We’re excited to announce that [District or School Name] is in the process of piloting a new product -- called Little SIS for Classroom -- that aims to make teacher’s lives easier by automatically syncing your official class rosters to Google Classroom classes. This sync process works in a couple of key ways:
1. Little SIS creates new class invites - invitations will be created for classes for which you don’t currently have a Google Classroom class. A class invite is just that -- an invitation! It looks like what you see below. Classes created by Little SIS does not become visible to a enrolled students until you “accept” it in Classroom.
You can see outstanding class invites from classroom.google.com
Sometimes we may decide to provide your classes before we want students to know their schedules. In this case, you should see 0 students. Clicking “Accept” will allow you to start building your content in the class. Once the semester starts, we’ll populate your students automatically.
Other times, you may see an invite that already has students enrolled in it. Students do not see this class until you click “Accept.”
What happens if I click “Decline” on a class?
If you decline a class we’ve created for you, it just means that you will be “on your own” when it comes to managing your student rosters in Google Classroom. Declined classes can be re-provisioned by us later, but it can require a bit of legwork by the IT department, so please only decline an invite if they are getting in your way and truly not needed! If you’re not sure yet whether you want to use the classes, it’s usually better to just leave the invites open so you can have the option later!
2. Little SIS can link to your existing Classroom classes - If you’re already using Google Classroom, and your rosters are very similar to those found on your official class roster, Little SIS can connect up with a class that’s already in use. This means you get all the benefits of having your rosters kept up to date on the classes you’ve already worked so hard to populate with kids and content!
How will I know if Little SIS has linked to or made changes to my existing Classroom classes?
Little SIS will send you an email any time it makes any changes to a Classroom class, the class roster, or when it has been linked to any existing Classroom class.
What happens if Little SIS accidentally removes a student from one of my Classes?
This is a totally recoverable situation, and can sometimes happen if we have errors (like the wrong email address) in the student information system, or if you have added students to your classes that are not on the official roster. Adding the student back via the join code will restore all of their work in the class, but you should also notify the [IT department] immediately if this happens, since it may end up happening every time we sync unless we fix the underlying roster data issue. We can also exclude specific users from the sync if you have a good reason for keeping “unofficial” students on your roster. Just let us know!
What if I’m using Classroom in a way that’s different than the way my SIS classes are organized? (Examples: combined sections, differentiated groups, etc.)
Presently, Little SIS can only sync classes in a way that is matched to the official class list in the SIS. There’s currently no ability to combine or split SIS sections. If Little SIS sees existing classes that are very different from what’s in the SIS, it will simply exclude them from the Little SIS sync. This just means you are “on your own” to manage the rosters on customized classes that are different than your official classes.
3. Little SIS will Add and Remove students in Google Classroom - Once you’re using a class created by Little SIS (or one that has been linked), any changes detected in your official class roster will result in a roster change in Google Classroom. Typically, once things are up and running, these changes will happen on a daily basis. Any time Little SIS makes a change to your Classroom rosters, you will receive an email notification summarizing all changes.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I contact if Little SIS seems to be making unwanted changes to my Classroom rosters? Contact [support email] immediately if you spot something awry with the roster changes. Don’t worry too much if a student gets accidentally removed -- they can be easily re-added, but we’ll want to get to the bottom of why it happened to prevent it from becoming an annoyance.
Can I change the names of the classes made by Little SIS, or will it mess up the sync? You are free to change any field you like in the Classroom classes created or linked by Little SIS. Little SIS doesn’t rely on class name to match the courses up with the student information system.
Can I still create my own custom classes for different purposes (e.g. after school club, differentiated reading groups, etc.)? Yes! However you should know that these will obviously not have their rosters synced by Little SIS. These will be your responsibility to manage.
Will Little SIS mess up existing Classroom classes we use for professional development, or that we created for non-academic groups like clubs? No. Little SIS will never see these unless they have very similar rosters to official classes.
Does Little SIS delete student work when it removes a student from my class? No. The student’s work is still accessible to the teacher and the student via the Google Drive folder for the class. If the student is re-added to the class, all of their work shows back up in Classroom.
Could Little SIS ever accidentally delete my classes? No. Little SIS gives us the ability to archive classes if we decide that it’s old and no longer active -- it helps keep things simpler for students that way. An archived class just shows up in your “Archived Classes” list in Classroom -- they are not deleted. You can still re-use posts from an archived class, and you an un-archive a class.
What happens if a teacher change happens in the middle of the year / semester? If a new teacher is assigned in the student information system, Little SIS can be set to add the new teacher as a “co-teacher” in Google Classroom and send notifications to the new and old teachers. This way student work will not be disrupted and the new teacher can continue working within the same Classroom class.
Will Little SIS mess with my class title, section, description, etc? We could set it up that way if it made sense, but most of the time, teachers prefer to change the name of their classes, so we don’t turn that feature on.