Getting started

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You have now purchased PARS Connect and want to configure a few areas to get started!

PARS can be configured in either the client version (installed on a machine) or PARS Connect which is web based. This page explains how to configure PARS using PARS Connect.

Logging in

This is the PARS login page:

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Enter your SIMS username and password to login into PARS and begin configuration.

Configure User Permissions

To access this page go to:

PARS main menu (circular button top left corner) > System management > Permissions

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The recommended way to give user permissions to staff is by creating a template for various roles and then assigning this template to members of staff. This way if you want to edit users' permissions, you update the template only and not all users individually; makes it quick and simple!

Create a Template

To create a template for yourself, click on 'Add template'

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Name the template - example 'Admin' and click Accept. You will now see the template name 'Admin' in the table. Select the admin template by clicking the radial button on the left of "Admin" then click the "Modify" button from the top toolbar.

Next download and save the file below, by right-clicking and selecting "Save target as..."

Suggested Admin Permissions

Click the "Import" button from the top toolbar and import the file you have just downloaded.

Applying a Template

Once you have imported your template click the "Save" button at the top-right of the page. This will take you back to the page showing your permissions templates. You now need to apply the template to yourself and any other staff members requiring admin rights.

Click the "Users" radio button at the top of the page - this will switch the view so that you can see a list of users instead of templates.

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Select the staff member(s) who require admin permissions by clicking the boxes on the left of their names. Once the staff are selected, click the "Modify" button from the top toolbar.

Click the "Apply a template" button from the top toolbar and select the admin template that you created earlier.

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Click "OK" in that window to apply the admin template to the users then click "Save" at the top-right and you will be taken back to the page showing the permissions templates. If you want to check and see which templates have been applied to users, then click the "Users" button at the top of the page. After each users' name, you will be able to see the name of the template that was last applied to them.

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You must log out of PARS and back in again before the permissions changes will take effect. To do this, click the padlock button at the top-left of the page.

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Recommended permissions for Office, SLT and Teachers

You may wish to create permissions templates for other users at school, so that they can begin using the system straight away. The process will be exactly the same as above except that the users should have a different set of permissions than admin. Please see below for more suggested permissions templates.

(right click and choose "Save target as...")

For a more informative list of the permissions and their purposes, please go to List of permissions.

Configure Preferences

Unlike permissions which are specific to each user, preferences are global to the school. It is recommended that you stick with the default preferences in most cases, though there are a few details that you will need to input.

To access this page go to:

PARS main menu (circular button top left corner) > System management > Preferences

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This will take you to the preferences page. The preferences are divided into sections depending on which area of PARS they affect. First click on the "General" section. There is a preference called "PARS Connect URL - Used for IEPs and Student Review writeback". You need to enter the URL of your PARS Connect site - please note this should not be a localhost address.

Once done click on the "Email" section. You need to enter the details of your SMTP server as well as login credentials to access it.

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Once you have entered the SMTP details (username, password, port and servername/IP address) click the "Send test email" link at the bottom of the section. This will open a window where you can enter an email address to send a test message to. Test this with both an internal and external email address to check that emails are working properly.

Registration Preferences

Registration preferences are similar to preferences in that they are system-wide settings, although they only apply to registers. Again it is recommended that you stick with the default preferences in most cases, though you will need to check the session times, which are the start and end times of the periods that pupils spend with their form tutors. If your school does not have form tutor sessions, you can skip this step.

To access Registration preferences go to:

PARS main menu (circular button top left corner) > System management > Registration preferences

There are tabs at the top of the page which allow you to edit various different settings. Click on "Session times".

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Please enter the correct times for your Statutory AM and PM registers. Once you have entered the times, take a note of the earliest start time for a PM session.

Now click on the "Operational preferences" tab at the top of the page. The first setting here is called "AM/PM cutoff time" - this must be set to an earlier time than the earliest start time for a PM session (the time you just took a note of).

One you have finished selecting all your preferences click the "Save" button from the top-right of the page.

Timetables and mapping periods

If the pupils at your school have a period with their form tutor in both the morning and the afternoon, ignore this section. Otherwise the attendance mark that would normally be given by a form tutor will come from a lesson register instead (the form tutor periods provide statutory attendance marks for the AM and PM halves of the school day - these marks are required by law).

The process for dealing with this is to 'map' a lesson register to the form periods, so that the attendance mark given to a pupil during that lesson is copied to their AM or PM mark. This configuration needs to be done in SIMS, but you can see a guide for this on the mapped periods page.

Configure proxy

The PARS Connect IIS server needs to be able to connect to the internet to check for a valid license file, send SMS and email messages, etc. If it requires a proxy server then this is configured on the proxy server page.

The proxy server is configured via:

PARS main menu > System management > Configure proxy server

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You should first try using the details shown above as these work in the vast majority of cases. Enter "DEFAULT" into the "Proxy details" field and then click "Save" at the top-left. Once done, click the "Test" button - this will give you a window showing the results of the test.

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If this fails, enter the IP/Port number of the proxy server in the "Proxy details" field and if necessary, a fully qualified domain name, username and password in the boxes below. Save and test again.

Configure SMS

If you plan on using PARS to send SMS messages then you will need to create an account with Text Anywhere, the SMS provider that we work with. You can find a link to their website on the Configure SMS page in PARS.

Go to:

PARS main menu > Contact management > Configure > Configure SMS

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Click the link that says "Here" to go to Text Anywhere's website. You can setup an account for free which will provide you with 50 free SMS messages. The messages never expire so there is no harm in setting the account up now.

Once you have created an account, enter the Client identifier and Client password into PARS. Please note that the Client identifier is not an email address and will normally be in the format shown in the screenshot above. Once you have entered those details, contact us at TASC Software to obtain your authorisation code. You can either use the email address provided or ring 01902 824281.

Once all details on this page are entered, click "Save" at the top-left. Then click the "Test" button which will open a window - enter your mobile number and click "OK".

You may also want to click on the "Options" tab at the top of this page for some additional settings. This can be done at a later date and will often require an operational decision from SLT. More details about these settings can be found on the configure SMS page.

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Automation

The automation module is something that performs automatic jobs for PARS. It can send automated reports (i.e. an attendance report sent weekly to each HoY), run Rule based behaviours, copy behaviour incidents to SIMS and other housekeeping jobs. Automation must run daily.

Please see our dedicated section to Automation. Once you have configured automation, PARS will be ready for basic usage!