New Parent Booker Features Make Support Easier

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):

1. Logins

  • 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 and Free Signup Services

The effort of using free sign up services is considerable when you compare it to Parent Booker which is tailor made to serve schools – it’s family and grade aware, it filters what parents see and are notified about, and makes the entire process of sign ups considerably easier for both parents and the school.

Parent Booker provides a consolidated store of all parent’s in a database and which grades parents have children in. With free signup service you have to go through the ordeal of obtaining, then importing parent email addresses and de-duplicating for each email blast.

Signup services have no concept of logging hours, tracking service against hour or task targets or presenting aggregate reports. Parent Booker automatically sends out emails to remind volunteers to show up. Parent Booker even links events and service hours together so that when parents perform a volunteer event their hours are automatically credited to their account.

To address “no shows” Parent Booker gives schools the option to “approve” service hours – so only parents who perform a task get their hours credited.

At the end of the school year there’s no complex, onerous task that a volunteer parent or the school have to perform. A school administrator can simply login and run a report showing how many hours each family has served, or how many times a family has performed a particular duty that year such as hot lunches or yard duty.

Calculating Parent Service Hours the Easy Way

Many schools offer parents a school fee discount if they complete a set number of service hours before the end of each school year. Parent Booker makes recording and tracking hours simple for parents and schools. Schools can configure programs so that:
- parents can opt out of performing service hours and don’t appear in reports tracking hours
- single parents can be set a lower service limit
- schools can selectively approve hours

Parents simply enter their hours and the duties they performed and Parent Booker takes care of the rest.

At the end of the year schools can run a report to see how many hours each family has served making it easy and fair to account for any fee discount.

New “assign” feature added

While Parent Booker is designed to provide self-service so that parents can sign up themselves for slots, sometimes volunteer coordinators need to take matters into their own hands and assign volunteers to slots.

A brand new feature in Parent Booker lets coordinators achieve this – a new “Assign” link appears next to empty slots allowing the coordinator to browse a list of volunteers and assign them to the slot. When assigned an email is sent to the volunteer automatically letting them know they’ve been assigned.

It’s perfect for situations such as:
- when you can’t afford to wait for people to sign up
- mandatory volunteer duties
- when volunteers have signed up via other methods (word of mouth)
- filling last minute volunteer slots

New Volunteer Targeting Features Added

Today Parent Booker launched new group functionality allowing schools and churches to target volunteer recruitment at specific groups of users. Now users can join groups such as:

- Auction committee
- Parent Teacher Association member
- Parishioner
- Eucharistic Minister

Schools and churches can then target messages and promote events specifically at users who selected a particular group  - via either an email blast or targeted notices that are shown to parents on their personalized Parent Booker homepage as soon as they login.

Parent Booker already allows volunteer events to target parents of children in specific classes. With this new functionality Parent Booker delivers functionality that ensures events and volunteer recruitment can be tightly targeted at specific users increasing relevance and effectiveness.

Welcome to the Parent Booker Blog!

Parent Booker is live!  But as well as giving you a great website helping you recruit volunteers and coordinate parent teacher evenings, we’ll be publishing useful tips on how to make your school events and fundraising activities even more successful.

We also want to hear from you:
- what tips do you have that would help other schools?
- what challenges have you faced at your school?
- what stories from the trenches do you have about school volunteering?
- do you have tips for helping get parents more engaged?