Changes to detentions
Several changes have been made to the PARS detentions system. These changes will make scheduling easier and more flexible for staff, and will change the setup required for detentions. If you have configured any types of detentions prior to this update, you will need to make some changes to the configuration in PARS.
Changes to Usage for Staff
For All Schools
The changes to the detention system will be seen by staff when they are giving detentions. Staff will still select a type of detention from the Detention drop-down and click the Add button to select that detention.
PARS will then calculate the first available slot for each selected student in that detention. This is the same process as automatic scheduling. However unlike the old automatic scheduling system, staff now have the option to change the date before the detention is saved. Staff can do this by clicking the Ready link.
This opens a popup showing the earliest date that the detention can take place. Staff can alter this by using the forward or back buttons to change the date of the detention. Because staff can alter the date of the detention at this stage, they do not need to use the Schedule detentions page.
For staff who have been using auto-scheduling, they can continue using PARS as normal and detentions will be auto-scheduled as before. Staff will have the option of clicking the Ready link to change the date of the detention if desired. For staff who have been using the Schedule Detentions page to select the date for their detentions, they must now click the Ready link instead, otherwise their detentions will be auto-scheduled.
If the link reads "Unscheduled" rather than "Ready" then PARS has been unable to find any available times for the student(s) to be placed in detention. Clicking the Unscheduled link will explain why this has happened. Detentions can only be saved once they have a valid schedule date.
For Schools where Teachers Print Detention Slips
If the Print Slip On Save option is enabled (see below) then the detention slips will be downloaded when the user saves the detention. This replaces the need to click the Save and Print Slips button on the Schedule Detentions page (although it is still possible to do this, or to print detention slips via Edit Scheduled Detentions).
Changes to Configuration
|The old configuration window||The new configuration window|
Schedule Only Timeslot
This option has been removed. Detention slots must always be scheduled (calenderised) in advance. For the vast majority of schools this will not require any additional setup.
Either of the following two methods can be used to check if a detention has been scheduled:
- A tick in the Scheduled column means the detention has been scheduled
- Click the arrow to the left of the detention's name; if any dates are shown, the detention is scheduled
Requires Printed Slip
The Requires Printed Slip options has been renamed to Print Slip On Save, to more accurately reflect its function.
Now when enabling the Print Slip On Save option you must also select a detention slip. This slip will be downloaded to the user's computer upon saving a detention, ready to be printed.
This option should only be used if Detention Slips need to be printed immediately when a detention is given (most commonly by teachers). If detention slips are to be printed centrally by admin staff, do not enable this option. Detention Slips can be printed in bulk via the Edit scheduled detentions page regardless of whether the Print Slip On Save option is enabled or not.
Default to / Optionally / Never ... personal
Each type of detention is now always Personal or Central (central means non-personal). Users will not be able to change this when they are giving the detentions to students. As such, the permission "Default users detentions to personal" has been retired.
The previous options available, when configuring a time type, were:
- Default to personal
- Optionally personal
- Never personal
Detentions that were previously set to Default to personal will now become Personal. Detentions that were either Optionally personal or Never personal will become Central (non-personal). These settings can be changed if required.
Advance Days & Same Day Cutoff
If you edit a detention timetype, you will now see two new options labelled 'Advance Days' and 'Same day cutoff'.
By default these options are set to 'Same day' and 00:00 . You must change this to the correct setting for each specific detention.
Failure to do this will result in staff seeing an 'Undefined' message when attempting to schedule a detention.
These settings were previously defined in Preferences and therefore the same settings applied to all detentions. This meant that, when auto-scheduling, all detentions would take place the same number of days in advance. Many schools needed more flexibility than this e.g. a lunchtime detention should happen on the same day, but an after school detention needs 24 hours' delay in order to inform parents.
Each detention type now has an Advance Days setting. This is the minimum number of days in advance that this detention can be booked. If the Advance Days is set to "1 day" then a detention given on Thursday cannot be scheduled to take place until Friday, or later.
If the Advance Days option has been set to "Same day" then the detention is allowed to be scheduled on the same day it is given. In this case you will also see a Same Day Cutoff option. Detentions issued before this time are allowed to be scheduled on the same day, detentions given after this time can only be scheduled the day after or later. If this option is set to 00:00, it is ignored and this detention type can always take place on the same day.