Is it possible to configure Gibbon for the following scenario?

I’ve been looking at the documentation, and also the training day presentations, to decide if the system will allow me reflect/configure my particular scenario.
But as it is a very comprehensive and complex system, and also there are some concepts or at least nomenclature that may differ from what I’m used to, there are some items I’m not able to understand clearly.

So, I would like to ask someone with more experience in the system to please help me determine if Gibbon will be a good fit for my needs.

Below I will make a detailed description of what I need to achieve in the school, starting with the School structure, and following with things that might be specific to this scenario, information that needs to flow in and out of the application, and a couple of more things.

I will really appreciate some advice or opinions on this!!
Might be from the Team members, or from experienced users of the application.

Thank you very much!!!
Warm regards!!

The school structure is as follows:

• The school has a pool of subjects. Each subject is defined by its topic and contents and will be given on different days and hours
(I will call these, Classes, that is, different instances of the subject )

• The Classes might be taken individually or grouped in Programs, like for example General Program, Math Program or Music
Program, which will include a selected group of subjects and Classes

• A Class is an individual instance of a subject, having

    o A particular subject
    o An opening and closing dates
    o A schedule (day of the week/time)
    o A teacher
    o A classroom
    o Students

• Each subject might have different Classes running simultaneously throughout the year
     o They will differ from each other in the schedule, the teacher, the students, etc.

• Depending on the Program the subjects may or may not be graded. (some students might be interested in taking the class only for learning purposes, but might not be interested in taking exams)

Things that need to be considered:

     o A student might stop attending a Class
     o The teacher for a particular Class might change (temporarily or permanently)
     o The schedule of the class might change
     o The room of the class might change
     o All the changes above must be registered as historical states of that Class, the teacher, and the student.
In this way you will keep a current state and historical record of the Class, the teacher activity, and the student activity
     o Inside a Program, some subjects may appear in several years, and others may exist only for some years of the whole duration of that Program.
     o Some students in a Program may take all the subjects that belong to Year 1 of a Program, but some others will take only some of
subjects one year and take the rest in the following calendar year.
     o A teacher has a certain availability and assigned Classes

Things that need to be queried easily from the system

     o The current status of a Class (teacher, students, schedule, room, etc )
     o The current status of a teacher (what Classes is the teacher giving, including all the details like schedules, rooms, students, etc.)
     o Teacher availability, given its general availability and the Classes the teacher is currently giving.
     o The same as above for students, rooms, etc.
     o In the case of students, the query should be able to also return the student activity, like attendance, exam grades, etc.
     o What is taking place on a particular room in a particular date and time
     o Where a particular student is, at a given moment
     o What rooms are available at a given moment.
     o A picture of the activity in the whole school at a given date/time (for example to be able to have a quick look at what is taking place in the whole school right now)

Reporting (mostly statistical information)

     o Student’s attendance
     o Teacher’s attendance
     o Alerts when a student accumulates more than N consecutive unattendances
     o Students by different criteria (from their personal and curricular data)
     o Classes by different criteria (like how many classes on a particular subject, or how many clases with a particular instrument, in
case of a Music Class)
     o Room occupancy
     o Ad-hoc querying. This is, being able to write an SQL query against the Database and be able to return the results in a report that
could be shown in a screen of the system. Or, define a report with particular filters and conditions though a GUI of the system,
and display results on screen, and perhaps be able to download the results to an Excel file or csv.
     o Economic activity, like expenses and student payments

     o Printing
          Registration forms
          Students activity report
          Invoices (if it is a paid Program)
     o Email
          To welcome enrolling students
          To notify teacher of new Classes they’ve bee assigned to
          Generic notifications to students, teachers, and staff
     o Invoice amount calculation and printing (for students who are taking one or more paid Classes)

Examples of Programs:

General Program : (this is like a regular school)

On a yearly basis with several assorted subjects per year.
For example:
Year 1: Math 101, Music 101, History 101
Year 2: Math 201, Music 201, Geography 101
Year 6 …

Music Program:(only Music subjects)

  • On a yearly basis with one or more music related Classes per year.
    For example:
    Year 1: Music Theory 101, Guitar 101
    Year 2: Music Theory 201, Guitar 101 , Harmony 101

Standalone Program: (this is a student taking only one Class on any subject)

Hi Ricardo, welcome to the Gibbon community :smiley: Sounds like you’re off to a good start if you’ve been into the documentation and the training day videos. You have a lot of information here! Please do keep in mind the forums are run on a voluntary basis, in between full-time jobs, so I’ll do my best to help answer some questions to help get you started, but the best way to learn would be to install the system and test it out yourself.

In terms of school structure and class considerations, this is exactly how Gibbon works. The system uses the term course rather than subject, but in terms of classes, managing enrolment, keeping records of classes, and assigning rooms to classes, this is all possible and part of the core functionality of the system. Programs sounds like they may be analogous to Form Groups in Gibbon, in the sense that a student is enrolled in one program consisting of a number of courses.

In terms of “things that need to be queried”, the data for who is doing what, what spaces are used and available, and a master view of the whole school is available in the Timetable module. Other data is available in Student Profiles to see what a student is taking and what their timetable is.

The reporting options you’re looking for are available under the respective Attendance, Finance, Reports, etc. modules. There is a Query Builder module where you can write ad-hoc SQL queries to export data into spreadsheet format.

It looks like everything you’re looking for is something Gibbon can do. It’s quite a flexible system and there may certainly be features that it has that you might not need as well. The best suggestion moving forward is to install a local copy with demo data, if you haven’t already, to check it out and see how it works.

Hi Sandra,
Thank you very much for your answer!! and the welcome!!
I’m really glad to be here!

Sorry for the long query, I just wanted to give as much detail as possible to help understand the scenario (it’s my standard way of working, and I’m aware that it becomes my good and my bad at the same time :wink: )
And also please rest assured that I fully understand and appreciate the effort you are making, as I’m working on this project for a small school for which I do pro-bono work in between my other occupations.

What you did, was perhaps the most useful thing for me at this stage, in which I’m just getting to understand the basics of the system, and that was mapping the concepts I tried to explain with the terms used in Gibbon for those purposes.
Because I think this might be one of the biggest issues when it comes to understand the functionallity (talking about the same thing with different words, and not realizing that you are doing so :smiley: )
So, thank you very much again, and with this mapping in mind I’ll try to dive a little bit deeper in the docs and try to build a basic set up based on my current understanding. (I already have a local installation for that purpose)

I hope this also helps other people starting with the system.

Warms regards!

Hi Ricardo, great to hear these answers were helpful, best of luck as you get up and running! Timetabling can be one of the trickiest parts of setting up a new school, be sure to check the docs and forum and give a shout with any questions.