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FAQs for the Website

General Questions:

Why are there three websites? What is the difference?

Stargate School uses three websites, or portals, to help communicate with its current and future stakeholders. At the bottom (footer) of each page on each portal, you will find links to the portals that make up the three portals of the Stargate Website. Here is a description of each portal (with titles linked to the respective portals).

The Main Portal is designed to attract new parents to Stargate and to showcase our wonderful school. Visit the main page to learn more about our goals and strategy, our awards, our star achievements, and to learn more about applying to Stargate Charter School.

Our Community Portal is focused on communicating with our existing parents, students, and staff. Although most of the content on this portal comes from teachers regarding their classes, additional information is also provided on schedules and activities within Stargate. This is the "go-to" site for parents to find out not just the classes, but lunch, extra-curricular activities, how-tos, online payments, pick-up and drop-off, announcements, school health, and much more!

Stargate is a charter school with its own board of directors, as well as committees that report to the board. Our Governance Portal provides a calendar for governance meetings, a place for obtaining the meeting minutes from the board of directors, information about upcoming elections, access to forms and files, and web pages for each committee.

What is Infinite Campus?

Infinite Campus is a website managed by the by the Adams12 School District. It is used by Stargate to store private student information such as grades. Parents and staff are required to have a login to Infinite Campus to access the information. To find out more, please see the Infinite Campus page.

Why does my top-level navigation display vertically (instead of horizontally) in my Internet Explorer browser?

Your top-level navigation should display horizontally for any of our sites. For example, on the Community site, you should see Home, Kindergarten, 1-2 Team, etc. across the top.

If your navigation is displaying vertically, see image below, you need to make a small adjustment to your settings. We have seen this problem most frequently with Internet Explorer browsers, but it's an easy fix.

Just go to Tools on your menu bar and then scroll down to your "Compatibility View" setting. If there's a checkmark (see example below), you'll need to un-select it. Once the check mark is gone, refresh your page. Your navigation should align vertically again.

Payment and eCommerce Questions:

Where do I pay for lunch?

Lunch is important. As such we have dedicated and entire page to the subject of lunch, paying for lunch, selecting lunch, etc. Go to the Lunch Page to learn more.

Can I pay for Tuition online?

Check out the eCommerce Page. There you will find instructions and links pay for tuition for Kindergarten and Eagle's Landing!

Where can I buy shirts, stuff, and other "swag?"

Check out the eCommerce Page. There you will find instructions and links to get cool gear!

Calendar Questions:

How many calendars are there?

Currently, our portal(s) host the following Calendars for Stargate on the Community Portal:
  • Master Events Calendar / Daily Schedule / Field Trips / Sports / Parent Committee Meetings / Music and Drama Performances
  • Eagles Landing Calendar
  • CRC-Fundraising Calendar

In addition, there is another calendar on the Governance Portal that focuses specifically on School Board and Committee Activities.

Why do I want to subscribe a Calendar on the Stargate School website?

The Calendars on this portal can be integrated with the calendars on your PC or smartphone. When you integrate the calendars with your PC calendars or smartphone, the calendars are updated automatically with new information when the calendars on the website are update. Integrating allows for an easy and convenient way to stay up to date with school activities, events, or meetings.

Even if you do not subscribe, all calendars will be displayed as layers on the Calendar page. Note that the Governance Calendar is only displayed on the Governance portal (charter.stargateschool.org).

How do I subscribe to a Calendar?

If you are a Google Gmail user and are familiar with Google Calendars, here is their product page on how to add the calendar.

The ICS links for each of the calendars is as follows:
How to integrate Calendars into Outlook

Various websites offer good guidance on how to display a Google Calendar (such as one of those listed above) in your Outlook software. Here is a link to one of the how-to guides.

How to integrate Calendars into your phone

Most (if not all) smartphones will be able to integrate an ICS-formatted calendar into the phone's calendar. It is best to consult your individual manufacturer for specific instructions, but here are some links for Apple and Android-based smartphones:

RSS Questions:

Why do I want to subscribe to an RSS Feed?

This is a great question. In a nutshell, when you subscribe to an RSS feed, you get notification in your browser or on your newsreader (but not by email) of changes to that feed (every time somebody makes a new post) without having to go to the website. To read RSS feeds, you need a "RSS Reader." Most RSS Readers will notify you (icon change, sound, etc.) when a new post is made by the author.

Fortunately, RSS Reader capabilities exist in most browsers. There are also numerous RSS plugins (for browsers) and applications you can download and setup for PCs, Macs, Tablets, and Smartphones.

Can I receive email notifications when a new post is made?

No. Google is our website provider and email notification of new posts is not a feature they have. Using an RSS Reader (a.k.a. New Reader), or browser extension that provides RSS Reader functionality is the best alternative to visiting the blogs directly on the website.

How do I subscribe to an RSS Post?

If you want to read posts via an RSS feed, the best way to subscribe is to look for the "View more >>" link at the bottom of an announcement section on your teacher's web page (this will not appear until at least one Post has been created for the blog). Be sure NOT to click on the date/title of an individual post. Doing so will take you to the text for the blog, but won't give you a link to sign up for RSS. The "view more" link will be at the BOTTOM of the list of blog posts you see on your teacher's home page. It should look something like:

sample_learn more_Ware blog

When you click the "View More" link it should take you to a page with a URL that looks something like: http://community.stargateschool.org/elementary-school/first-grade/spletzer/spletzer-literacy

sample URL_spletzer literacy blog

Once you have clicked the "View More" link and reached your page, you will find all the posts for that particular blog. You should also see an RSS Icon (orange icon) and a link that says "Subscribe to Posts."

sample_subscribe to posts_buck blog

Unfortunately, your next steps depend on the kind of device, browser, and RSS reader that you are using.

If you are using a PC

Each browser responds differently when you click on the "Subscribe to Posts" link. This can be confusing. Chrome, in particular, can create challenges. You may need to install an extension or RSS plugin onto your browser that is specifically designed for your browser. Some extensions are listed below. If you are on your teacher's blog page and click "Subscribe to Posts" and the instructions for what to do next aren't obvious (or if you are taken to a page of code/nonsense) you probably need to install a plugin or extension. 

If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser on a PC, you may see something like the images below. Just remember, each browser responds differently.

In most cases, once you have successfully installed a feed (or a browser plugin/extension and then a feed), your PC browser will show an RSS Icon in the upper right corner of the browser when there is a new addition to one of your subscriptions. For example, in Internet Explorer, you might see:

If you are using an iPad or Mac 

The iPad’s default browser, Safari, does not have native support for RSS. iTunes supports RSS feeds for songs/audio files (and may be the default reader on some Macs), but doesn’t work with our .XML (text-format) teacher blogs. You will need to download a third-party app to read your teacher’s RSS feed. There are dozens of RSS readers for iPad. Newsify and Feedly are a couple that have worked for our parents. Whichever app you choose, it should give your iPad/Mac an application or plugin that can understand and handle the contents of an .XML file. The .XML piece is important because RSS files have an .XML extension associated with them in the same way that .doc files are associated with MS Word, .html files are associated with browsers, and .xls files are associated with spreadsheets. Without a way to open .XML, you can't read your RSS file. See below for additional advice on what to do once you have installed a reader.

If you are using a smartphone or tablet

If you want to read posts on your smartphone or tablet via RSS, you will probably need to install an application or RSS Reader that is compatible with your specific phone or tablet. You can find some of the most common on our list below. See below for additional advice on what to do once you have installed a reader.

Once you have installed a reader

No matter what RSS application, plugin, or extension you have chosen, once you have installed a reader, you still need to subscribe to your teacher's blog. For some devices/RSS readers, you may be able to go back to the "subscribe to posts" link on your teacher's page, click it and follow the instructions that appear on your screen. On other devices - or if the "subscribe to posts" link doesn't seem to work - you can try to use your RSS reader to search for RSS feeds from Stargate School and then select your teacher's posts. Searching for "stargateschool.org" will sometimes bring up a list of RSS feeds from which to choose. If the search does not work, you will need to manually enter a URL (see instructions below). Almost all RSS readers will allow you to manually enter a URL. However, if you open your reader and it isn't pretty obvious how to manually add a feed, you may want to download a different reader that's more intuitive. 

To manually enter a URL

We use a standard naming convention on our website. To manually enter the URL for a teacher's blog into your reader, just enter the URL of the teacher's page you are trying to subscribe to, plus a '/posts.xml' extension at the end. The URL should look something like: http://community.stargateschool.org/elementary-school/kindergarten/wells/wells-literacy/posts.xml Alternatively, it might look like: http://community.stargateschool.org/elementary-school/second-grade/martinac/martinac-science-social-studies/posts.xml If you are trying to sign up for the StarNews, the URL should look like: http://community.stargateschool.org/news-and-announcements/posts.xml Remember, don't forget the "/posts.xml" extension at the end. And, make sure you are copying the generic link and not the link for a specific week's blog post. Note: there may be a few teachers whose blogs don't precisely match the standard naming convention. For those, just copy the URL you see on the page and add the /posts.xml at the end.

Extra steps you may need to take

A word of caution, even after you have installed a reader, gone back to your teacher's blog page and clicked "subscribe to posts," it may not be immediately obvious what you need to do next. If you have already installed a reader, but are prompted to purchase an app to read RSS, just click cancel, go to the reader you have already installed and manually enter the URL for your teacher's blog. Alternatively, if you have installed the Feedly application on your iPad, when you click "Subscribe to Posts" on your teacher's blog page you may be taken to the Feedly app, but it may open in Podcasts and may show that you have no podcasts available. If that happens, don't add a podcast. Instead, you should go into Feedly's "add a website" bar and use the search tool to look for Stargate School, Stargateschool.org, Mrs. Ramsey's Literacy Blog, etc. If nothing shows up in your search, you can add a website by manually entering the URL for your teacher's blog (see above).Once you manually enter the URL, if you are in Feedly, you may see a search tool come up with something like: "Atom feed for Stargate-Stakeholders:Mr.  VanPatten's Math Blog." Just click on it and your posts should appear. For other Readers, similar steps may be necessary to add your feed.

My browser does not seem to subscribe to RSS feeds. What can I do?

Occasionally, we have had problems with browsers (which is unfortunate). To further aggravate the matter, Chrome is not as "Google Friendly" as we would expect. In the case of Chrome, the user will see a bunch of computer syntax displayed when they click on the "Subscribe to Posts" icon. This means that it has no extension installed to interpret RSS feeds. Look to the next section to learn about extensions that can be added to Chrome and where to get them.

In the case of Internet Explorer, it will normally add the RSS feed as a "favorite" but can also trick the user into asking that the feed be apply to Outlook or other Microsoft Application. Firefox will work similar to Internet Explorer.

Note that in some cases, clicking the link may prompt you to download the file instead of subscribing to the RSS subscription. This is confusing (and not the way you want to go). Again, this is an indication that your browser has not had an extension installed to tell it how to handle the RSS feeds. See the next section.

If you have a separate RSS Feeder (a.k.a. News Feeder), you can always right-click on "Subscribe to Posts" and paste it into the RSS subscription feature of your browser's extension or PC application (most likely solution). Search for solutions for your browser to find troubleshooting guidance.

What are some recommended RSS Readers for my PC?

There are numerous readers that can be used to read RSS subscriptions (a.k.a. RSS feeds). They fall into the fall into four categories: browsers, browser plugins, online applications, and Client Applications (for PCs, Tablets, or Smartphones). These solutions are hyperlinks to other pages that provide further information on how to subscribe to an RSS subscription.


Browser Plugins:

Other Client Applications:

As noted above, for any application, plugin or extension, searching for "stargateschool.org" may bring up the list of RSS blogs from which you can select. Alternatively, if you need to manually enter the URL for a teacher's blog into your reader, just enter the URL of the teacher's page you are trying to subscribe to, plus a '/posts.xml' extension at the end. The URL you input into your reader should look something like, http://community.stargateschool.org/elementary-school/fourth-grade/hanna/hanna-literacy/posts.xml or http://community.stargateschool.org/elementary-school/first-grade/ramsey/ramsey-science-social-studies/posts.xml If you are trying to sign up for the StarNews, the URL should look like: http://community.stargateschool.org/news-and-announcements/posts.xml Remember, don't forget the "posts./xml" extension at the end. And, make sure you are copying the generic link and not the link for a specific week.

How do I watch RSS feeds through my Outlook software on my PC?

For those who use Outlook on their PCs (usually at work), there is a feature that allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds so that they appear in your folders in a manner similar to email. To learn more, visit Microsoft's Help Site for Outlook.

What is the difference between an announcement page, a blog, and an RSS Post (feed)?

Really, there is no difference. For our portals (websites), anytime an Announcement page is created, we call it a Blog Page if it is authored by a teacher or a News and Announcements Page if it is authored by a larger group (committee, board, school, etc.).

When a new entry is placed on an announcement page, which is called a Post. All posts can be read by visiting the page of announcements, or by viewing those posts via an RSS reader.

Because of the capabilities of RSS feeds, we can do a better job of getting the right information to the right people without having to re-write the same information in multiple places.