ParentSquare Teacher FAQ
Do I need to let parents/guardians know about ParentSquare?
Parents/guardians will receive an activation email for their ParentSquare accounts. Those who do not register will still receive text, email and phone notifications. Parents who create an account can become more actively engaged in communication by appreciating posts, viewing photos, leaving comments and managing their communication preferences. As a staff member or teacher, you may choose to communicate with your families utilizing ParentSquare. You may find with the two-way messaging and live-time translation that you are able to reach more families. You also may find the analytics about who isn't receiving messages helpful.
How are rosters populated in ParentSquare?
ParentSquare syncs with Schooltool on a nightly basis. Any rosters that you are associated with in Schooltool will show up in ParentSquare.
Do all students have StudentSquare messaging?
StudentSquare will be turned on for students in grades 9-12. Permission slips from families will need to be signed for students in grades 3-8. Grades 3-8 will be rolled out at a later date.
Can students and parents message back?
Not yet, but eventually. Two-way messaging will be turned on at a later date. Starting in November, StudentSquare will be turned on for one-way messaging. This means that teachers, coaches and departments can message students on a mass-scale similar to ParentSquare.
Does this replace Google Classroom?
No, StudentSquare does not replace Google Classroom. StudentSquare and ParentSquare is designed to message and communicate with guardians and students on a mass scale. It also provides a way to send urgent alerts, forms and permission slips, conference sign-ups, etc.
How does the two-way messaging with translation work?
Example: An English-speaking teacher wants to send a message to a student's parent, letting them know that the student went out of their way to help another classmate. Using ParentSquare, the teacher types the text message to the parent in English and presses send. ParentSquare, using advanced Google translate, translates the message into Spanish so that the parent receives the message in Spanish. The parent then thanks the teacher for letting them know about the student's kindness. The parent types that thank you message in Spanish and presses send. ParentSquare translates the message into English and the teacher receives the message in English.
What translation tool does ParentSquare use?
The advanced Google translation tool uses context-driven translation for higher accuracy and can translate into 100+ languages. A disclaimer about the auto-translation tool is included on messages.
Is there a way to set office hours so that I only receive messages from parents/guardians at certain times?
Yes. You can set office hours under ‘My Account’ which can be found in the top right hand corner of your screen under your name.
I'm both a staff member and a parent in the district. How can I add my child to my staff account?
It's likely that you'll have two separate accounts: a parent account with a personal email and a staff account with your school email. You can merge your staff and parent account so that you have access to your children and school under one single account. Please contact your building principal and include the emails and phone numbers that you're using. If you are using the same email account for both, you can toggle between accounts using the drop down menu on the left side of the screen.
Can I add a room parent or classroom assistant to my class?
Yes. If you'd like to add a room parent to your class, please visit Admin > Classes. From this page, click "Add User" and type in the name of the individual whom you would like to add. Click on the name to highlight it and then select the role that you'd like that person to have: room parent or assistant/other. Here is a help article on assigning a room parent to a class. https://parentsquare.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204107125-Assign-room-parent-in-a-class-
I'm in charge of a club or sport. Can I communicate with just those parents, even if their children are not in my class?
Teachers have the ability to create groups with students who aren't in t heir class. Please visit Groups > New Group > New Static Group. From there, you can create the group and choose a name and description for your group, as well as whether or not you want the group to be public or private. At the bottom, you can add your members by searching for them and checking the box next to the names of the individuals that you'd like to add. When you're finished, click "Save" at the bottom. Here is a help article on creating a group. https://parentsquare.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204107145-Create-a-Group-
Is it possible to contact a few of my students' parents/guardians privately?
If you'd like to contact a few of your parents without posting to the entire class, you will need to use the messaging feature. (Note: This feature will be turned on in September 2021) Select "Messaging" from the left sidebar on the homepage. Here, you can select either a single parent to message or multiple parents. Just begin typing their names in the recipient field, and they'll appear as an option. If you select more than one recipient, the choice will come up to have a private message or a group message. A private message will create individual threads to each recipient, whereas a group message will create one thread where all recipients can communicate. Here is a help article on direct messaging. https://parentsquare.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204215089-Send-a-private-or-group-message-
I'm doing a project in my class and need parent/guardian volunteers and items. Can I ask for these on ParentSquare?
ParentSquare offers the capability to ask for both parent volunteers and items. Go to “New Post” and create a post about your class project. Then in the left sidebar, select both "Ask for Items" and "Request Volunteers." Next, input the items and amount you need, as well as how many volunteers you need and what activities they'll be doing. Once you're finished, click "Post Now" and watch your sign-up fill up. Here is a help article on creating signups and volunteer lists. https://parentsquare.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/203390699-Create-a-sign-up-list-Volunteers-and-Wish-Lists-
Can I manually add a parent/guardian to a specific sign-up?
Yes. If you have parents/guardians who have contacted you about a sign-up but have not signed up in ParentSquare, you can add these users manually. Login to ParentSquare and go to the sign-up post that you'd like to add the parent to. Then, on the sign-up post, click "Add Someone" above the sign-up button next to the time slot or item you'd like to sign them up for. Search for the user, highlight the name and click save!
How do I create conference sign-ups for multiple classes and/or groups?
Go to Add-Ons > Conference Sign-ups and on the first page of the conference sign-up, select any class to start. Go through and input the information according to your preferences, deleting any time slots that don't work for you. Finally on the third page, you can delete the original class that you chose and select the classes and groups that you'd like to hold the conferences for. Here is a help article on conference sign ups. https://parentsquare.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/206082583-Create-a-conference-sign-up-post-
Can I still use Seesaw, Dojo, or Remind to communicate with parents/guardians?
No. The district does not hold contracts with these vendors. It is important that we keep Law 2-d in mind when communicating to or about students. Other districts that have implemented ParentSquare have found that parents appreciate having one place to go for communications and have seen increased engagement as a result. Additionally, using ParentSquare, you may find that you get more engagement with non-English speaking families due to the live-time translation feature.