ParentPaperwork Form Templates can now be organised by category

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.

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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.

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The assigned Categories will be displayed, click the small X to de-allocate.

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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.

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Display dates from ParentPaperwork in your school’s online calendar

ParentPaperwork provides a calendar feed of the dates you select on Parent Slips, making it easy to display dates in your school’s online calendar, or the individual calendars of staff.

The dates are those you enter on Parent Slips.

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The Calendar Feed is configured from the Settings page. Click your user name at the top right, click Settings and then the Calender Feed option.

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Set ‘Enable calendar feed’ to ‘Yes’ and click Save.

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You will now see a URL for the Feed. This can be used in Google and other online calendars. For example in Google Calendar click the Other Calendars option on the left of the screen and select Add by URL.

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Copy and paste the URL from ParentPaperwork and click Add Calendar

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The dates will now display in your calendar, if you are using Google you can even then embed a Google Calendar view into your own web site.

Clutch of improvements and enhancements now available in ParentPaperwork

At its heart ParentPaperwork is the sum of suggestions and recommendations from our school customers. Today we’ve released a group of small improvements and enhancements – all of which have come about through feedback from our schools.

File uploading warning

You can upload any number of PDF files to a Slip to make them available to Parents, perfect for information sheets, brochures, camp packing lists. However, if you select a number of files to upload, it’s been possible to click the Save button for the Slip before all the files had completed uploading. And thus lose the files. We’ve added a warning that prevents you from saving a Slip until all file uploads are done.

Disable Parent Contact updates

Many schools value the opportunity to solicit contact updates from parents when they are completing online forms, using the box at the bottom of the Slip. It can be a great way of keeping your contact lists refreshed.

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However, some schools have expressed concerns that parents might come to rely on this as a way of communicating a contact update – and unless the school has a process in place to manage these changes, the information might not be actioned.

We have added an option to disable the display of the Parent Contact fields on all Slips you send out. Click on your user name at the top right, then click Settings > Configuration.

The option is called ‘Allow Contacts to update details’.

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Display SMS credits

We introduced SMS text notifications earlier this year, and they have proven very popular with schools. Whilst response rates to our email notifications are excellent, SMS messages provide another way of prompting parents to click through and complete their forms. Plus of course SMS messages can be sent via our Broadcasts feature.

What we neglected to do was provide a way for schools to monitor their SMS usage, so we have added this information to the Configuration page.

Click on your user name at the top right, then click Settings > Configuration, your current SMS credits purchased and used are displayed in your subscription information at the top of the page.

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Print all Parent Responses for a Slip

ParentPaperwork’s mission in life is to replace paper forms in schools. However, we are conscious that many schools must operate within legacy policies, and that a move to being fully online might need to be introduced incrementally.

We have been asked a number of times recently if it is possible to print all the Responses submitted by Parents. Up until now you have only been able to print one at a time, by clicking to view the individual Response and then clicking the Print button.

We have added a new button at the top of the Slip Responses called ‘Print Slips’. This will open a new window, with all of the information submitted by Parents, one Slip at a time. It does not display the School fields, just those completed by parents. Whilst the on-screen display is continuous, when you print to paper or PDF it should break each Slip onto a new page.

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Continuous scrolling on Student Lists

The lists of Slips, Students and Parents all automatically scroll through pages as you move down the page, saving you to have to deliberately click to the next page. We’ve added this to the Student Lists page as well – as more schools use ParentPaperwork more intensively we’ve noticed they are creating more and more Student Lists.

Prevent use of a Form Template with no fields allocated

There’s been a piece of weirdness floating around for ages – you click to add a new Slip and select a Form Template, but everything stops. Turns out it’s because whilst you might have created the Form Template, you have not used the Form Design page to add any fields. Now if a Form Template does not have any fields allocated it will not be displayed on the Select Template list, plus there’s a red triangle warning on the Form Templates page.

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Don’t forget, we love hearing your feedback and ideas, don’t hesitate to contact the ParentPaperwork team!

 

 

New Feature: Archive Slips

Australian schools start their new year this week, and a number of them have spoken to us about the need to ‘archive’, or otherwise somehow file away their Slips from last year. A busy school sends dozens of online forms out, so it makes sense that from time to time groups of Slips can be hidden away in an archive, as they most likely will not need to be accessed frequently.

Today we have released a new feature, to group Slips as either ‘Current’ or ‘Archived’.

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On the Slips we have added a new drop down list in the Search area. By default the page will list Current slips, you can change to display Archived Slips.

There are now checkboxes down the left, one for each Slip, and one at the top to select all the Slips on the page. Clicking the Action drop down at the right now shows two additional options:

  1. Move Selected to Archive
  2. Move Selected to Current

To move Slips to the Archive, select them with the checkboxes, then click Action and ‘Move Selected to Archive’. You can view the archived slips by changing the drop down to ‘Archived’, and clicking the Search button.

Slips can be moved out of the Archive by reversing the process. Select them with the checkboxes, then click Action and ‘Move Selected to Current’.

New tutorial videos showing you step by step how to perform many of the common tasks in ParentPaperwork

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Today’s we’ve launched our first tutorial videos, showing you step by step how to perform many of the common tasks in ParentPaperwork. We already have a pretty comprhensive Help and Support section, with many articles containing instructions and answers to frequently asked questions. But we know a picture tells a thousand words, and the new tutorial videos provide a straightforward and visual explanation for a range of topics:

  • Importing Student & Parents
  • Managing Student records
  • Add a new Slip
  • Student Attributes
  • Form Template Design
  • Managing Parent Contacts
  • Managing Workflows for Form Templates
  • Exporting data from a Slip
  • Managing Student Lists
  • Exporting data from Slips by date

The videos are available on the Help pages, accessible from the Help option on the top menu bar after you sign in.

Here’s an example of one of the tutorials, showing you how to Add a New Slip.