A number of new enhancements have been made to Parent Booker for the 2014/2015 school year:
- Android is here!
Parents can now access Parent Booker via an Android application (in addition to the iPhone and iPad application)
- Assigning Tasks Notifies Both Parents
When a coordinator or admin assigns a family to a task both emails registered to the family will be notified (not just one)
- Importing Calendars into Apple iCal and Yahoo Calendar
The import calendar into Apple iCal and Yahoo Calendar function has been updated so that all school holidays now appear (not just opportunities for which you’ve signed up)
- End of Year Reset Tools
New end of year reset tools have been implemented that make it even easier to reset service hours, volunteer tasks and to update student’s classes at the end of the school year
Parent Booker welcomes all of the new schools that have signed up to trial or use Parent Booker for the coming school year.
Click to view interactive map
The AARP published this map identifying the value of a volunteer hour in each state.
Nearly 27 percent of the U.S. adult population gave 8.1 billion hours of volunteer service worth $169 billion in 2009, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The interactive map shows just how good-hearted and generous neighbors have been.
The create event screen lets you target events at specific families
One of Parent Booker’s most significant features isthat it allows events to be set up so that they are only presented to parents with children in specific classes. This feature can also let you set up groups – e.g. PTA members, altar servers… and selectively target events at members in those groups.
Parents can join these groups either when they register (they are shown as textboxes on the sign up page) or afterwards by going to My Account.
Admins can also go to the Admin / Manage Users page and add families manually to these groups.
Targeting Events at Specific Parents
When you create an event the very first page shows you checkboxes for every class and every group. Simply check the boxes for the parents that you want to target, or if you want every parent to see the event click select all so that every box is checked.
Your event will now only be displayed on the website, or in the app, to parents with children in the classes and groups that you designated.
This feature means that parents don’t have to waste time scanning through long lists of events that aren’t relevant to them – the app and site cut to the chase.
They save paper
They save time printing flyers
They save money
Schools using Parent Booker are finding significant savings since instead of sending out paper flyers they can easily email blast the entire school, or parents with children in specific classes. This means:
Parent Booker maintains a list of parents and which classes their children are in. So schools don’t have to waste time maintaining email lists or filtering out just the parents with children in specific classes.
With Parent Booker emails and apps schools are starting to find that they are finally engaging with many parents they previously hadn’t been able to. These parents are volunteering and becoming an increasing part of school fund raising activities.
Just more ways Parent Booker helps schools and makes parent volunteering simple!
Does your school have an event where there’s a roster of tasks such as a carnival or book fair? Parent Booker lets you set up a roster of tasks where you can set up:
- how many people are needed
- start and end times
Parent Booker lets you set up a roster of tasks at different times, such as for a carnival or book fair.
Parent Booker can send out email reminders and automatically record and track the hours that are served.
Just another way that Parent Booker makes it easy for schools to recruit and track parent volunteers and their service hours.
A link to service hour guidelines shown to users.
A new feature is available on Parent Booker. Now you can add a link to a page such as a Google Doc where you keep service hour guidelines. This link is set up by admins using admin / settings.
Using this setting a new link appears on the Service Hours page right where parents enter their hours. This helps ensures parents are clearly made aware of hours that will be approved or rejected up front.
Two new features have been added making supporting parents even easier for school administrators. These functions can be found in the Admin / Manage Users area of Parent Booker (only admins can access this):
- User Logins are now displayed in a new column, so if parents ask, school administrators can now tell users exactly what their login is.
(This is in addition to the existing forgot login function available to users on the login page)
2. Resetting User’s Passwords
School administrators can now send an email with a reset password link to any parent. This is done by the same Admin / Manage Users page:
- Simply click on a login and instantly an email with a password reset link will be sent to the user
- The system alerts you which email address the password reset was sent to (as a double check) . Sometimes users may need to know which email address the reset has been sent to.
These new features will make the job of supporting parents having login issues easier.
Parent Booker provides reports that let schools see how many service hours have been performed by each family. This report has been enhanced so that a specific class can be selected in order to see just the hours served by parents with children in a particular class.
This means that teachers can have visibility into how parents are progressing versus hours targets meaning:
- they can target parents in need of hours
- they can know which parents are making the greatest contributions
In years prior St Isabella school in San Rafael, California had one parent spending several hours a week coordinating the schedule for 3 parents per day to perform yard duty. Everything was done via phone, email and a single spreadsheet coordinated through a single overworked parent. There was considerable anxiety filling imminent unfilled openings. Often emails would have to be sent out repeatedly asking parents to email back to say their availability.
The poor overworked parent volunteer coordinator would juggle yard duty time-slots and email back parents letting them know what slots they’d been assigned to. No one was happy:
- Parents would complain they didn’t get the slots they wanted
- The coordinator always came across as imposing and served a thankless task
St Isabella is now using Parent Booker which has transformed the process of signing up school yard duty volunteers with the following results:
- parents can see the entire school year calendar and book their yard duty the next day or the last month of the school year
- parents get to pick exactly the dates they want using a web browser, iPhone or iPad app
- near zero effort is required by the coordinator and they now spend their time with their family and on more productive school volunteering
- parents can’t pull out at last minute ; Parent Booker prevents them doing this, they have to call or email the coordinator with a replacement (this rarely happens)
Parent Booker automatically sends out reminders to yard duty monitors 3 days before they are due to serve, reducing no-shows.
Automated Service Hour Tracking
An additional bonus is that yard duty hours are automatically added to parents’ service hour logs.
Parent Booker is proving to be a great revenue generator for its customers. One school with approximately 200 students and a service hour program where parents opted in for a $600 discount by doing service hours generated over $6,000 in additional revenue.
This was achieved using Parent Booker to track parents service hours and identify:
- Parents who had not performed any service hours who were then billed the $600 discount they had initially claimed
- Parents who had not met the service hour targets. These parents were billed a pro-rated amount
So if your school has fees and plans to offer a discount for parents that serve Parent Booker not only ensures fairness for all those parents who do serve their hours, but it provides additional revenue for the school.