- Preference & First Come First Served (FCFS) Containers
- Waiting List optional setting (FCFS only)
- Email Confirmation to booker only (with option for all linked accounts)
- Update to FCFS Email Templates with Status column rather than preference number.
- Various other minor improvements to FCFS.
- Bulk Create Additional Events Feature (Mass Cancellation/Deletion in the next release)
- Switch day of the week or time of a preference/FCFS group AFTER generation of events
- Submission warning (if amend choices not allowed)
- Permission to Walk for our transport module customers
- Show on the attendance register
- Allow for parent to update with visible log of changes
- Ability for parent to add a note (i.e 'only with sibling')
- ISAMS Attendance registers sync - now multiple attendance registers can be synced twice daily (previously it was just one register)
Other Improvements: Sports Portal coming soon:
Flagging groups created anywhere in the system as 'show on Sports Portal' which in the short term will enable you to filter these groups within the groups tab but we are shortly to be progressing our new dedicated Sports Portal.
Bulk Create Additional Events - Preference & FCFS Containers
Switch day of the week or time for Preference & FCFS events
Change the day of the week or time after you have generated events simply and easily with a few clicks, updated instantly.
Email confirmation on Preference & FCFS containers when making selections only goes to the person making selections by default
Less confusion and unnecessary emails being sent, now when someone makes submissions only they receive the communications as the default option.
Permission to walk - Transport Module
After listening to additional requirements for our transport module (with more updates to follow) we have added in a Permission to Walk setting for parents. They can visit their own MyAccount page and update their preferences for one or more children with additional notes. If permission is granted then an icon will be displayed in the attendance register for easy visibility for staff members recording attendance.
The changes above are being deployed by region on Wednesday 10th November. If you have any questions or would like to find out more please email the team.
Please also look out for our webinar series taking place, to help get the most out of your SchoolsBuddy experience.
Release 38 - HEADLINES:
- Send to Individuals & Subject Classes
- Attachments can be sent via email (optional)
- Upload and host images
- Instant Booking Containers / PTCs - new booking alerts
- Self Service Switch On/Off
- PowerSchool SSO enabled (requires plug-in)
- Switch mode for staff to parent screens on web
- Booking confirmations become more 'invoice-like'
- Other Improvements:
- ManageBac Integration - parent/student addresses
- Preference containers - set up multiple staff members
- Users search (Reception tab) Phone number/Student ID
1a. Communications - Send to Individuals/Subject Classes:
It is now possible to send communications to individuals, groups, subject classes, grade levels or the whole school. This can all be chosen from one picker with the system automatically removing duplicates so parents are only sent one communication even if they are in multiple groups.
1b. Communications - Attachments sent within emails
Attachments added to communications will now be delivered along with emails if appropriate/required (you can choose which per communication). If an attachment is a secure document you can still protect it by forcing parents to log in to SchoolsBuddy to review it, rather than including it within an email.
2. Upload & Host Images
You are now able to upload images with the SchoolsBuddy HTML editor, to automatically embed them into the email communication or upload images to other locations, including the welcome message, portal links, your email footer and email templates.
3. Instant Booking Containers / PTCs - New Booking Alerts
We have added a new staff role to receive alerts for new bookings within instant booking/PTC containers. This can be switched on/off as required per container. Useful for many applications including receiving alerts of late bookings for wraparound care.
4a. SSO - Customer Self Service
Super Admins can now choose to turn on/off the following common SSO options from the FariaOne tab in Settings:
- MS Azure AD
- MS Office 365
4b. SSO - PowerSchool
PowerSchool SSO is now an option for all user types (requires a PowerSchool Plugin to be installed at the School). Please contact the Support team if you would like to set this up.
5. Switch Mode from Parent/Staff on Web
Many of our schools have Parent emails the same as their staff email accounts. Previously we could only allow staff to view their parent account under a different email address/login. We have now removed this restriction so users can use the same account to be a parent and staff member. On the web they will be able to switch between modes. With the launch of our new staff app, staff can use their same email login to this and to their separate parent app.
6. Booking confirmations become more ‘invoice-like’
We will now include a school logo and address block at the top of the receipt, plus an option to update the footer within the template and different output columns. More improvements are also being developed for future releases including Invoice IDs.
7. Other Improvements:
- Addresses from ManageBac for parents/students can now be shown within the SchoolsBuddy UI (requires settings to be configured by Support Team)
- When adding a new group or copying an existing group, staff roles are now visible within the group and not just the lead staff member. This allows schools to add multiple staff members to groups before generating events and will help manage staff after copying groups from a previous container.
- Students can now be found on the Reception screen via phone number or Student ID (MIS ID) as well as name and email.
Release 37 - HEADLINES:
- New Look Menu
- NEW: Portal Links - Static Pages & Links
- NEW: Twitter Feed on Dashboard
- Instant Booking Clash Management
- Staff Mobile App
- Transport Module Addition - Transport Stop Addresses
- Other Improvements:
- New and improved site navigation for Staff users
- One button download/printing for multiple PTC Schedules
- Search results/dropdown menus
1. New Look Menu
This release will see a significant change to the way you navigate around SchoolsBuddy with our main navigation menus moving from the top of your screen to the left hand side. All the usual links will be there, just on the left instead! We have made this adjustment in order to align with other Faria products.
2. NEW! Portal Links - Static Pages & Links
This is a new way to use SchoolsBuddy to provide instant and quick links to important documents or web pages for parents to access. Content can be created and added, or existing documents/web pages can be used to create linked information displayed on the SchoolsBuddy dashboard. Content can be tailored to the user type, such as parents, staff, students and external staff. This feature can be used in many ways, particularly for policies (uniform, absence), term dates, staff contact lists and more.
To read more about the potential uses and features of Portal Links, read our article here.
3. NEW: Twitter Feed on Dashboard
We have also now added the ability to display your Twitter feed on the dashboard, so the last post will be seen when accessing SchoolsBuddy. Contact the Support team with your Twitter handle if you would like to add this.
4. Instant Booking Clash Management
We have introduced the ability for a parent/student to be warned when booking an activity if there is already an instant book event in their SchoolsBuddy calendar at the same time. When creating Instant Book events, staff can also opt to use a flag on the container to not allow clashed bookings.
5. NEW! Staff Mobile App
Launched on iOS and Android we have developed over many months a brand new, dedicated mobile app for staff use. The new app will feature a new search facility to find individual students’ schedules or find events/staff members to be able to take attendance online.
The app will also offer an offline mode for taking attendance on the move, including a new-look interface.
6. Transport Module: Bus Stop Addresses
The address of a transport stop for each student will now be shown in the attendance register. Parents will also see the address of their child’s stop in the event details within the SchoolsBuddy calendar.
7. Other Minor Improvements:
- New and improved site navigation for Staff users
- PTC Schedules are now paginated to allow one button to print/download all schedules, but each will be printed on a separate page.
- Search Results and Dropdown menus will now also show extended details of 'Other Name', 'Year/Grade' and 'Class' fields within Transport Change Requests, Manual Bookings (Instant Book & PTCs) and Fees pages.
- Transport Updates
- Multiple Timetables
- Easier deletion and deactivation of stops, routes and transport methods
- Login & Access Improvements
- Single Sign On activation
- German Language Pack now available
- Bug Fix - PTC Bookings
- Other minor improvements
- Organise Settings Tab
- Email Templates
- Parent Cancellations
You are now able to create multiple timetables with a date-range applicable to each timetable.
This allows you to handle a wider range of scenarios including having different timed buses on a particular week or weeks during a term. This is also useful where a school wants to trial the solution or go ahead and set up the buses for the next school year without being restricted by the current timetable.
We have also made it easier for admins to delete or deactivate stops, routes and methods of transport when they’re not in use.
Login & Access Improvements
We have made some changes to allow you to remain logged in while your desktop browser window remains active, with no automatic logout making it easier for you to continue working on SchoolsBuddy if you are temporarily drawn to another task.*
We have also added the option to 'remember the browser for 30 days' to remove the need for logging back in within that period.
*We recommend that you activate your password protected lock screen when leaving your desktop.
There is no longer a need to send an activation email before a user can login to SchoolsBuddy using one of our Single Sign On options. This makes access quicker and easier for new parents.
Please note: We have added a new button to send a welcome email, reminder or password reset to the Reception | Users screen.
German Language Pack Available
We are pleased to be able to offer a full German Language Pack with thanks to the team at IS Cologne who have helped provide translations. This is not an automatic option, please contact the Support team if you would like this switched on for your school.
*If there is a language used by your school community which you could help us to translate for SchoolsBuddy, we would love to hear from you*
PTC Bookings Bug
We were made aware of a bug within the PTC booking process, which allowed parents to delete a booking while it was still in a ‘processing’ state, causing confusion about the booking status. We have mitigated this by removing the button, and adding an option to ‘Refresh’ the status while the booking is still ‘processing’.
Other Minor Improvements:
Organisation Settings Tab
Super Admins will now see a settings wheel in the top right hand corner of their SchoolsBuddy screen. This will take you to a new page where the Welcome Message, Block Dates, Locations, Staff Roles can all be set. We will be adding more self service elements to this page in the future, such as email templates.
Within the email templates for Consent Requests and Selection Confirmation you can now add an end-time for the event. Please ask the support team if you would like this updated.
You can now Increase the space before an event where parent cancellations are not allowed from 24 hours to a maximum of 96 hours (4 days)