Reserve the Black Box Theatre Through Outlook

The Black Box Theatre is open for business! Reserve this space for your classes through your Outlook calendar, just like any other meeting space on campus. Katrina walks you through it in the video below.

The Transformative Microsoft Translator

Microsoft’s Translator app has the potential to transform how we do parent-teacher communication at this school. It has interpretation features that translate spoken or typed text in real time! While it won’t replace a real-life interpreter, it’s handy in situations like SLCs when there isn’t one on hand. Better parent-teacher communication means more parent buy-in and involvement, resulting in better student achievement.

Watch how it works below.

How to Mail Merge a List of Incompletes with Word and Outlook 2016

Sending emails home about Incompletes or Not Yets doesn’t have to be a chore. Learn how you can mostly automate the process in less than ten minutes by watching the guide above (NCPA login required due to presence of student information).

Office for Mac Now Does Real-Time Co-Authoring!

Office for Mac now lets you co-author in real time just like the online version! (Read more at Arstechnica.) To enable this functionality, update your Office apps by opening any of them, go to the Help menu, and choose Check for Updates. After updating, you will be able to open documents and change them with other people at the same time. Note that the other users ALSO need to be on the latest version if they are also using the Mac apps.

Excel Tips

​At this week’s after school PD, we learned to use Excel to manipulate text and numbers with formulas and array formulas and look up information/fill in information automatically with VLOOKUP and LOOKUP.

For manipulating text and numbers, use these formulas:

  • CONCATENATE, CONCAT, “”&”” – combine two or more cells, strings, or numbers
  • LEFT, RIGHT, MID – take X characters from the left, middle, or right of a cell
  • UPPER, LOWER – convert a cell to upper or lower case

We also learned about these Excel features:

  • Inserting columns and rows
  • Filtering and sorting (under the Data tab) to make large spreadsheets easier to read
  • Splitting into columns by delimiter use Text to Columns, also under the data tab
  • Freeze panes to make a row and/or column always show, even when you scroll right or downHide columns/sheets
  • Filling by dragging the square in the bottom-left of a cell
  • Dollar sign use in formulas to use an absolute reference to a cell
  • When you begin typing a formula, Excel will show a pop-up explaining the syntax you need to follow

Finally, we used VLOOKUP to automatically retrieve information about students based on a key value, such as their student ID number.

Contact Matt directly to get the practice workbook.

Office for Mac Fast Insiders Enables Real-Time Co-Authoring in Desktop Apps

The desktop Office apps are more powerful than their Online counterparts, but the current release doesn’t support the real-time co-authoring that helps us collaborate. Luckily, you can opt into the “Fast Insiders” version that enables this key feature. While it’s technically an unsupported release, feedback from users so far is that it’s stable and gets rid of those “locked for editing” errors that happen when multiple users use the regular desktop apps.

Get instructions on signing up direct from Microsoft’s support site:

Student OneDrive Adoption Rates Climb

At the end of October, we noticed that many students had very few files in their OneDrive. The percentage of students with fewer than six files in their OneDrive reached as high as 66% for some grade levels. Since OneDrive use is critical for students’ abilities to create and collaborate, the English and Chinese departments collaborated with Matt K to create a 15-minute lesson on syncing with OneDrive, using the Outlook app on phones, and accessing the school calendar at

As of November 29, OneDrive use has climbed steadily due to most students using the OneDrive sync client to store and back up files from their Macbooks to OneDrive:

% of students not actively using OneDrive (have <6 files)

​Grade Oct 24​ ​Nov 29
​12 ​47% ​26%
​11 ​46% ​21%
​10 ​66% ​28%
​9 ​25% ​6%

We hope this is making it easier for students to collaborate and work productively in your classes. Thanks again to the courses and teachers in the Chinese and English departments who contributed their instructional time to make it happen!