Monthly Mentions Newsletter – August 2019

August 2019

The beginning of school can be a crazy time but HelpDesk is here to make it easier.  With the start of school quickly approaching, FastDirect wants to make sure your school is ready.  In addition to completing the Summer Transition steps, there are several other items to be addressed.  To stay on top of the many features and settings that need to be reviewed for the start of school, we have created a checklist for administrators, as well as separate ones for teachers and parents.  Click the links below to view the checklists, as well as click here to view our Summer Timeline.

Here are the three different checklists we’ve created:

Click here to view the administrator checklist!

Click here to view the teacher checklist!

Click here to view the parent checklist!

HelpDesk is available to help guide you through these steps – just contact HelpDesk with an FDmail message or call our toll free number 866.805.3116.

FastDirect was one the first SIS software companies that was certified for the WISEdata Ed-Fi Integration program when it began. Now, several years later, we are still proud to be a certified SIS software company for schools in Wisconsin.  We have completed the latest requirements from Ed-Fi and our system is ready to help our schools who participate in the Wisconsin Choice program receive state aid for each eligible student and are required to report data. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has chosen the Ed-Fi framework to facilitate collecting local education agency information and we are excited to be apart of it. Essentially, we push that data to DPI for our schools so they can rest assured that they are meeting their program requirements.

Additionally, Ed-Fi is the reporting standard adopted by Indiana starting in 2020.  Currently, FastDirect Communications is in their vendor list as we are an Ed-Fi Alliance Vendor and current Licensee:

Just as in Wisconsin, we will do the same in Indiana once they begin their certification process for non-public schools. FastDirect Communications is invested in this process because Ed-Fi allows schools to choose any vendor that can meet the Ed-Fi standard for schools that report to the IN Department of Education. We are committed to serve this Ed-Fi requirement in all states that move to this mode reporting.

During registration season, we know printing parent forms is sometimes needed. Whether you print parent information for registration or to keep for a paper copy,
these printing options should make things easier. There is a batch print option and individual print option for all parent/guardian accounts. To print an individual parent’s information, you will pull up a parent account. In the top right of the page will be the ‘Print’ button. Here are some specifics to keep in mind regarding printing a parent form:

  • While we have tried to condense the form so that it will fit on one page, there will be some circumstances when all of the information may require a second page. One factor that will contribute to a longer page print would be the number of WildCards for the parents or students.
  • If a parent or student WildCard has been marked as ‘Hide Information’ (in Settings), then that WildCard and its information will not appear on the printed form.

Here are the steps for how to batch print the parent information forms (with one parent per page):

  1. Go to People, then Parents
  2. Click ‘Print’ next to the very last option that reads ‘Print All Active Parent Information Forms’
  3. A new internet tab will open with each parents’ information displayed per page and then you print through your browser’s print commands

Tired of taking attendance for different homeroom accounts? By setting up Primary/Secondary accounts, you can take attendance for your other homeroom accounts from one primary account.  If your school has multiple homerooms for different preschool schedules, this feature will help save you time and confusion!  This feature is also helpful for:

  • Principals who also have a homeroom class
  • Teacher aides who help out the homeroom teacher
  • Middle school teachers who use block scheduling

Here are some FAQ links to explain Primary/Secondary accounts and help get you started:

Don’t want to log in to read your FDmail messages? With Email Forwarding, you can receive all FDmail messages directly to your email! Here is the FAQ that explains how to set up your parent account to receive Email Forwarding:

Click to hear to read the FAQ on Parent Email Forwarding!

If this is not an option at your school, contact a school administrator to let them know this is something you are interested in receiving.

Monthly Mentions Newsletter

Free Training and Tech Support

New to FastDirect Communications? Our newsletter is just one small way we help our schools. Our free training and tech support is a large part of what we offer. Read more!


About the Author: