is this something that has already been developed and you are looking for a specific solution to a problem or are you asking how to start this solution from scratch?>
I know you said it will be a "simple" calendar, but then you also said you want to keep track of class schedule for each teacher for each location for each weekday in 5minute intervals within the district. Sounds a lot more complicated than a basic weekly schedule and more in line with hiring a professional developer if all those features are really needed.
If retention of records is not a concern (kinda defeats purpose of a database), could your paper method be converted to spreadsheets and hosting on google drive and then give permission for people to edit?
It's the dragging and the 5-minute increments that is the challenging bit. Don't you have set "periods" making it unnecessary to input start and stop times?
I gather that it isnt blocks of time such as "Math from 8am-10am" but more of a micromanaging schedule of "Take attendance from 8am-8:15am, review math homework from 8:15-9am, etc... then the teachers would adjust if something deviated from their original weekday plan.
If the teacher changes their mind, they should then be able to drag that block to adjust the time.
Actually, it is to block on the teachers day.
8:05 - 8:15
Of course, this is totally different when a Music teacher, Art teacher, Librarian, etc does their block schedule. Then it would look more like
Grade 3 Music (or Art, or Library)
Grade 5 Art
Which is also different than Speech Language Teachers or Math Specialists or OT or PT or Special Education Teachers who may have something like
8:15 - 8:40
8:40 - 9:05
Daisy Mae and Richard Mix
Of course, it would be a lot more from 7:30am - 4:00pm
This would be for Elementary teachers. No, there isn't a set "Period" for classes. That is more secondary level (Grades 7-12). Elementary teachers divide their day with classes which sometimes is dictated by the availability of special teachers (Music, Art, Library, Physical Education, etc). Classroom teachers than place the subjects they teach around these other special teachers, which is why the principal needs to know and keep track who is where doing what.
We have over 200 elementary teachers, and around 70 special teachers in elementary. Some of these special teachers travel between buildings. Attempting to schedule when they are at each building is the challenge. So if a special teacher is at a building on Tuesday and Thursdays, they need to do their thing on those days at that building, and the regular teachers need to schedule around them.
All I need to know right now is if it is possible using FileMaker to create a graphical schedule which would print out on one page showing the block schedule for Monday through Friday.
Ok thats more specific. From a data perspective it can be done, but it sounds like the UI you described is important. So with the focus on that UI it will require additional work that probably exceed the basic functionality of FMP. A calander display thay looks like a physics calander and acts like you can write into that box.
An alternative UI may involve portals so a teacher logs in it dispay tabs for each day (filtered for current week) and a teacher could yse drop doqn menus to add classes. The classes then are pary of another table and have a class duration set. Could do calculations to say start time is this pick class, and then givea final output of time frame. It wouldnt be to bad if all schools had similar class durations, but if each school acts independently and each teacher can only teach ceetain classes and each class duration varies thay could be more difficult.
It really comes down to how mucj time do you want to invest in the project and all the details you are trying to cover
Basically the determining factor is the specialized services determine availability of those services at a particular school.
Is the real life process along the lines of the following?
Specialist/sub signs in at school upon arrivial or if they know in advance enter in day and school.
Time slots then are added per type of specilist such as librarian = 1hr or w/e. Teachers can sign up for librarian services which then flags the hour as occupied. Other teachers then can schedule/sign up for remaining time slots and at same time adjust their lesson plans to fit arouns that schedules time?
Up to now, this block scheduling is done once a year (and on paper). Submitted to each building principal.
Things change during the year, and the block schedules become obsolete, which is why they would like to do it in a database so it can be updated when changed, and everyone have access to up-to-date block schedules.
Typically, the special teachers go first and get their schedules done and the school gives that to each teacher. Then the teachers do their block scheduling.
Really, at this time, all I need to do is come up with a way for a teacher to enter their schedule and make easy, and make it look good. Color blocks of time on each day would be awesome. Just attempting to get the color blocks created based on start and end time.
I suggest getting the data model and display right and such UI details like drag drop figured out later. This does indeed sound like something that can be done in FileMaker though the drag and drop detail may take a bit of extra work.
Two tables can provide the the minimum structure needed, but I'd a third table with one record for every teacher on staff.
Time slots would have one record for every 5 minute interval with match fields for teacher, time, day of week and schedule ID
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If it were me I would buy a calendar as fmpdude suggested, and I have used the sosimple calendar and liked it, and connect it up so Monday-Friday dates would show the corresponding Teacher-Monday to Friday records. That calendar would give you the drag and drop.
The backend would not be simple for someone that is not experienced with data management. My suggestion is the same as @brianb, unless you are confident you could set up a reasonably complicated DB yourself then hire a professional developer.
I will politely disagree. Bringing a Calendar app to do this is a bit like using a stick of dynamlite to kill an ant. Such an app will have a lot of unneeded moving parts and will need significant changes in order to make it work without specific dates.
The fairly simple data model that I recommended, along with one portal for each weekday can do the job.
I think there are pros and cons to both, I phrased my answer as "If it were me" only because I'm a developer, I should have pointed out that was my angle for the route I would take.
One record for every 5 minute interval would take a bit of scripting to move one block around to make a simple or quick-to-edit UI because there are multiple "5 minute increment" records to change per class edit so I would think in that case the data is simple but the scripting is complicated.
The calendar gives the simple drag and drop UI, a "teacher" view (resources view) as well as a week view, the ability to "Block-off". And it's not time consuming to set up, you don't need multiple records for every "Monday" just link the Monday to Friday records to the appropriate calendar days with a join table for example. The big downside to the calendar view is that it you have to view it as a calendar rather than a generic Mon-Fri. The upside is that you could be more flexible with it in the future and add more details to the class records (e.g. week 1-5 has helper...) add more transient classes / fortinightly appointments, outings etc.