Monthly Mentions Newsletter – January 2019

 

January 2019

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 ReportCards from ‘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 this link for the FAQ on how to send an FDbroadcast

To watch the FDbroadcast video tutorial as an MP4, click here 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
  • How many students returning in each grade level
  • Total 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 2019-2020
  • 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 this link for the FAQ on how to send an FDbroadcast

To watch the FDbroadcast video tutorial as an MP4, click here 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
  • How many students returning in each grade level
  • Total 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 2019-2020
  • 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.

Charge all is back in Timer!  Now you can once again charge all your families at one time for before and after care, preschool, and child care!

Timer allows you to track attendance hours for preschool, daycare, before and after school care, and more!  When combined with Finance, you are able to bill a family’s account directly with just a click! Here are some of the amazing features of this robust component:

  • One click clocking in or clocking out of students
  • Multiple rate groups, as well as multiple student groups
  • Customizable rate settings to meet your school’s unique programs
  • Bill directly to a family’s finance account
  • Exportable reports are easily retrieved and detail all previous charges and times

To find out more about Timer and how it can help transform your school’s tracking of preschool or extended care hours, contact HelpDesk to schedule an appointment!

Frustrated with making transaction mistakes in Finance and not being able to edit or remove them?  All present-day finance transactions can be edited and/or deleted by the original author. Furthermore, you can edit the account and the description for any previous-day transactions.  Here are the steps to deleting a present-day transaction:

  1. Go to ‘Finance’
  2. Click on the ‘Deposits and Charges Report’ button
  3. When the report filters appear at the top of your page, set the parameters you need
  4. Check mark the option for ‘Edit Mode’
  5. Click ‘View Report’
  6. For any present-day transactions you would like to delete (found near the bottom of the report) , click ‘Delete’ next to the specific transaction

Here are the steps to editing a present-day transaction:

  1. Go to ‘Finance’
  2. Click on the ‘Deposits and Charges Report’ button
  3. When the report filters appear at the top of your page, set the parameters you need
  4. Check mark the option for ‘Edit Mode’
  5. Click ‘View Report’
  6. For any present-day transactions you would like to change (found near the bottom of the report), select the field(s) you would like to change, then click ‘Change’

Here are the fields that can be edited on a present-day transaction:

  • Family
  • Description
  • Amount
  • Account

Here are the fields that can be edited on a previous-day transaction:

  • Description
  • Account

To learn more about editing a finance transaction, watch the video tutorial!

There are many reasons why a student may switch from one course to another mid-year.   If a student has transferred out of your course but must remain in the roster, you can ‘hide’ his name from the grade book roster to avoid confusion when entering in grades.  Here are the steps to ‘exclude’ a student’s name from a grade book roster:

  1. Open the grade book for one of your courses
  2. In the menu on the top right, click ‘Preferences’
  3. Select the option for ‘Exclude Student’
  4. In the drop down, select the student’s name
  5. Click the ‘Exclude’ button
  6. To reinstate the student, just repeat these steps but use the ‘Reinstate’ option instead

When viewing or updating your parent information in FastDirect, it is easy to overlook the field for Cell Phone Provider.  If you have a cell phone number in your parent account, you must select a cell phone provider in order for FDbroadcast or Text Notifications to work. Without a cell phone provider, these are the functions that will not be possible in FastDirect:

  • Text Notifications
  • FDbroadcast via text
  • Auto-notify via text

To view and edit your information, simply click ‘View/Edit Parent Information’ at the top of your Home page.  Your school may limit the amount of information you are able to edit.  If there is a change to your contact information and you are unable to edit it, please contact the school’s office so that they can make the necessary changes.

Watch this video tutorial to learn hot to remove a course in Show Who Teaches What!

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2019-01-16T12:42:44+00:00

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