< PER FAQs

1.   What is PER?
2.   How do I enter or change information about my school?
3.   How do I create or change information about my school terms?
4.   How do I add/edit school members?
5.   How do I create courses in a term?
6.   How do I add students to a course after it’s created?
7.   How do I set up daily school work?
8.   What can I do from Courses at a Glance?
9.   How can PER be used as a diary?
10. How is attendance recorded?
11. How do I grade an assignment?
12. How do I find and use the school calendars?
13. What is the difference between the calendar the student sees and the calendar that I see?
14. Can my children get a list of their school work? Can I get a list of their school work?
15. What kind of schedule changes can I make?
16. What is a Skip Day and how is it used?
17. How can I move work from one day to another?
18. What is Past Due Student Work?
19. How do I handle Field Trips?
20. What Reports can I create?
21. How do I create Reports?
22. Why doesn’t my child’s Report Card show grades?
23. How do I mark work complete?
24. What is the difference between course work and assignments?

1. What is PER?
PER or Plan, Educate, Record, is a web-based planner for your home school. It allows you to enter information about courses, students and materials used in your school and also provides schedules, calendars and reports. You design the course plan and assess your student’s progress. You can plan ahead or use PER as a diary and record accomplishments after they’ve been completed. Course plans can be edited at any time, until the task has been marked as complete.

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2. How do I enter or change information about my school?
You create a school in PER when you set up your registration. To change this information, go to Parent’s Home Page>School Info.  Here you can change your school name or typical school days.

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3. How do I create or change information about my school Terms?
When your school was created, you also created the first school Term. To change this information, go to Parent’s Home Page>School Terms.  Here you can edit or delete a school Term. 

a. Editing a term:  click the Edit button.  Enter the changes you want to make and click the Save button.  NOTE:  If you are editing the Term because you want to change the dates on the Term, be sure that the Term dates do not overlap.  The system will not accept overlapping terms.

b. Deleting a Term:  click the Delete button.  This will delete the Term from your school.  If you have courses associated with the Term, you will need to delete or move them before the Term can be deleted.  NOTE:  If you want to keep the school records associated with this Term, do not delete the Term.  These records will be lost.  Instead, consider deleting the courses that you didn’t use, but keeping the Term.  Doing this will clear the clutter, but keep the records you want to keep.

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4. How do I add/edit school members?
When you set up a school at our site, you add one educator and student in that process.   To add more school members, go to the Parent’s Home Page>School Members.  The Add a New Member page will appear.  If you are adding an educator, be sure to give him/her a password.  When you are finished adding members, click I’m Done.

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5. How do I create courses in a Term?
To create a Course, go to the Parent’s Home Page>Courses at a Glance.  The Courses at a Glance page will appear.  Click the Create a New Course button.

The Course Details page will appear.  Enter information about the Term in which that Course will be taught, the length of the Course, title, grading method, goals (these are optional), materials, students, and the days/times the Course will be taught.  Then, when all the information is entered, click the Create button to create the Course.  Following is more information about each of these categories:

Course Term:  If you would like to plan ahead and have created future Terms, you can enter the Course information (or as much as you know) as well.  Just choose the appropriate Term from the drop down list.  If you’re creating a Course for the current Term, make sure that Term is selected.

Duration:  The Course can run the complete length of the Term or be shorter.  If the Course has a different start and end date, use the pop down calendars to specify these dates.  Be sure that the Course does not extend beyond the ending date of the Term in which it is being taught.

Title:  The name of the subject (or Course) you’re teaching.

Grading Method:  Choose one of the six grading methods from the drop down box.  While you don’t have to give your student a grade for any Course, we ask that you choose a method — in case you decide to give a grade for the complete Course or for a specific graded assignment.  The grading methods we’ve set up are:  pass/fail; S-, S, S+; complete/incomplete; percentage grading; point grading; letter grades.

Goals:  If you like, you can record your goals for your student in this Course.

Materials:  Enter at least one material type and title that you will use in the Course.  Choose the type from the drop down box, enter the title and click the Add button to save this information.  It will be available to you later on the Materials List report.

Students:  From the list of Students, select the ones who will take the Course and click the Add button.  If all of your students will take the Course, click the Add All button.

Days/Times:  If you are using PER to create an accurate Attendance Record, make these entries reflect the number of days and hours you think you will do school.  The school calendars will then reflect these choices.  Of course, you are always free to do school on different days and times, but at least one day and time should be identified.  If the Course is taught at the same time on each day then check the Same Start and End Time box.  Be sure to unclick any days your student will not do the Course.

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6. How do I add students to a Course once it’s created?
Go to Parent’s Home Page>Courses at a Glance.  Find the Course, mouse over ACTIONS and click Edit Course Students and Days.  Enter your changes and click Back to Courses at a Glance.

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7. How do I set up daily school work?
Course work in PER is divided into two different kinds:  Class Day Work which is the ungraded, daily work your child does and Assignments which are graded, such as quizzes, tests, projects, and reports.

Creating Class Day Work:
Go to Courses at a Glance and choose the Course.  Mouse over ACTIONS and click Add/Edit Course Work.  The Course Plan page will appear.  Click Edit Course Day for either all students or a specific student. A new box will open.  Enter a description of the course work for that day.  If there are specific things you would like one student to do, go to the column for that student and enter that information.  When you’ve finished, click Save.

Templates can make the job easier!
There are several templates available for use when entering repetitive Class Day Work.  They are:  plain text, simple increment, range increment

Plain text:  Puts the same description in every class day.

Simple increment:  Creates an incremental description. For example: Day 1-Read chapter 1, Day 2-Read Chapter 2, etc.

Range increment:  Creates a description including a range of numbers. For example: Day 1-Read pages 1-20, Day 2 - Read pages 21-40, etc. 

To use the templates:
1.  Click the circle next to the description (plain text, simple increment or range increment)
2.  Click Template is for and indicate whether it is for All Students or a specific student
3.  Choose one of the choices for Effect on Existing Content (Replace Existing Work, Append to Existing or No Existing Content)
4.  Enter the description and click Save

For incremental templates, be sure to enter when you want the increment to start (the starting page number, chapter number, etc.), the increment (i.e., if you want your student to do 5 pages per day the increment will be 5) and the ending number (or the last chapter or last page of the entire amount of work).  The template will automatically spread out the work for the number of days it will take to do the work.

Creating Assignments (or graded schoolwork):
Click the Add Assignment link for either all students or specific students.  Enter the assignment description, i.e.”take the chapter 10 test.”  When you’ve finished entering the assignment for that day, click the Create Assignment button.  NOTE:  Assignments do not automatically get posted to the School Calendar.  Class Day Work automatically posts to the calendar.  If you would like have specific assignments on specific calendar days, enter that information in the calendar directly.

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8. What can I do from Courses at a Glance?
Courses at a Glance is where you create/edit course work, add/edit/delete Courses from a Term, view/edit/print the Course plan for the Term, add/delete students from a Course and other tasks.

Column definitions in Courses at a Glance:

Student - the name of the Student

Course - Course name

Actions - Actions you can take for each course.  They are add/edit coursework, view/edit assessment, edit Course details, edit Course students and days, copy Course details to new Term, delete Course

Completed Days - The number of Course days this student has completed for this Term.

Incomplete Days - The number of days that are allotted for the Course and which haven’t been completed yet.

Completed Assignments - The number of assignments for the Course which are complete.

Incomplete Assignments - The number of assignments needing to be reviewed.

Last Activity - The date of last activity in the Course.

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9. How can PER be used as a diary?
Instead of describing what your students will do, simply describe what they did.  First, determine what you want to capture in your student’s record.  Will you just need an attendance record?  Then don’t identify school work at all.  Just mark the days as complete, after the fact.  Go to School Today>Quick Links.  Then mark the day complete.

If you would like an itemized list of learning activities, then create one day each week for each Course.  Record all the activities in this day.  For example, you may have a Course called Botany and Wood Products which “meets” one day per week.  The class work description for this Course might show the following:

Day 1 - Jeremy, Jon and I went to Mr. Ott’s violin-making shop to learn about the woods used to make string instruments.

Day 2 - J and J set up a project to carve, stain and drill holes in five different woods, to chart their characteristics.

Day 3 (a week later) - J and J attended a continuing education class at the Hathaway Arboretum on trees.

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10. How is attendance recorded (marking work as complete)?
Attendance is recorded when the school work planned for the day is marked as complete.  If work is not marked as complete, it will show as Past Due Work until it is marked complete.  Work can be marked complete in one of two ways:

a.  Go to Parent’s Home Page>School Today.  You’ll then see a page showing all the Course work and assignments for the day.  As each Course is completed (or at the end of the day) click Review, add comments about the day’s activities if you like and click Mark as Complete.  If you wish, you can choose to skip the work (meaning it won’t be done today or ever) or move the work to a future day.  Remember, if you do not mark the current day’s work complete, it will appear as past due work the next day.

b.  If you would like to mark all of the day’s work complete, go to the Quick Links box (upper left corner of the School Today page).  Click on Quickly Complete Today’s Work.  Select Mark All Complete, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Mark This Work as Complete.

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11. How do I grade an Assignment?
In order to mark an Assignment (graded work) complete, you must give it a grade.  To do this, go to School Today, find the Assignment that you want to grade and click Review.  Enter comments to your student and/or a grade and click Mark as Complete.  The assignment is now graded.

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12. How do I find and use the School Calendars?
School Calendars are found in the School Calendar section on the Parent’s Home Page.  Go To:  Parent’s Home Page>School Calendars.  After you create a school, a Term and at least one Course, PER creates Monthly and Weekly Calendars as well as Daily Schedules for you.  Each of these calendars has a more detailed view of your school days, weeks and months.

Working with the Monthly Calendar: On the Monthly calendar, click on the chevron for any day that shows it has Courses.  The scheduled Courses for the day will pop down and show the students in them as well as the planned Class Day Work (not Assignments).  Click a Course and go directly to this day in your Course Plan.  Then, use the edit function to edit the day for the Course - even if it has already been marked as complete.

Working with the Weekly Calendar: To view the week click View Week from any Sunday on a Monthly Calendar.  To print a weekly schedule, click the Print Weekly Schedule button.  To edit the week’s school work, click the Course Title on any day.  The Course Plan will come up and you can use the edit function to again add or change Class Day Work and/or assignments.

Note:  Weekly and monthly calendars show Courses in alphabetical order because there isn’t room to show various time orders.  To see Courses in time order, click any scheduled Course day to bring up the Daily Schedule.

Working with the Daily Schedule: To view the daily schedule, click the day on the Monthly or Weekly Calendar.  From School Today, click View Today’s Schedule from the Quick Links box.  You can edit Course work and hours (for a specific day) from the Daily Schedule.  To do this, click in the course time slot on the Daily Schedule.

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13. What is the difference between the calendar the student sees and the calendar I see?
The student sees only their own course items - not the whole family’s.  The School Calendars accessible by the parent/educator show the complete school days for the entire family.

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14. Can my children get a list of their schoolwork? Can I get a list of their schoolwork?
Yes.  Simply switch current user (menu bar) to your child.  His/her Student Home Page will appear.  The day’s schoolwork will be listed.  They can also see their work in the Calendar on the Menu Bar.

For the parent, School Calendars will show ungraded class work for all students.  School Today will list all work - Class Day Work and Assignments.  Go to School Today and choose a date to view.

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15. What kind of schedule changes can I make?
You can Create a Non-School Day, enter a Skip Day, or Change Date.  Here’s how you make these changes:

Create a Non School Day: This will take a whole day out of your Term.  In general, your course work does not bump when you use a Non School Day.  However, if you have created schoolwork in a Course and then create a Non School Day, that work will bump ahead which sometimes causes work to pile up at the end of the Term.

To create a Non School Day: Go to your Parent’s Home Page>School Calendar>Create a Non School Day.  Enter the student(s), start and end date, type and description of the Non School Day (vacation day, college visit, etc.)  Click save.

If you have schoolwork that was created for that day, it will move forward until it reaches the last day of the Term.  You may see several days of Course work on the last day.  This is “catch up” work that the student needs to do to complete the course.  This can be accomplished in several ways:  completing all work on the last day of the term, completing some of the work on another day,  editing the assigned work to eliminate some of the remaining tasks or by moving the unfinished work to the first day of a new Term. 

Completed coursework and a Non School Day: If you created a Non School Day and the work scheduled for that day had already been marked complete the day will show up twice in the Attendance Report - once with the Course work complete AND as a Non School Day.  The complete work will show up first, then the Non School Day.  The remaining Course days bump to the next school day in the course.

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16. What is a Skip Day and how is it used?
A Skip Day is a day that is completely skipped.  It does not create bumping.  Work that is created for that day will go away completely.

Go to Courses at a Glance>Course>ACTIONS>Add/Edit Coursework.  Click the Skip Day box for that day for all students or a particular student.

If schoolwork has not been created for this day, the day will completely disappear.  It will not be noted on the Attendance Report that this Course Day ever existed.

If schoolwork has been created for the course but you want to skip/remove it, that day and the coursework in it will disappear.  It will not be noted in the Attendance Report that this Course Day or the work planned for it ever existed.

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17. How can I move work from one day to another?
You can move work from one day to another (within the same Term) by using the Change Date function.  Go to Parent’s Home Page>School Today.  Choose the day and course you would like to move to another day and click Change Date.   If the course already exists in the target day, the student will have two days of the same course to complete.  Only one description will show on the Monthly Calendar; all descriptions will show up on School TodayChange Date is best used when you decide an existing day is too full or the target day is too light.  NOTE:  Be sure that the target date is part of an existing Term.  If the target date is in a future Term, when the work is completed the day and hours will be counted in the new Term’s Attendance Report.  The work itself will show in the original Term’s Course Report.

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18. What is Past Due Student Work?
Past Due Student Work is work that has not been completed on the day(s) it is planned.  After the student does the work and it is marked complete, the work will be counted on the day it was originally planned to be done, no matter what day it was actually marked as complete.  Past Due Student Work shows on the Student Home Page in Past Due Items to Work On and in your Quick Links as Past Due Student Work.

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19. How do I handle Field Trips?
Go to your Parent’s Home Page>Field Trips.  On the Field Trips page, click the Schedule a Field Trip button.  Enter the Term in which the trip will occur, the date, start/end time, title, grading method, goals (optional), materials you’re going to use and click Save Changes.  After the Trip is marked as complete, it will show in the Student Attendance Report.  For the attendance record, the Field Trip course and hours are combined in all the other course hours.

If you don’t want to have any other regularly scheduled courses on the Field Trip day, Change Date for them for that day.  Or, use Skip Day to take those courses for that day out of the Term.

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20. What Reports can I create in PER?
You can create the following reports in PER  - Attendance Report, Course Report, Report Card, Materials List.  All of these can be created by Student and Term.

Attendance Reports list the number of courses and course hours completed each day.  This report is keyed to Class Day Work.  If you have busy days and less busy days, this will be reflected in this report.

Attendance day - this is a day that appears on a student’s Attendance Report after Class Day Work for the day has been marked complete.  No matter how many courses are planned for a day, that day will always count as one day.

Course hours - the actual number of completed hours of school on a particular day. 

Course Reports list the number of complete Course Days and the description of the Class Day Work as described in the Course Plan. 

Report Cards show the Courses and Grades (if desired) for each student by Term.  You determine the grades (see our FAQ on Grading).  You can also choose which courses in the Term you want to show on the Report Card.

Materials Reports list all the materials used in all courses in a Term.  These materials are the ones listed in the Course Details for each course.

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21. How do I create Reports?
Go to Parent’s Home Page>Reports.  Click on the link for the report you want to create.

Attendance Reports - Choose the Student and Term for whom you want to create the Report.  Click Run ReportNote:  Skipped days are not included in Attendance Reports.  Non Schoo Days are listed on the Attendance Report but not counted in the Total School Days. 

Course Reports - Choose the Student, Term, Course and whether you want to include Student Work.  Click Run Report.

Report Card - Choose the Student and Term for whom you want to create the Report.  Then click Show Courses to choose the Courses to be shown on the Report Card.  Click Run Report.

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22. Why doesn’t my child’s Report Card show grades?
If you have courses without grades on a Report Card, you need to give an assessment for that course.  To give a course assessment, go to Courses at a Glance.  Choose the course, mouse over Actions>View/Edit Assessment.  Enter the student’s achievments and next steps and give the course a grade if you wish.  Click Save.

23.  How do I mark work complete?
Work can be marked complete in one of two ways:
a.  Go to Parent’s Home Page>School Today.  You’ll then see a page showing all the Course work and assignments for the day.  As each Course is completed (or at the end of the day) click Review, add comments about the day’s activities if you like and click Mark as Complete.  If you wish, you can choose to skip the work (meaning it won’t be done today or ever) or move the work to a future day.  Remember, if you do not mark the current day’s work complete, it will appear as past due work the next day.

b.  If you would like to mark all of the day’s work complete, go to the Quick Links box (upper left corner of the School Today page).  Click on Quickly Complete Today’s Work.  Select Mark All Complete, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Mark This Work as Complete.

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24.  What is the difference between course work and assignments?
Course work in PER is divided into two different kinds:  Class Day Work which is the ungraded, daily work your child does and Assignments which are graded, such as quizzes, tests, projects, and reports.

Creating Class Day Work:
Go to Courses at a Glance and choose the Course.  Mouse over ACTIONS and click Add/Edit Course Work.  The Course Plan page will appear.  Click Edit Course Day for either all students or a specific student. A new box will open.  Enter a description of the course work for that day.  If there are specific things you would like one student to do, go to the column for that student and enter that information.  When you’ve finished, click Save.

Creating Assignments (or graded schoolwork):
Click the Add Assignment link for either all students or specific students.  Enter the assignment description, i.e.”take the chapter 10 test.”  When you’ve finished entering the assignment for that day, click the Create Assignment button.  NOTE:  Assignments do not automatically get posted to the School Calendar.  Class Day Work automatically posts to the calendar.  If you would like have specific assignments on specific calendar days, enter that information in the calendar directly.

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