Earlier in 2o17, we launched Student Slips, allowing schools to send ParentPaperwork’s online forms to Students – the perfect and logical complement to our original Parent Slips system.
Student Slips is ideal for senior schools and colleges for tasks like sports registrations, subject electives selection, school council elections, student surveys and prefect voting
With Student Slips, you have the choice of the form being completed by either the parent or the student. You can also ask that a ‘read only’ copy be sent to the other party – such as sending a form to parents with a cc to students, or sending a form to students with a cc to parents. Everybody gets kept in the information loop – no unnecessary surprises!
The feedback on Student Slips has been excellent, and we have now extended this functionality to the Broadcasts module.
Previously, you could only send a Broadcast to Parents of selected Student Lists or individually nominated Students. Now you can send a Broadcast direct to Students, with an option to CC to their Parents or vice versa – send to Parents with a CC to their associated Students.
Setting up a Broadcast to Students works the same as sending out a Slip. You choose to send the Broadcast to ‘Parents’ or ‘Students’ and, if you wish, you can CC in the other party.
It is important to note that Broadcasts to Students are only available if you have the email addresses for Students in ParentPaperwork – Broadcasts via SMS to Students are not available. However, we can import Student emails via your scheduled nightly import.
Additionally, please note that Broadcasts to Students are only available if your school has purchased the Student Slips module – please contact our sales team if you need more information.
Communication within a school is very important, to ensure activities and resources are coordinated to the best possible effect. ParentPaperwork already significantly improves the availability and sharing of information throughout a school, starting with providing an aggregated view of all the online forms and broadcasts moving between school and parents and students, plus via our approval workflows and notifications.
We’ve now added a much-requested feature – sending notifications about Slips and Broadcasts to any nominated staff member, or groups of staff.
When you set up a new Slip or Broadcast you can nominate individual staff members or groups of staff to receive a notification that the message has been sent, along with a link to view the Slip or Broadcast.
In the ‘Send copy to Users/User Groups’ field start typing the name of a User or a User Group, and select the correct one from the drop down search results.
You can choose any number of Users and/or User Groups.
When the Slip or Broadcast is sent out, an email notification will now also be sent to all of the Users you have selected.
The link in email will open to a read only preview of the Slip or Broadcast.
Many parents will be sent multiple Slips to be completed at various times, so it’s likely at any given time a particular parent might be responsible for completing and submitting more than one Slip.
Email and SMS notifications will be sent to the parent for each individual Slip and Student and the Parent can click through to each Slip from each notification – but that means the parent has to switch back and forth between their email program and web browser. The issue is exacerbated for those with twins in the same class, or when the Slip has been sent to multiple Student Lists which include more than one child with the same contacts.
To help make the parent’s task easier, ParentPaperwork now displays a list of outstanding Slips in two places. We believe this offers a much smoother process when someone has more than one Slip needing to be completed, they can simply click through to the next one both from the online form page and the Thank You emails.
Parent Slip Page
When the Parent submits an online form, if they have any other outstanding Slips these are displayed at the top of the page (up to 4 Slips).
Parent Slip Thank You Email
When someone submits a Slip online form a ‘thank you’ email is sent to them, this also includes a list of up to four other outstanding Slips.
This week we sent out our first ‘Weekly Update’ to all the main Administration Contacts for ParentPaperwork schools.
The Weekly Update is summary of activity for the past seven days on your ParentPaperwork account, including the the number of Slips sent, response rates, Broadcasts and SMS messages. It includes a measure of whether these statistics have increased or declined from the previous seven day period.
Also highlighted are the number of ‘spammed’ emails – emails that the recipients, or their email system, have flagged as spam. This is important because ParentPaperwork will cease delivering email to those addresses to avoid a degradation of our email delivery reputation.
You can check which email addresses are affected by logging into ParentPaperwork, clicking your user name at the top right, and selecting the Email Bounce Log option.
The Update also contains a list of the most recent ten Parent Slips you have sent and a count of all SMS texts including those sent via Broadcasts and those used to notify parents about new Slips.
The Weekly Update is a great way to monitor your ParentPaperwork activity, and we’ll continue to look at ideas to augment and improve the information it contains.
Email is a key function in ParentPaperwork, and the primary way we communicate with parents to advise them of new online forms they need to complete, indeed our email notifications are critical if your school does not have our SMS text notifications enabled.
We know it is important to many schools that communications to parents reflect the branding and corporate style of the school. You can upload your logo which is shown on all web pages and emails seen by the parents.
You can now also set the colours in the email notifications sent to parents for:
- Advising of a new Parent Slip
- Thanking them for submitting a Parent Slip
- Reminding them they have an outstanding Parent Slip
Click on your user name at the top right, click Settings from the menu, the from the Settings page select Customise Email Templates.
By default, if you do not select any colours, the top and bottom banners in the email will be in the ParentPaperwork corporate purple shades.
You can set the colours for the banners. Click on the corresponding field and select a colour from the picker. Or, if you know the hex code for the desired colour, simply enter this in the field.
As you change the colours the live preview will update to illustrate how your emails will look.
If you decide you don’t want the custom colours click the Reset button to return to the standard purple shades.
Sometimes the small things matter the most, and most people would agree they would always prefer to be addressed by name. We realised recently that the emails ParentPaperwork sends to parents were not actually personally addressed, so now they are!
It can be frustrating not being completely sure a parent has received an email. ParentPaperwork already can tell you if a parent has opened an email, now there is also notification for:
- No email address at all
- A delivery error was recorded
When you view the list of parent responses for a Slip, there are two new icons.
The red triangle is a warning that the Parent contact does not have an email address, we’re also displaying this icon in other places where a parent is listed, so it’s clear you might have a problem.
The red envelope icon shows that there was an error recorded when we tried to deliver an email to the parent. You can click the icon to pop up a window containing the actual error message.
Months ago when we first conceived of ParentPaperwork and built the initial version of the system we created a set of email templates that somewhat put the emphasis on ‘Permission Slips’. That’s because this was the first real demand we had from the first group of schools we consulted with.
Of course over the last few months schools have found many more uses for ParentPaperwork, and the term ‘permission slip’ is now not very accurate.
We’ve now updated three key emails, both to clean them up visually and to replace the phrase ‘permission slip’ with the more appropriate ‘online form’. We have also strengthened the text at the bottom to make it clear to parents that the email is coming from the school.
New Slip Email
Thanks for Response Email
Over Due Slip Email
Today we have released a great new feature for ParentPaperwork, the ability to trigger additional reminders to parents for Slips they have not yet responded to. Up until now there has only been one automated reminder sent to parents, based on the Due Date for the Slip. If a parent does not respond by the Due Date they are sent an email reminder.
Whilst we are seeing fantastic response rates from parents (in general our analysis shows greater than 50% of parents respond within 24 hours, and many even sooner than that) we all know that some people can require a little ‘hurry up’.
The new feature allows you to schedule a reminder to be sent the next morning for any of your Slips.
After you log in to ParentPaperwork, click through to view your Slip. You will find a new Action drop down menu at the top. There are three options:
- Send Reminder
- Clone Slip
- Delete Slip
The Clone and Delete functions used to be buttons at the bottom of the page, but we decided to move them to this new menu for a couple of reasons: firstly they are not used regularly; secondly the row of buttons at the bottom was quite busy, so we left the buttons we see you using regularly, like Preview, and moved these two.
Clicking the Send Reminder button opens a popup window:
If you click the blue Send Reminder button, we will add a new reminder to be emailed to Parents the next morning (the reminders are sent around 7am).
You can only schedule a new reminder for each Slip each day – eg you cannot send more than one reminder for a Slip in a day.