Instructions‎ > ‎

School Mode

How does school mode work?

If gClassFolders is run in school mode, each student will get two root folders shared with them, which will be used for the career of the student at the school.

LastName, FirstName Active Classes
--Contains all current class folders--

LastName, FirstName Archived Classes
--Contains all old class assignment folders--

Each teacher will also get two root folders, which will be used indefinitely to house their active and archived classes: Active Classes
--Contains all current class folders-- Archived Classes
--Contains all archived class folders, including all subfolders--

School Mode is meant to be run from a "Role Account" -- a non person-specific account dedicated to managing and archiving all student course work over multiple semesters or years. School mode is a better choice for multiple teachers, and helps organize all student work into career portfolios.  What you see below is what is produced by school mode, as seen from the student and teacher view.

 What a student will see in school mode:

 What a teacher will see in school mode:


  • Important:  Make sure you are logged into a "Role Account" (i.e. an account that is not tied to a person, but called something like "") when you install gClassFolders.  This is important because school mode will potentially get used over multiple semesters, and it becomes the owner of a lot of extra container folders that you do not want sitting in your user account.
  • Use the link at the top of this page, or search in the template gallery for gClassFolders and create a new document.
  • When copying gClassFolders via "File->Make a copy," you will need to wait 20-30 seconds for the script to copy into the new Spreadsheet.  Refresh your browser and you should see a custom menu item to the right of the Help menu above about 5 seconds after you refresh.
  • From the gClassFolders menu, select "Initial settings."  You will be prompted to authorize the script, along with some boilerplate scary language about the script publishing itself to the web as a service.  Learn more about why this warning exists.
  • Select your preferred language and indicate any custom name conventions you want to use for folders (e.g. do you want Assignment Folders to be called "Dropboxes" instead?), and choose "School Mode."  
  • First time users will be prompted to opt in as EDU users for the purposes of our Google Analytics usage tracking.  No personally identifiable information is ever captured in our tracking process.  We track purely for the purposes of fundraising to support this work.
  • You will now be prompted to publish gClassFolders as a web app.  Follow the on-screen instructions exactly and you will have enabled gClassFolders to send custom emails to all new students and teachers containing a link that will automatically put their "Active" and "Archived" class folders into "My Drive."  Don't worry, these emails aren't sent until the create folders option is run, and they are only sent once (the first time a new student or teacher is discovered).

  • The column headings in the gClassRosters sheet should now be automatically populated with the following headers, unless you have customized the Class or Period designations in the language settings: 
    • Student First Name
    • Student Last Name
    • Student Email
    • Class Name - each unique class name will
    • Period ~Optional~ - each unique period will generate a separate folder for student assignment folders
    • Teacher Email(s) - can contain multiple, separated by commas

Generating class folders

  • Populate the class list information for each student in each class you want to create folders.  You can always add students to existing classes at a later time, or add entirely new classes.  It might be a good idea to start by trying the script with a few test accounts, or try it out on a professional development group, and create only one class, so you can play around and understand how everything lays out.
  • Run the "Create new folders and shares" and the script should slowly start populating Folder Ids in the right hand columns, and it will give a status message for each new teacher and student folder created.
  • Adding new students is as simple as adding them into classes and running again.  
  • Removing, moving, adding teachers, and school aides can be done from the "Perform bulk operations on selected student(s)" menu.

Bulk Operations in School Mode

  • Select a range of cells containing students and choose the "Perform bulk operations on selected student(s)" option and you will see a number of options.
    • Remove from class - will remove the student from having access to any of the Class View/Edit folders, will remove the class from the student's "Active Classes" folder, and will move their assignments folder into their "Archived Classes" folder.
    • Add a teacher - will add the designated teacher email address to all periods of the class and their view, edit, teacher, and assignment folders. It's generally best to just work with one selected class at a time.
    • Add a school aide - will give a designated aide student level access to the designated email address on Class View and Class Edit folders, as well as the student assignment folder for the selected student(s).
    • Move assignment folder - will move the student's assignment folder to another Class and/or Period.  Great for dealing with the inevitable scheduling changes that cause kids to move between sections or teachers of the same course.

Quota Limitations

  • gClassfolders uses Google Apps Script, which places quotas on the total number of times a script can call various services per hour or within 24 hours.   Scripts are also limited to run for only 6 minutes at time.
  • If you are running gClassFolders for the first time, for a large number of students (>200 or so), expect that you will eventually hit the following limitations:
    • Runtime longer than 6 min:  The script was built to automatically re-start and pick up where it left off, so this should not be an issue.  If after 5-10 minutes you notice that the script appears to have stopped making folders, just restart it from the menu.  Make note of where it left off and inspect these folders for duplication.  In some cases, gClassFolders may not pick up exactly where it left off.  This is due to a structural limitation in the Apps Script product.  Star this issue if you find this unacceptable.
    • Exceeding the folder-creation quota:  A single Google Apps for Education account is limited to producing no more than 1500 documents or folders per day.  When you hit this quota, the script will give you a warning and you won't be able to run it for 12-24 hours (quotas are pro-rated hourly, we think).  Again, the folder creation process will terminate suddenly and you will want to inspect the folders of the last row created and the next to ensure that things weren't interrupted mid-process, and delete any dangling participles.  To avoid issues, plan to do no more than 200 students in 6 classes in 24 hours.

Do's and Don'ts

    • After removing students using the bulk operation tool, you can delete their rows from the spreadsheet.  Be sure to delete whole rows so as not to mis-align folder ids with students.
    • DO NOT DELETE ROWS from the spreadsheet unless you have already used the "Perform bulk operations on selected student(s)" menu to remove them from classes.  Removing students from classes will simply move their assignment folders into their archive folders and remove them from the teacher's Assignment Folders.
    • Don't delete the spreadsheet or attached script if you plan on using gClassFolders over multiple years.  All "Active" and "Archived" folder associations for teachers and students are stored in a Database that will be destroyed if you do so.
    • Do provide students and teachers a heads up that they will be receiving an email that asks them to authorize a script and click a link to have their classes added to their drive.  This email will come from the account that set up the script, and is a one-time ordeal in the career of the student (if you keep using the same gClassFolders installation).
    • Do not try to scale this to a whole school overnight.  Start with several teachers or a grade level, run a good pilot, reflect, offer us feedback, rinse and repeat;)

Get Started

G+ Community