Your ultimate library of school form templates

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There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank piece of paper waiting for inspiration to strike. The same could be said when you are confronted with creating a new form.

Life is so much easier when you can lean on your professional network and learn from their past experiences – and ParentPaperwork now gives you access to the collected wisdom of school administrators around the world via our new Form Template Library.

The Form Template Library is a collection of dozens of Form Templates you can add to your school’s ParentPaperwork account. We’ve curated a group of many different Templates from our schools around the world and made them available to everyone to use.

To access the Form Template Library, click the Form Templates link on the left menu, and click the Add New button at the top of the Form Templates List page.

The New Template page has two tabs, the first is to create a new Template from scratch, the second tab is the Form Template Library.

You will see a list of all the Templates in the Library, and can filter and search by keywords and Categories.

Click the Preview button to see what the Template will look like. To install the Template into your School account, click the blue Select button.

Once you’ve installed the Template you will be able to edit and manage it just like any other of your Form Templates.

Photo: Creative Commons/OpenScheduler

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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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!

 

 

Tweaks to the Form Template Builder in ParentPaperwork

We’ve added a couple of new features to the Form Template Builder in ParentPaperwork this week.

Editing Section Titles

Each Form Templates has usually two sections, in the case of Parent Slips the first section contains the fields filled out by the School; and the second is for the fields filled out by the Parent.

Until now these section titles have been set by default, but now users can update them.

Click the pencil icon at the right hand end of the section title, and a window will open for you to change the title.

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These titles display when staff are completing forms within ParentPaperwork, so it’s a help when they are reflective of the type of the information being captured on the particular template.

Read Only Labels in the School fields section

It has long been possible to create read only text blocks in the Parent fields section at the bottom of a Form Template, but we now have extended that to the School fields section – in fact we’re not quite sure why this wasn’t always possible 🙂

Start by dragging a new text field into the section, then click the pencil icon to edit. The pop up window includes a check box called ‘Read Only Label’.

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Tick the box, the default value field will be hidden, and the Field Required checkbox will be disabled (as it’s not applicable). Enter your text into the Field Name box and click the Update Field button.

In the design view you will see the new Label displayed.

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When you create a new Slip or Form from the template the text will be displayed.

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Each label can hold up to 500 characters, if you need to show larger amounts of text, just use multiple text fields on the Template.

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