Information for using Silent Dismissal

Group Authorizations

Restricted group types with authorization is a method for ensuring that parents are only able to assign students to those groups for which they are explicitly authorized to join.

Introduction

Student groups are a powerful tool in Silent Dismissal to simultaneously call for multiple students to be dismissed for a specific reason and to provide a real-time roster of those students on a day-to-day basis.

Problem

As more schools realize the benefits of making parents accountable for student dismissal settings those schools have also recognized the potential for parents to define a dismissal method for which the necessary requirements may not have been met, such as assigning a student to an athletic team, to a limited capacity enrichment program, or even something as seemingly innocuous as a different school bus at the end of the day.

While the majority of parents will select from only those groups for which either the student or parent has completed the necessary prerequisites there are sometimes parents who attempt to skirt the rules and assign students to a dismissal group for which the student should not be assigned.

Solution

To overcome parents who do not properly comply with the necessary requirements, Silent Dismissal now provides a method for configuring group types such that parents may not assign students to a group without proper authorization from the school.

A specific set of procedural steps makes it simple to implement Group Restrictions by the school with minimal effort.

New School Year Set Up

These operations are typically started during the late summer months, such as July or August, prior to the annual parent open house and conclude after the parent open house. The steps are all performed using a Local Administrator account.

Clear Existing Authorizations

  • Navigate to GROUPS / AUTHORIZATIONS :: DELETE.

The page displays all of the groups in hierarchal format beginning with All groups, followed by the Group Types, and finally the individual Groups. Each of these levels is preceded by a checkbox selection field. The numeric columns on the right show the number of student authorizations that currently exist for the element hierarchy with the rightmost column showing the total for all individual groups, then next column in from the left showing the number of authorizations for a group type such as bus or van, and finally the leftmost column of numbers shows the number of authorizations for a specific group.

  • Set the checkbox for the All option.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page then click Remove Authorizations.

Remove Any Restrictions and Clear Parent Time Limit

  • Navigate to TOOLS / SCHOOL SETTINGS.
  • Open the section titled Parent Settings
  • Set the following values:
    • Web Access – Allow
    • Until – Midnight / 00
    • Set Group - Yes
  • Open the section titled Group Type Authorization Settings.
  • Set all values to No.
  • Click on Save All Settings.

Removing all restrictions will allow parents to assign students to groups for the current school year.

Open House

At or prior to the parent open house determine a specific time and date after which parents will no longer be able to select from all groups then inform the parents of this deadline.

Instruct parents to select the appropriate dismissal group for each day of the week and instruct the parents to select any other groups that may apply throughout the year as optional.

Complete the remaining steps following the passing of the deadline date and time.

Clear Prior Authorizations and Create New Authorizations

Determine which types of groups require school intervention prior to allowing parents to change groups. For example, if the school policy requires specific steps to be performed prior to students being assigned to an alternate bus, then groups of type bus should be restricted.

  • Navigate to GROUPS / AUTHORIZATIONS :: SET
  • Set the check mark at the group level - e.g., Bus, Daycare Van - for each group type that will later require authorization
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page, then select Clear then Add
  • Click the button Create Authorizations

Set Restrictions

  • Navigate to TOOLS / SCHOOL SETTINGS.
  • Open the section titled Group Type Authorization Settings
  • Set to Yes each of the group types that will require authorization; these are the same as the group types for which authorizations were created in the previous step.
  • Click on Save All Settings

Verification

  • Navigate to GROUPS / AUTHORIZATIONS :: SET

The number of students assigned will be equal to the number of students assigned for those groups that have just been set to require authorization.

Click on the icon that appears like an eyeball to view the list of students that are authorized for a group.

During the Year

Parents will be unable to associate a student to a restricted group if that student is not authorized. When using the web interface, parents will not see the groups for which a student is not authorized; with the mobile app parents will see all of the groups but will be unable to select those for which they are not authorized.

School staff may assign a student to a group whether or not an authorization for the student exists.

Authorizing a Single Student

When one or more group types are set as restricted the Assign Student to Groups section of the student edit page includes additional information and features.

The Optional / Weekday / All Days (O/W/A) column displays a blue background for authorized groups and yellow background for unauthorized groups.

An additional function button is shown at the top of the groups list titled Edit Authorizations. Clicking on this button will display a list of all restricted groups; those for which the student is authorized will display with a check mark.

To authorize a student for a group, click on the group check box such that a check mark appears. To remove the student authorization for the group, click on the group check box such that the box appears without a check mark in it. There is no requirement to independently save the changes; the settings are recorded as each selection is either checked or unchecked.

Click the student name in the page title to return to the student edit page or use any of the menu entries to navigate elsewhere.

Authorizing Multiple Students

In some instances, it will not be possible for parents to have chosen all of the restricted groups at the beginning of the school year. Examples include after school activities which may require a fee or athletic teams which are open only to those students who are members of a team. To create the authorizations for a group, perform these steps:

  • Navigate to GROUPS / LIST ALL or list by type.
  • Click on the group name in the second column.
  • Add the appropriate students to the group at a minimum as an optional association or by explicitly designating the days of the week.
  • Navigate to GROUPS / AUTHORIZATIONS :: SET
  • Place a check mark in front of the specific group for which authorizations are to be set
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page
    • The scope of the authorizations needs to be considered carefully. Does the current roster of students for the group comprise the totality of all students who should have access to the group or are there other students who may also need authorization but are not currently associated to the group?
      • If the current roster – including those students who are associated only optionally – represents all of the students who should be authorized then select Clear then Add.
      • If other students who current have authorization for the group should continue to have authorization in addition to the current roster then select Add Only.
  • Click Create Authorizations to allow these students to be authorized.

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