Frequently Asked Questions

What is Class Composer?

Class Composer is an online software program for elementary schools. Our vision is to create positive learning environments. Our mission is to help elementary schools make better student placement decisions more efficiently.

Are there any hidden fees?

No. For $699/year your whole school gets access to all of the features and capabilities of Class Composer including support.

How hard is it to learn to use? Do we need any special training?

We made the software intuitive and user-friendly so the learning curve is easy. Our user guides, short training videos, and in-app tutorials allow you to get started on your own without any additional training.

How does the class creation process work?

The process starts with classroom teachers. Individually, classroom teachers enter their roster and assess their students on the Student Cards. Collectively, the grade level teachers compose the new classes for the grade level above them for next year. When they are done they will send the newly composed classes to administration. Administration will review, make any possible changes, and then finalize class lists.

What happens after the new class lists are finalized by administration?

Our system transitions to current year use. Classroom teachers receive their new classes in their Classroom View. They can quickly learn about their new students from the Student Cards filled in by last year’s teacher.

Teachers can then start assessing their students for the new school year. The Digital Data Wall will show all the student information for the entire grade level for the new year. Previous year student information can be accessed from the Digital Data Wall also.

Then at the end of the school year classes can be created again for the next school year. The cycle repeats.

Is the historical record on students saved?

Yes. Teachers and administration will have access to the historical record of every student.

Can we customize the program to fit our needs?

Yes. You can create your own unique identifiers and assessment fields during the initial setup process. These will appear in the Student Card and in the Digital Data Wall.

We use the RTI (Response to Intervention) model. Can we track and account for the different RTI levels for all of our students in Class Composer?

Yes. Create custom identifiers like RT1 for Tier 1, RT2 for Tier 2, etc.

The ability to create custom identifiers is a flexible and effective tool to track and account for what matters most in your school. Some possible uses: Any intervention group where students receive instruction outside the classroom:
  1. Mary’s Reading Group - MRG
  2. Ethnicity: Asian American - ASA
  3. Health concerns: Allergies - ALG

Can we import student data into Class Composer?

Not yet. We are working to add this capability to our Version 2.0. Since elementary schools store student information in a variety of formats and systems creating a simple and reliable way to import data will take some more development time on our part.

Even without this capability you will save a significant amount of time. This is a quote from a teacher after using Class Composer to create classes: “Loved everything about it. It used to take our kindergarten team an entire morning to do what CC did in just a few minutes. Remarkable!”

Is there a way we can have the teacher names hidden to lessen bias?

No. For the placement request feature to work classroom teacher names need to be visible.

The old way of creating classes allowed bias to be hidden since it was so difficult to compare the equity among classes in a grade level. With Class Composer bias is much more difficult to hide. If any criteria is out of balance it can easily be seen on the data table on the compose screen and then fixed by clicking and dragging Student Cells into other classes.

How does the placement requests work?

Classroom teachers can enter one of three requests on the Student Card: keep with teacher, keep with another student, or do not place with another student. Once they are selected the algorithm will honor these requests. Placement requests can be overridden on the compose screen.

Placement requests are are optional but we feel they can make a big difference for certain students.

What information is required to be entered on the Student Card?

Academic (reading, writing, and math) and Life Skills (behavior and work skills) ratings are required to enable the algorithm to run. Assessments, Identifiers, Notes, and Placement Requests are optional.

Why do you use a 9 - 1 academic rating scale?

We feel a 9 - 1 scale gives educators the option to be more precise when assessing students. For example, when a child is rated a three (proficient) as a reader on a standards based grading scale of 4 - 1 it’s difficult to tell if this child is a barely proficient reader or a strong proficient reader. In our system a four designates a barely proficient reader while a six designates a strong proficient reader.

Why should we use the Digital Data Wall to track student data throughout the year when we have our own system to do this?

Oftentimes the student information you care about is stored in different locations and in different formats. Our system allows you to have one place to access, share, and use the student information you care about. Learn more: Year Round Value: Digital Data Wall

This is a review from Catherine, who is a teacher in California, after seeing our initial prototype at an EdSurge Summit: “Each year we make cards for kids to help create classes. The cards contain academic as well as behavior issues. The cards are used to create classes then not used beyond September. Then we use different tools to discuss the same information on the students in a cumbersome multi platform way as the year continues. I would store intervention data both academically and behaviorally as the student travels through the year. At the end of the year, the card could be used to form the next years class and continue with the student and be an active document not just a static one like the paper cards we have now.”
See all the reviews:
EdSurge Reviews

How does the free trial work?

The free trial is a true pilot with real student data. You will have access to the full functionality of the program which will allow the creation of new classes for the next academic year for one grade level.

How do we get started with the free trial?

As the school representative click on the Try for Free button on our home page. Follow the step-by-step instructions to enter the registration and setup information for your school. Here is a helpful guide to get you started: Free Trial Quick Start Guide

Note: the email entered for the school representative is considered an administrator in the program which has a different role than a classroom teacher. The email entered for the school representative can’t be the same as a classroom teachers.

Then the trial grade level teachers will receive an email from Class Composer inviting them to create their password login. Then, they can Log In (button is on top right of our home page) and they will be guided to start the process.

As an administrator you will be automatically redirected to your dashboard. When the trial grade level teachers have completed the class creation process you will be able to view the newly composed classes.

It’s helpful to check out the user guides and the short video tutorials before you start. These are located on the Support section of our home page.

We would like to do the free trial and create new classes for next year but it’s not the end of the year. Is there a way to revert the trial grade level to current year use on the Digital Data Wall after they have sent the newly created classes up to administration?

Yes. From the administration dashboard click on this button:

This will allow the grade level teachers who did the trial to continue to use the Digital Data Wall for current year use. Then at the end of the year they can create classes again.

Will our setup information be lost if we upgrade to a paid subscription?

No. All the setup and registration information will remain along with the newly composed classes completed by the trial grade level. Upgrading will give you access to the program for all your grade levels.

How do we upgrade to a full subscription?

On the left side of the administration dashboard you will see an Upgrade Now button. Select this button to enter the payment information. Then enter the rest of your teachers and assign them to classrooms. Here are the detailed instructions to do this: Upgrade Instructions

Can we pay by check?

Yes. Contact us by email and we can send you an invoice.