Random, block scheduling and student choice

Started by samantha.goddard, June 06, 2020, 05:45:33 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.



I think FET can help us do our timetable: I have been watching your videos and reading the manuals and forum posts. Thank you for all this information. I am new to timetabling and I would really like your guidance on the best of your programmes to use to suit our school.

I need to create a timetable for our Middle (G6-8) and Senior Schools (G9-12). The Middle school students are in the same class for most subjects. They have 3-4 options for Arts, Languages and Math. In the past the classes have been completely randomly scheduled.

The schedule is the same for Senior School but in Senior School the timetable is normally created on a block schedule. In Grades 9 and 10, students have many similar classes but some options. In Grades 11 and 12, students have a wide variety of choice over their subjects and we normally try to schedule so that almost every student can do all their options.

Teachers teach across both Middle and Senior Schools. We have approximately 500 students and 60 teachers. Students have already selected their courses for next year and I have this information in excel (or csv).

Am I best to:
1) Do course planning using StE1To
2) Then export from StE1To and finish the timetable in FET? I believe FET alone will be difficult to use with many student options.

Or should I use a custom version of FET instead, and if so, which one?

Thank you so much in advance for your guidance. Have a great weekend! Samantha

Liviu Lalescu


StElTo is Volker's creation entirely and unfortunately I do not know it at all. I hope he can tell you more.

I can tell you that Darren McDonald uses FET-BP with success, as the first phase, then on a second phase he uses the results of FET-BP into the official FET. Please see https://lalescu.ro/liviu/fet/custom.html , the 3rd entry, FET-BP. FET-BP means FET-Block-Planning and was hopefully designed for cases like yours. See the information about it in the link I gave you (it says also that FET-BP has a dedicated Help menu entry which you can read, and it gives the link to the forum topic on which we talked about how to implement it).

Volker Dirr

You saw the German StElTo videos with subtitle? hmm... I should do English videos also.

Both variants ((StElTo -> FET) and (FET-BP)) should be possible.
Difficult to say which one will be the best for your school. Both variants have got different advantages/disadvantages, but it is very difficult to say which one will be better for your school.
I fear we can answer that only if you try both variants.

So I recommend to just select one variant. Liviu will help if it is about FET-BP, I will help if it is about StElTo. We will both help if it is about FET.

And in best case you maybe check the other variant also and write a bit about advantages and disadvantages at your school. So we (Liviu and me) will learn more by that and improve the software some more.


Dear Liviu and Volker,
Thank you so much for your help. I believe I will try FET-BP first and I will certainly let you know how I get on. I am in touch with Darren so I will pick his brains for some guidance on this too. I really appreciate all your help. Have a great day, Samantha

Liviu Lalescu

You are welcome, Samantha! Let us know of your progress/results.