Flex Scheduling is the future of scheduling for all Aeries customers.  Flex Scheduling allows the ability to have unlimited numbers of class periods and multiple staff to any section.  

Why should we switch to Flex Scheduling?

Flex Scheduling provides a creative way to build a Master Schedule (MST).  Districts are no longer limited to ten designated periods in a day. Features of Flex Scheduling include:

  • Unlimited number of class periods
  • Overlapping starting times for classes
  • Highly flexible and configurable Class Calendars (CCL and CCD)
  • Grade level class scheduling
  • Highly manageable section assignments for teachers and school staff
  • Attendance is associated to each section and the designated meeting time and day
  • Fewer limitations on a Master Schedule (MST)

Is there a fee associated with using Flex Scheduling?  

There is no charge for using Flex Scheduling. We are encouraging all districts to transition to Flex Scheduling by the 2022/2023, but there will still be support for traditional scheduling after that time frame. However, all training, webinars and documentation will be transitioned to the Flex Scheduling option.  It is possible to set up Flex Scheduling in a sandbox environment for your district in order to 'test-drive' it and see all the benefits it will offer you as far as flexibility. 

What school types does Flex Scheduling apply to?  

Flex Scheduling is for everyone; Elementary and Secondary schools can utilize it.

What if we don't need overlapping periods or creative scheduling, should we still use Flex Scheduling? 

Flex Scheduling will eventually be the Aeries scheduling process, so we encourage everyone to begin now to learn about it and make plans to transition. Although we will support traditional scheduling in the 2022/2023 school year, we will at some point transition fully over to Flex Scheduling. With Flex Scheduling, periods can be created and class meeting times established. Even if there are no changes to a current Master Schedule (MST) setup, schools should transition to Flex Scheduling and build the same basic configurations with Flex Periods (FTF) and a Class Calendar (CCL).  

Does Flex Scheduling support multiple start times and bell schedules for grade levels during the school day? 

Flex Scheduling was designed to support varied grade-level periods and creative scheduling practices. Flex Periods (FTF) can be created for each grade level and assigned to the designated sections for the corresponding grade level.  

Can we plan to use Flex Scheduling for next year if we didn't use Flex Scheduling this year? 

Flex Scheduling for the next school year can be initiated this year in the Scheduling Setup Options process. 

  • If the Scheduling Master Schedule (SMS) is newly created each year, use the Use Flex Scheduling for Next Year option on the Scheduling Setup page to begin building a master schedule. All of the SMS Board functionality is available for Flex Scheduling. This option is available to all school types including Elementary and Elementary with Master.

  • If the Scheduling Master Schedule (SMS) is copied from the current Master Schedule (MST), use the Scheduling students into classes for the next school year, using their grade level next year option on the Scheduling Setup page to begin building a Master Schedule (MST). 
  • Use the Convert to Flex Scheduling process to convert the existing traditional SMS to a Flex SMS. See Scheduling Setup-Convert to Flex Scheduling documentation.

What will be different if we transition to Flex Scheduling?  

Several pages will display differently and pull data from different tables:

  • Flex Periods (FTF) are created and assigned on a section - standard ten periods will no longer be available
  • Flex Periods (FTF) will display as periods or time slots on the sections and Classes (SEC) page  
  • Class Calendars (CCL/CCD) determine class meeting days - days of the week no longer display on the section
  • Alternative bell schedules (minimum days, assembly day, etc.) are configured on the Flex Period in the Bell scheduler using custom flex times (FTT). The custom flex times can then be assigned to particular days on a school calendar.
  • Class Calendars (CCL/CCD) and Flex Periods (FTF) determine when a class meets - the Block Schedule Calendar is no longer available
  • Teachers will be assigned to sections from the district-wide Staff (STF) table instead of the school-specific Teacher (TCH) table  
  • Section Staff Members (SSE/SSM) lists assigned staff and associated permissions (Grade Reporting, Gradebook, Attendance, State Reporting, etc.) 
  • The Flex SMS Board displays time slots to allow for viewing overlapping periods - traditional periods will no longer display.

Does Flex Scheduling change how we manage teachers and staff in the Master Schedule?  

The Staff (STF) table is used instead of the Teacher (TCH) table. This eliminates the need for managing the Teacher (TCH) table. Additionally, Flex Scheduling allows for highly-manageable section assignments for teachers and school supportive staff; multiple staff can be assigned to each section, and each classroom teacher or aide can have specific permissions to Attendance, Gradebook, Grade Report, and Student Data, as appropriate.


Does Flex Scheduling work with our 3rd Party products?  

There is wide support for vendor integrations that support Flex Scheduling. In fact, API integrations, including Aeries API and OneRoster, natively support Flex Scheduling.

Can we test Flex Scheduling first?  

We are providing all Hosted districts with an additional sandbox that can be used by district and site staff to try Flex Scheduling before enabling it in your live Aeries database. Watch for information coming out in January 2022 with the details.

How can we convert our Master Schedule to Flex Scheduling?  

In order to ease the transition of converting traditional scheduling data to Flex Scheduling, a conversion process has been added on the Scheduling Setup page. This process replaces the need for running the Initialization SQL Scripts. The process to convert to Flex Scheduling can also be run in the new year database after the rollover if the school is currently using traditional scheduling and there are no MST records.

The Convert to Flex Scheduling section will display for districts under the following conditions:

If scheduling for next year:

  • The Feature Flag for Flex Scheduling has been enabled
  • The school has selected the Scheduling Setup option: Scheduling students into classes for the next school year, using their grade level next year (not the Use Flex Scheduling for Next Year option) 
  • The school has at least one SMS record (the Copy current master schedule (MST) table to new SMS table process can accomplish this)

If scheduling for the current year after the New Year Rollover:

  • The Feature Flag for Flex Scheduling has been enabled
  • The School Options > Scheduling Type field is NOT set to Flexible
  • The school has the following Scheduling Setup option selected: Scheduling students into classes for the current school year
  • MST records cannot exist prior to using this conversion process

How can we learn more about Flex Scheduling?   

Aeries Support has detailed documentation for Flex Scheduling.

How can we get training on implementing Flex Scheduling?  

The Training Department has a comprehensive plan to support districts as they transition to Flex Scheduling.  Please email training@aeries.com for additional information.