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“You continue to make our lives easier and jobs more efficient."– Josh Hardin, Athletics Manager, Cincinnati Public School District

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  • FinalForms to Sign the Student Privacy Pledge


    In order to proclaim our utmost respect for your privacy, we will sign the Student Privacy Pledge this month. The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) introduced the Pledge to safeguard student privacy regarding the collection, maintenance, and use of personal information.

    The Pledge has also been endorsed by the National PTA and the National School Boards Association, among others.

    Our commitment to the Pledge is intended to demonstrate compliance with existing federal law and regulatory guidance regarding the collection and handling of student data. 

    “I want to make it clear that our stance is that student data must only be used for educational purposes only, and never, in any iteration, for profit by any means,” states Clay Burnett, FinalForms CEO and Co-Founder. 

    FinalForms may have the strongest stance in the ed-tech industry on student privacy, as our policies go beyond the Pledge alone.

    Here are a few highlights from the Pledge:

    • Not collect, maintain, use or share student personal information beyond that needed for authorized education/school purposes, or as authorized by the parent/student.
    • Not sell student personal information.
    • Not use or disclose student information for behavioral targeting of advertisements to students. 
    • Support access to and correction of student personally identifiable information.
    • Maintain a comprehensive security program.

    Beyond the Pledge and Student Information:

    • FinalForms does not sell ANY USER'S ‘de-identified’ or ‘aggregate’ data.
    • FinalForms does not target ANY USER with advertisements.

    Learn more about the Pledge here: http://www.studentprivacypledge.org


  • Welcome to Our First Wave of New Customers for the 2016-17 School Year!


    Excited for all the opportunities in Indiana, Tennessee, Michigan, and Florida!

    FinalForms extends an enthusiastic welcome to our first wave of new districts committing for the 2016-2017 school year. The following districts will start using FinalForms for Fall 2016-17 Athletic Participation or Academic Enrollment forms. 

    • Anderson High School (Cincinnati)
    • Clay Local Schools
    • Cuyahoga Falls High School
    • Edgewood High School (Trenton)
    • Finneytown Local Schools
    • Fremont City Schools
    • Madison Christian School
    • Massillon Washington High School
    • St. Charles Preparatory School
    • St. Francis DeSales High School
    • Shaker Heights High & Middle Schools
    • Solon High School
    • Turpin High School

    If your district is interested in learning more about the revolutionary FinalForms data collection and management processes for your Athletic Department or School District, please Contact Us!

     

  • Seeding Your K-12 Installation

    Best practices for tech directors to transition to FinalForms.

    New software presents challenges, we understand that. That is precisely why we provide assistance in leaping the hurdle from your existing data processes to streamlined FinalForms data processes. We also prepare documentation to help you communicate with your staff and parents. 

    One goal of your transition to a K-12 FinalForms launch is ALL parents and ALL students with accounts including completed forms sets. We find that there are two distinct approaches to this goal:

    1. Allow parents to create accounts and then create their students.
    2. Seed the installation with a spreadsheet import of all students and their parents.

    Let's talk about the pros and cons of both approaches in specific scenarios.

     

    Approach 1: Parent Generated

    Approach 1 requires the district to communicate the need for ALL parents to create an account on FinalForms. Communication processes already surround your back-to-school paperwork, so tailoring your message is all that needs to be done! We provide districts with instructional handouts to provide to parents aiding in this process.

    Note: The biggest challenge districts face is getting every parent to FinalForms. GOOD NEWS: Once on FinalForms, less than 2% of parents report problems following the step-by-step account and student creation process. 

    Pros:

    • It's EASY! If you direct the parent to the site, FinalForms takes care of the rest!
    • Parents input and confirm their preferred email address guaranteeing communication.

    Cons:

    • No parent or student information is pre-populated.
    • Identifying stragglers is difficult because their account simply won't exist in FinalForms.
    • Assigning StudentIDs (to allow for syncing with your SIS) is a manual, though one time, assignment.

     

    Approach 2: Spreadsheet Generated

    Approach 2 requires building an accurate spreadsheet. The district tech team must build the spreadsheet using existing data including "primary key" information for students (StudentID) and parents (email address). When the tech team imports the spreadsheet "stub accounts" are created for students and parents, automatically sending account confirmation emails to parents prompting account confirmation and student registration.

    Note: The biggest challenge districts face is the accuracy of parent email addresses. If the email is incorrect, parents will never receive a confirmation email. GOOD NEWS: Administrators simply swap the incorrect email with the correct email and the automatic account confirmation process is triggered.

    Pros:

    • Account stubs for ALL students.
    • Students already associated with their StudentIDs.
    • Sort and filter all students to view their registration status. Easy to pick out stragglers.
    • Data can be pre-populated. The import can include as much information as you want to include, pre-populating forms for the parents' convenience.

    Cons:

    • Building a perfectly accurate spreadsheet.
    • Specifically, you must have accurate email accounts for your parents.

     

    Going from Athletic-Only to K-12

    Finally, if your district already uses FinalForms for athletics and is expanding to K-12 use, you must ensure that duplicate accounts are not created for students and parents. 

    FinalForms uses email addresses as the primary key for parents. You must make sure that the email address associated with a parent in the SIS (and thus the spreadsheet) matches the email address associated with a parent in FinalForms to prevent duplicate accounts for parents. 

    FinalForms uses cascading matching keys for students. It will first try to find the student record based on StudentID -> then Email -> and finally a combination of First Name, Last Name, & Date of Birth. If it does not find a student based on any of those criteria, it will create the student.

     

    Choosing Your Approach

    A lot of this boils down to preference, the accuracy of your current data, the size of your district and whether you were already using FinalForms for athletics.

    • If your data is inaccurate, we recommend the Parent Approach.
    • If your district is large, we recommend the Spreadsheet Approach. Why? Identifying students and parents with missing accounts can be a massive task in August. 
    • If your district uses FinalForms for athletics, we recommend the Parent Approach.

     

    A Combined Approach

    Finally, a combination of the Parent Approach and the Spreadsheet Approach may be practical. In this case, you guide parents toward creating accounts (Parent Approach). Then, on a chosen date in August, determine which students do not yet have accounts. Then, build a small spreadsheet for those students, import it, and turn off future student registrations (Spreadsheet Approach).

     

    Future Years

    The approaches, recommendations and guidance in this article are relative to the first time seeding of a whole K-12 district's worth of data.

    During the course of the school year you may receive transfers, which except in truly massive districts, are frequently best dealt with individually (Parent Approach).

    In future years, you will only need to worry about transfers and that bright eyed new class of Kindergartners. For these, we recommend seeding them with a spreadsheet (Spreadsheet Approach), as you can collect seed information from the parent during the new student registration meetings.

     

  • PowerSchool Integration

    FinalForms helps your district integrate data with PowerSchool

    You may have noticed the default PowerSchool export feature doesn't quite line up with your PowerSchool database. This is because PowerSchool allows your district to tailor the database to meet your needs. FinalForms can now adjust data exports to meet your specific district database! We can coordinate with your district to create an export format that best serves your needs.

    Keep in mind, the export does not need to include ALL data collected by FinalForms. Your district technology staff or student data managers may only want to coordinate limited data, such as Emergency Contacts, and we can make that happen, so let's talk!

    1 - Contact Us

    Contact your FinalForms representative to let us know you're interested in a PowerSchool integration.

    2 - Provide a Sample Student Record

    Send us a sample student record (see example) and we'll customize your export to match.

    3 - Make a Plan for Synchronization

    We've done this quite a bit, so we can provide ideas for manual or automated updates based on what we've done with many other districts.

    4 - Complete Your First Integration!

    Once we've customized your PowerSchool export and come up with the perfect plan, it's time to make it happen!

  • Custom Timeout Policies

    We are happy to announce an important new policy with respect to timeouts!

    We are removing universal timeout settings for users in FinalForms. We can now differentiate between user types, such as Admin or Coach, as well as device types, such as Desktop or Mobile. This means we can set a user to timeout after 15 minutes on a desktop but to never timeout on a mobile device!

    What is a timeout?
    - When an application, such as FinalForms, automatically logs a user out due to a period of inactivity. An inactivity period starts upon your last action within the application, such as clicking into a new view or filtering information.

    Furthermore, we are now allowing Districts to set their own timeout lengths. The reason for this is that Districts tend to have unique policies outlining safeguarding student information. For example, some districts force their staff to have lockscreens on their desktop and mobile devices, thereby making a FinalForms timeout a redundant and, consequently, tedious step to re-accessing information.

    By default, timeouts will be set to "never" for all Districts. If you would like to implement timeouts, please contact your FinalForms representative and we will implement the update within 24 hours.

    Your timeout options range starts at 10 minutes and goes as long as 1 year.  You can also choose 'Never'. Any duration can be set for the following variables:

    • Admin Desktop | Admin Mobile
    • Coach Desktop | Coach Mobile
    • AT Desktop | AT Mobile
    • Parent Desktop | Parent Mobile
    • Student Desktop | Student Mobile

    Timeouts

    Inactive users will receive the above popup 5 minutes prior to being timed out. If the user clicks 'Still Working!' then he/she may remain logged in... and the timeout clock will restart.

     

  • HOW TO: Inventory Management!

    FinalForms Admins & Coaches, we have a groundbreaking feature for you: INVENTORY

    Inventory Manage your uniforms, equipment & more! Send reminders, view expense reports and bill for missing equipment using FinalForms!

    The Setup

    You can either A) MASS IMPORT
    or B) ADD ONE BY ONE. 



    A) Mass Import

    • If you're an ADMIN - Click Manage > Sports > Click Inventory on the Sport you will manage
    • If you're a COACH - Click Manage > Inventory
    • Click Import
    • Click Download as CSV
    • Use Excel or your favorite spreadsheet application to manage the spreadsheet. Input the Name and Condition for each inventory item (you may also include Category, Jersey Number, Internal Number, Size, Vendor Name, Cost, Issued To, Issued On). Save this file on your computer.
    • Click Choose File and select your completed spreadsheet.
    • Your inventory will load into FinalForms!

    NOTE 1: If you complete the "Issued To" column, you must use students' email addresses, not their names. It is best to get these from doing an Export > Basic CSV on your sport's Roster page.

    NOTE 2: If you completed the "Issued To" column in the spreadsheet, your inventory has already been assigned to athletes and this step is not necessary. When the time comes to collect the equipment, simply click Return on the piece.

    B) Add One by One

    • If you're an ADMIN - Click Manage > Sports > Click Inventory on the Sport you will manage
    • If you're a COACH - Click Manage > Inventory
    • Click New Equipment
    • Complete the information including: Equipment/Jersey, Name, Number(s), Condition, Size, Vendor & Cost
    • Click Create Equipment
    • Your inventory is now in FinalForms!

    Assigning Inventory to Athletes

    • If you're an ADMIN - Click Manage > Sports > Click Inventory on the Sport you will manage
    • If you're a COACH - Click Manage > Inventory
    • Click the Issue button (or green arrow) on any inventory item.
    • Complete the Student, Issued On, Issued Condition in the popup window.
    • Click Assign Equipment
    • Your inventory item is now assigned!

    Notes

    • At any given time you can see the cost of the equipment out (issued to students) and in (sitting in your inventory).
    • You can also send automatic reminders to students and their parents prompting them to return checked out equipment by clicking the Bell Icon > Return Equipment.
    • Inventory can be retired.
    • Each piece and each student will have a full history of assignments and returns with the condition of equipment tracked at each interaction.

    Management

    On to seasonal management! Your primary task will be to assign and collect pieces from athletes on your roster. Whether you chose A or B, FinalForms will remember your inventory year to year. You'll only need to create or import new pieces if your program purchases more in the future.

    Other Features

    As always, any feedback is welcome. Your brilliant ideas make FinalForms great.

     

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