Monthly Mentions Newsletter – January 2018

Hoping for a great 2018!

If your school is approaching the end of the 2nd quarter, then these functions in FastDirect might need to be addressed.  Opening up teacher input for 2nd Quarter ReportCards will require:

  • Changing input for 2nd mid-quarter report cards from ‘Allow Input’ to ‘Input Complete’ in ‘ReportCard Input Controls’
  • Confirming the dates for 2nd quarter in ‘Grades’ then ‘Report Card Input Controls’
  • Changing input for 2nd quarter ReportCardsfrom ‘Not Yet’ to ‘Allow Input’ in ‘Report Card Input Controls’
  • Having teachers go through the 2nd quarter report card input process
  • Closing the input process by changing ‘Allow Input’ to ‘Input Complete’

With the winter season upon us, this could mean school closings and changes to school days due to inclement weather.  If your school closes because of snow or other unexpected reasons, then you will need to change the day in the Master School (Standard) Calendar to a non-attendance day. If the calendar is not changed, then your teachers will be asked to take attendance for the day that was cancelled.  Here are the steps:

  1. Go to ‘Calendar’ then scroll down to the gold box below the months
  2. The first option in the gold box allows you to select a day and determine what type of day it is – Normal, Holiday, Other etc.
  3. Select the month/day/year in the drop down, then select ‘Weather off’
  4. Click ‘Change type of day’
  5. Repeat these steps if your school was closed for additional days

Notifying your parents of snow days, late starts or early dismissals has never been easier! To notify your staff and parents of any closings, late starts or early dismissals, use the FDbroadcast feature. These broadcasts can go directly from the school to the parents’ cell phones and email accounts, keeping everyone informed instantly!

FDbroadcast was designed to allow principals (and selected staff) the ability to message the school community in multiple methods in case of an emergency or urgent situation. The option “FDbroadcast” must be selected when sending the FDmail message. The system, by default, allows the Principal access to this feature. To give other staff members access, the Principal must edit their Teacher (Staff) form in the People section. This feature sends all users a copy of your urgent FDmail as well as a Text Notification and an Email Forward. Even if your school does not currently use the feature ‘Email Forward’, the FDbroadcast will still forward your FDmail message directly to the recipients’ email. However, in order for the text notification to work, your school will need to enable ‘SMS Text Notification’ in Settings. The last critical step is that your parents have entered in all the necessary information on their parent form. This means they will need an email address, a cell phone number and a cell phone provider. A text notification and email forward are only sent if the appropriate fields are completed on the staff and parent forms. If a parent has opted out of receiving SMS Text Notifications or has opted out of receiving Staff Email Forward, an FDbroadcast will still be sent to that parent in all methods regardless of the parents’ preferences. This is why an FDbroadcast is ideal for urgent or emergency situations, as it overrides the parents’ preferences for communication.

Here are some helpful FAQ links to help explain these features and how to get started:

Click here for the FAQ explaining FDbroadcast

Click here for the FAQ on how to send an FDbroadcast

Click here for the FDbroadcast video tutorial as an MP4 or watch it in Youtube!

Click here for the Email Forward set-up video tutorial as an MP4 or watch it in Youtube!

The login screen is another way to communicate school closings and announcements from the school.  Here are the steps for posting an announcement on the login screen:

  • Go to ‘Settings’ and click on Login Page Design in the left hand navigation menu
  • In the middle box labeled ‘Message of the Day’, type in your message or announcement
  • Click ‘Save Changes’
  • This announcement will post on the login screen above the login box. To add addition detail, color, font changes, etc, you will want to use an HTML editing software, such as KompoZer, which can be downloaded for free.

Registration is an important part of the school year and FastDirect can help make the process easier.  In FastDirect, you can track new student applications, re-registrations of returning students, as well as the charging and depositing of registration fees. Here is some of the information that is tracked in the Registration report:

  • The number of students for each grade level
  • The number of students returning in each grade level
  • The number of new student applications in each grade level
  • An estimated number of spots available in each grade level
  • A breakdown of each existing family and their re-registration status

Here are some other features involved in registration through FastDirect:

  • The ability to allow your parents to re-register their child online
  • The finance account for Registration 2017-2018
  • A report showing all families and if they have been charged their registration fees
  • A report showing all families and if they have paid their registration fees

A new year is a good time to consider a new look or utilizing new features, such as text notifications and file uploading for parents.  When redesigning the login screen, here are some details that can be changed:

  • The images displayed – either in the left hand navigation bar or above the login box
  • Any of the text that appears above the login box, as well as some of the text that appears below the login box
  • Any of the colors displayed, either in the left hand navigation bar or above the login box

Here is some of the information that can be added, changed, stylized, revised or removed on your login screen:

  • the school’s name
  • the school’s contact information
  • the names of any administrators – principals, directors, clergy etc.
  • the school’s mission statement, Bible quotes, or announcements/messages
  • the school’s awards and achievements

For examples of login pages that utilizes some of the available functions, such as color, links, formating, click on the link below. In the left hand navigation bar on the login page are links to additional login page examples. These example login pages are not templates, but rather a collection of possibilities. Click this link to view sample login page designs.

If your school is approaching the mid-trimester report for the 2nd trimester, then these functions in FastDirect might need to be addressed. Opening up teacher input for 2nd Mid-Trimester Report will require:

  • Changing input for 1st trimester report cards from ‘Allow Input’ to ‘Input Complete’ in ‘ReportCard Input Controls’
  • Confirming the mid-trimester dates for 2nd trimester in ‘Grades’ then ‘Report Card Input Controls’
  • Changing input for mid-trimester from ‘Not Yet’ to ‘Allow Input’ in ‘Report Card Input Controls’
  • Having teachers go through the mid-trimester report card input process
  • Closing the input process by changing ‘Allow Input’ to ‘Input Complete’

With the winter season upon us, this could mean school closings and changes to school days due to inclement weather.  If your school closes because of snow or other unexpected reasons, then you will need to change the day in the Master School (Standard) Calendar to a non-attendance day. If the calendar is not changed, then your teachers will be asked to take attendance for the day that was cancelled.  Here are the steps:

  1. Go to ‘Calendar’ then scroll down to the gold box below the months
  2. The first option in the gold box allows you to select a day and determine what type of day it is – Normal, Holiday, Other etc.
  3. Select the month/day/year in the drop down, then select ‘Weather off’
  4. Click ‘Change type of day’
  5. Repeat these steps if your school was closed for additional days

Notifying your parents of snow days, late starts or early dismissals has never been easier! To notify your staff and parents of any closings, late starts or early dismissals, use the FDbroadcast feature. These broadcasts can go directly from the school to the parents’ cell phones and email accounts, keeping everyone informed instantly!

FDbroadcast was designed to allow principals (and selected staff) the ability to message the school community in multiple methods in case of an emergency or urgent situation. The option “FDbroadcast” must be selected when sending the FDmail message. The system, by default, allows the Principal access to this feature. To give other staff members access, the Principal must edit their Teacher (Staff) form in the People section. This feature sends all users a copy of your urgent FDmail as well as a Text Notification and an Email Forward. Even if your school does not currently use the feature ‘Email Forward’, the FDbroadcast will still forward your FDmail message directly to the recipients’ email. However, in order for the text notification to work, your school will need to enable ‘SMS Text Notification’ in Settings. The last critical step is that your parents have entered in all the necessary information on their parent form. This means they will need an email address, a cell phone number and a cell phone provider. A text notification and email forward are only sent if the appropriate fields are completed on the staff and parent forms. If a parent has opted out of receiving SMS Text Notifications or has opted out of receiving Staff Email Forward, an FDbroadcast will still be sent to that parent in all methods regardless of the parents’ preferences. This is why an FDbroadcast is ideal for urgent or emergency situations, as it overrides the parents’ preferences for communication.

Here are some helpful FAQ links to help explain these features and how to get started:

Click here for the FAQ explaining FDbroadcast

Click here for the FAQ on how to send an FDbroadcast

Click here for the FDbroadcast video tutorial as an MP4 or watch it in Youtube!

Click here for the Email Forward set-up video tutorial as an MP4 or watch it in Youtube!

The login screen is another way to communicate school closings and announcements from the school.  Here are the steps for posting an announcement on the login screen:

  • Go to ‘Settings’ and click on Login Page Design in the left hand navigation menu
  • In the middle box labeled ‘Message of the Day’, type in your message or announcement
  • Click ‘Save Changes’
  • This announcement will post on the login screen above the login box. To add addition detail, color, font changes, etc, you will want to use an HTML editing software, such as KompoZer, which can be downloaded for free.

Registration is an important part of the school year and FastDirect can help make the process easier.  In FastDirect, you can track new student applications, re-registrations of returning students, as well as the charging and depositing of registration fees. Here is some of the information that is tracked in the Registration report:

  • The number of students for each grade level
  • The number of students returning in each grade level
  • The number of new student applications in each grade level
  • An estimated number of spots available in each grade level
  • A breakdown of each existing family and their re-registration status

Here are some other features involved in registration through FastDirect:

  • The ability to allow your parents to re-register their child online
  • The finance account for Registration 2017-2018
  • A report showing all families and if they have been charged their registration fees
  • A report showing all families and if they have paid their registration fees

A new year is a good time to consider a new look or utilizing new features, such as text notifications and file uploading for parents.  When redesigning the login screen, here are some details that can be changed:

  • The images displayed – either in the left hand navigation bar or above the login box
  • Any of the text that appears above the login box, as well as some of the text that appears below the login box
  • Any of the colors displayed, either in the left hand navigation bar or above the login box

Here is some of the information that can be added, changed, stylized, revised or removed on your login screen:

  • the school’s name
  • the school’s contact information
  • the names of any administrators – principals, directors, clergy etc.
  • the school’s mission statement, Bible quotes, or announcements/messages
  • the school’s awards and achievements

For examples of login pages that utilizes some of the available functions, such as color, links, formating, click on the link below. In the left hand navigation bar on the login page are links to additional login page examples. These example login pages are not templates, but rather a collection of possibilities. Click this link to view sample login page designs.

 

December can be a crazy month so we want to re-post the ‘What’s New’ feature for January. We think this will be a big help to our schools and feel like it’s worth posting about twice!

Taking attendance for multiple homerooms has now been made much easier with the new Primary/Secondary feature! 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:

Click here for the FAQ explaining Primary/Secondary accounts

Click here for the FAQ on how to set up Primary/Secondary accounts

Click here for the FAQ on how to take attendance for Primary/Secondary accounts

Click here to watch the video tutorial on setting up Primary/Secondary accounts (MP4) or watch in Youtube!

Click here to watch the video tutorial on taking attendance (and lunch) with Primary/Secondary accounts (MP4) or watch in Youtube!

In Monitor, administrators have the ability to attach a note to any student who is absent, tardy etc. The note field will also feed into the Census report, therefore allowing teachers to stay informed of any necessary information regarding their students.

Click here to read the FAQ that explains Monitor notes and how to create them.

Click here to watch the video tutorial on Monitor notes (as an MP4) or watch it in Youtube!

Assignment Calendars are one of the easiest ways to help strengthen the communication between school and home. Your grade book events are posted automatically, thus requiring no extra work from you! Did you know that the events a teacher creates in her GradeBook are automatically fed to a student’sDid you know that the events a teacher creates in her GradeBook are automatically fed to a student’s assignment calendar?  If a teacher creates events before they occur, the students and parents can be better informed and prepared. Here are some advantages to creating events before they occur:

  • Gives students and parents a ‘heads-up’ for the days and weeks ahead
  • Planning your lessons for the week goes hand-in-hand with creating the GradeBook events
  • Attaching files and links to future events can help students and parents prepare for upcoming assignments, tests etc.

The assignments calendar can be found on a parent’s Home screen underneath their FDmail messages.  There will be a black and white grid showing you all the viewing options available for the child’s grades.  One of the columns is labeled ‘Assignment Calendar’.  Click the ‘View’  button and a new window/tab will appear displaying a month’s worth of dates.  The month can be changed so that the parent or student can see a different range of dates.

You can pin your FastDirect Login page to your mobile home screen so you can quickly access your parent account! Click here to learn how!

Watch this video tutorial to find out how to exclude or hide a student’s name from a grade book!

 

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2018-06-12T15:48:25+00:00

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