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.

update-contact

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’.

allow-update

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.

sms-credits

 

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.

print-slips

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.

no-fields

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

 

 

Send newsletters and alerts to parents with ParentPaperwork

A great many schools have asked us if they can use ParentPaperwork to send newsletters and other information to parents, via email and SMS.

We are pleased to announce availability of the new Parent Broadcast feature, included as part of everyone’s ParentPaperwork annual subscription.

The Broadcast feature lets you send emails and/or SMS text messages to parents without needing a response back. You create the Broadcast in a similar fashion as sending an online form to parents, but there is no need for them to respond. Broadcast is great for distributing your school’s newsletter, or sending alerts or updates to groups of parents.

Many schools now distribute their newsletters via email, or perhaps a mobile app. Both methods have their drawbacks.

If you are using email, then you are probably copying and pasting dozens of addresses into your email program. Or maybe you are using MailChimp, or Constant Contact, or one of the other email newsletter systems – which means importing your parent list each time. And if you want to send an SMS you’ll have to use yet another system.

But what about the mobile apps some schools use? The big problem is you will never have every parent download, install and set up the app. Some parents won’t own smart phones. Others simply won’t want the bother of another app on their phone. So you will never be able to be confident your messages are reaching everyone.

The Broadcast system in ParentPaperwork is different. You can  send a message to the parents on one or more Student Lists, via either email or SMS or both. No fuss, quick and easy. You can immediately communicate with EVERY PARENT in the school, providing you have at least either an email address or mobile phone number on file.

If you wish to make use of SMS notifications you need to ask us to turn this feature on for you. Please email [email protected] and we’ll flick the switch.

You can check whether SMS notifications are enabled by clicking on your User Name at the top right (after logging into ParentPaperwork). Then click Settings, and Configuration.