Modifying Skyward Student Roster Exports with Excel

Skyward affords teachers some flexibility with the ability to export student rosters and other data into Excel. There are a few different ways to “print,” or export rosters from Skyward into Excel; however, for the purpose of this exercise, we are going to focus on one. Exporting a Class Roster From Skyward: 1. Log into Skyward and from the left side, choose “Post Daily Attendance,” select the class, and choose “By Name.” The window below will open. Click “Print Class Roster,” make a selection (I chose the top choice, as this should be all a substitute should need), and click “Export to Excel” on the right hand side.
(Developed by Jim Kelly, District Technology Specialist, Citrus County Schools)

Additionally, you can customize your report in Skyward prior to the extract. Add a new template, name it, and choose the fields and format. 2. You will be taken to another screen. Wait for the report to show as “Completed.” Click on “Display Report.”

3. Excel will open. Accept all choices and ignore any warnings or messages that tell you the report is in a different format. (The file is actually an older version of an Excel file, but will display correctly). Click on the “Enable Editing” button to allow changes. Notice all the columns are the same width and some of the entries appear to be cut off.

Working with Excel: Excel can be a little intimidating at first, but you will get more comfortable over time, I promise.  That said, there are a few helpful shortcuts & commands that work in Excel, other Microsoft (MS) programs, and even some non-Microsoft ones. I have included the key combinations so you don’t have to dig around in the ribbon to find them. Ctrl + A = Select All. This key combination will select everything on a page. Ctrl + C = Copy. This combination will copy everything that is selected. Ctrl + X = Cut. This will “cut” everything that is selected and allow it to be pasted somewhere else. Ctrl + Z = Undo. This will “undo” the last action you performed allowing you to undo any changes or mistakes. Clicking this multiple times MAY allow you to undo multiple changes. Ctrl = Y = Redo. The opposite of Ctrl+Z, this command allows tou to redo something you may have undone by mistake. Tip - You can add several commands to the Quick Access bar at the very top of the MS program window by right clicking on the drop down arrow and making your selections. Undo and Redo are located there.

Adjusting Columns in Excel: The data from Skyward is placed into cells in an Excel worksheet. In order to work with the file effectively, we will need to modify the worksheet. One of the first things you will want to do is widen the cells so you can see exactly what is in them. The way to do this is to position your cursor on the line between A and B as in the example below. Your cursor will change into a sign that looks like a + with a right and left arrow:

Once you are between the two columns, you can either A) Hold down your left mouse button and drag the column as far to the right as you like, OR B) Double click. This will automatically make the column to the left of the “+” sign as wide as the widest entry in that column. Personally, I find this method to be the easiest. Repeat the above process to make sure we can see everything in each of the columns. It should look something like the following:

As you can see, each piece of data is in its own cell, and if you double clicked (as in B above), each column is just as wide as its longest entry.

You will not need all of the data that is currently in the cells, but what you choose to keep will be up to you. For this exercise, we will keep the teacher name, course, period number, room number, student names and student numbers. Deleting Values and Text in Cells in Excel: You can delete the information in the cells by either clicking in each cell and hitting the delete or backspace key, or by left-clicking and dragging over the cells you want to delete, and then pressing the delete key on your keyboard. Starting in cell A1, left click and drag down to cell G2, then press the delete key.

Click in the “School Year” cell and in the Section (Sec.) cell and delete those values. When you are finished, it should resemble this: Note: If you wish, you can change the name of the course in cell A5 to a more common name. You can also change A7 to “Student Name” if you want.

Deleting Rows and Columns in Excel: As with many functions in Excel, this can be accomplished in a variety of ways. We will get rid of rows 13, and columns C and D. Start by left clicking on the number 1 (row number). The cursor will change to a right arrow. Drag down to row 3. All three rows should be highlighted.

Now, you can either right click your mouse and choose “Delete” from the context menu, or click the down arrow under “Delete” on the top ribbon and select either Rows or Columns (depending on what you have highlighted.

On the top ribbon under the “Home” tab (default), is the Delete button. Expand it by clicking the down arrow. The option to delete rows or columns will depend on what you have highlighted.

Right clicking on the row or column number and choosing delete will bring up this menu, and will allow you to delete that row or column.

Remember, if you make any mistakes, you can Undo…. Delete rows 1-3 and columns C and D. The rows and columns will shift and rename themselves. When you are finished, it should resemble this:

Note: We now have an empty “D” column; it used to be “F”… (Note: You can also insert rows and columns using the same processes.) Adding Values and Text in Cells / Alignment in Excel: Adding values and text in Excel, is simply a matter of clicking in a cell and typing. For the purpose of this exercise, we will assume we will be using these sheets for subs to take student attendance. We will add he word “Date” to cell C3 and copy it across to cell E3. Type the word “Date in Cell C3. You will see a small dot in the bottom right hands corner of that cell. Mouse over it and the cursor will change to a + symbol. Click on the dot and drag the corner across to cell E3. The cells will be bordered by a fuzzy line. Release the mouse button and the word “Date” will be copied in each of those cells.

We will leave those cells highlighted.

To align cells, either highlight the cell(s) or the rows or columns you want to align, and click on the alignment style you want on the ribbon at the top. You can also resize column C (by clicking between the letter C and D), and do the same for D and E if you wish.

Changing Cell Sizes: You can change the sizes of the rows and columns by clicking between the row number (or column letter) and dragging it accordingly. To change more than one at once, click and highlight the row numbers (or column letters) you want to change, and hold down the “Shift” key. Then, click between one of the highlighted rows or columns and drag to the desired width or height. All the highlighted rows or columns will adjust to that dimension.

Cutting and Pasting in Excel: The cut and paste commands are the same as with any other MS product, but with Excel you need to be mindful of pasting into the cells. In many cases, you will need to paste the copied data into the exact same number of cells, or you will receive an error. To copy, drag and highlight the cells you want to copy, then choose “Copy” (or Ctrl+C), and highlight the same number of cells as the copied area, and choose “Paste” (Ctrl+V). Occasionally you may receive a message about the data not being the same size or shape as the selected cells. Sometimes you can simply accept the message and the data will paste normally.

Sorting in Excel: (Note: By default, the students should already be in alphabetical order by default from the export from Skyward, so you do not necessarily have to do this...) You can sort your data by columns, and also within a range of specific cells. The most common way is to sort entire columns, but the way our data is structured in this spreadsheet, column sorting will not work. In this instance, we will select all the student names and numbers by clicking and dragging over all of them.

To sort, go to the ribbon at the top and click the “Data” tab and then the “Sort” icon. A pop-up window will open. Choose to sort by column A (the A column highlighted area contains the names). Hit OK when finished. Note: Students will be sorted by first name.

Printing in Excel: Printing can sometimes be a challenge as well. Since the Excel spreadsheet is technically hundreds of columns wide and thousands of rows long, it is necessary to check exactly what we want to print. The easiest way to do this is to once again, drag and highlight the area you want to print. Then click the “Page Layout” tab in the ribbon, and then click on “Print Area,” then “Set Print Area.” You will then see a hashed line around the area that will be printed. If you want to print the gridlines, be sure to check the appropriate box under the layout tab as well (it is unchecked by default).

Click the File tab, then Print. Verify the page looks the way you want it to and that it is right number of pages. It is also very helpful to make sure under “Settings” that it is set to “Print Active Sheets.” When you are satisfied, print your document.

The gridlines are visible, Print Active Sheets is selected, the print area is correct, and the document is one page in length.

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