The Parent Portal is the main point of interaction between your school and families during their admissions and/or enrollment process. For this reason, we have compiled some best practices for organizing and configuring your Parent Portal, to make it the smoothest experience possible for both your school and your applying or enrolling families.
Parent Portal Checklist Best Practices
In this section are some best practices for how to configure the student checklist so that it is easy for families to follow in the Parent Portal. You can also watch the short video below for a walkthrough of how different checklist items appear to the family in the portal. To learn how to manage your checklists and implement the best practices below, please review the checklist management articles in our help center.
Best Practice #1 - Use detailed Parent Explanations on the checklist
Make sure each checklist item has detailed instructions for what the parent/student needs to do to complete the item, by adding a parent explanation in the checklist item setup.
Some checklist items can be completed by the family, such as submitting online forms or uploading documents, while others may require your internal team to manually mark them as complete. Either way, you should always include instructions in the parent explanation stating what action needs to be taken and by whom for an item to be marked off as complete.
For items that require documents to be mailed in such as a medical immunization form or an application fee check, the best practice is to include an explanation that states that your school will mark the checklist item as complete once you receive the completed form or check.
Best Practice #2 - Create Online Forms for any previously paper-based forms
Online Forms are a great way to collect information from your applying or enrolling families - no paper needed! The information from these forms (with the exception of teacher recommendations and document request forms) flows into the student and parent contact records so you can later search and report on the data too.
You can create your own online forms based on existing paper forms you have, or our Support Team can assist you with getting them built out. These forms can then be linked to checklist items so they can be completed in the parent portal (or admin portal for internal-only forms). The associated checklist item will be marked off as complete once the parent or admin/user completes the form online.
Please note: There may be some forms that we are unable to replicate online due to the nature of the form, such as a state form that needs to be on state paper, a medical form that requires a physician’s signature, or a transcript release form which requires a handwritten signature. In these instances, you can use a File Upload or Multiple File Upload checklist item to allow parents to upload a scanned copy of the form to the checklist.
Best Practice #3 - Link your Event Calendars to checklist items
Calendar event/appointment booking functionality is supported within the Admissions and Enrollment Checklists. If enabled within the calendar settings, parents can book their own appointments through the checklist in the Parent Portal. In addition, you have the option to allow them to reschedule/cancel any booked appointments.
When a student is booked for an appointment, the parent or other contact for the appointment will receive a confirmation and reminder email, as long as these are enabled in the calendar settings. Click here for more information.
You can also book a student for an event/appointment in the admin portal (from the student's contact record), and the family will be able to see the date and time they are scheduled for on the checklist item in the Parent Portal.
Best Practice #4 - Utilize Required, Optional, and Internal checklist items
Use a combination of required, optional, and internal items to streamline your admissions/enrollment process.
Required checklist items are all of the items that must be completed for a student to be considered Inquiry Complete, Application Complete, or Enrolled. The checklist progress bar on the associated student list page will fill up in green as required items are marked complete. Required checklist items are visible to the parent/student and your internal team.
Optional checklist items are all of the items that do not need to be marked complete for a student to move into Inquiry Complete, Application Complete, or Enrolled statuses. These items do not affect the green progress bar as they are marked complete. Optional checklist items are visible to the parent/student and your internal team. Some examples of optional items are:
Attend Open House
Attend a Student Visit Day
Upload a Student Photo
Within the Parent Portal, any Optional checklist items will display at the bottom of the checklist, below all of the Required checklist items, in a section titled 'Optional Steps'.
Internal checklist items are hidden from the parent/student completely and are only visible to your internal team from a student's contact record. These items do not affect the green progress bar as they are marked complete. Some examples of internal items are:
Acceptance Letter Sent
Interview Notes (this can be an internal-facing online form for your team to fill out after interviewing a family)