School Dismissal Manager

Overview:

This Article contains Instructions School Dismissal Manager.
  • Welcome to 2020-2021 School Year!
  • COVID-19 Safety Measures: A School Year Like No Other
  • Notes on Loading the Roster and Nightly Updates
  • New Features
  • Start-of-School Checklist
  • Don't Forget to Update School Settings, Dismissal Options, Reports, and the School Calendar!
  • Back to School Night | Meet Your Teacher
  • Editing and Sending the Parent Welcome Email
  • Need a Refresher? Check out the new video library.
 

Instructions:

Click "see more" at the right of each category to expand the sections.

Welcome to 2020-2021 School Year!

Welcome to 2020-2021 School Year!

Welcome to 2020-2021 School Year!

We hope you've been enjoying the summer holidays with plenty of fun, relaxation, and adventures with your families! We are very excited about the new school year and all that the New Features are going to bring to the SDM experience. The articles in this email include a host of information, such as: checklists, tips, instructions and more to help ensure your school is set-up and ready for the school year. Here are the 6 Key Items to check on and set-up before going LIVE (DON'T FORGET... to consider the new features when updating!):

  1. Confirm with your IT: that the Roster is Loaded and Nightly Updates are set up for the current year. Rosters are uploaded nightly via Clever.
  2. ​​​​​​Check the School Settings page to confirm all is set the way it should be for the coming year
  3. Verify Dismissal Options to ensure they are set correctly, this includes checking email addresses that may be listed for notifications on the individual Dismissal Options
  4. Set-up your school Calendar for the school year
  5. Check the Reports page to verify all reports are set up correctly, including removing or adding teachers and their email addresses as needed
  6. Update your Parent Welcome Email for the current year

Remember that the SDM Support Team is here to assist throughout your set-up and the entire school year. Please contact us by clicking on the Make A Support Request button (found at the bottom of Quick Lookups on your Dashboard) or if you are unable to login, email us at support@schooldismissalmanager.com. We are still in the process of updating the Help documentation so please bear with us.

COVID-19 Safety Measures: A School Year Like No Other

COVID-19 Safety Measures: A School Year Like No Other

COVID-19 Safety Measures: A School Year Like No Other

New Features for Old Routines...

For Certain Days of the Week (M/Tu and Th/F groups, formatted two different ways)p>

For Alternating Weeks (every other week groups, formatted two different ways)p>

Reports are typically set up for teachers by class, so in this type of situation you could still set up one report and sort by the teacher, which would effectively group the students into the two separate groups on the same report. Or, as an alternative, you can create an individual report for each group that the teacher has, giving them each two separate reports.

  • Morning Health Checks Our new Event feature can be used to create a COVID-19 Morning Health Check for students and staff that is a daily event. It includes up to 3 customizable parent input fields as well as an optional signature box to capture parent signatures. This feature is contactless by design as it utilizes QR codes and the parent’s own phone; however, it does allow for manual Admin entries. This feature is found at the bottom of Quick Lookups on the Dashboard screen with details on how to use it, under Help in the top menu.
  • Contactless Pre-K Morning Sign-in Some schools have shared the need for a new contactless method of sign-in for certain groups of students, such as Pre-Kindergarteners. In light of this need, the Event Check-in / Check-out feature was designed to capture parent signatures via their cell phone screen. A daily event can easily take the old method of signing in on a clipboard to new digital, contactless heights. * Keep in mind there are a multitude of different ways you can use this new Event feature. Look for more details soon under Help in your top menu.
  • Contactless Visitor Registration Similar to the contactless Pre-K Morning Sign-in, we were also asked to apply the same idea to Visitor Registration for schools who are still using clipboards and pens for sign-in in the front office. Admin will fill out the visitor's information on a form in SDM that will in turn, instantly compile the information on a daily report. This report can be accessed for the current day or historically throughout the school year for any past date. Two additional benefits of this feature include a "red flag" if the visitor does not check out by their estimated departure time, as well as a link to quickly check the National Sex Offender Database maintained by the US Department of Justice. * Note that you can also use the Event Check-in / Check-out feature to allow visitors to self-register their visit.
  • Old Components in a New Light...
  • FastLane Our FastLane toolset has been around for years but never has its primary function ever been so needed. Over the years, schools using FastLane have found a myriad of different ways to utilize its features and may have gotten away from its most basic purpose: Initially designed so that parents stay in their cars and announce their arrival via one of three check-in methods which displays in the classroom, enabling teachers to keep students in the classroom until their parent arrives. FastLane by its very nature promotes social distancing. By keeping students in the classrooms and parents in their cars, you can prevent large groups from congregating in the loading area. Please contact us via the Make a Support Request button on your Dashboard screen if you would like to talk to us about setting up FastLane for your school. There is a short training required but is easy to set up and shouldn't delay your rollout at all.

    How to Handle Split Sessions or Alternating Schedules We have been asked several times now about how to set up rosters if dealing with multiple sessions or alternating groups. It is actually easy to accomplish with small alterations to how your teachers are named and assigned to students. First, all students would still be on the same roster; however, in the column for "teacher", we would not only include the teacher's name but also a grouping classification, we'll use Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Thomas for the examples laid out below: * Note: Which format you choose depends on how you want the teacher field to sort in lists and on reports, where you have combined listings. It will not affect individual teacher's reports.

    For Split Sessions (morning and afternoon groups, formatted two different ways)

  • AM - Smith or Smith - AM
  • PM - Smith or Smith - PM
  • AM - Thomas or Thomas - AM
  • PM - Thomas or Thomas - PM
  • M/Tu - Smith or Smith - M/Tu
  • Th/F - Smith or Smith - Th/F
  • M/Tu - Thomas or Thomas - M/Tu
  • Th/F - Thomas or Thomas - Th/F
  • Group A - Smith or Smith - Group A
  • Group B - Smith or Smith - Group B
  • Group A - Thomas or Thomas - Group A
  • Group B - Thomas or Thomas - Group B

Notes on Loading the Roster and Nightly Updates

Notes on Loading the Roster and Nightly Updates

Your roster will be loaded automatically and initiated by the district/IT department via Clever. Please do not attempt to load a school roster

Once your Parent Welcome Email goes out, the system will start updating automatically each night. Here are a few key things to remember about the nightly updates

  • Whatever is in your SIS is what will be in SDM; the nightly update includes parent and student names, email addresses, and grade. Teacher and Default Dismissal may or may not be included depending on what is decided at set-up.
  • If you change any of the information in SDM that comes over on the nightly update and do not also change it in your SIS, the information in SDM will revert back overnight to what is in your SIS
  • Be aware that depending on when you update data in your SIS and when SDM receives the data file from your SIS, it may take up to 48 hours for those changes to be reflected in SDM.

New Features

New Features

We've been busy! Over the summer our developers have been implementing a host of new features, many of which were suggested by you, our schools. Thank you for all of your great ideas and please do keep sharing them with us throughout the year!

  1. New Features Link

Start-of-School Checklist

Start-of-School Checklist

Don't miss a beat! Use this start-of-school checklist to make sure you have everything set-up for the new school year. REMEMBER: As a Nightly Update School the first five items on the checklist do not pertain to you and you should start with item #6.

  1. Checklist Link

Don't Forget to Update School Settings, Dismissal Options, Reports, and the School Calendar!

Don't Forget to Update School Settings, Dismissal Options, Reports, and the School Calendar!

School Settings

Your School Settings will need to be checked for any changes that have occurred since last year. New settings to consider during set-up include:

  • Admin Logins
  • Enable Event Check-in / Check-out
  • Allow Parents to Add View Only Parents into the system
  • Turning on FastLane

Dismissal Options

Many of your Dismissal Options will remain the same from last year but you may have a handful of changes. Here are some tips along with the new features to consider for your set up:

  • If you have new Bus Numbers assigned to your school, it is best to remove the old ones and create the new ones rather than trying to change the name. Name changes on Dismissal Options must be sent in to SDM Support Staff.
  • There is a new section in the Edit Dismissal Option screen that allows you to add sub options for a dismissal. For example, instead of just having Bus 10, you may want to have Bus 10 and all its stops listed for sub options.

Reports

Reports will likely have the most changes as you will probably have had teachers come and go over the summer. Follow the tips below to ensure that all your teachers receive their reports on Day 1:

 

There is a New Feature in the Edit Report screen that needs to be considered:

  • In the case of reports, it is easy to re-purpose them as long as you have changed all the pertinent factors. For instance if you have a new teacher taking over a retired teacher's classroom, make sure to change the following: Report Name (if it's got the retired teacher's name in it), Filter for Teacher, Send Report to Email Address(es)
  • Filters can now be selected across the three categories of Teachers, Dismissal Options, and Grades instead of only being able to select from one category; this opens a whole new dimention of reporting possibilities

For additional details on the new features check out our New Features article in this newsletter.

Back to School Night | Meet Your Teacher

Back to School Night | Meet Your Teacher

We know that getting your parents the right information is key to their participation. The below links are documents you can hand out at Parent Night that will help introduce SDM to your new parents

Editing and Sending the Parent Welcome Email

Editing and Sending the Parent Welcome Email

Tips for Preparing Your Parent Welcome Email

  1. The Parent Welcome Email can only be sent en masse once per school year and there is no way to recall it once it is sent. Make sure you have it set up the way you want before sending it out.
  2. ​​​​​​New parents will receive a Username and a Temporary Password, which they will be required to change upon their first login.
  3. Returning parents will be advised that they can continue using their same Username and Password from the previous year. If they can't remember their password, they can use the Forgot Password link to reset it.
  4. Parent credentials will be located at the top of the parent email. It is important to note that the credentials are generated for each parent during the send and as a result are not visible in the Admin screen.
  5. It is better to edit your letter directly in SDM. We do not recommend copy and pasting directly from Word into SDM. If you do need to copy from Word, paste it into Notepad first and then copy from Notepad and paste into SDM.

Steps for Sending Your Parent Welcome Email & Going LIVE

  1. Once you have finished editing your email, click Initiate Send Process. This is the first step of a two-step process for sending out your Parent Welcome Email. Clicking this button will send a proof to the first email address listed in the Primary Email Addresses field (on the School Settings page). Do not navigate away from this page as doing so would mean having to start over and resend the proof.
  2. Upon receipt, review the email and make sure that it looks the way you want it to and that it is up-to-date.
  3. If everything looks good, go back to the buttons at the bottom of the email edit window. You should see three buttons, the third one on the right will say Send Letter to Parents. If you do not see three buttons, you will need to start over with Step 1.
  4. When you are ready, click Send Letter to Parents to initiate the send, which also will make your school LIVE at that point
  5. The time it takes for your parents to receive the email will vary; however, all parents should receive their email within two hours
  6. If you have a parent that tells you they never received an email, you can resend it to individual parents via the Send Welcome Message button in the Edit Parent screen.

Need a Refresher? Check out the new video library.

Need a Refresher? Check out the new video library.

For anyone returning to SDM and in need of a refresher course, we now have a library of videos that can probably help. These will also be great for any new front office staff that need to be trained on the basics of SDM. Click on the link below to review the area you need.

If you should need further assistance after perusing these, please email support@schooldismissalmanager.com for the additional help you need.

Click the Request Service button below to submit a Software Request Form to a technician.

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Details

Article ID: 113545
Created
Tue 8/11/20 8:47 AM
Modified
Tue 8/11/20 12:40 PM