Master Class Builder Webinar Overview

Modified on Thu, Nov 2, 2023 at 3:42 PM

This is an overview of a Master Class Builder webinar/training.

It will not go into setting up requests and it will not go too in depth about running the student scheduler.

It's specifically about the set up involved with running the Master Class Builder.

NOTE: You can sign up for live webinars when they are available through Genesis via Info>Webinars.

The most important pieces when using the Master Class Builder are:

• Slots (Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Periods)
• Curriculum File setup
• Availability rules (Course, Room, Teachers)


Master Class Builder Overview

Review of 2-year scheduling feature in Genesis

  1. Genesis has two major tabs – 'Scheduling' and 'Next Year Scheduling.' 
    1. The 'Scheduling' tab refers to data for the current school year (identified by the 'School Year:' year (2022-23) at the top of the Genesis screen). 
    2. The 'Next Year Scheduling' tab, by definition, is the next school (2023-24). DO NOT CHANGE THE 'School Year' AT THE TOP!

Setup for the 'Next School Year'

  1. Click on the Next Year Scheduling>Process Control tab
  2. The first time this is done (and onlythe first time each year), you will need to enter a district start and end date for the next school year.  
    • This date does not have to be 100% accurate at this time but you will not be able to proceed until this has been done once. (See online documentation for more info on this preliminary set up.)
    • If the 'Setup next year district and school records' has already been completed, you will get to access the process control screen to enable you to copy current year scheduling data into next year.
  3. This process needs to be done for each school separately.
  4. To setup this process control screen for each school, please refer to the online documentation.
  5. If the process control screen reflects the nine (9) process control items that need to be copied from current year to next year, you need to click on the icon to the right of each line to execute the copy. 
  6. For Master Class Schedule Builder users, do NOT run the 'Copy School Master Class Schedule to Next Year' (line 2). This process must be done for each school separately.

Setup for the Master Class Schedule Builder (MCSB)


The most important piece to review is the Period setup in the Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Periods tab.   

  1. The SLOTS are the most important part here, not the names or the times. The Schedule Builder does NOT use bell period times to determine conflicts. 
  2. Each scheduling "slot" must be identified.
  3. If you have a new print period setup, please reach out to the help desk through our JIRA system. Attach the new period table for us to review.
  4. Rotating Periods do not matter for scheduling, just the Periods on Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Periods.

Note: If you are changing your print periods for the new year, please enter a help desk ticket with us to review.

The Curriculum File

This is the 2nd most important piece.

Data in the curriculum is updated/viewed on the Next Year Scheduling>Curriculum>Modify Course tab.

Note: The course codes need to be "active" to factor in. This is a checkbox on the curriculum file itself.

On the Next Year Scheduling>Curriculum>Tools tab. There are multiple mass option features that you can run. 

  • The first two options are used to set the required 'Course Length' field in each course record. 
    1. You should only use one of these options. 
    2. You will use the first option 'Assign Course Length Tool' if you are on a traditional scheduling scheme, where 5 credit courses are full year and 2.5 credit courses are semester.
    3. You will use the second option 'Assign Course Length Tool (Variation 2)' if you are on a block-scheduling scheme, where 5 credit courses are semester and 2.5 credit courses are quarters. 
    4. You should always click on the third option to 'Create Course Availability Rules'. 
    5. You should only use the fourth option 'Create Room Availability Rules' if you are NOT using room groups or assigning courses to specific rooms.  
      • This option will create an availability rule that allows every course to be scheduled into ANY room. 
    6. The fifth option will use last years master class schedule to try to determine the number of "slots" each course needs for scheduling.
  • Configuration Flags area
    • If the course is a Special Ed course, you must check it off as Spec Ed in this area (important for inclusion courses.)
    • The Academic and Elective flags are also important because of the built-in priority which is: Academic courses get scheduled before Elective courses.
    • You also need to set the course credits which is needed for the mass assign tool to work.
  • Scheduling Related area
    • Make sure the cycle set is entered. So, if you have an ABCD scheduling cycle, make sure that is selected in this field for courses.
    • Note: only ONE cycle set is used in the Master Class Builder. If they have 2 cycle sets and create availability rules, then there will end up being two availability rules for each course. You can add in the second cycle AFTER you are done scheduling
  • Master Class Schedule Builder Related area
    • If the course is an inclusion course, you must link it in this area, using the “Inclusion Course Link” fields. 
      • When you link the inclusion courses, the requests from the inclusion course get added to the totals in the main course.
      • There may be a warning by the “Estimated Sections Needed” field. You will need to use the “Override Sections Needed” to resolve this and to get all the sections you need.
      • You may also need to use the “Override Sections Needed” field if you have a lack of resources, such as Teachers or Rooms etc for the specific course.
      • Note:  the default seats for the inclusion and regular ed courses cannot be the same or no one will get scheduled for these courses. So, the regular ed course could have 20 seats and the inclusion course can have between 9 and 10 seats.
    • Note: Only ONE special ed course can be linked to a regular ed course but there is essentially no limit on linking regular ed courses to other regular ed courses.
    • The “Build Order Priority” dropdown can be used to set a Higher priority on certain courses (such as AP courses) so that the MCB will try and schedule them before the others. The default priority = Medium.
    • Phys Ed course set up info. 
      • On the main course, select the Health course in the “This Phys ED will drop 1 quarter for this course” field.
      • You can typically let the MCB decide when to schedule the health period, unless the grade level is set to take Driver’s Ed in a specific quarter. You can then select that quarter in the “Drop out this quarter” field.
    • Schedule Sections Evenly Across Course Length: You would use this if you have a lot of semester electives and want to try to equalize the number of electives taught first semester and second semester. This ONLY works for semester and quarter courses.
    • Lab Link Course: You would use this if you have one section for science and one for lab
    • Semester Course Link: This is a way to link two courses in the same period across semesters (ex: you take Public Speaking first semester and TV&Radio second semester)
  • Restrictions 
    • Student Restrictions: you can set student restrictions  so that the Master Class Builder will notschedule the students together. 
      • This can be set up via Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Restrictions>Student Restrictions
      • A potential issue may come up with SINGLETON courses with student restrictions. You should check off “Ignore Student Restrictions” on the Curriculum file to resolve this.
    • Course Restrictions:  You can add this to set up 2 courses that should not be scheduled together in the same semester 
      • This is set up via Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Restrictions>Course Restrictions
    • Teacher/Student  Restrictions: This is to prevent a course taught by a teacher to not be scheduled with a specific student. 
      • This is set up via Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Restrictions>Student Teacher Restrictions.

Availability Rules

All rooms, teachers, and courses must have their "availability" rules setup. This is needed to get the Master Class Builder to actually attempt and schedule everything. Genesis has created a 'Tools' tab in each of the tabs to enable you to mass assign rules.

Room Availability rules 

  1. Room groups can be setup for the purpose of associating selected rooms to be used in scheduling as a group.  
    • You can set up multiple rooms for a specific group. For example, rooms 101,102,103,104,201,210,330 are all meant for BIOLOGY courses, so you would add them to a Biology group.
    • Rooms can be tied to multiple groups. Room 101 can be in a Biology group and a Math group.
    • Courses will be assigned multiple rooms that the computer can select from OR a room group where you have pre-determined the rooms the computer can use. 
    • To setup room groups, click on the Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Rooms>Groups tab. At the bottom of the screen, you can add as many "groups" as you want by assigning them a 'group code' and a group description
  2. After all your room groups have been setup, you can modify each room and assign that room to one or more groups. 
    • You add rooms to “Groups” from the individual room – via Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Rooms>Class Rooms>Modify Room. You check off the groups in the “Group” area as needed.
    • If you need to adjust the availability rules for any room, you can delete the generic availability rule and create your own (example: room 158 is only available 1st semester).
    • Can teachers get a specific room? No, the MCB just looks at the setup and applies rooms as needed. The built-in priority = sections over a preferred room for a teacher.
  3. Room groups can also be assigned to departments. Click on the Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Deptsand click on the modify icon on the right for each department.  
    • This would mean that all courses in a department would have the same room availability rule. 
    • When setting room availability rules on a course in school curriculum, you can either use specific rooms or room groups for that course or specify that the department rules prevail. 
    • Department rules do NOT have to be used.
  4. You need to set Availability Rules to rooms as well. This is when the specific ROOM is available throughout the day.
    • Tools are found on the Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Rooms>Tools tab. 
    • On the Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Rooms>Toolstab, there is a “Assign rooms an availability rule” tool you can run.  
      • This tool will for all rooms that do not have an availability rule; create one for the FY; any period. 
      • It adds the default rule to all rooms. You can then modify individual rooms as needed.
      • This tool sets a default rule for all the rooms. IE: the room is available any day and any time.
    • If you have rooms on the room file that you do NOT want the computer to use for scheduling (ie-cafeteria, auditorium, etc), you can delete or disable the availability rule in the Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Rooms>Modify Room screen.
    • If a room is only available periods 5 to 8 – you can add that rule to the specific room. The MCB will only attempt to schedule it in those periods.
    • If you need to set a room as fully not available, delete out the default rule. With no rule added, it will not get scheduled at all.
    • Groups and Availability Rules are the 2 important pieces for setting up rooms. Make sure to have this data as accurate as possible.

Teacher Availability rules:

There are tools available for setting up teacher availability rules via Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Teachers>Tools.

  • The “Assign Teacher's course from previous year's master class schedule” might be used by the district if the school just needs to copy the teacher rules forward from last year.
      • This tool: 
        • Deletes existing list of courses a teacher can teach in 2023-24.
        • Examines every subsection in 2022-23
        • If both the teacher and course exist in 2023-24 then the teacher will be added to the list for that course in 2023-24.
        • A potential issue might arise if the scheduling cycle set changed from MTWRF to ACBD between school years, as those fields get copied over as well
  • The “Assign all teachers without availability rules an availability rule for 2023-24” will allow you to simply add the default rule to all teachers.

    • This will create an availability rule for FY, all cycles, all periods.

    • You can still adjust specific teachers as needed after adding the default rule.

  • You can use the “Copy teacher Scheduling Parameters from 2022-23 into 2023-24” to copy params forward as well. 
    • You choose which fields to copy from the previous year:
      • Preferred Room
      • Max. Slots in a row for classes
      • Min. Slots for classes in a day
      • Max number of students in a class
      • Max number of students per day
      • Max. Slots for classes in a day
      • Does not require an available lunch period
  • You also have the “Set default values for teachers in 2020-21 with no values set for” tool to set a rule for new teachers who have no rules set up yet.
  • You can also set/view availability rules via Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Teachers>List Teachers>Modify Teacher.
    • You can view the default availability rule here and update it as needed.
    • You can also view/modify the courses they are set up to teach in “Courses that this teacher can teach” area.
    • You can cap the amount of sections for each course with the “Max # of sections” field.
    • You can use the 1-12 grid to specific if a course should meet 1 time in 1 and a 2nd time in 2 etc.
    • You can add new courses to this list as needed for teachers.
  • If you have staff that will not be used as a teacher in scheduling (superintendent, principal, vice principal, guidance, etc) you will need to delete these availability records from those staff members individually 
    1. You can modify the settings for any staff member. Click on the Next Year Scheduling>Setup>Teachers and click on the modify icon on the right for each teacher. 
    2. Here is how the screen will look:
  • Definitions of 'Scheduling Parameters':
      1. 'Preferred Room' – select a room that the teacher would prefer to teach in. There is no guarantee that this room will be used but the system will attempt it first if this room is also in the list if available rooms for the course.
      2. 'Maximum slots in a row for classes' – would indicate the maximum number of classes a teacher could teach in a row without an empty slot. This is usually determined by teacher contract.
      3. 'Min. slots for classes in a day' – would indicate the minimum number of classes a teacher could teach in a day. This is usually determined by teacher contract.
      4. 'Maximum number of students in a class' – would indicate the maximum number of students that a teacher can teach in one class/section. This is usually determined by teacher contract.
      5. 'Maximum number of students per day' – would indicate the maximum number of students a teacher could teach in a day. This is usually determined by teacher contract.
      6. 'Maximum slots for classes in a day' – would indicate the maximum number of classes a teacher could teach in a day. This is usually determined by teacher contract.
      7. Adding availability rules:
        • On the room, teacher, or course screen, you can add and delete availability rules. 

        • To delete an existing availability rule, click on the delete icon on the right of the rule.

        • To add an availability rule, leave the 'Enforcement Option' to 'Strict'. Select a 'From' and 'Thru' semester option. Example, if only available semester 1, select 'S1' for both 'From' and 'Thru'. Enter the numeric "slot" numbers for the 'From' and 'Thru' slot.

        • As an example, if you are on a traditional 8 period day and a Phys. Ed. Teacher is also a coach and not available semester 1, period 8, you would create two availability rules for that teacher. The first availability rule would indicate that he is available semesters from 'S1' thru 'S1' and available slots from '1' thru '7'. The second availability rule would indicate that he is available semesters from 'S2' thru 'S2' and available slots from '1' thru '8'.

        • On the teacher modify screen, you can add and delete specific courses that the teacher can teach.

        • To delete an existing course, click on the delete icon on the right of the course.

        • To add a course to the list that teacher can teach, select the course from the drop-down box. You can enter the maximum number of sections this teacher can be scheduled into.

        • If the course is a semester or quarter course, you can specify how many sections you want scheduled in each semester or quarter. (Only boxes 1 and 2 are used for semester courses and boxes 1,2,3, and 4 for quarter courses.)

Course Availability Rules

These parameters get set in the Curriculum file via Next Year Scheduling>Curriculum>Modify Course

  1. You can add teachers to the course in the “Teachers that can teach this” area. 
    • Some districts will add teachers to a course or a course to a teacher.
    • When it’s added in either spot, both tabs are updated automatically in Genesis anyway.
  2. You can set room rules in the “Room Availability Rules” area. 
    • You can add specific groups
    • You can set times where it’s available (it defaults to any day/time etc.
  3. We have some tools for updated course rules as well via Next Year Scheduling>Curriculum>Tools. 
    • Please note not ALL tools are tied to the MCB in this tab.
    • The “Assign Course Length Tool” tool is the default tool – FY course would be  > 2.5 Credits; a Semester would = = 2.5 Credits etc. 
      • Existing course length that follow above rules are overwritten
      • If an existing course's credits do not match above rules then it is skipped
    • The “Assign Course Length Tool (Variation 2)” tool allows you to copy course length from the first section of same course in 2019-20
    • There is also a tool available for districts to push out a Custom setting – this is the “Assign Course Length Tool (custom)” tool.  You can enter the values for each code and push it out.
    • We have the “Create course availability rules” tool – it creates a rule for the course to always be available.
    • Typically, you should not run the “Create course room availability rules” because you should go through each room and set up the availability rules and the groups etc. But it is a tool that pushes out a default availability rule to ALL rooms, and creates a room rule for the course to be able to use any room. 
      • The only place where you add a GROUP to a ROOM is on the Room itself.
    • We have a new tool that can update all the scheduling cycles to a NEW one if you made a change between school years. This is the “Update Next Year Curriculum Course Cycle Set” tool.

Running the Master Class Schedule Builder

Student Requests

The Schedule Builder is dependent on student requests being in Genesis. (See online documentation for more info.)

Course requests are required for the MCB to work. The builder needs requests in place to run.

However, districts can start working on availability rules and print periods in Next Year Scheduling immediately, before the student course requests are in place.

(If needed, you can review the link above - or review the various other Next Year Scheduling wikis on this.)

Running the MCB

The Master Class Builder will typically fail when you run out of resources - IE. teachers and/or rooms are at capacity.

The Master Class Builder is set up to minimize STUDENT CONFLICTS. It focuses on setting up a schedule for students - not teachers/rooms etc.

If you copied over your sections on the Process Control tab, and you are using the Master Class Builder, you should delete that out. Sections are what get created by the MCB, typically.

If you copied it over, you can delete them out via Next Year Scheduling>Mass Schedule>Maintenance tab, in the “Master Class Schedule” area.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are not using the MCB and are just using the Student Scheduler, do not use the tool mentioned above! It deletes all the sections in the sections table.

You have options you may select when running the MCB via Next Year Scheduling>Mass Schedule>Master Class Builder>Builder

  1. You run the Master Class Builder on the Next Year Scheduling>Mass Schedule>Master Class Builder tab. Each time you run the builder routine, Genesis will create a new "master" that you can use in the Next Year Scheduling>Mass Schedule>Student Scheduler tab.  
    1. The builder tab just builds a class master. It does NOT schedule students. 
    2. After reviewing the results of a builder run, you need to use the Next Year Scheduling>Mass Schedule>Student Scheduler tab to load students into that master.
  2. Builder options (checked box means YES): 
    1. The 'Passes' field is where you say how many times the MCB should go through everything to find the best output.  
      • 1 = the fastest, as it goes through it all one time. 
      • 10 = take a bit longer, as it goes through everything 10 times.
    2. 'Assign Rooms' – do you want the builder to use the room availability rules to assign rooms to all class/sections?
    3. 'Assign Teachers' - do you want the builder to use the teacher availability rules to assign teachers to all class/sections?
    4. 'Include Lab Link' - Set on the Curriculum course, links a lab to a course to prioritize scheduling together. If you are using a Rotating Drop Schedule, you do not need to use this option.
    5. 'Include <next_year> master' – enables you to manually add specific class/sections to your next year master class schedule using the Next Year Scheduling>Sections or Next Year Scheduling>Master Class Scheduletab.
      1. If you add class/sections to the <next_year> class master manually, the builder will ignore that course and NOT build any sections for that course.
      2. This can be used to "lock" certain class/sections into a specific semester, period, days, room, and/or teacher.
      3. Do NOT check this box if you copied your current year class master into next year scheduling.
    6. 'Exclude courses that have zero requests' – the builder will NOT schedule class/sections for courses with a tally = 0.  
      1. If you leave this check-box blank, Genesis will try to create class/sections for every course with rules in the school curriculum.
    7. 'Spread days over the cycle (Example: AC preferred to AB in an ABCD cycle set)': Leave this box checked.  
      1. This will encourage the builder to spread out course sections across period instead of having them grouped together.
    8. 'Include Semester Link' - Set on the Curriculum course, prioritizes scheduling these courses together if they should meet at same period/days but in different semesters.
    9. 'Use Build Order Priority”'- Set on the Curriculum course, when courses are sorted those with higher priorities are put first. Default = MEDIUM.
    10. 'Analyze with Student Scheduler': Leave this box checked;
    11. Click on 'Run Builder with these options'. Genesis will use all the parameters and rules to create a master class schedule that can be used to schedule students.  
      1. Each builder run will assign a "master" run number in the format <run number – date – time – schedule options> that will be used in the Next Year Scheduling>Mass Schedule>Student Scheduler tab to schedule students.

Analyzing the results of a Master Class Builder run

You should look at the percentages of scheduled kids to see how much work needs to be done to resolve conflicts/issues.

You can review errors in the setup – the things that cannot get scheduled. You will then need to modify curriculum courses etc as needed and re-run the builder.

The individual subtabs from Next Year Scheduling>Mass Schedule>Master Class Builder allows you to review the rules/data.

If you know a specific course NEEDS to be in a specific period, you should build it into the Sections table. For example, BAND needs to be a Period 8, add that as a specific section.

  • The MCB will see this and skip over the course.
  • You will need to run the MCB with the “Include 2020-21 master” option as you run, if you start to add in specific sections like this.
  • The MCB will still create a section if they’re needed. For example, if it’s looking for 4 sections, and you create 3 manually, the MCB will still create 1 section when it’s run.

Scheduling Students

There are 3 steps to creating student schedules.

1. Burn the Master
2. Run the Student Scheduler
3. Lock in a scheduling run / Finalize the schedule

To run the Student Scheduler (via Next Year Scheduling>Mass Schedule>Student Scheduler) – you need to select the specific Builder Run first in the “Use this master” dropdown.

  • The “Regular Master” is what is in the Sections table. If you’re still running the MCB and you have not burned a master, the “Regular Master” is not what you need here. You need to select the specific MCB run you’re working with.
  • When you run the scheduler with a MCB selected, you might see warnings, such as an “invalid courses” warning. This typically means you need to go back to the MCB run and tweak it/fix it. 
  • An “Invalid Course” warning will typically point you to inactive courses etc, which are simply getting skipped. MCB skips inactive courses.

Burn the Master

After you tweak everything (availability rules etc) and your percentages are as close to 100 as you can get ,you can BURN THE MASTER (this is on the Next Year Scheduling>Mass Schedule>Builder side.)

  • This takes the sections from MCB run and places it IN the Sections table.
  •  It deletes everything in the Sections table and copies the sections from the MCB back in.
  • NEW FEATURE – when you burn to master, we will archive the sections as a BACKUP, so a district can restore if needed. Rare, but might be needed.
  • After you BURN TO MASTER, it becomes the REGULAR MASTER when you run the Student Scheduler. 
    • You can then still tweak the sections, but it’d be from Next Year Scheduling>Sections at this point. You wouldn’t be working in the MCB at this point, because it has been burned in.

Run the Student Scheduler

  1. Click on the Next Year Scheduling>Mass Schedule>Student Scheduler tab. This screen will enable you to run the Genesis student scheduler routine.  
    1. Genesis will save the results of any run with a "run number" with a format of <today's date-nnn> where 'nnn' is the number of times you ran it on that date.
  2. These are the options available when running the Student Scheduler
    1. 'Select Grade Levels' - lets you select one or more next year grade levels to schedule. Although you can schedule by grade level, you CANNOT save the results of scheduling by grade level. Your final scheduling run will need to be for ALL grade levels in order to save student schedules.
    2. 'Unlimited Seats Mode' – you should use this option carefully because it will only create real student conflicts and will NOT conflict students because of seat count limitations.
    3. 'Force Gender Balancing' – this option will attempt to balance class/sections by gender, however, it will not sacrifice a student schedule to maintain gender balance.
    4. 'Use this master' – the 'Regular Master' option is used to point to the master class schedule that you have created/maintained in the Next Year Scheduling>Master Class Schedule OR Next Year Scheduling>Sections tabs.  
      1. This is the master that is created by copying the class master from the previous year or "burning" a master class builder class master. 
      2. If you want to use a master class builder run, you will select one of the master class builder masters (which start with a numeric value) from the drop-down box.

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