When you do roll logins out have someone nominated to troubleshoot access problems. Parents and secure passwords can be a very frustrating combination as they mistype them, can't find the symbols on the keyboard, use the other half's password with their login name, etc.
From what i can gather from speaking to other schools, the most important thing to start with is getting your data accurate and this is making a few schools local to me stall their roll out as they don't have the time or man power to do this as stage let alone the rollout.
I'd go for parents evenings, safer to give them out personally and you can overview/demo SLG at the same time in bulk. I assume that you're getting parents to sign AUP's so this is an ideal time for it, before account details are given out. Also manage parent's expectations of how and when (through school? in holidays?) they can get support before rollout to avoid issues later.
I rolled out our SLG to parents about 2 months ago, I had spent approx 200 hours ensuring data and links were accurate, such things as siblings etc. One mistake I made was to ask parents who wanted access, one or both parents, this just made work. The biggest issues are parents and the first passwords issued by the ADP. They are far too complicated for some parents.
We sent our final letters with username and passwords and I guess on the whole the response from parents as been really positive, out of a school of 750 pupils I only have 36 pupils who’s parents insist on postal, all in all a great success.
We're also in a similar position.
Data has been tidied, unlinked contacts removed etc etc etc and now we're ready to roll SLG out!
We've had discussions about the best way of issuing usernames and passwords to parents/carers and also decided the most secure was was to do this at parent evenings. We plan to start small with parents who have shown interest in our digital newsletters and then grow the group until we release yeargroup by yeargroup.
We haven't taken any steps to prepare help documentation, AUPs, or setup training sessions for parents as of yet, but this is looming on the horizon!
Communicate plan to parents,
Phase roll-out, starting with small subset of techy parents if needed,
Two-stage issue of login details, maybe username by email, password at parents evening or later email,
Plan some support time / dedicate staff - also very good idea to set up 2/3 machines at a parents evening so they can do the login live, with support available (bit of overtime for the tech' too ).
This thread has some similar issues discussed, and a document regarding data preparation.
I think it's still valid, though there may be an updated version now, but i can't access SupportNet to check, due to bad connectivity.
SLG and Parental Reporting
Iain and Alan, I would offer some words of wisdom but since we are closing I am thinking why bother rolling it out.......
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