Parents evenings

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Parents Evening is an additional module in Insight. It allows users to make bookings with staff for parents evening on a first-come first-serve basis. The parents evening additional module is a bundle, which also includes events and student events.

As Parents Evening is an additional module of Insight, a separate charge applies. Please contact sales@tascsoftware.co.uk for further information.

Configuration

The following role options are required to configure a parents evening:
Manage > Parents Evening (On)
Manage > Parents Evening > Allow access to event management (On)

Creating a Parents Evening

To create a new parents evening go to:
Manage > Parents Evening

Click the Add button at the top of the page. A new page will open with four tabs.


Details Tab

The Details Tab. Click to expand

Enter the name of the Parents Evening in the Description field. The Status should remain set to Design for now. You should change this to Booking after you have finished configuring the Parents Evening and are ready for parents to make bookings.

Do not select the Relax During option for now either. See the Advanced Configuration section below for information regarding this setting.

Enter the Date for the Parents Evening. By default, Insight will use this date to determine which classes the pupils are in.

In some cases you may want to use a different date to determine which classes the students are in. For example, if the parents evening takes place soon after the students have rotated technology classes, then you may wish to use a date earlier than the Parents Evening so that parents make bookings with the students' previous teacher. If this is the case, enter the date you wish to use in the Academic Date field and Insight will use this to determine which classes the students are in. Otherwise, leave the Academic Date field empty.

Enter the Start Time and End Time for the Parents Evening. The Slot Length is the number of minutes that each appointment will last. If you want to force parents to have a break immediately before and after each appointment, see the Advanced Configuration section below.

The Limit Number Of User Bookings To will prevent a parent making more than this number of bookings, even if their child has more classes than this. Leave the Sort Bookings List By Relationship option unticked. Insist Priority 1s Make Bookings means that only Priority 1 contacts will be able to make bookings for the Parents Evening.

The Allow Parental Agenda Setting will allow parents to type a note when they are making a booking. Staff members will be able to see these notes on their list of bookings prior to the Parents Evening.

Event notes will appear in a window for parents when they access the parents evening. You can set different notes for each Parents Evening using this feature.

Upload a Guidance Document if required. Many schools will upload a Floor Plan for parents to download. This can be done at a later point.


Students Tab

Select the year group(s) of students who will be attending the Parents Evening.


Staff Tab

Select Academic Supervisors if you want parents to be able to make bookings with class teachers. When this option is enabled you can also use the Restrict To Main Class Teachers option, which means that parents can only make bookings with the "Main Class Teacher" for each class. (Note the Main Class Teacher is defined in SIMS and is not necessarily the teacher who takes the class most often).

Use the Include Tutors option to allow parents to make bookings with the students' form tutors. Similarly, use the Include House Supervisors to allow parents to make bookings with the Heads of House.

The Include SIMS User Defined Groups option will display a list of User Defined Groups from SIMS. Select any groups to include in the Parents Evening. The parents of the students in that group will be able to make bookings with the supervisor of the group, just like an academic class.

On the right side of the page Insight will display a list of the staff who will be available during the evening. If you do not see a list of staff, check that the Insight SIMS User has the correct academic year set in SIMS.


Exclusions Tab

This tab is used to exclude registration groups from the Parents Evening. This is typically used by large schools that have two separate evenings for each year group. Click Select Some Options to see a dropdown and select the registration group(s) to exclude.

Excluding Classes / Subjects / Teachers


Excluding Subjects

Entire subjects can be excluded from Parents Evenings if desired. To do this, go to:
Manage > Preferences > Parents Evening

There is a setting here called Do not use these subjects in parents evenings. Type the name(s) of the subjects that you want to exclude from your Parents Evening. If there are multiple subjects, separate them with a plus symbol.

Once you have done the above, go to:
Manage > Parents Evenings

Select your Parents Evening and click Edit. Then click Save at the top right. This is required after you have made any changes to the list of excluded subjects on the Preferences page.


Excluding Individual Classes

This is done on the Manage Parents Evening page (Manage > Parents Evening). To exclude individual classes, the Parents Evening cannot be in Design mode. If the Status of the Parents Evening is Design, select the Parents Evening and click Edit. Change the Status to Closed To Parents then click Save. This means parents will be able to see the Parents Evening, but not make any bookings.

You will now be back on the Manage Parents Evening page. Select the Parents Evening and click the dropdown next to the Edit button.

Parents evening edit dropdown.jpg

Click Schedule and you will be taken to a new page. There is a dropdown at the top-left of the page that currently reads "All Students". Click on this and select the class you want to exclude. A button will appear next to the name of the class. If the button shows a Thumbs Up then the class is available for the Parents Evening, if the button shows a Thumbs Down then the class is excluded. Click the button to toggle between available and excluded. Click Close at the top-right when you are done.

An individual staff member can exclude themselves from a class without excluding the class for other teachers. To do this, they must log in to Insight and follow the steps above, while they have the following Role Options enabled:
Manage > Parents Evenings (On)
Manage > Parents Evenings > Allow unavailable and break booking (On)
Manage > Parents Evenings > Allow access to multiple staff (Off)


Excluding Teachers

Teachers can be removed via the Manage Parents Evening page (Manage > Parents Evening). Select the Parents Evening and click Edit. Go to the Staff Tab and click on a staff member's name to exclude them. Click Save at the top-right when done.

If a staff member already has bookings hen you exclude them, then the bookings will be cancelled. An email will be sent to parents explaining that their booking has been cancelled and you will have the option to type additional information to appear in this email.

iInsight needs to be configured in order to send emails. See the communication setup page for further information.

Advanced Configuration

Force a Break Between Parents' Appointments

You can force parents to have a break before and after each of their appointments. The following preference is used to enable breaks between appointments:
Preferences > Parents Evening > Force a break between parents appointments

You can lift this requirement for parents who are making bookings with the same member of staff. Parents may be allowed to make bookings with the same member of staff if they have more than one child at the parents evening, or if a staff member teaches multiple subjects. There are preferences to lift the requirement for breaks between bookings in these situations:
Preferences > Parents Evening > Relax breaks for siblings
Preferences > Parents Evening > Relax limit for staff with multiple subjects

By default each break will last the same amount of time as the appointments do. However the breaks can be double the length of time of the appointments if required, depending on the following preference:
Preferences > Parents Evening > Breaks between parents appointments are two slots wide


Assign Breaks for Staff

Staggered breaks for a Parents Evening

The following role options are required to add breaks to a parents evening:
Manage > Parents Evening > Allow unavailable and break booking (On)

Go to the Manage Parents Evening page (Manage > Parents Evening). Select the Parents Evening then click the dropdown next to the Edit button. Click Schedule and you will be taken to a new page.

To add an individual break for a staff member, first click on Break (from the list of students on the left) then click on the slot where you would like to add a break.

Breaks can also be added in bulk. These breaks can be staggered so that 5 staff have a break during one slot, another 5 staff have a break during the next slot and so on. Alternatively breaks can be added for a single timeslot during the event.

To add staggered breaks, first click on Break (from the list of students on the left) then click on a column header. Select Stagger in the next window. Choose the slots for which you would like the breaks to begin and end (e.g. breaks begin during the 5th appointment and finish by the 10th).

To add breaks for all staff for a single timeslot, click Break (from the list of students on the left) then click on a column header and select Yes when prompted. You can remove these breaks by clicking the column header again.


Allow Parents to Make Bookings Only During Certain Dates (the Relax During setting)

You can configure Parents Evenings so that users can only make bookings during a specified date range. This is often used by schools to make bookings on behalf of 'high priority' students/parents, before any other users have reserved any of the appointments.

Go to the Manage Parents Evening page (Manage > Parents Evening). Click on the Parents Evening and click Edit. Set the Status of the Parents Evening to Closed to parents. Enable the Relax during option, then enter the date range between which you would like users to be able to make bookings. Click Save when done.


Changing the Icons Used for Subjects on the Booking Page

When users are making bookings, they will see an icon for the subject of each class. These can be changed if desired. To do this, log on to the IIS server that hosts in Insight and go to the Insight installation folder (typically C:\inetpub\wwwroot\INSIGHT).

Open the _Personalisation folder and look for a file called builtInIcons.txt. Open this text file to see a list of the names that Insight uses for icons e.g. the name of the icon shown for Maths is "calculator". To replace the default icon used by Insight, copy a 32x32 png file into the _Personalisation folder using the name of the icon you want to replace e.g. calculator.png

Staff / Teacher Usage

Staff require the following role options:
Manage > Parents Evening (On)

The following settings are also recommended for staff:
Manage > Parents Evenings > Allow access to multiple staff (Off)
Manage > Parents Evenings > Allow access to event management (Off)
Manage > Parents Evenings > Allow over booking (Off)

iThe Allow over booking option gives staff the ability to double-book students for appointments

Making Bookings for Students

Making a booking for a student

To make bookings for students, go to:
Manage > Parents Evenings

Select the Parents Evening and click Schedule. You will be taken to a new page. On the left side of the page you will see a list of all of the students. Select the student you would like to make a booking with, then click next to the time that you want the appointment.

You can click in the Notes column to add notes to any appointment. When doing so, you have the option to Share With Parents. If you do not select this option, the notes will be visible only to you and admin staff.


The Schedule screen when the Allow access to multiple staff Role Option has been given to staff

If staff have been given the following Role Option they will see a slightly different view:
Manage > Parents Evenings > Allow access to multiple staff (On)

In this case, after selecting a Parents Evening and clicking Schedule staff will be taken to a new page, but the view will be different.

You will see a list of students on the left side of the page. Click on the student's name, for whom you want to make a booking. The grid on the right of the page will then highlight the teachers of that student. Find the teacher that you want to make the booking with and click in the column for the desired time.

Columns will be coloured grey if the student already has a booking in that timeslot.

Alternatively, click the grey circular button towards the bottom right of the page (after selecting a student). This will open a window showing all of the timeslots available for a student, with a dropdown next to each timeslot. Use the dropdowns to select a staff member with whom the student will have an appointment. This window will not tell you which staff members teach the student.

Download a List of Appointments

This is done via the Manage Parents Evening page (Manage > Parents Evening). Select the Parents Evening then click the Share button at the top-right then select Report. Decide whether you want to see student photos or not, then the report will open. If the report does not open, you need to disable your pop-up blocker.

You can also have Insight email the bookings to you. To do this, follow the same steps as above, but click Email rather than Report.

Mark Attendance

You can use Insight to record whether each of your appointments was attended. This obviously can not be done for Parents Evenings that have not happened yet.

First go to the Manage Parents Evening page (Manage > Parents Evening). Select the Parents Evening and click Schedule. The furthest right column is used to record whether each appointment was attended. Click the button to toggle between Not Attended (the cross) and Attended (the tick).

It is possible to enter the attendance for a Parents Evening until 3 days after the date of the parents evening. At that time, no further attendance marks can be recorded.

Parental Usage

To book Parents Evenings appointments, users require the following role options:
General > Parents Evenings (On)
General > Parents Evenings > Allow Non-Teachers (Off)
General > Parents Evenings > Allow User Bookings (On)

Making Bookings

The Parents Evening booking page

Users access the Parents Evening page via:
General > Parents Evening

Users will see a list of available staff on the right of the page and a list of their own bookings on the left. A list of available appointments will appear next to each staff member's name. Users click on an appointment to reserve it. A green tick will appear next to each staff member that the user has an appointment with.

If a booking has been made by a staff member on behalf of the user, a Confirm This booking? option will appear beneath the appointment.

If the Allow Parental Agenda Setting option was enabled (see the Configuration section above) then users will see an Agenda button. Clicking this allows the user to type a comment which will be visible to the staff member.

Downloading Documents

Users can download a list of their appointments by clicking the Download button at the top right of the page and selecting Bookings.

If a supporting document was attached to the Parents Evening (see Configuration section, above) then users can download the document by clicking Download then Guidance.

Additional Features

Sending Appointment Lists via Email

To email appointment lists, go to:
Manage > Parents Evenings

Select the Parents Evening and click the Share button, then Email. A window will appear in which you can select the recipients. Once you have selected the recipients, click OK to send the emails. Each recipient will receive a PDF document showing their appointments.

iInsight needs to be configured in order to send emails. See the communication setup page for further information.

Reporting on Attendance

An attendance report for a Parents Evening

To view the Attendance of a Parents Evening, go to:
Manage > Parents Evenings

Select the Parents Evening and click the Share button, then Attendance. This will open a report giving figures regarding the attendance to the selected Parents Evening.

The report has two sections, one for bookings by parents and the other for bookings by students. Bookings made by staff members are recorded against the student, therefore these bookings will not appear in the Parents Section.