Preferences

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Lock.gif| Permissions required
to access this module:
Section:
System Management
Permission(s):
Access PARS management options
Access PARS preferences
The configure preferences screen accessed via System management

Unlike user permissions, preferences are global; they affect all PARS users. Some preferences will have a noticeable affect on performance.

This page is accessed via:
PARS main menu > System management > Preferences


Assignments

Rename 'assignments'. Homework is a common alternative name.
  • Assignments this many days late are considered as exceptions (0=ignore preference)
Assignments that were due to be handed in more than X days ago are no longer considered missing.
  • Upload attachments to Assignment emails so they are available in Insight
If this setting is off, then any attachments for Assignments will only be available in the email to recipients. If this setting is on, then a copy of the attachment is uploaded to the database, meaning the attachment can be accessed via PARS and Insight at a later date.
  • Force Assignment category selection
This option affects whether or not a category must be selected when a homework assignment is created

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
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. In addition it is possible to find out the following information via SQL statements that will return the value of a column headed "Annot":
U Mark is being updated (i.e. a mark already exists at the time the mark is saved)
I Mark is being inserted (i.e. no mark exists to be overwritten)
R Rules applied. The various Registration preferences available are being followed indicating that the mark was saved via a register.
r Rules not applied. The various Registration preferences available are not being followed indicating that the mark was not saved via a register screen.
H A change has been made to the attendance mark history.
h No change has been made to the attendance mark history.

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.

Automation

  • Email automation status reports to this address
You can enter an email address, which will receive daily reports showing the automation module's status.
  • Set whether or not a running Automation Service logs fully to the Windows Application Event log.
If any problems are encountered with the Automation Module, turn on this option then check the Windows event log after 24 hours. This log may be viewed by selecting "Event Viewer" under Administrative Tools on the Windows Control Panel or by adding the Event Viewer snap-in to the MMC console (Start-> run -> mmc).


Detentions

  • The number of days advance time for booking detentions
If the permission: Force automatic scheduling when saving detentions is set then the first Timeslot found this number of days after the pupil is marked for detention will be automatically scheduled.
If Use day is selected then it will jump to the day selected in the next option (The selected day in advance for booking detentions) before it searches for a free timeslot.
  • The selected day in advance for booking detentions
When automatic scheduling for detentions is enabled, PARS will jump forward to this day before searching for a free timeslot.
  • When using today only, time to cut off detention from automatically scheduling
When using automatic scheduling, PARS will not schedule any detentions for the current day if the detentions are added after this time. Detentions will be scheduled for the following day instead.
  • Use behaviour recorders identity when adding a detention to a behaviour
If a behaviour incident is recorded by one member of staff, and then a detention linked to that behaviour incident is recorded by another member of staff, the detention will appear to have been added by the first member of staff. This is useful when admin staff assign detentions via behaviour referrals but do not Take detentions registers.
  • On detention scheduling screen reduce the number of days
By default the schedule detentions page will show upcoming detentions for the next 7 days. For schools with many unscheduled detentions this can cause performance issues. Use this preference to reduce the number of days shown to 2.
  • Automatic scheduling will be allowed during scheduled lessons
If this preference is on then a student can not be given a detention that would overlap one of their timetabled classes.

Diary

  • Shows reminders for due assignments on the home page
If this option is switched on, staff will receive notices from PARS telling them the names of pupils who have outstanding homework assignments.
Reminders will appear in the notices panel at the bottom of the homepage page indicating when grades are due to be entered.
  • The number of days before the grade is due to open that warnings are shown.
PARS will begin sending reminder messages this many days before a Grade Element opens, for teachers to enter grades.
  • Exchange EWS service URL (required if you want PARS to access your Exchange Web Services, so the exchange calendar can be viewed in PARS)
The URL of your EWS service
  • Optional Exchange EWS service public calendar name
An optional name to be used fro your Exchange calendar
  • Exchange EWS service service user account (required if you want PARS to access your Exchange Web Services, so the exchange calendar can be viewed in PARS)
A username to access the EWS service
  • Exchange EWS service service user password (required if you want PARS to access your Exchange Web Services, so the exchange calendar can be viewed in PARS)
A password for the username specified above


Email

  • SMTP server name or IP address
The name or IP address of your SMTP server. NB this is needed to send emails via PARS.
  • SMTP port
NB this is needed to send emails via PARS.
  • Use SSL when sending emails
Your SMTP server may require Certificates to encrypt emails before it will allow them to be sent.
  • Trust any certificate implicity
Ignore certificate warnings when accessing PARS, so that the site does not look unsafe and users are not advised to leave the page.
  • Use authentication settings when sending emails
Your SMTP server may require this security setting in order to send emails.
  • SMTP Username
A username that can be used to access the SMTP server. NB this is needed to send emails via PARS.
  • SMTP Password
The password for the user specified below, that can access the SMTP server. NB this is needed to send emails via PARS.
  • Reply address to use for emails sent from PARS
Emails sent from within PARS will appear to come from this address.
  • Name to use when for emails sent from PARS
The 'From' field that will be used for emails sent from PARS. This is often set as the name of the school.
  • Use Reply To address as From address
When emails are sent from PARS, they will be sent from the sender's email address, not from the address specified in the "Reply address to use for emails sent from PARS" preference (above)
  • BCC external contact emails to this address
Send a blind copy of External contact emails to a specified address.
  • Disclaimer to appear on the bottom of all emails sent from PARS
Specify a message to appear at the foot of all emails sent via PARS.
  • Logs all attempts to send emails in Connect
All attempts to send emails via Connect will be recorded in a table in the database. This is a diagnostic setting that should be switched off, unless you are advised otherwise.
  • Number of asynchronous emails to be sent at once
The number of emails that PARS will try to send at the same time. The higher this number, the faster PARS will be able to send large batches of emails. However if the setting is too high, the email server will refuse to send some emails.

External Contact

  • Use Primary flag to indicate main
In SIMS, if a method of contact (telephone number, email, etc.) is marked as "Primary" PARS will consider this as if it were the "Main" method of contact.
  • Prefer emails to SMS on external contacts, batch selection screen
When this setting is used, emails will be the favoured method of communication from PARS, followed by SMS then postal mail. The alternative is SMS then Email then postal.
  • Default to only contacting once where contactee has multiple children
By default, the box to send a message per household instead of per pupil will be ticked.
  • Default to not adding contacts with a Court Order
By default, the box to exclude contacts with court orders will be ticked, from the External contact screen.
  • Add copy of contact history to SIMS contact log
Send a copy of all communications to the SIMS contact log.
  • When adding to SIMS contact log also upload attachments to SIMS document manager

If the setting Add copy of contact history to SIMS contact log is active, then when copying communications to the SIMS contact log, any attachments will also be uploaded to the pupil's linked documents.


General

  • Show initial in place of forename for staff
This may be useful where whiteboards are used to take registers or for other reasons where teachers' first names are to be hidden.
  • Allows you to view Saturdays and Sundays
Weekends will be visible in PARS on certain Reports and on the Attendance view week view batch entry screen.
  • Use chosen name in place of legal name
Pupils with a legal surname that is different to their chosen name will have the preferred name displayed within PARS.
  • Number of records to store before writing to Rules Based Behaviour log
When saving large numbers of behaviour incidents via Rule based behaviours, the incidents will be broken down into groups. This setting defines how many incidents are in each group; the recommended number is 100. You can increase this number, meaning each group will have more incidents in so there will be less groups. This can increase the speed of running Rule based behaviours, but if the groups are too large then PARS may crash.
  • Include teacher names on student selection screens
The supervisor(s) for each group will be displayed next to the name of the group in PARS student selection windows.
  • "Limit to today's membership" starts selected on student selection screens
The option to only show today's members will be on by default.

Grading

  • Force a particular rounding direction for grade averaging.
See below for a detailed description of grade rounding.
  • Round grades up
See below for a detailed description of grade rounding.
  • Single view only on grade screen
Have only one view containing all grade elements on the grade entry screen, instead of multiple views.
  • Initial grading view
When the enter grades screen is initally loaded, it will default to either display core, student review, gradebook or active grades as set here.
  • Any missing grades scans will base memberships on end dates
When checking to see which pupils have missing grades, a pupil will not be considered 'missing' if their membership in the class ended before the Grade Element closed.
  • Use grade priority in preference to element date
Order grade elements by their priorities instead of their data entry dates.
  • Maximum number of characters allowed in a grading comment
Place a limit on the number of characters allowed in grading comments.
  • Default to Performance based comment bank
Sets whether the default type of comment offered when accessing the comment bank is performance based or target based.
  • Hide reg groups from class selection screens
When choosing a class to enter grades, reg groups will not be displayed for selection.
  • Include comments column when exporting to Excel
Add a column to the Excel sheet for comments when exporting grade sheets.
  • Use colour coding from ASM marksheets
Any colour coding found in SIMS marksheets will be visible on PARS grade entry screens (but not anywhere else in PARS).
  • Use NC Year when checking element-year group links
Use pupils' National Curriculum year when to decide which year group they are in. This is only needed when some pupils are in a different year group to the one that would be normal for their age.
  • Hide colour coding on custom grading reports
This prevents custom grading reports from automatically colour coding themselves based on the data in the report.
  • Log each attempt to save grades
All attempts to save grades will be logged in a management report. This will increase the amount of time taken to save grades and should only be used where instructed by TASC Software staff.
  • Show student data columns on grade entry screen
Display columns showing pupils':

- Free School Meal (FSM) status
- FSM within the last 6 years status
- Pupil premium status
- English as an Additional Language (EAL) status
- Special Education Needs (SEN) status
- Gender

  • Allow grade element links to be unselected after data has been entered. Warning, doing this means those grades will no longer be visible in PARS
This setting should be switched off at all times unless advised by TASC Software support staff.
  • Custom grade reports colour coding based on first grade column
Custom grading reports will colour the columns red, amber or green. if this preference is used, the each grade column will be compared the furthest left column on the report. If the preference is off the each column is compared to the column immediately to the left.


Notices

  • Include SIMS notices when fetching notices
SIMS notices will be displayed in PARS if this is on.
  • The default lifespan in days of a notice (0 means never)
After this many days, notices will expire and be deleted from the database.
  • Send an email where possible when sending all notices
If Email has been set up and the recipient of a notice has an email address in SIMS, they will receive an SMS message with the notice content every time a notice is sent via PARS.
  • Send an SMS where possible when sending a notice.
If text messaging has been set up and the recipient of a notice has a mobile phone number in SIMS, they will receive an SMS message with the notice content every time a notice is sent via PARS.
  • When sending messages in missing registers send as instant popups notices
Missing registers notices will pop-up on recipients screens as well as waiting in their inbox.
  • When sending messages in missing register send an email where possible
If sending a notice regarding missing registers, a copy of that notice will be sent as an email to the recipient.
  • Send a Missing Register notice to form tutors when sessions are mapped.
When a session register is mapped to a lesson period, it is still the responsibility of the tutor to ensure that a mark is recorded for each of their pupils. Most of the time with mapped periods, a teacher other than the tutor is the person who actually records the session mark. This means that the tutor will receive notices for missing marks in registers that they don't normally take. This setting can be used to toggle between sending and not sending notices to tutors where they are not the person who actually records the attendance mark.
  • Send a notice to the student when a detention is scheduled
When a pupil is placed in detention, PARS will send a notice to that student with the details of the detention.
  • Maximum total size in MB for notice attachments (0=disable attachments)
When adding attachments to notices the maximum size of the attachments can be set from here. If this is set to 0 then users cannot add attachments to notices.
  • Prevent potentially unsafe files from being sent as attachments
This will stop any files that are deemed to have unsafe extensions from being sent. A list of files that are seen as dangerous can be viewed from here.
  • Prompt user to confirm sending of SMS messages when sending notices.
When sending a notice if a user has a mobile image next to their name this will ask the sender when the notice is accepted "Do you wish to send SMS messages with this notice?"
  • The default subject message for emergency alerts
In here the subject message to be displayed when the Emergency alert button is used.
  • Mute warning sound when displaying popup alerts
Notices that are sent as popups will, by default, also make a beep sound. Use this preference to disable the beep.

On Report

  • Show warning message about pupils on report when register opens
Show a summary message of which pupils are on report when a register opens.
  • Show warning message about pupils on report when register closes
Show a summary message of which pupils are on report when a register closes.


Personal

  • Cura login URL
This allows staff to record child protection incidents into Cura, via PARS. For more information about Cura - software for Child Protection and Safeguarding - follow this link


Pupil info

Previous year's data is not shown on the Pupil information behaviour tab.


Reviews

  • Filter output.xml to only contain single class data when generating a review for a single class
When generating Student Reviews for only one class, only use the data that was recorded in that class. The alternative is to use data from all classes, for the pupils within the class selected.


A more detailed explanation of rounding grade averages

Two of the options mentioned above ("Force a particular rounding direction for grade averaging" and "Round grades up") may be used in combination to alter the way that grades are averaged when running reports and summaries.

Adding a grade to a grade scheme. Note the "score" which is used when averaging and rounding grades.

Note that when referring to rounding "up", PARS will round to the "higher grade score" (as defined in the grade scheme) and NOT "higher grade rank". So your grade scheme may define an "A" grade as the earliest ranked grade but with a score of 1, whereas an "E" may have the latest rank but a score of 10. In this case rounding a grade up will result in the pupil receiving a later grade.


Preferences selected? Averaged grade score*
Force rounding Round up <0.5 0.5 >0.5
Resulting grade score
No No 0 0 1
Yes No 0 0 0
No Yes 0 1 1
Yes Yes 1 1 1
  • This refers to the non-integer part of the grade. To find out how a score of (e.g.) 7.2 will "behave", refer to the <0.5 column (i.e. 0.2 < 0.5). A resulting grade score of "0" in this case means 7.0, a score of "1" means 8.0.