To our loyal Parent Paperwork schools and those who’ve given us a go because you know why it’s important to remove paper forms from your school, we’d like to say a big Thank You!
Parent Paperwork has just been announced as one of the 23 innovative Australian tech companies who’re presenting at the 2015 Tech23 event in Sydney on November 17.
Sponsored by government, venture capital, CSIRO and private industry this is an event that acknowledges the role of innovation in our economy.
We’d like to thank you because in the education sector, you are the thought leaders and innovators who have used Parent Paperwork to save your school time and money and to improve engagement with parents. Whilst other schools just think about what they could be doing, you’ve taken action. Thank you.
To read the media release, click here.
We’re moving today into our new office, on Wellington Street in St Kilda, Melbourne, opposite Albert Park (great for walks at lunchtime). There’s plenty of natural light, heaps of space to expand, and all new fitout – in fact they haven’t installed the kitchen yet, but we’ll rough it for now!
Our new street address is:
3 Wellington Street
St Kilda VIC 3182
Feel free to come and say hello!
As more and more schools come on board, and use ParentPaperwork more frequently, we continue to look for ways to present information in easy to understand ways.
Some schools who have been using ParentPaperwork for a while, and built up a large library of Form Templates, have suggested we should introduce a better way to organise the Templates into groups, so we’ve introduced a new feature to enable you to categorise your Form Templates.
Managing Form Template Categories
The categories are managed from the Settings page – click on your user name at the top right, and select Settings > Form Template Categories.
You can have as many Categories as you like. Click the blue Add New button to create a new Category.
Assign Templates to Categories
When you edit a Form Template you can assign the Template to one or more Categories. Click the Categories field to see a list of available Categories, and click on the one you want to allocate.
The assigned Categories will be displayed, click the small X to de-allocate.
Creating a new Parent Slip
When you create a new Parent Slip, the available Form Templates are displayed grouped by Category. By default all will be displayed, but you can filter to a Category by clicking the relevant Category Name in the left hand list.
Click the blue Go button to create your new Slip from the desired Template.
Those of us with school-age children will appreciate how much of a hassle the seemingly endless stream of permission forms and slips can be during the school year. Excursions and field trips, free-dress days, swimming carnivals, sports meets and anything else that may be even the tiniest bit out of the ordinary will usually call on a guardian’s signature to give the OK.
Those on the other end of the stick – the teachers – will realise, although this can sometimes be an annoyance to already time-poor parents, the problems that can crop up from not properly informing them of school activities can cause major headaches and even legal trouble down the track.
When it comes down to it, most parents want to know what’s happening with their child during the hours they’re not around. Informed consent is important for any activity that might put your child in an unfamiliar situation or those which parents may want to know about.
And, although some permission forms have caused concern for parents, like one that asked for blanket permission to allow a school to publish photos of their child online, most are routine and innocuous, acting only to inform parents and get their seal of approval.
However, occasionally schools can miss the mark. A permission slip for parents of sixth graders in the US that asked consent for their child to eat a single Oreo biscuit stirred up an epic online battle that divided people into camps of the overprotective versus the free-range. Like all online debates, there were no winners, and we’re not sure how many kids were denied their chocolatey treat.
Even a form which is borne from good intentions can come across as loony. Here are some of our recent favourites:
As mad as some of these may seem, let’s spare a thought for the poor teachers who have been pushed so far they thought their crazy form was necessary. That’s right, if they’re wanting the OK to go ahead and screen a kids movie to kids, offer a cookie in class or let your child get in touch with nature, there’s a good chance they’re doing so because someone complained about it in the past!
We’ve even seen how poorly communicated information can threaten school excursions and why these kinds of activities are important, especially for students, so let’s not let a few loony forms ruin everyone’s fun.
ParentPaperwork takes the craziness out of administering permission slips. Click here for more information.