June 2017 - Parent Portal Account Management Upgrade
This month we're excited to launch Phase 1 of our parent portal account upgrade. This upgrade will allow all parents at your school to have access to the parent portal (allowing them to use the store and signup features) while also provide you the ability to restrict Directory Viewing.
Background: Many schools organizations limit access to the directory by membership or during data confirmation. Because MySchoolAnywhere was originally built as a directory application, the design had been that any parent with a portal account (login credentials) could view the directory and access all other features.
Fast forward and our service has been enhanced our service with powerful store and signups features, many schools want to give portal accounts to ALL parents but have the option to limit who can view the directory. Now, instead of limiting directory access via portal account creation (i.e. login credentials), you'll limit directory viewing with our new "Directory Viewing Criteria". (see below for how to set your Directory Viewing Criteria)
An additional benefit of this upgrade is that directory viewing rights will now be set automatically, helping to reduce the load on admins. For example, let's say you limit directory viewing by membership. Now, once a family/parent purchases membership through your store account they'll automatically be given directory viewing rights and will be able to view the directory the next time they log in (i.e. you no longer have to monitor purchases and grant access).
We've also added the ability to temporarily close the parent portal, or just directory viewing, to all parents to give you the ability to set up for the new school year. Previously, in order to close the portal, parent access had to be deleted and then re-granted when you were ready for the new year. Deleting parent access is no longer necessary and parents will keep their account from year to year (with no password reset).
Over the summer we'll be launching Phase 2 which will include additional upgrades and add automation for the creation of parent accounts.
Please take a moment to review the instructions below and set up your Directory Viewing Criteria.
Setting your Directory Viewing Criteria
Go to Account Settings / Parent Portal. Here you'll see your options for controlling who can view the directory in addition to options for closing the portal or directory
- Portal open or closed - you can now control whether your portal is open or closed. If open, your parent's can login. If closed, they will be directed to a page with a your message and will not have access to any feature in the parent portal
- Directory open or closed - you can now close your directory to all parents, regardless of viewing criteria set. This is handy if you wish to close the directory to everyone while you confirm information or are setting up class rosters and don't wish parents to view.
- Directory Viewing Criteria - this option sets who can search the directory or print (printing is only available in the desktop version of the portal)
- All parents - this option allows ALL parents to view the directory
- All members - set this option if only members can view. What is a member? A member is a parent or family that has their membership status checked to YES. To view who is currently a member in your account go to Members / Family or Parents and select Member = Yes. Important: if every parent in your account is considered a "member" then set you viewing criteria to all parents.
- By Membership Category (new option) - like members above, however this limits access even more. Only those marked as members AND are in a specific membership category will view the directory
- Only Confirmed families - set this if you want only families that have confirmed their data to view the directory. Caution: only set this option the day before you send out the confirmation email. Setting this before parents get a chance to confirm will lock out all parents from viewing.