contact our support team.

I would like to turn on or off Calendar processing - can we do this, and can it be separate for Staff and Pupils?

Yes, we can turn off timetable processing (and advise how to turn it back on or vice versa). We can also remove any events we have added for dates after we turn off the process.

Yes, the process can be activated and deactivated separately for Staff and Pupils.

Events after date x aren’t showing, but they are in the timetable. Is there a problem ?

By default, our processes use the next 6 weeks of data (in the same Academic Year), so this may be the cause. If you require confirmation of the number of weeks ahead in place, or for our team to check the logs to unsure the processing is running please contact our support team.

 

Groups

 

When will my current groups for Year, Form and House Groups be updated?

Groups for year/tutor/house will be updated on the first day of the new academic year. Please see the note regarding cloud synchronisation, as a large number of changes may be blocked from syncing from Active Directory.

Please note, if your configuration is not set to remove old tutor groups, these groups will remain, with membership reflecting the last run of the process. They would not be updated again. This would affect those customers who use staff codes as part of the tutor group name. For example teacher ABC has a tutor group in year 7 this Academic year, which becomes year 8 next Academic year. The new year 8 group 8ABC would be created, and 7ABC would still be present. We can handle the removal of these stale groups if this affects you – please contact our support team.

What happens to my groups at the end of the year?

Class groups are normally deleted once the current timetable ends based on your MIS configuration.  However, if your configuration is not set to remove old class groups, these groups will remain, with membership reflecting the last run of the process. We can handle the preservation of these groups if you would prefer them to not be removed – please contact our support team.

Year Groups and Tutor groups would have their members “promoted” once the academic year changes in the MIS.

When will my new class groups be created?

These will be created once the new timetable data is available (published and applied), and the start date of the timetable has passed. If you would prefer these groups created earlier, please contact our support team.

How will my teacherOf<student> groups (and similar groups eg teacherOf<year>) be affected?

These work on the same data as class groups and so will be managed the same process. These would be updated with the new teacher membership on the first day of the new academic year. Between the end of the Summer Term and start of the new term, these may appear empty, or be deleted – depending on your configuration. This can be overridden if required.

Please also see the note regarding cloud synchronisation, as a large number of changes may be blocked from syncing from Active Directory

 

Teaching and Learning Resources

 

What happens with this year’s Google Classrooms?

In our standard configuration, these will stop being updated by us once the summer terms ends (or the classes stop being current – whichever is first). They will not be removed, or updated any further, and will continue to have the set of staff and pupils as it was on the last day of last academic years’ timetable. They are not deleted, and all content is preserved. This means they will still be available for the staff and students to refer to, until they are manually archived by yourselves.

We can add a process to allow you to run on demand, an archive of Google Classrooms from the previous academic year. Please contact our support team.

What happens with Teams in Microsoft Teams for Education from this year?

Teams for Education uses School Data Sync. We provide the data to this service via a Profile (often called “Salamander-” followed by your school name). Within the settings for a profile is a setting to control when the end of the academic year is (called the Expiry Date), which will stop it accepting and processing any further data until an end of year process is run with the profile. This is a manual process. Further  details about end of year management in School Data Sync and Teams for Education can be found https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/schooldatasync/sds-term-transition-and-expired-class-management.

This process allows you to choose from a combination of three options: Expire Teams (which renames them putting “EXP%Date%-“ on the front), Archive Team and content (which marks the content read only and archives), and Remove Student Membership (note – Teachers will continue to have access). 

Once the chosen processes are completed, you are prompted to choose a new expiry date – which would usually be the end of the next academic year.

We do not automate the end of year SDS transition, they are manual processes which need to be completed by yourselves.

In our standard configuration, we will also stop sending data when there are no classes in the class data (usually once the Summer term ends). Once your new Classes are scheduled, we would start to process these – and can process in advance if you advise our support team of the date from which you’d like the Teams to be available.

Do I need a new profile in School Data Sync?

In most cases, no – you can reuse the current one once the end of year process has been run. Please see section “What happens with Teams in Microsoft Teams for Education from this Year”.

When will my next academic year Google Classrooms be created?

They will be created when the new academic years’ timetable becomes active (published and applied).  The very first sync after the data is present can take a long time to complete – this is expected normal behaviour – please bear with it! If you would like these to be created earlier than the first day of next year’s timetable to support planning for teaching and learning, please contact our support team and advise the date from which you’d like the classrooms to be available.

We have, in previous years, seen a delay in the creation because the “Classroom Admin accounts (usually called GC-Admin%AcadmicYear% followed by the year group e.g. GCAdmin2019-Y7 etc) we use to create the Classrooms hadn’t yet synced to Google from your Active Directory. We can pre-create these in advance if you wish.

When will my new academic year class Teams in Microsoft Teams for Education be created?

The new information will be sent to School Data Sync when the new academic year timetable becomes active (published and applied). This will create the Office 365 Groups. 

For Sync Profiles created since 26th March 2020, Microsoft introduced new behaviour, which will no longer automatically provision Teams. Teachers of the classes can use the new Create a Class Team experience to create the Team from the group.

https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/create-a-class-team-in-microsoft-teams-fae422eb-58b7-4431-9ff2-a4b9b6ae7c5b

If you need the Teams to be created automatically please contact us to discuss.

Note, Teams also require activation before they will be visible to Pupils 

https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/activate-early-access-class-teams-created-with-school-data-sync-0d154696-66ab-4fcf-b22f-c3d9a82aaf78

If you would like these to be created earlier than the first day of next year’s timetable to support planning for teaching and learning, please contact our support team and advise the date when the classes should start from.

We are going to use our next academic year timetable at the end of term. What do we need to be aware of?

If you plan to run your next academic year timetable in the Summer term, please contact our support team before this change is made. We can then update our configuration to change the prefix used. If this isn’t done, the Teams / Google Classrooms will have a 2019 prefix, and if the same class names are used – the membership will be swapped over. This will mean students won’t have access to work they completed this year. 

In the case of Teams, if we send the 2020 classes and you have not completed the end of year process - then the 2019 Teams will have their membership of pupils cleared. If you need to keep 2019 Teams active with members, and have 2020 Teams at the same time, you will need a new sync profile creating for the 2020 classes. The changes to the process will need making before you rollover your Classes in your MIS - please contact our support team

 

Pupil Leavers

 

When will my pupil leavers be processed?

They would commonly be processed on their leaving date as set in the MIS. This can be configured to have a delay, so, if you have any questions regarding your current configuration then please contact our support team.

What about my final year leavers (Year 11 & 13), who may need longer access for UCAS or College applications? When would they be processed?

They will either be processed as normal leavers following your existing leavers settings or you may have a special process condition in place to only process certain leavers until a later date (normally 1st October).If you have any questions regarding your current configuration then please contact our support team.

Leavers are being processed, but what about the licenses they were using in Office 365?

Depending on your Azure AD Connect configuration, and also whether we are moving your leavers to another OU in Active Directory, licenses may be stripped automatically. If you need licensing to be handled separately for leavers, please contact our support team.

 

Staff Leavers

 

When will my staff leavers be processed?

If your MIS supports staff leavers they would commonly be processed on their leaving date as set in the MIS. This can be configured to have a delay, so, if you have any questions regarding your current configuration then please contact our support team.

 

Cloud Synchronisation

 

I use AzureAD Connect / Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS) – is there anything I need to do?

As part of the rollover process, we may be making a large number of changes to AD objects e.g. creating new class/tutor/teacherOfStudent groups, and by default your cloud synchronisation tool may have a limit on the number of changes it can make.  If so, you may receive synchronisation errors - you may find the links to documentation below helpful:

GCDS - https://support.google.com/a/topic/2679497?hl=en&ref_topic=4511280

AzureAD Connect - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/connect/active-directory-aadconnectsync-feature-prevent-accidental-deletes

 

Early rollover 

Instead of waiting for the next academic year and all changes happening on the first day, can we rollover in August to check all is okay before staff and pupils return from the summer break?

Yes, we can set an effective date for all data to the first day of your new academic year e.g. 4th September, and all AD changes would be made, i.e. new class groups processed, old class groups removed, new year groups populated etc.  However, this relies on all the data being in place (and published) and will make changes to ‘current’ group membership etc promoting the students, i.e. if we were to rollover early on the 15 August then current Y7’s would be moved the All Year 8 students etc.

 

Additional support

 

I’m not sure what rollover processing I need to do, and what will happen at the end of the Academic Year?

We are going to be offering a service to book in time with one of our Support Consultants. This will take the form of a “Q and A” call; discussing your configuration, what you can expect to happen at the end of the Academic Year and any processes you need to complete. It may also include assistance in building a specification for a later change request. Depending on your current configuration, the options may include the below:

  • Explaining the end of year processes in and their impacts
  • Explaining what data is used for the Teaching and Learning Resources like Google Classroom and SDS for Teams
  • Explaining temporarily turning off processes and how to do it
  • What manual steps you need to complete
  • Health checking of the processes currently running
  • Creation of new admin accounts for classrooms (GC-Admin2019-Y7 for example)
  • When would new users be created; and what data is used for this
  • When would leavers be processed; and what data is used for this

You can book a time slot via the following link: https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/SupportSalamanderSoft@salamandersoft.co.uk/bookings/

 

Status Viewer

 

I’ve heard about the Status Viewer, what is it?

The Status Viewer is a light-touch interface allowing you to see the status of your Salamander installation. Through the Status Viewer, it is possible to do a number of things:

  • An overview of the general status – errors/warnings and also indicator for license expiry
  • View details of the Active Directory accounts created by Salamander – and also export these
  • View the log files generated by the Application, as well as search from and export from these
  • View the Scheduled Task details, and choose to enable/disable parts of your existing processes
  • Update stored passwords

I need to update the credentials being used by the application, can you help?

Yes, our support team can assist with this. Alternatively, you are able to update the passwords used by our application though the Status Viewer. The tools page offers this, you can choose the appropriate option and enter the new password. If you need to update the username, or need advising of what username is configured or support team can advise on request.

I don’t currently have the Status Viewer. How do I get it?

The Status Viewer can be added by our team on request.

Copyright © 2020 SalamanderSoft Limited