This article explains how to create Online Parent Teacher meetings using Meeting URL's (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.)
For Online meetings, you can now choose whether to use Meeting URL's or Embedded Video. Please read this article for more information about this.
Please note if using an Online meeting via URL, there is no association or communication between the link (e.g. Zoom, Teams etc) and SchoolsBuddy. It would be the responsibility of the staff member to start and end the meeting manually. The automatic timer does not appear as it would when using the Embedded Video Chat.
To view how to create Onsite Parent Teacher meetings, please click here.
To view how to create Online Parent Teacher meetings using Embedded Video, please click here.
Tip: It is easy to schedule multiple parents evenings in one container if you are using the same classes all year (or mostly the same). If you want to do this this method, you can change the sign up and meeting start and end dates throughout the year to show/hide the conferences to parents as you
schedule the conferences each term.
- Click the Activities & Clubs / Bookings Admin tab (this may be labelled differently due to your School's preferences)
- Click the 'Parent Teacher Conference' container type
- Click '+Add' to create a new container
- Complete the overall settings:
- Sign Up Title: Name of the Parents Evening(s) / Parent Conference(s)
- Information to Parents: Include details relevant to all PTC's to be displayed to parents. For example, who to contact if you cannot attend at the last minute/ whether parents can cancel appointments themselves.
- Allow booking cancellation: If you wish to allow parents to make cancellations/change their chosen time slots, select the box. Parents will see up to date availability of time slots. NB. Parents can only cancel/make changes during the time sign-up is open.
- Meeting Format: Select Online (via default online method)
- Maximum meetings with a teacher per student: If you would like parents to book more than 1 meeting with a teacher change this to the number of meetings they can book.
- Fill in the rest of the details.
- Meetings start date: Date conferences will run from. You can enter dates for the whole year if you want to give a general guide to parents.
- Meetings end date: Date conferences will run to. You can enter dates for the whole year if you want to give a general guide to parents.
- Meetings default start time: If most of your PTC's start at the same time set this as the default.
- Meetings default end time: If most of your PTC's end at the same time set this as the default.
- Who can book meetings: Whether parents, students or both will make bookings
- Sign up opens: Date and time when sign up opens
- Sign up closes: Date and time when sign up closes
- Use Organisation Block Dates: Selecting this will prevent any PTC's being created on days that have been blocked for your organisation, for example teacher training days.
- Terms & Conditions: You can enter any Terms & Conditions for the parent to agree to before making a booking, or link to a page of your school's Terms and Conditions hosted on your website by entering this URL in the T & C's additional info (URL) box.
- Booking Data Form: SchoolsBuddy can create custom data forms if you need to collect any information from parents at the time of booking.For example, translator requirements. Contact us with any requests.
When all details have been entered, select the green 'Save' tab.
- The container will be created and you will be taken to the home screen. Next, create the teacher groups for subject or registration classes. These can be imported from your Student Information System - contact us if they are not available already in the next step.
- To create an individual group click Add or to create all groups from the data imported from your Student Information System click Bulk Add.
- If you have selected the Bulk Add option you can choose to generate groups from Subject Classes or Registration Groups. Select the desired option.
Subject classes are filterable by Teacher, Subject, Year and keyword search:
If you select Registration Groups, this will list all your registration groups or homerooms.
- Select the Reg Groups or Subject Classes you wish to add by clicking the toggle boxes or using Select all. If you wish to see which pupils are in the Reg Group or Subject Class, click the green (i) logo located next to the name.
- Choose a Teacher title suffix. For example, if you select Registration Groups, the group title suffix will be applied e.g. 10A Parent Teacher Conference, 10B Parent Teacher Conference. This is what a parent will see when they choose the teachers they want to book.
- When the classes/registration groups have been selected, click the Generate Teachers button.
- A list of the newly created teacher groups will appear. You can delete or edit these. If you wish to delete a teacher or teachers, check the box on the left for the appropriate teacher(s) and then click Delete selected. When you are happy with the teachers, check the individual boxes on the left or click Select All and then click Complete. You will see that the Online Location displays Embedded video chat to signify that the meeting will be using embedded video in SchoolsBuddy rather than a Meeting URL.
- The newly created groups will be listed in the Teachers tab within the container. If there is a warning message showing because more than one group has the same teacher, you must be careful not to schedule meetings for both teacher groups at the same time. We recommend deleting any that aren't needed and moving their classes over - please read this article to find out how to do this.
In practise, you may have duplicated teachers if they are seeing different classes at different times. For example, perhaps a teacher is seeing a group of students as their English teacher, and another group of students as their CAS coordinator. It is important to make sure that teacher's time slots are scheduled or blocked out appropriately later so that there are no double bookings. N.B. the Group filter shown in the screenshot below is not a search function and is filtering based on the group name only. In cases where the teacher name is also the group name then it appears to be searching by teacher name.
- If you wish to edit any details, click Edit and amend any details manually as required. You could edit the availability to allow students from other subject classes to have appointments with this teacher if they had to substitute for another teacher for example.
You can also add/amend the Meeting URL here. Click on the green 'i' icon
You can then enter the Online Meeting ID (A) and click Save (B) and then click Save on the Edit Groups page.
- Click Block Dates to view any dates that PTCs will not be scheduled on. If you have selected to use the Organisation block dates, these will appear here. You can also add more block dates that only apply to these PTCs rather than to the all school activities if necessary.
- Next, click Create Meetings and Add New.
- Fill in the information:
- Title: Title of the specific Parents' Evening / Parent Conference.
- Vital Information: Add any relevant vital information relevant.
- Bookings per meeting slot: Usually one parent can book a slot at a time but this will depend on your School's preferences. For example, if you are holding student led conferences with two students in attendance at the same time.
- If you wish to create the conference for every teacher/registration/subject class, click Select All in Create for Teachers. Alternatively you can select individual teacher groups - do this if you are scheduling different teachers at different times, for example subject class meetings on Monday, Counseling meetings on Tuesday.
- Fill in the details:
- Meeting Method: This cannot be changed because at the container level, the Meeting Format was set to Online (via default online method)
- Location: This will be Online meeting via URL
- Frequency: You can create time slots for one day or multiple days. If each day has a different start & end time we recommend adding them as a single day then adding another event for the different timed slots afterwards.
- Meeting date: select the day/s for the Parents' Evening / Parent Conference.
- Start time: Beginning of first time slot.
- End Time: The end time of the last time slot.
- Event time length in mins: The length of each time slot.
- Interval time in mins: Add a time length if teachers need a break between every meeting.
- Click Create Rule to finish.
- The system creates a schedule template for every teacher group. These are editable until they are published, after which you can still see them on this page by un-checking Hide Published, to check what was published if there are any alterations later.
- Click on Publish Meetings to review the meetings created. Note the Meeting Count column should have enough meetings to cover the amount of students a teacher has to see, if it doesn't, you may wish to add extra time on their schedule. You can either Select All meetings to be published or choose individual teachers schedules by checking the boxes for each meeting. For example, this could be used if you create all the meetings for Lower School and Upper School in the same container but only want to publish the meetings for Lower School first. Visibility of published appointments will still be governed by the sign up dates on the container settings. Select the teacher's schedules and check the I confirm box.
- If everything is correct, scroll down and check the confirmation box and the Publish button. Note, events will immediately be visible to parents if the sign up period is already open. If the sign up date is in the future parents will not see anything yet.
- A message will appear saying that the meetings are being generated and cannot be changed. Once they have been generated, this message will automatically disappear, or you can click Refresh to update the screen.
- When the meetings have been published they will be listed in the View Meetings/Bookings tab.
- Below is an example of the screen parents will see when booking a Parents Evening / Parent Conference meeting. There is a countdown timer (set to 15 minutes from the time of selecting a meeting) which shows the parent how long they have left to Check Availability and complete the booking. If the countdown runs out, they will lose the booking and have to start again.
For further details read these articles:
Blocking out Parents Evening / Parent Conference time slots as an Admin
Blocking out Parents Evening / Parent Conference time slots - as a Teacher
Making a Manual Parents Evening / Parent Conference booking
Handling breaks in your Parent Teacher Conference / Parents Evening