Class Composer Frequently Asked Questions

What is Class Composer?

Class Composer is an online student placement software tool to help elementary schools create equitable class lists in less time. Our mission is to create positive learning environments where teachers can better meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of their students.

Our program also offers day-to-day value beyond the class list creation process. Easily record Progress Monitoring data, create flexible Groups, and leverage the benefits of having all the historical information you care about on your students accessible in one place: the Student Card.

What are the system requirements?

1. A desktop or laptop computer is required. The program is not accessible from tablets or mobile devices.

2. Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are recommended. Internet Explorer is not compatible.

3. We are cloud based. You don't need to download or install anything.

How hard is it to learn to use? Do we need any special training?

We made the software intuitive and user-friendly so the learning curve is easy. Our Learning Portal has simple instructions allowing you to get started on your own. You can also reach out to us anytime with questions at [email protected]

How does the class creation process work?

The process starts with classroom teachers. Individually, classroom teachers assess their students on the Student Cards. Collectively, the grade level teachers run our compose algorithm to create new classes for the grade level above them for the next year. When they are done fine-tuning student placement they will send the newly composed classes to administration. Administration will review, make any possible changes, and then finalize class lists.

At our school the administration does the work to create classes. Can we create classes without involving our classroom teachers?

Yes. From the admin dashboard select Admin Compose. With this selection your teachers won't have access to the Compose screen. Learn more: Teacher or Admin Compose

Why should we use your system beyond the class list creation process?

Our day-to-day value (Progress Monitoring, Groups, and Historical Access) addresses a need that student information systems aren’t meeting. Data gets entered into your student information system but how often do your teachers actually use it as a resource? Teachers don’t have a one place to store all the student data they care about. Then when it comes time to have conversations during your PLCs, teachers have to spend time compiling data from different sources and locations in an ad hoc way. More time is spent gathering data then analyzing and having conversations. Then at the end of the year this compiled data goes away.

With Class Composer your teachers will have real-time student data available at their fingertips that’s simple to update, view, to take action on, and travels with the student through the grade levels. Imagine using Class Composer during your Professional Learning Communities to:

  • View grade level summary data on the Digital Data Wall.

  • View compiled individual student data on the Student Card.

  • Create flexible Groups based on easily accessible data.

  • Track and update Progress Monitoring data simply.

  • View compiled individual student historical data simply.

What happens after the new class lists are finalized by administration?

Our system transitions to current year use. Classroom teachers will receive their new classes in their dashboard. Teachers can learn about their new students at the beginning of the new academic year from the Student Cards filled in by last year’s teacher. The new teacher can then assess their students for the new school year to take advantage of our day-to-day features. Then at the end of the school year new classes can be created for the next school year. The cycle repeats.

Can we use the program to create classes for our cohort of new students enrolling into our lowest grade level?

Yes. Please follow the directions in this article: Compose for Incoming Students.

Can we move students into other classes after we’ve migrated all of our students to the next school year?

Yes. From the Current Year Digital Data Wall turn on the Add, Move, or Retain Students selector. This will allow you to move students into other classes or into the hallway.

Is the historical record of students saved?

Yes. Administration will have access to the historical record of every student. Teachers will have access to the historical record of their specific students.

Can we customize the program to fit our needs?

Yes. You can create your own unique identifiers and assessment fields during the initial setup process. These will appear in the Student Card and in the Digital Data Wall. You can also create unique Progress Monitoring categories.

Can your system support RTI and MTSS?

Yes. One option is to create custom identifiers like RT1 for Tier 1, RT2 for Tier 2, and RT3 for Tier 3. These will appear on the Student Card for teachers to select in the identifiers section.

Other options are to create unique RTI and MTSS groups using our Groups feature and/or create unique Progress Monitoring categories using our PM feature.

 

The ability to create custom identifiers is a flexible and effective tool to track and account for what matters most in your school. Some possible uses:

  1. Any intervention group where students receive instruction outside the classroom: Mary’s Reading Group - MRG

  2. Ethnicity: Asian American - ASA

  3. Health concerns: Allergies - ALG

Can we import student data into Class Composer?

Yes. Our Data Import feature allows you to import student rosters and assessment data through a CSV format. Importing this data will save your teachers time during the initial steps of the student placement process.

Is there a way we can have the teacher names hidden to lessen bias?

Yes, teacher names can be hidden. Learn more: Teacher Names Visible on Compose Screen.

How does the placement requests work?

Classroom teachers can enter one of three requests on the Student Card: keep with teacher, keep with another student, or do not place with another student. Once they are selected the algorithm will honor these requests. Placement requests can be overridden on the compose screen.

In general, our placement request functionality is meant for special circumstances. As an example, our Keep with Student feature isn’t designed to ensure every student is matched up with one friend for the next academic year.

What information is required to be entered on the Student Card?

Academic (reading, writing, and math) and Life Skills (behavior and work skills) ratings are required to enable the algorithm to run. Assessments, Identifiers, Notes, Progress Monitoring, and Placement Requests are optional.

Why do you use a 9 - 1 academic rating scale?

We feel a 9 - 1 scale gives educators the option to be more precise when assessing students. For example, when a child is rated a three (proficient) as a reader on a standards based grading scale of 4 - 1 it’s difficult to tell if this child is a barely proficient reader or a strong proficient reader. In our system a four designates a barely proficient reader while a six designates a strong proficient reader.

How does the free grade level trial work?

The free grade level trial is very flexible. You can use it as a true pilot with real student data. You will have access to the full functionality of the program which will allow the creation of new classes for the next academic year for one grade level. You can also experience it with made up students and test data. If you choose to upgrade you can delete the test data and begin the process for real.

In the trial you can run compose multiple times by using our Reopen Access and Start Over features. This is a great way to test the Compose Settings feature where you can tell the system to automatically cluster certain identified students into certain classes for the next year.

How do we get started with the free trial?

As the school representative, click on the Try for Free button on our home page. Follow the step-by-step instructions to enter the registration and setup information for your school. Here is a helpful guide to get you started: Free Trial Guide

The trial grade level teachers will receive an email from Class Composer inviting them to create their password login. Then, they can Log In (button is on top right of our home page) and they will be guided to start the process. As an administrator you will be automatically redirected to your dashboard. When the trial grade level teachers have completed the class creation process you will be able to view the newly composed classes.

Will our setup information be lost if we upgrade to a paid subscription?

No. All the setup and registration information will remain along with the newly composed classes completed by the trial grade level. Upgrading will give you access to the program for all your grade levels.

How do we upgrade to a full subscription?

Option 1: Pay by Credit Card - At the top of the administration dashboard you will see an Upgrade Now button. Select this button and enter the payment information.

Option 2: Pay By Check - Request an invoice from us by filling out this form: Invoice Request Once we have confirmation that payment will be approved by your school, or district, we will provide you with an access code. Select the Upgrade Now button and enter the access code.

Can we pay by check?

Yes. Please fill in this form and we will send you a quote: Invoice Request

How do we get a copy of a W-9 form?

You can access it here: Class Composer W-9