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Navigating COVID-19 with Skyward Navigating COVID-19 with Skyward

Navigating COVID-19 with Skyward

Leah Kruger Leah Kruger Product Line Manager
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COVID-19 may have changed the way you perform daily tasks, but it doesn’t have to keep you from accomplishing them. Let’s check out the ways we can help you “do more from a distance”—teaching, time tracking, training, and more.

Course Learning Center

We are offering the Course Learning Center (CLC), our learning management system, to all SMS 2.0 SIS customers FREE for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. We’ve got a whole post on this one! Check it out to learn five tips for getting the most from this tool.
Complete the form on this page to get started with the CLC.  If you’re not using the CLC, your LMS may still integrate with Skyward.

Time Tracking with True Time

If your time tracking process involved paper, COVID-19 just made that task a lot more cumbersome. Check out this success story and video to learn more about True Time and how you can use this tool to eliminate paper timesheets. This is a huge perk for employees who have transitioned to working remotely, too!

Online Training

Did you know you can grow your Skyward knowledge in a completely online setting? Skyward’s remote training includes a variety of courses, sessions, toolkits, and more to help both first-time and experienced users become more Skyward-savvy.
Professional Development Center: The primary platform for Skyward’s remote training, the PDC is a self-paced program featuring courses of various levels with simulations, videos, and knowledge checks.
Skyward Academy: Skyward Academy offers dozens of 1–3-hour sessions each month on common processes and appropriately timed themes.
SkyDoc/Help Center: Videos, recorded webinars, tutorials, and other multimedia resources live in SkyDoc and the Help Center.
Skyward Community (Qmlativ only): Skyward Community is a networking platform for Qmlativ users to connect with other users and the Skyward team, share ideas, and improve processes.
Quick Hits:
A series of 2-minute-or-less videos to help you work smarter in Skyward.
Family Access & Employee Access Toolkits: The Family Access Toolkit and Employee Access Toolkit include power-up videos, print resources, and troubleshooting tips to help district employees, students, and families achieve more with these portals.

New Student Online Enrollment (NSOE)

Social distancing makes things like in-person enrollment a lot more difficult. If this is a concern for your district, perhaps online enrollment can help. Check out this interview and this 2-minute video to learn how New Student Online Enrollment can benefit your students, staff, and families, while eliminating risks associated with in-person enrollment in these uncertain times.

Tracking Expenses

While tracking COVID-19-related expenses is not mandatory, schools may benefit from federal and/or state emergency funds if they can produce evidence of expenses incurred. Check out this expense documentation post and learn to track COVID-19 costs in Skyward.  

Going Paperless

Now is a great time to consider moving processes you’ve traditionally done on paper to an online environment. Online Forms can help you save paper and ensure your materials are accessible when unforeseen circumstances, like this one, arise. 

School ↔ Home Communication

Family Access offers a number of tools that can simplify communication between home and school:
Message Center: Communication is crucial during uncertain times. Administrators and teachers can use this platform to communicate with students and parents. Plus, a record of all communication will be saved in Skyward for reporting purposes.
Online Assignments, Gradebook, and Report Cards: Teaching may look different now, but teachers can still give homework by building assignments students can complete online. Then they can post grades for students and parents to see in the Gradebook.
Parent-Teacher Conferences: If parents and teachers want to meet, they can still set up a parent-teacher conference online, where they can share ideas and updates from a safe social distance.  

Learn more and watch Power-Up tutorials in the Family Access Toolkit


CryptoLocker Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and they pose a serious threat to all servers, including Skyward servers. During this uncertain time, it is essential that you double-check your district is storing database backups in a secure location, preferably offsite. When servers are attacked by CryptoLocker Ransomware, all the files on the server may be encrypted and become unusable, including the database backup files. 
Avoid the “all eggs in one basket” dilemma by routinely copying your database backup files to a secure location. The hackers responsible for the ransomware attack may demand a large sum of money to decrypt your data, which you will not need to pay if you have recent database backup files elsewhere.
Here are some resources that can help:

OpenEdge Database Backup Launch Kit
School Districts for Ransom
Disaster Recovery: The Skyward Way
5 School District Data Center Mistakes
Skyward Security Best Practices
Skyward IT services: 1-800-236-0001 or https://support.skyward.com

We find ourselves in the face of uncertain times, but you can find certainty in the fact that we’ve got your back. To learn more about any of the resources discussed above, or to chat about any questions you may have, contact us at (800) 236-7274 or info@skyward.com. We’re here for you, waiting to help! You can also find even more resources in our Remote Readiness toolkit


Leah Kruger Leah Kruger Product Line Manager

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