We get quite a few questions from administrators asking us this or that about ParentEdge. In an effort to try and make life as easy as possible for our user-base we are going adding a common administrator section question to our blog / website. Here you will be able to see many of the same questions you might have and what our usual answer is to them. Of course this is by no means definitive or our way of saying don't bug us. We would love to hear any questions you might have! We just hope this makes your life a bit easier if you do need a question or two answered quickly...
What is the full process for setting ParentEdge up?
We require a simple export from your student information system with specific data fields. Those data fields vary based on the grade level of the school. Elementary and secondary schools have slightly different requirements. Once we have the data we then import it into the ParentEdge system. Teacher and parent accounts are automatically created and linked together based on a student's schedule or teacher (depending on grade level).
Teachers are notified through email of their username and password and given instructions on how to login. Parents are notified through email of their username and password and given instructions on how to login and change their contact information.
The messages are sent out beginning on the day the principal wants. Each day from there on messages will be sent out automatically at a time chosen by the principal. This time can be changed whenever needed.
What are the specific points of data required for the export?
Elementary School Data: Student first and last name. Parent phone number. Parent email. Student's teacher. Teacher's email address.
Secondary School Data: Secondary schools require to simple exports one for student information and one for teacher information.
Student: Student first and last name. Parent phone number. Parent email. Student schedule including course number, section number, and period number for each class.
Teacher: Teacher first and last name. Teacher Email. Teacher schedule of courses taught including course name, course number, and section number.
How do we make changes to student information once setup is complete?
Each school is provided with a production login that allows them direct access to the student database. Using this schools can add or delete students, change contact information and change schedule information for each student. We (ParentEdge) can also take care of any changes if you simply notify us.
How do we add new students?
New students can be added using the production access as explained above. However, the easiest way to add new students to the ParentEdge system is directly through the ParentEdge website. Parent of new students can simply go to www.parentedge.com/parentsupport and fill out a form to be added automatically to the system.
How many phone numbers and emails can be associated with each student?
1 phone number and 3 email addresses per student.
When are messages sent out?
Messages are sent out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. No messages are sent on days when school is not in session. Messages go out at the same time each day. That time is chosen by the school's principal.
Will the data ever be shared with anyone else?
No, school data will never be shared with any party for any reason unless subpoenaed by law enforcement.
How are parents notified?
Parents will receive a welcome email containing login information and a detailed explanation about ParentEdge and its functions. Parents can use the login information to access ParentEdge and change their contact information and opt out of receiving messages. Parents also receive a welcome text messages stating: You will be receiving homework updates from your child's school. Std messaging and data rates may apply. To opt out simply reply STOP to this message. We also have handouts that can be given to parents. Full sheet letters explaining ParentEdge along with half-sheet handouts etc…
Where does the text and email actually come from?
The text message will be sent from a virtual phone number specifically created for your school. It will have the same area code as the school. All emails sent from ParentEdge come from the address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What exactly do teachers have to do each day?
Secondary Teachers: All teachers need to do is login, enter their homework information and click save. A secondary teacher would only need to enter homework information for each unique course they teach, not each individual section of the same class. That's it. Most teachers seem to prefer logging in on a Monday and entering homework info for the entire week. They can do so without ever having to navigate away from the initial login page.
Elementary Teachers: Basically the same setup as the secondary teacher. However, the elementary teacher will have more space to enter information as they are the only teacher on a student's schedule in the system. They login, enter their homework or parent notification message and click save. Done. Most elementary teachers prefer to put in all their info for the week on a Monday and save it as well.
Do teachers need to set anything up or enroll students/parents in the system?
No, teachers do not have to do anything beyond entering homework information.
What happens if a teacher doesn't enter information for a day?
At the secondary level, that teachers class is not included in the messages sent out. At the elementary level, no message is sent out that day to the teacher's class.
How is teacher training handled?
The ParentEdge interface is very, very easy to understand and requires minimal training for teachers. There is a short 5 minute video on our website, one for secondary and one for elementary schools, that usually is more than enough for teachers to get a very good idea of how the system works. In addition, we have documents of varying length and detail that can be provided to teacher as well to be used as a quick reference sheet or a detailed walkthrough of ParentEdge.
Can teachers send messages to one single individual parent?
No, ParentEdge doesn't, at the moment, allow for a teacher to message an individual parent in the classroom. Whatever the teacher enters into the system is sent to all students in that course.
Can administrators see what teachers are entering for homework each day?
Yes, administrators will be provided with a login that allows them to see what homework teachers have entered for the week. This account lets principals see who is using the system and what they are entering for homework.
What other features does ParentEdge currently have for administrators?
The administrator account allows for principals to generate a weekly homework report for the building. This report shows what all teachers have entered during the week. Finally, administrators also have the option of checking out daily and yearly statistics to see how many messages ParentEdge has sent out to parents during the school year.
Can administrators send messages to individual parents or group messages to the school population?
Currently that feature is not in place. It will be added at some point during this school year though with the capability of individual parent messaging and group messaging. Our thinking is that it will be particularly useful for counselors and other administrators needing to contact parents regularly. The major feature will be allowing administrators to have a real-time text message conversation with parents through the ParentEdge system.