As we transition PCSchool to a fully web-based product we will require all schools begin to use the Student/Caregiver and Staff Management within Spider by August 2020. As part of moving to the web-based views, we will also convert your student, caregiver, staff and alumni data to our Freedom model.
The Freedom model of PCSchool provides an extremely flexible way to manage caregivers, students and staff. It removes the current constraint of 4 caregivers associated to a student and creates caregivers as unique identities within PCSchool. The Freedom Model allows a caregiver to be associated to students across different families without duplicating information. All schools are required to adopt this model by August 2020.
Emergency contacts are created as a separate identity so they can be applied against multiple families. Changing contact details in one place automatically reflects in all of the families they are associated with. Staff members who are also caregivers are represented by a single Identity.
After converting to the Freedom Model, each caregiver has their own login to Spider. Each caregiver sees the children they are associated with, which may include children from more than one family unit. These changes provide unparalleled flexibility when associating caregivers to students, allowing an unlimited number of caregivers/associates to be assigned to a student. For compatibility, the Freedom model will maintain 4 caregivers within the traditional family structure but additional identities can be created.
The link below is of the 2017 conference presentation. Please use this as a guide only as many of the screens may have changed with recent developments. It will give you a good indication, however, of what to expect. If you wish to see the current Freedom screens, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a login to our demo site.
Before converting to the Freedom Model…
- Start the Freedom Checks outlined below. They can be started at any time. They must be completed prior to the conversion day to ensure the data transitions as expected.
- To start the formal process, email email@example.com with your preferred conversion dates. The process takes about half a day. Bookings are essential and are generally set well in advance of the proposed day. This process will involve confirming the conversion quote that you will be sent to you. We will confirm the dates shortly after receiving your request.
- If you wish to have training, please advise a preferred date . Generally this will be the next day and involve staff engaged in student entry.
- If you plan to convert the PCSPlay area as well, please indicate a date. This option allows you to see your data in the converted form prior to going live. It also allows your staff to interact with your data to become familiar with the new controls.
- IMPORTANT Any customised reports (E.G. Reports you have added your logo to) that have address information on them need to be sent into us for conversion to the new address tables, including Database Checks, Account Statements and Payslips. Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org with a note regarding Freedom Conversion. There is a cost for this based on the number of reports to be converted. In most cases, it will be the minimum charge.
- Check with all third-party providers who are extracting our data for to ensure they are aware of how to extract the data once you are converted to the Freedom Model. This primarily affects caregiver details including addresses.
- Ensure ALL client computers have the current PCSQ installed. Currently, it is 2019.08.08
- Ensure you install the latest Follow-up and Spider immediately prior to the conversion.
- Check all families and Students and Staff to make sure no apostrophes e.g. O'NEILL should be changed under global change to ONEILL
You should not convert to Freedom if you have Interviews running as the family-based booking will not match to the individuals login post-conversion. In order to get ready for the Freedom Model, there are several steps you can take. Please ensure you check the following…
Data Check 1: Caregiver, address and communication check
Checking the below data can be time-consuming and PCSchool is able to assist by exporting the relevant data for you into a spreadsheet that makes the process of identifying missing or incorrect data easier. The data can be updated in the spreadsheet and be imported back into your system.
However, only SOME data will be imported back in (caregiver status, domicile, address owners etc). Phone number and address information will not be imported back in. The spreadsheet will help you identify which students you need to call up in Back Office and adjust phone numbers and addresses for.
The cost for this service is a fee of $Au66 (incl GST) / $Nz72. Please email email@example.com to request the above Pre-Freedom data export for your school.
- Ensure the “Domicile” is checked correctly. Domicile essentially indicates whether the student lives with that person for any amount of time. Schools may have used this for other purposes however this is how it will be interpreted during conversion.
- Ensure the “Status” field indicates who the owner is. By default, unless declared otherwise, it will assume the person has the role labelled in the caregiver block. In this case shown labelled (2), the person will be assumed to be the mother. If this is the case, no changes need be made.
- Check the “Emergency Contact” information contains meaningful information in order to identify a particular person. To make this process easier for you, replace descriptions like “neighbour” with an actual person’s name. With the Freedom Model, an emergency contact can be associated with multiple families.
- As above in step 3
- Ensure all contact numbers are consistent across families. Part of the initial matching process looks for commonality between caregivers of different families based on phone numbers.
- Check that email addresses are correct. A greater number of external applications rely on the caregiver’s email being unique to a single person. Although this is not required by PCSchool, it is a good opportunity to check with families if more than 1 caregiver is using the same one.
- Check the “Title” matches the “Owner”. In this case, with the owner being “Both Parents”, the “Title” matches this. If the owner was “Mother Only”, the title should indicate this (Eg Ms Drent)
- All address tabs being used MUST have an owner. Do not use “Step Father” or “Step Mother”.
- Ensure the “Contact (Email) Option” reflects the Owner. If the owner is “Mother Only”, then this option should be “Mother” if she wishes to receive email correspondence. In a split family situation, where “Father” also wishes to receive email, they will be set up on a different tab with the “Alt Correspondence” checked.
- If this correspondence owner is not set up under the “Account” tab, but wishes to receive account information, check this option.
- Ensure the “Account” owner has been declared if you use PCSchool for debtor billing. This should match the account title.
- Ensure the “Contact (Email) Option” is set. In the example above, as the account owner is father, the email address will also be “Father”
- If the account owner is a different person form the correspondence owner, and you wish them to receive correspondence regarding the student, ensure the “Use for alt corresp.” option is checked.
Data Check 2: Pre-Freedom Checks Run within PCSchool
*** The Pre-Freedom checks MUST be completed on a 2020.?.? version of Spider or greater as earlier Spider checks are not as complete***
Inbuilt into the 2020 and above Spider is a page that allows you to identify potential issues. To access this page search for 'Pre-Freedom' in your Spider menu:
OR, enter add the following to your Spider’s URL once you have logged in…
<Your Spider’s URL>/Pages/Configuration/PreFreedom.aspx
This will display the page below:
First, start by clicking on the 'Auto-adjust Identity Records' button at the top. Then download each item that does not show 'no records found'. It is important to run each of these exports. If any issues are identified they need to be addressed although not all are critical. If you are unsure how to address the issue, please contact the PCSchool helpline.
See instructions on how to fix Cross-Linked Identities.
After converting to the Freedom Model…
- The Student View in Back Office becomes read-only.
- If currently using the PCSchool App you will need to resend your caregivers their new individual usernames and passwords and advise them to log out of the app and back in with these.
- Where possible, emailing should be completed with the General Messaging control in Spider
- IMPORTANT: No communication should be sent out via Spider until communication preferences have been checked for, at minimum, the separated/split and blended families at the school. This is to ensure that no parent receives the details of another that they should not (eg separated parents do not see the others address).
- Absence Early notification is based on the new "Communication" settings for the "Student Based" EN Notification option. Caregivers must be updated to reflect who receives the SMS message if you are utilising this feature.
- Communication Preferences: after conversion, the system will be updated with a tick in both parents to receive a copy of the following: note: if one caregiver does not have an email address and one does) it will print one and email the other.
- If a caregiver the [SMS, Email and Push] will be ticked
- [Academic Result] you should remove a tick if you only want one parent to receive a copy of the report.
- [Acc Active Recipient] If you have a tick in both parents, they receive one each (NB: If 1 caregiver does not have an Account email address and one does) it will print one and email the other.
- IMPORTANT If you did not do this before the conversion you MUST do this now: Any customised reports (E.G. Reports you have added your logo to) that have address information on them need to be sent in to us for conversion to the new address tables, including Database Checks, Account Statements and Payslips. Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org with a note regarding Freedom Conversion. There is a cost for this based on the number of reports to be converted. In most cases it will be the minimum charge.
Family communication details can be checked by printing the 'Individual Freedom Caregiver Comm Options report. This should be checked carefully and adjustments made as needed. The report is printed from the Back Office:
- Debtor Statements need to be tested for Freedom Account printing. Generally select Primary and Alt Correspondence recipients.
- Family Profile Update reports will need to be made Freedom sensitive.