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Scheduling - New Scenario

Build Scenarios

Before creating build scenarios, define the basic build information, such as the number of terms, days, and periods in your master schedule. Then, define optimization parameters, which determine how long the system spends scheduling each course, section, and student.

When building the master schedule, PowerSchool evaluates every possible schedule combination before it adds a course to that schedule. Depending on your school’s courses, constraints, and other schedule parameters, there could be millions of ways to schedule one multi-section course. Evaluating all of these schedule combinations would take many hours. You might not want to wait for such a thorough evaluation. If this is the case, define build and load optimizations to determine how many combinations the system should review when building your schedule.

When you enter optimization parameters, you define the minimum and maximum number of possibilities the system should evaluate while doing the following:

  • Building the master schedule
  • Loading student schedules with courses

You can also define best schedule weights to determine how the system handles conflicts when building your master schedule. For example, if you give more weight to section balance than to student conflicts, the system tries to create similar-size course sections before it tries to accommodate student course requests. Based on the last load for each scenario, the percent of students scheduled, core courses scheduled, and satisfied student requests appear on the Scenarios page.

How to Create a Build Scenario

  1. On the start page, choose PowerScheduler from the main menu.
  2. Under Processing, choose Scenarios from the PowerScheduler menu. The Scenarios page appears.
  3. Click New. The Edit Build Scenario page appears.
  4. Use the following table to enter information in the Build Information fields:
  5. Field

    Description

    [Scenario type]

    Select Load Only: Select this option if you already have a schedule, such as through the process of either importing or copying, and only want to load students.

    Build Name

    Enter a name for this build scenario. If you are creating several scenarios, use descriptive names so that you can easily distinguish among them. Please start the name with the year and then your school initials for example: 2010 SCH Schedule.

    Active Build

    If you are creating only one build scenario, select the checkbox. If you are creating more than one build scenario, select the checkbox for the one you want the system to use to build your master schedule.

    Note: You will only be able to edit the course catalog that is associated with the build marked as active.

    Build Description

    Enter a description of this scenario. Please start the description with the year and then your school initials for example: 2010 SCH Schedule.

    Terms

    Click Associate to select the number of schedule terms you want this scenario to include. The Schedule Term Setup page appears.

    1. Select the checkboxes in the rows that represent the number of schedule terms you want this scenario to include. For example, if you plan to build a two-semester master schedule, select the checkbox next to the row that includes Semester 1 and Semester 2.
    2. Click Submit.

    Periods

    From the pop-up menu, choose the number of periods per day for this build scenario. For example, if you are building a block schedule, you might choose 4. If you are building a regular schedule, you might choose 7.

    Days

    Choose from the pop-up menu the number of days for this build scenario.

    Course Catalog

    Use the pop-up menu to choose the course catalog you want the system to use to build this schedule. If this is your first time creating a master schedule, do not select a catalog. The system will automatically generate a course catalog, which you can modify. 

  6. Use the following table to enter information in the Build Optimizations and Load Optimizations fields:
  7. Field

    Description

    Percent of schedule combinations to evaluate for each course

    Change this value only if you encounter problems with the amount of time the system is using to build the master schedule. The default value of this field is 10.

    For example, if you enter 25, the system evaluates one-quarter of the possible schedule combinations for each course. If you enter 75, the system evaluates three-quarters of the possible schedule combinations for each course.

    Minimum number of schedule combinations to evaluate for each course

    Change this value only if you encounter problems with the amount of time the system is using to build the master schedule. The default value of this field is 10,000.

    For courses with few possible combinations to begin with, use a higher number to prevent the system from attempting too few schedule combinations and not being able to fit the course into the schedule.

    Percent of schedule combinations to evaluate for each student

    Change this value only if you encounter problems with the amount of time the system is using to load the master schedule. The default value of this field is 10.

    For example, if you enter 25, the system evaluates one-quarter of the possible schedule combinations for each student. If you enter 75, the system evaluates three-quarters of the possible schedule combinations for each student.

    Minimum number of schedule combinations to evaluate before skipping

    Change this value only if you encounter problems with the amount of time the system is using to load the master schedule. The default value of this field is 10,000.

    Enter a high number to force the system to sample a minimum number of student schedule course possibilities.

    Note: You can also set build optimizations for a particular course by adding a Course Optimize constraint. This type of constraint takes precedence over the build optimizations you set here. For more information, see Build Constraints.

  8. Use the following table to enter information in the Best Schedule Weights fields:
  9. Field

    Description

    Student conflicts

    To have the system give more weight to student conflicts than section balance when confronted with a conflict while building the master schedule, enter a larger number in this field than in the Section balance field. The default value of this field is 50.

    Note: The numbers in both of these fields must add up to 100.

    Section balance

    To have the system give more weight to section balance than student conflicts when confronted with a conflict while building the master schedule, enter a larger number in this field than in the Student conflicts field. The default value of this field is 50.

    Note: The numbers in both of these fields must add up to 100.

    TotalThe total of the weighting values appears. This number must be 100.

  10. Click Submit. The Scenarios page appears.

How to Delete a Build Scenario

Deleting a build scenario also deletes the following items associated with this build: master schedule, student schedules, teacher assignments, constraints, and course relationships.

  1. On the start page, choose PowerScheduler from the main menu.
  2. Under Processing, choose Scenarios from the PowerScheduler menu. The Scenarios page appears.
  3. Click the name of the build scenario you want to delete. The Edit Build Scenario page appears.
  4. Click Delete. The Delete Scenario page appears.
  5. Select the checkbox if you are sure you want to delete this build scenario.
  6. Click Submit. The Scenarios page appears.
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