ATTENDANCE SUPPORT NOTES
ORIGINAL WIKI LINK - http://www.tascsoftware.co.uk/wiki/PARS_Connect/index.php?title=Category:Attendance
- 1 ATTENDANCE MENU ITEMS
- 2 Training Information - USAGE
- 3 Required Setup/Configuration
- 4 ADVANCED TECHNICAL Setup/Configuration
- 5 GHFAQ - ATTENDANCE
- 6 Frequently asked questions
- 7 List of all pages
ATTENDANCE MENU ITEMS
Attendance > Take A Register
Attendance > Attendance View
Attendance > Missing Registers
Attendance > Exceptional Circumstances
Attendance > Attendance Reports
Attendance > Maintain Codes
Attendance > Attendance Overview
Attendance > Fire
PARS's oldest and most-used area is attendance. The features are described in brief below, with a link to a wiki page that goes into more detail about each feature. Each link that you can click is coloured and emboldened like this (you can't click on this one).
PARS has systems for Extra classes, Detentions and Removals, which all create registers for pupils. Follow these links for further information about these features as they are not covered in depth on this page. Some pages relating to these categories can be found at the index at the bottom of this page.
Training Information - USAGE
You can use the Take a register page to look for specific registers.
However staff will generally access their registers via their homepage, which will show all registers to be completed today or this week.
Follow the Register link for instructions on how to take a register and what features are available via the register. You can create seating plans from your register.
Updating marks & finding absentees (attendance officers)
Attendance officers should use attendance view to manage attendance. Attendance view can also be filtered to find first day absentees, latecomers, truants, etc.
Staff can create and use seating plans to take registers, issue behaviour incidents or detentions, see pupils' grades, view personal details (Pupil Premium, SEN, etc.) and identify hotspots of behaviour in the classroom.
The external contact page allows you to send messages home to parents (emails or SMS messages) as well as recording the details of telephone calls or meetings in a pupil's contact log. This can be used in conjunction with attendance view (above) to send messages to parents of absentees or latecomers.
Chasing missing registers
Missing registers is used to chase staff who have not completed their registers on time. It is important that all registers are taken on time for fire-safety and safeguarding purposes.
Preparing for fire
PARS has a fire module which constantly updates itself with today's attendance so that if there is a fire, you are able to tell which pupils are onsite using attendance data that is no more than 5 minutes old.
Reporting on attendance
Attendance reports can be used to analyse attendance data, track persistent absentees and identify patterns of attendance. Follow the link for screenshots of the reports available as well as a guide to using reports.
You may also create Custom behaviour reports. Despite the name, these reports allow you to analyse various aspects of attendance data, as well as behaviour, detentions, removals and more.
The Attendance overview features will give you an overview of the whole school's attendance at a glance, including the lowest attendance pupils and form group analysis.
Using the # or Y codes
The Exceptional circumstances feature allows you to issue the # or Y codes. These are used if your school needs to close unexpectedly, perhaps due to weather conditions or industrial action.
Automatic alerts for absentees or truants
The Group manager page can be used to create attendance alert groups - these are groups of recipients who are notified immediately when certain pupils get specific attendance codes (such as N) or when the pupils truant.
Custom attendance codes
The Maintain codes feature can used in PARS to create custom attendance codes. This can also be done via SIMS and any custom codes from SIMS will be pulled into PARS.
Lesson registers writing back to AM or PM
Mapped periods are used when you want your attendance data from a lesson to write back to a session (for example, period 5 being copied to the PM session). You will need to configure this in SIMS.
Preparing for fire
The Fire module may need some configuration before use. The fire module keeps a copy of current attendance data in the case of a fire.
Biometric setup (swipecards, fingerprint scanners, etc.)
The instructions on the Pupil scan page should be used if you are using a biometric system for attendance.
Settings for registers
Registration preferences apply specifically and only to registers, unlike permissions and preferences which apply to all areas of PARS.
Restricting attendance codes
In PARS you can restrict staff access to attendance codes. Typically schools will only allow staff to enter present, late or absent codes for pupils; all other attendance is managed by the attendance officer. If you wish to restrict access to attendance codes, go to the permissions page.
ADVANCED TECHNICAL Setup/Configuration
Main menu > System Management > Preferences > Attendance
Colour attendance squares based on physical meaning.
Attendance marks on registers and the Attendance view screen will be coloured green for physically present, red for physically absent and yellow for late.
Count approved educational activity code as present.
Attendance codes defined in the SIMS Attendance module with the statistical meaning "Approved educational activity" will count as a present mark when running reports.
Allow user-defined colour markers on attendance view screens.
Allows user to access and apply user-defined colour markers on 'Attendance view' screen
Save marks chunk size.
When saving large numbers of marks via Attendance view, the marks will be broken down into groups. This setting defines how many marks are in each group; the recommended number is 1000. You can increase this number, meaning each group will have more marks in so there will be less groups. This can increase the speed of saving marks, but if the groups are too large then PARS may time out.
Logs every save of lesson marks
Logs every save of session marks
These two settings increase the amount of data that is recorded whenever a lesson/session mark is saved.
The settings should only be used under advice and when it has been established that there is a problem that requires further investigation.
The extra data gives information about the user who changed the mark, the person associated with the user and the time when it was saved.
A "Jump to history" button will appear on the Attendance view screen where this information is available.
Include current registers as missing
When this preference is on, registers are considered missing as soon as the lesson has started (and if the register has not been taken). When this preference is off, registers are not missing until the lesson has finished.
Main menu > System Management > Permissions > Attendance
Access Attendance Menu This option allows the user to view and access the attendance menu from the main PARS menu. Users without this ability will still be able to take registers but will be unable to run attendance reports.
Access Attendance View menu item
This option allows the user to view and access the Attendance view option under the main Attendance menu. Normally teachers should not have access to this as it is intended for editing existing marks rather than entering new ones.
Allow amendments to marks in Attendance view
Allows the user the ability to batch-enter attendance marks.
Only enter attendance for own groups in Attendance view
Allows the user to only batch-enter attendance marks for their own tutor group and any classes they teach. Unlike most permission settings, this is restrictive.
Prompt for keeping mapped periods and their sessions in synchronisation in Attendance view
Whenever an attendance mark in a mapped lesson period is altered on the Attendance view screen, the user will be asked if they want to have the session mark altered.
Take registers for today
This option allows the user the ability to take registers for today's lessons or reg groups.
Take registers for yesterday
As above but will allow the user to "go back" a day.
Take registers for any school day
As above but will allow the user to take a register for any day within the school year.
Only view registers for yesterday
The user may only view registers taken the day before (as well as today's registers).
Report on attendance
Allows the user to generate and view attendance reports.
Deal with missing registers
This option allows the user access to the "Missing registers" section of Attendance on the PARS main menu.
Hide the hover over on the register screen
With this box unticked, hovering over a pupil's name on a register will stop the pupil's name from being highlighted. This may be useful on machines with lower graphics capability or no graphics drivers.
Hide student details hover over on the register screen
The yellow "tool tip" containing student details (including their photo) will be hidden if this permission is ticked.
Access Exceptional Circumstances
Access the Exceptional circumstances menu item that allows groups of pupils to have a "Y" attendance entered for them over a period of time.
Prevent user from being able to enter attendance comments
This option prevents the user from adding comments to a student's attendance record in attendance view.
Show attendance comments on registers
This option allows the user to view attendance comments via their register.
Hides the Mark All Present button from register screens
This option prevents user from being able to mark all students present with a single click when taking a register.
User can edit Seating plans layouts created in PARS Connect
This option allows user to edit seating plans within PARS Connect.
Access the fire screen
Allows the user to access the fire module for registering pupils during a fire
GHFAQ - ATTENDANCE
1. Attendance marks entered into a lesson register either are, or are not automatically updating your AM or PM session mark when recording attendance for students in a class register.
PARS can be configured to automatically update session attendance marks based on lesson mark data.
This must be configured within SYSTEM MANAGEMENT > REGISTRATION PREFERENCES and should be configured based on the information gathered about how this should work, from your Attendance Officer.
Please refer to the link I have posted below for information that should help with this.
2. Teaching staff can’t see a specific class registers within their PARS Diary screen.
There no options within PARS for Academic Year progression or Timetable changes.
Classes/Timetables are managed and configured within SIMS – PARS pulls timetable data from SIMS.
It is completely normal for the new school timetable not show up in PARS until the start of the new academic year.
In SIMS, the new timetable needs to be applied and the new academic year needs to be set as current - Doing this too early can cause problems in PARS.
Please check to make sure that the missing class appears in the ‘MY TIMELINE’ section of the SIMS HOME PAGE when the staff member is logged into SIMS.
If it is not displayed in this section, it will not be displayed within the PARS timetable.
3. Teaching staff or school attendance officer is unable to use a particular attendance code.
Custom attendance codes can’t be saved for a SESSION (AM or PM) but can be used for LESSON registration.
HASH or Y codes can be applied to sessions, using a particular screen in PARS called ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ .
Please refer to the link I have posted below for more information about how this screen works.
4. Teaching staff are receiving pop-ups about missing registers.
PARS will send missing register notifications automatically to staff when you have the NOTICES PREFERENCE labelled 'When sending messages in missing register send as instant popups notices' enabled.
These will appear as pop-up messages in PARS. The notifications will 10 minutes after the start of the lesson.
If the staff member dismisses the popup and still does not take the register, it will appear again in another 10 minutes. This will continue for the day.
It is possible to set EXCLUSIONS for the missing register notices from within the MISSING REGISTERS screen.
Do this by ticking the groups you wish to exclude within the 'Missing register exclusions' window that appears when you click the 'Exclusions' button
5. Teaching staff appear to be able to overwrite attendance marks that have been entered by school’s Attendance Officer.
An attendance officer may report that staff can overwrite an attendance mark that has previously been entered for a student.
Our developers have designed the software in a way that means that when an attendance officer records an attendance mark for a student using ATTENDANCE VIEW specifically; it can’t be overwritten by anyone but the ‘Mark-owner’.
The mark owner is the original user that recorded the current attendance mark – which in this case is going to be the Attendance officer.
The only exception to this is when a staff member has the ATTENDANCE PERMISSION labelled ‘Allow amendments to marks in Attendance Views’ enabled.
Should you wish to further investigate the issue, you should enable the ATTENDANCE PREFERENCE labelled ‘Logs every save of lesson marks’ and ‘Logs every save of session marks’.
Once enabled, more data will be logged about amendments made to attendance marks – You can see this in the report that is generated when you click the ‘History’ option when you have selected a specific attendance mark in ATTENDANCE VIEW.
Frequently asked questions
This is a list of frequently asked questions relating to attendance. For the answers to any of these questions, please go to the attendance FAQ.
- There are pupils with no name on menus, registers, etc.
- My lessons are missing from my timetable
- All previous attendance marks have disappeared in SIMS and PARS
- In Attendance View why is there a pink triangle on one of the cells for a student?
- How do I add a Y or # code?
- Can comments be added to attendance marks?
- How to record AM and PM marks during a lesson
- Our AM or PM registration times are wrong
- I want teachers to only take one register for double/triple periods
- The marks for our AM/PM sessions keep changing unexpectedly
- Staff can't see notifications in their registers for pupils who are On Report
- I can't save an N code for a pupil in my register
- Attendance marks are unexpectedly changing