Release Notes

2016-12-31 Release Notes


  1. Major Update: Transcripts Upgrade
    1. Transfer Credit
      1. You now have the ability to store transfer credit information for students. This may include the name of previous institutions/schools the student attended, the years, the programs enrolled in, the courses taken, and the GPA earned. You may then include the transfer credit in the calculation of a student’s GPA. To enter transfer credit information for any student go to the student’s record and look for the new Transfer Credit sub tab.
    2. Master Courses
      1. Now available due to popular demand: the ability to create “Master Courses” which are groups of courses that span multiple terms but appear as one single unit on transcripts. For example, students may take Math Lab A in the fall and then Math Lab B in the spring but you can display the average assessment the student earned as one single unit, e.g., “Math Lab”, on the transcript with one joint grade.
    3. College Admission GPAs
      1. The college admission GPA is an optional alternative GPA that a school may now use to calculate student performance on courses that are eligible for evaluation by colleges and universities during their admission process. The college admission GPA is particularly helpful when a student is applying for an in-state or regional public univeristy and the university has a very specific set of course requirements. Many public state institutions (e.g., the UC/CSU schools in California do this) will request a transcript with a GPA that includes only those courses it counts as eligible college preparatory courses and excludes other courses that are ineligible (many non-academic courses, community service, etc.). You may use the College Admission GPA in BigSIS to generate these kinds of GPAs.
    4. Core Requirements
      1. Many institutions require students to complete a series of courses in order to be eligible for graduation. This is known by many schools as “Core Curriculum,” “Graduation Requirements,” or simply “Core Requirements.” The idea is the same though the term may vary by institution. BigSIS now gives you the ability to devise your own core requirements for graduation. You can craft these core requirements by a specific program (e.g., students must complete a certain set of courses in the 9th grade, then in the 10th grade, etc.) or by program group (e.g., students must complete a certain set of courses at some point during high school). Core requirements may contain specific areas of requirements (e.g., Science, Arts, etc.) and each area may contain its own set of required courses.
      2. A corresponding new report titled “Core Requirements By Student” is now available and can generate a list of all core requirements completed and those yet to be fulfilled by students.
    5. Assessment Groups
      1. In the past, all courses were required to the use the exact same assessment types (i.e., grades). Thus, if one teacher wished to use a different scale when evaluating his/her students, they could not. This has changed with this update because you may now create assessment groups and tie them to specific courses so that individual courses can be graded using different assessment types from other courses.
    6. Percent-Based Assessments
      1. Course assessments written by teachers may now use a percentage score rather than a letter grade if the teacher desires. By default, courses will use as assessment type (e.g., letter grade) but an admin at the school can now change the setting of the course so that it is assessed by percent rather than assessment type.
    7. Block Courses Improvements
      1. We have changed how to indicate a course is a block, and how it displays on the End of Semester (Assessment) Report. You may now specify deliberately if a course is a block and then supply a begin and end date for the block.
    8. New Transcript Report: Short Form Transcript
      1. A new transcript report is available that makes use of a new short format and allows you to display many of the items listed above (e.g., master courses, college admissions GPA, core requirements, etc.) in the transcripts you generate. This should be your main transcript report from hereon.
  2. College Admission Exams
    1. You may now store college admission exam (e.g., SAT, ACT, etc.) data in a student record. To do so, go to the student record and locate the “College Admission Exams” tab. Currently, this is only used to store the data, not to output it.
  3. Volunteer Hours Reports
    1. Three new reports have been added to help you track volunteer hours at your school. You may find them in the Report Viewer under the Volunteers section:
      1. Volunteer Hours by Student Family
        1. Tabulates volunteer data for all guardians of a student (e.g., completed hours, oustanding hours, etc. for the entire family)
      2. Individual Volunteer Hours by Enrollment
        1. Tabulates volunteer data of individuals who are either students or guardians of students enrolled in a specified academic year or term.
      3. Individual Volunteer Hours by Date Range
        1. Tabulates volunteer data of any individuals (including people who are neither students nor guardians) that completed or signed up to complete a volunteer opportunity within a specified date range.
  4. Leads
    1. Added the ability to include a lead’s “Student Identification” and “Government Identification” when creating a new lead or adding a new lead from Quick Add Lead.
    2. Fields for “Student Identification,” “Government Identification”, and “Middle Name” are also now available for any existing lead by editing a lead and clicking the “View/Edit Additional Lead Info” button. This information will transfer to the leads’s student and person records if admitted into the school.
    3. Schools that permit self-applicants (usually adult schools) may now designate a new lead as a self-applicant when they are entering a new lead by checking the box “Is Self Applicant.” This option is also available for existing leads by editing the lead and clicking the “View/Edit Additional Lead Info” button. We have also added a help bubble with this checkbox for more information on how BigSIS will handle self-applicant leads.
    4. Lead exports have been simplified. In the past, we used two different kinds of exports (Lead Standard and Lead Relatives) and each contained a different set of fields that could be exported. This has been changed so that all fields from both exports will now be available from a single export: Lead Standard. You don’t need to do anything different than you have done in the past, just export as you normally would and the Lead Standard export will be pre-selected for you from now on.
  5. There is a new method available for applying manual payments to open pledges and on-going gift donations that are not processed automatically by This new method replaces the old method that required you to go into an invoice to apply a payment (the old method is no longer available and should no longer be used). To enter a manual payment with this new method, go to the donations table and edit the donation (e.g., open pledge or recurring gift) that needs a manual payment. Look for the “Make Payment” button in the Donation Information box.
  6. Added new import reconcilers for Health Conditions, Health Permissions, Medications, and Vaccinations.
  7. Phone number and email addresses have now been included in the printed version of an Application MPF when using the “Lead Household Management.” This should make it easier for admins and teachers reviewing applications to contact the prospective family since all the vital contact information will now be contained in the printed application form.
  8. Automatically generate Student Identification numbers for students
    1. New Students
      1. Student Identification numbers can now be automatically generated by BigSIS so that each new student added to the system can now have a student ID automatically generated for them. This option must be turned on from System > Settings > Client Settings > Persons and Roles and by checking the box titled “Auto Generate Student Identification for New Students”
    2. Existing Students without Student Identification numbers
      1. A new option has been added to the Student and Admission Utilities tool called “Auto Generate Missing Student Identifications.” This tool will allow you to create ID numbers for all students that do not currently have one. When used, this tool will automatically generate ID numbers based on the “Next Student Identification Number” that can be found by going to System > Settings > Client Settings > Persons and Roles > Next Student Identification Number. 


  1. A very temporary issue that was not allowing new leads to be admitted without the middle name and student identification fields being filled in has been fixed.
  2. The mail merge field for “Donated On”, when sending Thank You letters, was reading one day off from the true donated on date. This has been fixed so this mail merge field is accurately calculating the donated on date.
  3. An issue that was causing leads that were self applicants to have two person records created has been remedied. The addition of the “Is Self Applicant” checkbox was added to aid in better handling of self applicants.
  4. Assessment reports for attrition students were not showing attendance records. We have fixed this issue so that all attendance is showing for attrition students on assessment reports.
  5. Fixed an issue that was causing recurring gift templates to not adjust the next recur date if it was before the start date of the recurring gift, when using days of month for the schedule.
  6. The “Donation Amount Over Time” system filter from the donor profile table was not working properly when the start and end dates were left empty. This has been remedied.
  7. Teachers that were not associated with the current school year were still showing in the school directory in the portal for parents/guardians. We have fixed this so only the teachers associated with the given current term will show in the directory.
  8. An issue that was not restricting guardians of attrition students from seeing current directory information has been remedied. From now on, if a student leaves the school, the student’s guardian will not have access to the current directory.
  9. Donor Profile Greeting marker from the donation table export was exporting the greeting from the address record, not the donor profile. This marker has been fixed and will now correctly reflect the greeting from the donor profile.
  10. Email functionality from the Re-enrollment Leads table was not working. When emailing from this table the email addresses were not being included and therefore email was not able to be sent. This issue has been resolved.
  11. When editing a donation the “In Memory” and “In Honor” fields were not being populated. We have resolved this issue and these fields are properly populating when used.
  12. Resolved an issue that was causing mailing labels to be printed for all donations when the “select all” option was used on the donations table. Even when filtering was used, if you chose to use the “select all” option all donations were having a mailing label produced. This only happened when the “select all” option was chosen; this has been resolved.
  13. Adding notes to a donation was generating an error message. This has been solved and you may now add notes to all donations.
  14. When merging donor profiles the donations table was not reflecting the “Donated By” column for the donor profile that was being kept. This has been resolved.
  15. Fixed an issue where the donor profile’s easy merge was trying to delete the person even if it was the same person in each donor profile. This will no longer happen and no data was lost, all person records affected have been fully restored.
  16. Resolved an issue that was causing all donations to be exported when using the “select all” option when exporting just the donations from a single donor profile. This export will, now, only include the selected donations.
  17. An edge case where a start row or end row layout item that was set as “required” would not allow users to advance past that page item in applications is no longer an issue.