Keep Calm. Save Paper (and trees). Use ParentPaperwork

KeepCalm

How many reams of paper does your school use each year copying and distributing paper forms to parents and students? Did you know one ream of paper equals around 6% of a tree? Conservatree estimates that each tree that’s processed into paper yields around 16 reams (500 sheets each) of paper.

Let’s try some math. For a school with 1,000 students let’s guess each student is given 20 paper forms a year, each with two pages. So that’s 1000 x 20 x 2 = 40,000 sheets of paper, which is 80 reams of paper. And five trees. Not withstanding the cost of the paper, the cost of copying the forms (all that toner, photocopying charges), distributing them to students, collecting and chasing the returned forms, collating and reporting the responses…..

That’s why schools turn to ParentPaperwork, our mission in life is to replace paper forms with an online system that’s super convenient for both schools and parents.

 

Great new default values features for ParentPaperwork forms

2_4_work_lessWe have a general theory around the ParentPaperwork office that our users, whether schools or parents, should have to do the minimum amount of work when using the ParentPaperwork system. Less work definitely equals more fun!

Today we’re pleased to announce a terrific new set of features to help progress towards that goal.

The Form Builder is at the heart of ParentPaperwork, enabling schools to create an unlimited number of fully customised form templates, this gives ParentPaperwork unparalleled capability to deliver to schools exactly the form they need.

Long Description fields

Text Box fields can now have a default value set. This value will be pre-filled into the field for the user when they first open their Slip form.

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Text Box Fields

Text Box fields can now have a default value set. This value will be pre-filled into the field for the user when they first open their Slip form.

Alternatively you can check the Read Only box. This means the actual field will not be displayed, and instead the Field Name text will display read only. It’s a great way to display a piece of text amongst the fields on your form.

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Option Lists and Checkboxes

Similarly you can now set the default value(s) for Option Lists and Checkboxes. For Option Lists you can select one default, and the drop down list displayed to the user will be pre-filled with that value. For Checkbox fields you can select one or more options by default, and these will be already checked when the user opens their Slip form.

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Multiple Google maps for ParentPaperwork online excursion and field trip forms

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ParentPaperwork’s online forms can now include multiple Google Maps, instead of the previous single map. We’ve made this change after learning that at least one state education department requires permission forms to have a map for each and every location students will visit during an excursion, and the parents are required to give consent for each specific location instead of a single overall sign off.

So for something like a school camp, where the students might move from one place to another during their time away, each needs to be documented, and mapped, so parents are completely clear where exactly their children will be.

There are now six address fields available when you are designing your form.

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When you create a new Slip based on your template the system will try and map each of the addresses, and display a Google Map if an address match is found.

 

Book your ParentPaperwork demo at SchoolsTechOz (free Expo)

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ParentPaperwork will be exhibiting at the SchoolsTechOz Conference at Firbank Grammar in Melbourne 12-14 September.  The conference is for all staff in the K–12 school education sector, and 750 delegates are expected. There are 240 breakout sessions, and a bunch of high profile speakers. It’s going to be an exciting few days.

Please come and meet the ParentPaperwork team on our stand, we can show you how ParentPaperwork can save your school time and money by replacing your paper-based forms.

The Expo is free, you do NOT need to have a paid registration for the conference. Head to this link and book your free ticket.

If you are attending the conference, or just coming in for the Expo, we’d be happy to book a specific time to demonstrate ParentPaperwork. Please email support@parentpaperwork.com and we’ll schedule an appointment.

 

ParentPaperwork wins at StartUp Victoria Pitch Night

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ParentPaperwork was one of five companies presenting at the StartUp Victoria Pitch Night in Melbourne yesterday in front of five judges and around 300 audience members. And we won!

For the past four weeks Fiona and David, the founders of ParentPaperwork, have participated in pitch training workshops organised by StartUp Victoria, led by two fantastic mentors Nic Hodges and Nick Rakis. They’ve been wonderful in guiding all of the five companies through a process of refining and distilling our presentations, to ensure we maximised our 6 minutes on stage. We’re very grateful to them for their advice.

The other four companies were:

Everyone had amazing pitches prepared by the time we turned up at Inpsire9 in Richmond last night, and with five such diverse businesses it’s a tough call on the judges to try to compare what some could call apples and oranges. Here we all are on stage (that’s David and Fiona on the left).

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But in the end ParentPaperwork was announced as the winner, which we are over the moon about.

Winning this is a lovely affirmation of our business idea and plans. The 5 judges were 75% of the vote, the other 25% came from the audience. A number of people were tweeting during the pitches, and some tweeted some pretty positive comments about us, so we can expect something of a network effect to continue on for a little while as people pick up on that activity online.

Our prizes include:

We already were excited by the future for ParentPaperwork, last night was a terrific affirmation for us that we are on the right track.

 

 

 

Updated email templates in ParentPaperwork

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

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Thanks for Response Email

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Over Due Slip Email

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New Feature: Send reminders for Slips to Parents; Clone and Delete options moved

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:

  1. Send Reminder
  2. Clone Slip
  3. Delete Slip

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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:

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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.

 

 

 

The Timetabler can now export student data to ParentPaperwork

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We’re very pleased to announce that the latest version of The Timetabler now can export data to ParentPaperwork. The Timetabler is the most powerful and flexible school timetabling software package around, and is widely used in schools throughout Australia, and many other countries. Their fantastic team has been wonderful in setting all this up.

Please follow these steps to create a CSV format file of student information that you can then import to ParentPaperwork.

Start on the Timetable Development Module Home Page

Click on File > Export Data > Admin System

On the drop down menu of file types, select ‘parentpaperwork.com’

Select an Export Folder location on your computer and click Export

The export file will be created

You should now see your export file in the folder you selected, and you are ready to select the file for import into ParentPaperwork

Parents now see the full ParentPaperwork form after submitting their response to school

Until now after parents completed and submitted their form to school they were shown just a quick summary of the form. If they clicked their link again, this summary was again shown. After feedback from parents and schools we’ve changed this so the full form is displayed after submission, including both the school data fields and the fields the parents completed in order to submit the form.

This makes a lot of sense. Some parents want to be able to print out the form to keep for their records – or if it’s anything like our house, stick on the fridge door to remind us our kids have an excursion on a particular day.

We’ve also done a little bit of work on the print version of the page, so it looks cleaner and more closely aligned to the form you see on screen.

Data is now exported from ParentPaperwork as an email

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We’ve made a small change to the exporting of data from Slips in ParentPaperwork. The resulting files are now emailed to you, instead of us keeping you hanging around while the data is assembled and compiled into an Excel file.

Wherever possible we try to abstract a user from activities that require more than a moment to complete, and handle the tasks asynchronously, by which we mean don’t hold you up, instead we process the task behind the scenes and provide the results to you when they are ready.

Another example is Importing Data, you upload a list of students or parents to import, we send that off to a processor in our online platform that completes the task, then sends you an email notification when done. Meantime you are free to continue working on other activities within ParentPaperwork.

As of today, if you choose to export the data from either a single Slip, or a number of Slips, we will email you the resulting file instead of showing you a download link within the web site. Usually this is within a minute or so, but if the export system is very busy it means we avoid causing you problems – we know there’s nothing worse sitting staring at a spinning icon on a web page wondering if anything is actually happening.