Helping Australian and New Zealand schools get ready for 2017

If you work in a typical school then you’re about to begin one of the largest and most important behind-the-scenes tasks in your school year.

You’ll be sending out re-enrolment forms, Year Level contact forms and seeking to update medical details for the student body. This is a 5 to 6 week epic journey that includes:

  •  preparing the forms
  •  preparing the data
  •  sending the forms to parents – post, schoolbag, general email
  •  chasing form return
  •  inputting updated data into your student management system
  •  checking for mistakes and inaccuracies
  •  collating the data
  • crossing fingers that it’s all okay

What’s the secret way?

Yet this whole process could be much, much easier. It’s a secret that  ParentPaperwork schools know and have been keeping from you!  Schools who use ParentPaperwork remove the human labour component and let technology do the work for them. Using our platform to distribute your forms and capture and report your data, can reduce the time it takes to complete the re-enrolment process to a matter of days.

The school and parents are the winners here!

We know from the experienced educators on our team, that parents dread receiving the annual student update and re-enrolment forms and greet them mentally as one would the family member who makes a scene at Christmas lunch every year. They’ve got to be attended to but every minute spent filling them out is done through gritted teeth.

On ParentPaperwork your re-enrolment forms can capture:

  •  commitments to policies
  •   contact details
  •   medical updates
  •   global permissions
  •   any other data that you need to capture from parents before the school         year commences.

And something that will really get you excited…

Once you have this information captured ParentPaperwork will pre-fill on future re-enrolment forms. Meaning parents are not filling out the same information, like Medicare numbers and Ambulance details over and over.

We have to ask – what would the value of this elegant re-enrolment solution be to your school community?

Setting up for 2017 – Current Customers

In the meantime, current ParentPaperwork schools are thinking about getting ready for the 2017 school year. Here are some common tasks to consider for later in December or in January:

  • Move students who left at the end of 2016 to a new Student List;
  • Remove students from Year Level and Class Student Lists;
  • Re-import your students and parents to ensure existing students are allocated to the correct Student Lists; and new students and parents records are created;
  • Archive Slips from last year so whilst they are easily accessible, they’re not displayed by default when you are viewing your Parent Slips list;
  • Disable staff who have left the school; add new Staff Users.

Back to School Forms

ParentPaperwork is the perfect solution for all your global or blanket permission forms: photo permissions; policy consents; head lice checks and the forms you wish parents to complete and return before day one, term one 2017.

Once your students and parents for 2017 are organised in ParentPaperwork it is a doddle to set up your Back to School forms and distribute. Then you can sit back and watch as the responses roll in.

We’d be delighted to help you get ready for 2017. If you’d like assistance setting up your students/parents, and/or sending out back to school forms, please email support@parentpaperwork.com

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from ParentPaperwork

The team at ParentPaperwork wish all of our schools, customers, partners, affiliates, friends and colleagues a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. We’re sure you are all glad to be finishing up your year – however successful the past twelve months there’s no doubt a little rest and relaxation is welcome.

It’s certainly been a huge year for all of us at ParentPaperwork, we started 2015 as a barely-known little startup with a couple of school customers in Australia, and now are relied upon for fast, safe and secure online forms and data capture by schools in seven countries including the USA, UK, and Canada. We’re incredibly proud of our team, supporters and investors who have all made amazing contributions to making this success possible. To all of them, a very special ‘thank you’.

For our schools in our home country of Australia please enjoy your long summer holiday – it’s not such a bad idea having Christmas in Summer, although those of us in cities like Melbourne that are currently enjoying a run of 40 degree Celsius days (that’s 104 for those in Fahrenheit) the idea of snow seems a fantasy! Doesn’t prevent plenty of people in Santa costumes strolling the streets, just hope they have the light-weight versions on!

Our schools in other parts of the world will be back early January, so we trust you do have time for a break and time with family and friends.

The ParentPaperwork office will be technically closed from 25 December, re-opening Monday 4 January 2016. However, we are never really on holiday, we’ll be checking emails and requests for support throughout and will respond as quickly as usual in most cases, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you need assistance. Plus we’ll be using the quiet time to work on some updates and improvements to ParentPaperwork…

Have a safe and festive holidays, here’s to a fantastic 2016!

Fiona and David
Co-Founders, ParentPaperwork

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david-headshot-round

Lessons to Teach your Kids Over the Christmas Break

The holiday season has always been a bonding time for families around Australia. Being able to share these special moments with your children and create unforgettable memories on Christmas day are some of our fondest and most cherished times.

While there is lots of excitement and fantastic activities for the kids to participate in this holiday season we can also use this time to teach them some valuable life lessons that will carry through into adulthood. These lessons include learning about:

“Giving” and not just “Receiving”

One of the best things about the holidays is our ability to give back to charities, hospitals, the disadvantaged and family and friends. There are a number of creative ways you and your children could come up with way to give back this December including:

  • Have your children purchase and special toy and donate it to another child or group such as “The Salvation Army- K-Mart Wishing Tree Appeal.”
  • Take some time to arrange for you and your kids to volunteers at a homeless shelter or food bank.
  • Create a charity jar that the entire family can donate to. Encourage your children to fill it with spare change or a portion of their allowance?

Developing their creativity

Rather than going to the store and buying readymade cards and Christmas accessories why not arrange projects for your kids to create their own Christmas cards and presents? Not only will your children have a great time and lots of fun creating their pieces they will also be able to use their creative skills to begin a project and see it through to completion. This will test their time management, prioritising and planning skills preparing them for their future careers. Handmade presents are a great unique gift for your family and friends and can be a great bonding exercise for the entire family.

Becoming the next great Chef

These holidays’ families will celebrate the holiday season with a variety of different foods and recipes. Rather than slaving away in the kitchen while your kids sit around bored why not include them in the process? Being able to help will not only keep them busy and engaged it will also build their cooking skills which is an essential skill to develop as they grow older. Who knows these cooking sessions could one day lead to your kids becoming the next great Australian Chef’s!

Here are some helpful links to help you and your kids give back during the holiday season:

The K-Mart/Salvation Army Wising Tree: You can donate, download kids activates and locate your closest K-Mart wishing tee via this link- http://wishingtree.kmart.com.au/

Mission Australia: “Christmas Lunch in the Park” is a fantastic Perth event where in-need children are able to receive gifts from Santa and enjoy a fantastic lunch. You’re able to donate online or participate on the day as a volunteer. ihttp://www.christmaslunchinthepark.com.au/donate-now/

Exodus Foundation: Volunteer, donate or run a canned food drive- http://www.exodusfoundation.org.au/

Coast Shelter NSW: Help the homeless in NSW on Christmas day through a variety of ways! http://coastshelter.org.au/christmas.html

Melbourne City Mission: Make a donation or give a gift to the Melbourne City Mission here- http://www.melbournecitymission.org.au/get-involved/give-this-christmas

 

 

3 Ways to Keeping your Kids Motivated During the Summer Break

There is no doubt that December is one of the busiest months for Parents with the holiday season and end of the year looping. The last day of the terms seemingly creeps up on you when the thought hits… How will I keep my children busy during the summer break? What’s more important how will I make sure they don’t sit around at home watching TV or are on their smart phones playing games all day?

Certainly the summer break can be utilised to learn a new hobby, brushing up on an important subject or creating new experiences that will carry through to your children kicking off Term 1, 2015 on the right foot. Unfortunately some of these solutions are easier said than done with many households limited on time and money during the December/January period.

Here are 3 ways to keep your kids busy with exciting and healthy activities:

Summer Camps– Don’t have as much time as you’d like to spend with your kids with work being busier than ever? Summer camps are a great solution seeing your kids doing activities such as arts, sports and educational based games. They will make new friends, learn from new experiences and go to excursions you may not be able to take them on.

Smart Devices– There is a bunch of great ways to make sure your kids aren’t simply using their smart devices for the latest version of “Angry Birds”. Depending on your child’s age there are a number of free educational based games you can download through the App store that will challenge your children’s memory, knowledge and reading ability. For older kids downloading E-Books through programs such as Kindle will bring a new found motivation for your kids to read the classic greats they might be studying in term 1.

Work Experience– With the current job market being tougher than ever the number 1 factor affecting young graduates the lack of experience. Just because your teenagers are a few years from University doesn’t mean the skills they learn working in retail, hospitality or customer service won’t be relevant in their future careers.  Picking up a casual job or Interning work experience will prepare your kids for the future and may be the x-factor that gets them their dream job many years later.

Have are some links to help you take the next step and keep your kids motivated this summer.

Camp Australia: Running a series of holiday camps across Australia – http://www.campaustralia.com.au/

Auscamp: Outdoor camps and programs- http://www.auscamp.com.au/

Australian Sports Camps: Sports camps across Australia- https://australiansportscamps.com.au/

KidzPhyz: A variety of dance and sports camp across Australia- http://kidzphyz.com.au/

Active8: A variety of programs for kids throughout Summer- http://www.activ8camps.com.au/camps/

Camp Creative: Creative programs for kids in dance, writing, crafts, music, visual arts, voice and much more-http://www.campcreative.com.au/

Apps to download 

Kindle:  Will allow your kids to take interest in classical books while using their smart phone or tablet computer to read them. Kindle can be downloaded through the Apple and Google Play Stores.

Video Science: A growing library of over 80 hands-on Science lessons that are great for home and the classroom. These short videos demonstrate inexpensive and easy to recreate experiments that are designed to inspire and excite kids of all ages.

EarthViewer: Use your fingertips to scroll through Earth history for the last 4.5 billion years.

Khan Academy: Khan Academy’s materials and resources (over 3500 videos) are available to you completely free of charge.