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Attendance Assistant - Help

Pete Self     -       peteself@nesterenkosoftware.com

Videos also available .. Videos
The Attendance Assistant application is a Microsoft Access application file, which requires no installation, other than to have Microsoft Access installed on your computer. This page contains some Help and other information.

Rationale: The application was developed to help with analyzing, tracking, communicationg and, hopefully, solving attendance issues within a school.
There are two main components of the application:

Component 1. Reporting and analysis of school absence data. The available reports are extremenly powerful and allow the user to generate a variety of reports. A vital report allows the user to generate a concise (typically one or two pages) linear report which would display only the students who have missed at least a specific number of classes in any course. Eg. Linear list of all students who have missed at least 15 (or whatever value you would like to use) classes in any one course, sorted by Grade. This is a great report which most Student Success teams use weekly to be able to quickly see attendance issues. And being able to sort by Grade allows SST teams to focus on to younger students.

The Reporting, Analyzing functions are extremely easy to use.

Component 2. Attendance Letter generation. This process is more involved. This component allows the user to generate 'Attendance Letters' that can be sent home. The steps required to do this are very logical - Determine a threshold value of absences; program selects students who have missed the threshold number of classes; generate report of selected students for analysis by various users (VP, Guidance, SST, Attendance person); analyze, edit the list of selected students; finalize list of students who will receive a letter; generate letters using a MS-Word© mail-merge document.

The necessary steps are logical. The process is straightforward. Although no specific 'mail-merge' knowledge is necessary, the 'mail-merge' process is more complex than simply generating reports as in Component 1.

When the application was developed, it was decided that the application would allow for up to four different letters throughout a semester. For example, (Letter 1) perhaps a letter would be sent to students in early October if they have missed as many as 10 (user decides value) classes in any course. Perhaps later in the semester a second letter (Letter 2) with 'tougher' wording would be sent to students who have missed 15 classes in any course. Perhaps later a thrird letter would be sent to students with serious attendance issues. Perhaps at the end of the semester a letter would be sent describing concerns for the following semester.
Again, this was the thinking/rationale as the application was developed.
Users can use the application in any manner that works well for them.
Letters that have been issued are noted on all subsequent reports.
Specific help with Letter generation using MS-Word 'mail-merge':
Click here to view specific help for 'mail-merge' letter generation using Word 2003
Click here to view specific help for 'mail-merge' letter generation using Word 2007 or Word 2010 or Word 2013

Attendance Assistant Application - 'Connect Letter to Data Source and Mail Merge' - How to connect the AbsenceLetter1.doc to the Attendance Assistant application and perform a Mail Merge:

Attendance Assistant Application - 'Connect Letter to Data Source and Mail Merge'

Video topics include:

0:00 - Attendance Assistant Application - Connect Letter and Mail Merge
0:10 -      Students Already Selected
0:28 -      Launch AbsenceLetter1.doc
0:43 -      Connect to Data Source
1:04 -      *If screen appears, select OLE DB Database files
1:18 -      Letter1 - AbsenceLetter1MailMergeQuery
1:28 -      New 2014 - Multiple VPs
1:45 -      Use 'Preview Results' Toggle Button - And Advance through students
1:55 -      Click Save to remember the 'connection'
2:04 -      Perform Mail Merge
2:10 -      New document with one page for each student
2:45 -      Re-Launch letter to demonstrate 'connection' is remembered
2:58 -      Connection process also used to connect different letters and at start of new year
3:20 -      Good Day

Click here to view the Attendance Assistant application - mini brochure.