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 Main 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:
- Go to ‘Calendar’ then scroll down to the gold box below the months
- 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.
- Select the month/day/year in the drop down, then select ‘Weather off’
- Click ‘Change type of day’
- Repeat these steps if your school was closed for additional days
- Please note – if you have teachers who are using separate attendance calendars, then you will need to change those as well! By placing a check mark next to the option ‘Copy to all Separate Attendance Calendars’ before you click the Change button, then the change you are making to the main attendance calendar will also be applied to the separate attendance calendars.
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
Click on this link to watch the Email Forward set-up video tutorial as an MP4
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 2022-2023
- 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
- links to any of the school’s social media accounts
- the school’s awards and achievements
For examples of login pages that utilizes some of the available functions, such as color, links, formatting, 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.