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    Week (not weekly) Schedule


      I would like to design a Week Schedule for our teaching staff in our school district. Monday through Friday.


      Should be fairly simple. This is not a calendar, but a Week Schedule for the year. So, if I were the teacher, it would show what I am teaching on Mondays, Tuesdays, etc, NOT what I am teaching on Sep 24, 25, 26.


      This is something we are currently doing on paper right now, but our building principals would like to search for teacher (especially traveling teachers who teach at multiple buildings) to see what is being taught at certain times of the day, and who should be in their building on each day and time.


      The building administrators would like to see a time on each day (every 5 minutes).


      So, in a sense, it would like a very simple calendar, but only Monday through Friday would display and there would be no dates associated. So again, very simple, a teacher would enter what gets taught on Mondays, Tuesdays, etc


      The challenge I am seeing is teachers would enter a day (i.e. Monday) and enter a Start Time and End Time and enter what is being taught. I would like to display a Week Schedule on the screen that looks like a weekly calendar and has that time "Blocked off" from the Start Time to the End Time. If the teacher changes their mind, they should then be able to drag that block to adjust the time.


      Since I am NOT dealing with a calendar (only Times) I do not need to worry about dates. Just the times on a generic Monday, Tuesday, etc


      What I need help with is being able to "Block Off" a time frame when entering a Start Time and End Time, and they being able to graphically adjust (i.e. lengthen, move) that Block on the weekly schedule.


      Any advice, tips, would be appreciated.


      I have a FileMaker Server, but would then like to deploy this to teachers via a Web Interface. Some have FileMaker Client, FileMaker Go, but web direct would be best.

        • 1. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

          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?

          • 2. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule
            Jason Wood

            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?

            • 3. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

              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.
              • 4. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                Actually, it is to block on the teachers day.


                8:05 - 8:15

                Morning Announcements






                Language Arts










                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

                Sammy Chaplain


                8:40 - 9:05

                Daisy Mae and Richard Mix




                Of course, it would be a lot more from 7:30am - 4:00pm

                • 5. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                  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.

                  • 6. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                    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.


                    If it requires external programming (JSON, Javascripting, etc), then it may be more than I can handle. If it can be done in FileMaker, I would just need to know how to schedule one event from a start time to and end time and block that time.

                    • 7. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                      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

                      • 8. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                        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?

                        • 9. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                          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.

                          • 10. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                            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

                            • 11. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                              How about a calendar plug-in for FMP?


                              Here's one that won't break the bank:  FileMaker Calendar and Resource Scheduler – by soSIMPLE – soSIMPLE Software/Paradise Partners

                              • 12. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                                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.

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                                • 13. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                                  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.

                                  • 14. Re: Week (not weekly) Schedule

                                    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.

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