What Is a Field?
A field is a container that stores information. In SchoolAdmin, fields are pieces of data that store different values on a parent or child. Some examples are:
- Student name
- Parent name
- Apply Grade
- Test Scores
- Academic/Athletic Interests
- Financial Aid Amount
- Is International?
Fields are comprised of different elements, as described in this article. You can access a list of all fields in your system by navigating to Settings–> Fields & Data–>Fields. This opens the Field List Page as shown below.
Here you can:
- Search for a field by typing the field name in the filter options search bar
- Edit elements of an existing field
- Mark a field as searchable so it's available for reporting
- Examine where the field is being used in the system (on forms, in email or portal templates, etc)
Where do fields live?
Most of your fields are used in online forms throughout the Admissions and Enrollment process. Your major forms include the Inquiry form, Application form, and Enrollment Contract. You may also have supplemental forms such as a teacher recommendation form, health form, intent to enroll form, field trip permission form, etc. Some field examples for these forms are address, parent 1 information, parent 2 information, current school, etc.
While all of these form examples are parent facing, you may also have some internal facing forms that collect information viewable to the school only. An example of this would be a Parent or Student Interview form which may contain fields for specific interview responses.
Not all fields needed for your process are contained within an online form. In these instances, you will have access to internal fields (non-parent facing) within contact records. Some examples include test score fields, an interview text field, waiver code fields, financial aid and scholarship fields, etc. Fields that are internal facing to the school can be edited within the student record tabs.
These fields may drive dependencies such as waiver codes for application fees or custom financial aid and scholarship amounts on contracts. Although these fields are internal facing to the school only, they can still be used in your reports, so long as they are marked as searchable within the fields & data settings page.
How Fields are Displayed Internally and to Parents
Internal Field Displays
Fields have two internal-facing names. One is the display name, which is the name of the field that you see in the contact record, search and reports, admissions and enrollment list pages, merge fields, etc. It's the "friendly" name of the field and is customizable so that you can easily identify what information is being captured. It does not have to match the canonical name, which is described below. A best practice is to always have a unique display name for each field, as two fields named the same thing will become challenging when building reports.
The other internal-facing field name is the canonical name. This is the name of the field that's used on the back-end of the system and it can never be changed. The canonical name is created at the time that the field is created. You'll see the canonical name when building forms and in the field settings page.
Parent Field Displays
Parents see fields in the version of a prompt on an online form. This can be a word or two indicating the information needed such as name, address, or current school. It can also be a question such as, "Did this parent attend SchoolAdmin Academy?"
Some of the internal display names of a field are also used for the parent prompt, but in many cases, they vary. Let's look at a few examples:
Display Name: Birth Date
Canonical Name: birth_date
Prompt on Form: Date of Birth
Display Name: Full Name
Canonical Name: Name
Prompt on Form: Name
Display Name: Apply Grade
Canonical Name: apply_grade
Prompt on Form: Interested in grade
Display Name: Academic Interests
Canonical Name: interests_academic
Prompt on Form: What academics are most exciting?
Display Name: Referral Method
Canonical Name: referral_method
Prompt on Form: How did you hear about SchoolAdmin Academy?
How to Edit Fields
Fields are filled out mostly by parents within online forms. Some fields may be entered in by you, if using an internal facing form, or if you set values for fields internally within the contact record, such as a waiver code. Once a form is submitted, parents cannot edit any of the fields within that form. However, the fields can be updated internally by the school, within the contact records. To do this, navigate to the child's record that requires an update to the information filled out on the form. Then click on the appropriate tab, such as Personal or Admissions, and click on the 'edit fields' button in the upper right. Update the field value and then click 'save edits.'
The new field value will not update in the submitted form, but it will be updated throughout the system so that all reports are up to date and any additional online forms that are used later in the process will also be updated.