Creating Block Calendars

Block Calendars are designed to be used by schools which have implemented a Block Scheduling system, in which class schedules are different on each day of the week. By implementing a Block Calendar in Finalsite, students, faculty and staff can quickly and easily determine which block a particular date falls into, and thus what academic schedule they will follow on any given date.

The Block Calendar differs from ordinary calendars in several important ways. The most important thing to remember about a Block Calendar is that a Block Calendar does not actually 'contain' events, in the way all other calendar types do in Calendar Manager. Instead, Block Calendars apply labels. When combining for display, Block Calendars with other calendar types, a Block Calendar is essentially a way to apply a label to specific days on other traditional calendars.

Creating the Labels:

In Calendar Manager, create a new Calendar. Set the Calendar Type to "Block" and give the Calendar a descriptive title. Use the "Group" dropdown to categorize your Block Calendar. While it is possible to give a block calendar a unique color with the "Key" setting it's best to leave this setting alone, as the Block Calendar will automatically color-code each block.

If you want LMS users to be able to see the Block Calendar, select the "Specific Roles" radio button, and then use the checkboxes to determine which roles should see it.

Click the green "Create" button to save the Block Calendar and bring up the specialized Block Calendar settings.

At this point you'll be able to specify a distinct Start Date and End Date for this calendar. In the "Avoid Dates On" box, you will see the Exception Calendars which have previously been created in Calendar Manager. Select the Exception Calendar(s) you want the Block Calendar to observe. (Exception Calendars define the dates that other calendars should skip over when scheduling recurring events.)

Use the "Define Block Days" section to create the individual blocks. If your academic calendar has six blocks, use the "+Add Block" button to add them each in turn. You can customize the color of each block with the "Color Key" field. When it is next saved, the dates in a Block Calendar will be labeled in sequence; the day specified in the "Start Date" field will be assigned the first block listed in the "Define Block Days" section. Each subsequent day will take the next block in sequence, skipping dates which appear on any Exception Calendars selected in the "Avoid Dates On" section. 

Note: Blocks do not have to be established on a daily rotation; blocks can span more than one day. For calendar on a two-day rotation instead of a daily rotation, create the same block twice in a row (A, A, B, B, C, C, D, D, etc.) For a three-day rotation create three duplicate blocks in a row, and so on.

For a weekly rotation with 3 blocks of time, you will need to create 15 block days: 5 instances of Block A, 5 instances of Block B, and 5 instances of Block C: A, A, A, A, A, B, B, B, B, B, C, C, C, C, C.

 

Click the "Update" button to finalize the Block Calendar.

Exception Handling

The Block Calendar respects events added to an Exception Calendar, such as weekends, holidays and other school closings. The Block Calendar will automatically skip the dates that had been added to any Exception Calendar specified during the Block Calendar setup. It's important to note that a Block Calendar cannot skip a day on an Exception Calendar while keeping the Block Schedule order unbroken. Blocks will always appear in succession regardless of the days skipped. Skipping a day on an exception calendar will not skip the block that would have normally been applied to that day; the block/label that would normally have come next will appear on the next available day. In other words, if the week is configured as:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Block A Block B Block C Block D Block E

and inclement weather forces a school closure on Wednesday, you would want to add Wednesday to the relevant Exception Calendar and re-apply it to the Block Calendar. If you do that, the new Block Calendar will look like this:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Block A Block B -- Block C Block D

Block C has been pushed to Thursday, and the schedule picks up from that point. Block E will be applied to the following Monday. You cannot skip a day using an Exception and leave the previous Block Calendar schedule intact. If you would like to skip a scheduled day without pushing the Block Calendar, add an event to the relevant Academic Calendar announcing the skipped day, but do not make the update on the Exception Calendar.

Note that events added to an Exception Calendar are not passed automatically to a Block Calendar. If you do update the Exception Calendar to add a holiday, the Block Calendar will not recognize the addition until it is re-saved and the Exception Calendar is re-applied.

 

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