Category:Configuration

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Configuration


Contents

General

Beginner's guide

If you have installed PARS and want to know what to do next, follow the getting started guide.

User permissions

You may need to update or change the level of access that users have within PARS. This is done via permissions.

Global system settings

Preferences are settings that apply to all users of PARS. Follow the link for details about the various preferences in PARS.

Group management

Various groups can be configured in PARS, some of which have special functions (such as alerting staff to absentees or emergencies). Go to the group manager page for more information about the types of groups that can be configured in PARS.

Notes for the beginning of the academic year

You may need to do some configuration at the beginning of each academic year. See our preparing for September page for considerations you should make before pupils arrive in September.

Configuring Heads of Subject

The subject leaders page allows you to define which staff are Heads of Subject or Heads of Department. It is important to set this up, as the settings here are used for behaviour referrals and grading analyses.

Creating on report cards

Pupils can be placed on electronic on report cards using PARS. Different types of on report card can be created top suit your needs, which is done via the on report group management page.

Default slip (used to generate OUTPUT.xml)

If you are having a custom report designed for you by our staff (these are free of charge and available to all, contact us for more information) then you will need to use the default slip to generate an OUTPUT.xml file.

Importing report and certificate designs

Our programmers will produce reports or certificates for you, which can be printed via PARS. Once you have received the design from our programmers, you can import it so that it is ready to use via the slip designer page. See customised reports for examples of the documents we have produced for other schools.

Homework categories

You may wish to categorise assignments (also know as homework) i.e. Home Learning, Revision, Mock Test, etc. This is done via the assignment categories feature. Once categories have been created, they can be used by staff.

Importing IEP designs

If you want to use IEPs, you first need to create templates. A guide explaining how this is done can be done and some examples can be found on the PARS training guides page. Once you have created your template, it can be imported via the IEP writer designs feature in PARS.

Technical

IIS server recommended specs

The IIS recommended specs page gives details about the recommended hardware for your IIS server to run either PARS Connect or automation.

IIS prerequisites

Go to the IIS prerequisites page for a list of the features that need to be installed on your IIS server. Note that the list may differ depending on the version of IIS you are running.

Installing PARS

If you have recently purchased PARS, the first thing to do is intall it. Follow our Installing PARS Connect guide for this.

Updating PARS version

We regularly release new versions of PARS with new features and tweaks requested by customers. To update PARS to a new version, you will need to run a service pack, which can be downloaded from our website.

Updating PARS from an old version

If you want to update PARS from a version older than 5.650 then you should read the updating from version 5.649 or earlier page.

Allowing PARS to access the internet

You will need to configure the proxy server in order for PARS to communicate with other websites. This is important for your licencing and for sending emails or SMS messages through PARS.

Testing Automation

Once the above has been done you can test automation is working by following the instructions on this page.

Configuring the jobs performed by Automation

To view and manage the jobs that the automation module will perform, go to the job list.

Attendance

Managing 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.

Taking AM or PM marks from lessons

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.

Signing in & out, and biometric systems

The instructions on the pupil scan page should be used if you are using a biometric system for attendance.

Global system settings for registers

Registration preferences apply specifically and only to registers, unlike permissions and preferences which apply to all areas of PARS.

Preparing for a 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.

Communications

Importing pupils' email addresses

The bulk import emails tool allows you to import email addresses for pupils into your SIMS database, if you have a .csv file with the pupils' email addresses and an identifying number for the pupils, such as the ADNO or UPN.

Configuration for sending SMS messages

If you wish to send SMS messages via PARS then you will need to create an account with Text Anywhere (the SMS provider that we work with) and then enter your account details into PARS. You can access Text Anywhere's website and enter your details into PARS both via the configure SMS page.
Texts from Text Anywhere cost approximately 3 pence each.

You may also need to configure your proxy server in order to send emails and SMS messages via PARS Connect.

Pre-defined messages

Generic messages can be stored to a message bank so that staff do not have to recreate them every time they want to send a message.

Behaviour

Global system settings for behaviour

A number of global settings for behaviour can be found in the behaviour preferences page, including SIMS writeback, which copies behaviour incidents from PARS to SIMS. Go to this page for a list of the available options.

Automatic behaviour alerts

Behaviour alerts are used to inform staff of behaviour issues within the school, where the staff are not expected to take further action within PARS. This might be to alert the form tutor is a pupil in their form group has received 5 or more positive incidents this week. Go to the configure alerts page if you wish to set these up.

General configuration for behaviour

If you are configuring behaviour in PARS for the first time, then you will need to create Grounds and Outcomes. These are the equivalent of Types and Outcomes in SIMS.

When adding a behaviour incident, a ground is what the pupil has done, and the outcome is what the staff member is going to do about it.

The configure behaviour page covers the basic setup that you will need to do in order for staff to begin adding behaviour incidents.

Reporting - behaviour, attendance, detentions and more

custom behaviour reports

Automatic behaviour points

Rule based behaviours will issue automatic behaviour incidents when pupils hit certain criteria e.g. 100% attendance in a half term, or 0 negative incidents in a week. This is a fantastic way of fairly and consistently rewarding pupils who do the right thing.

When looking at a "behaviour league table" (to see which pupils have the most positive behaviour points) many schools find that the best behaved pupils sit at the top of the table, closely followed by the worst behaved pupils. Many more pupils who rarely do anything wrong and quietly get on with their work (sometimes known as "unseen pupils" or "greys") sit at the bottom of the table as they are not frequently rewarded. Rule based behaviours are a great and effective way to deal with this.

Detentions, Removals and Extra Classes

Creating types of detentions or removals

Before you can use the Detention or Removal systems in PARS, you will need to create some slots e.g. "SLT" detention or "Isolation". This is done using the configure time types page in PARS.

Custom attendance codes for detentions and removals

When pupils are placed into detention or removal, PARS will create a register for them. PARS comes with four attendance marks that can be used in detention or removal registers, but you can create extras if required. To do this, go to the configure statuses page.

Automatic detentions

Rule based detentions can be used to automatically place pupils in detention for hitting certain criteria e.g. 3x late in a week. Follow the link for instructions on creating rule based detentions.

Grading

Managing the comment bank

You can configure a comment bank so that staff can select from pre-defined comments when entering grades. Comments can include mail merge fields for a personal touch.

Configure grade schemes (grade sets)

You may need to configure grade schemes before configuring other areas of the grading system. This is not necessary if you are linking SIMS Assessment Manager aspects to PARS.
A grade scheme is the equivalent of a Grade Set in SIMS - it is a list of grades that can be used by staff i.e. A*, A, B, C, etc.

Configure grade elements (aspects)

Grade elements are the equivalent of Aspects in SIMS Assessment manager. Go to the configure grading elements page for instructions and more information.

Custom grading reports

You can create custom grading reports which allow you to choose exactly what data you want to see. You can also include personal details, such as SEN, EAL or Pupil premium.

Creating templates for grading analysis

If you wish to do a grade analysis through PARS Connect, then you will need to configure key indicators once your elements have been create (see above).