The expanded gender options within SchoolAdmin offer a flexible way to collect gender data, while also supporting personalized communications. In this article, you can learn more about how the expanded gender options will work in your SchoolAdmin site. To watch our video tutorial on this topic, click here.

If your school is not currently using the expanded gender options and you want to enable them, please contact SchoolAdmin Support. It is a quick change but may require small changes to forms and/or exports depending on how your school is currently collecting gender information.

How-To: Understand the Expanded Gender Field

When enabled, the expanded gender field is a composite field made of three sub-fields:

  • Gender selection options: female, male, open

  • Gender 'open' text value for self-identifying gender

  • Preferred pronoun options (drop-down menu): they/them/their, she/her/hers, he/him/his

Example on a form:

This data model provides flexibility in capturing gender information while also enabling searchability, export handling to systems that standardize data in other formats, and personalization of communications.

When female or male is selected for gender, the system automatically defaults the preferred pronoun to she or he, respectively. When the open/self-identify option is selected for gender, the preferred pronoun drop-down menu appears and the student can select from the three options in the list. Additionally, the gender option is set to 'Open' automatically.

* Gender Options on Contact Record *

On the contact record, the gender is displayed under the student's name.  If the open text option has been used, the user-inputted value will be displayed along with the preferred pronoun in parentheses. For any contact records that do not yet have a student photo uploaded, the system will default to a non-binary stock image, as shown in the image below.

How-To: Personalize Communications with Expanded Gender Options

There are a few gender-based merge fields / tokens to enable personalized communication (in your emails, letters, etc.). These tokens include support for expanded gender options when the 'they/them/their' option is selected for preferred pronoun. 

The available gender-based pronoun tokens are:

  • {{contact.he_she}} - Pulls in he, she, or they depending on the gender/pronoun selected for the student.

  • {{contact.his_her}} - Pulls in his, her, or their depending on the gender/pronoun selected for the student.

  • {{contact.him_her}} - Pulls in him, her, or them depending on the gender/pronoun selected for the student.

  • {{contact.son_daughter}} - Pulls in son, daughter, or child depending on the gender/pronoun selected for the student.

Note: By default, these will output in all lowercase (e.g. she). However, if you want to capitalize the first letter (e.g. She), you can use the capitalize filter. To do so, just place a vertical bar/pipe character ( | ) and the word capitalize after the field name but before the closing brackets. For example:

{{contact.he_she | capitalize}}

Please note: If no gender is set for a contact, the pronoun tokens will default to they, them, their, and child as well.

Search, reports, and list pages work best with standardized or fixed data. Text searching can be problematic as users tend to input values in slightly different ways, which can quickly lead to mismatches.

With the expanded gender field, we store two values: (1) an O for the open gender selection, and (2) the self-identify text value as a subfield within the overall composite field that is the gender field. This allows list pages to have filters based on the higher-level grouping and leads to easier searching.

* Filter Options *

Within list pages, the gender filter option will have all three options, abbreviated:

  • M

  • F

  • O

* Search & Reports *

Within search and reports, you can directly search on gender using the 'Contact Record Data (everything else)' search criteria. Click here for more information on running these types of searches.

When the gender field is displayed as a column in your report, you will see M, F, or O.

Related Articles & Additional Resources

To learn more about this topic and how to design policies to fit your school, here are some additional resources from outside of SchoolAdmin:

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