Jan 23, 2018
If this is your first time using Sobs School Notices then this is the article for you. We will try and step through the process and explain the various stages of configuring the system for your school, however we realise that many schools will configure the system in different ways and for their individual requirements.
Configuring your Calendar
The Calendar is important for School Notices as the application will only allow notices to be scheduled on valid school days. (*This isn’t entirely true but for the purposes of your initial configuration let’s assume this is true.)
In the Configuration menu click on the ‘Calendar’ entry. First time in the application will automatically generate a record for the current year (if it doesn’t already exist). Click on the ‘Add term’ link to add the terms for the year. You will need to repeat this step for each term.
When adding the term specify the description of the term, e.g. “Term 1”, and the start and end dates. Normally the start date will be a Monday and the end date will be a Friday. Use the icon at the end of the date fields to popup a calendar from which you can select the date.
“Start term on day” – select the Day Number for the first day of term. Often this will be Day1, however if you are starting the term on a Tuesday it may be Day2.
“Start term on week” – select the Week Number for the first day of term. Normally this will be Week1, however if your term is perhaps starting on a Friday, then you may need to select Week0. The week numbers relate to your teacher’s understanding of which week they are teaching in the term and is displayed on the calendar.
After adding each term you can then add any specific holidays to your calendar – you only need to add holidays that occur during term time. Click the ‘Add holiday’ to add a holiday. When specifying the date/dates for the holiday these are inclusive, so if there holiday is just a single date then you can specify the same date in each date box. Keep the description short as these are displayed on the calendar. The ‘Block bookings’ option applies to Room and Resource Booking is will not affect notices.
The year-level option can be used for indicating when specific year levels are on holiday. This can be used at the beginning of the year when you have staged start dates for different year levels and again at the end of the year if you have for example year 12 or year 11 students finishing early.
Publishing the Calendar
The act of ‘Publishing’ the calendar essentially locks in the Timetable (Plan) with the Day number and the Calendar date. The Timetable (Plan) is not required for School Notices, so simply publishing the current calendar is all that is required. If you are going to be using Room and Resource Booking then you will need to configure your timetable and re-publish your calendar.
Click the ‘Publish’ link for each term after you have checked the Start day and Start week values.
Notices are grouped into Categories.
In the Configuration menu click the ‘Categories’ entry. This will display a list of notice categories – first time in it will be an empty list. Therefore click the ‘Add category’ link in the top right corner of the page.
Do not use year levels as categories – the year levels provide a separate breakdown of notices, this is built into the application. Some examples of categories you might add are:
- Performing arts
When adding a category you may see a ‘Room changes’ checkbox – this is only valid if you are using School Notices and Room and Resource Booking together. The ‘Room changes’ option identifies the category under which a room change notice will be generated. A room change notice can be generated when changing a room booking in the Room and Resources Booking application.
Once you have created some categories you should also identify a default category by clicking the ‘Make default’ link next to the category that will be the default when adding a notice to the system.
Creating Staff records
Lastly we are going to need to add some staff logins to the system.
There are a number of options in regard to how to load staff, however for the purposes of this exercise we will assume you are going to import staff records. Follow this link to read the article about importing staff records: User management
After importing staff review the Staff list. There are options here in regard to whether School Notices will be emailed to each staff member, and whether they will also receive the staff notices. Staff can limit the number of notices they see based on the a selection of year levels – in the ‘Show Notices’ menu they can select Staff notices or a selection of year levels, click the ‘Set default’ button at the bottom of this list will determine the notices that are emailed to them and the notices that are automatically displayed when the staff member logs in. They can change them temporarily by changing those selections, however using the ‘Set default’ button will apply to the email that is sent.
Important Dates and Times
Click on the ‘School Settings’ and the ‘WAZ’ tab. These are the settings for your School Notice processing. You can click the ‘Edit’ button (top right of page) to adjust these.
CUT-OFF TIME: Up to this time staff will still be able to add notices for today’s notice report. After this time any notice added will be scheduled for tomorrow’s notices.
SEND EMAILS TIME: This is the time the notices will be emailed to staff. This can be the same as the cut-off time or slightly after. It might be slightly after in case you need an opportunity to review the notices before they are sent.
PUBLIC ACCESS: This option enables parents, students and potentially other people to view the school notices. If you use this option your notices should not contain any private of confidential information. If you are unsure do not enable this option.
SWITCH OVER TIME: In conjunction with the public access, before this time today’s notices are displayed, after this time tomorrow’s notices are displayed.
A number of other options are included here in regard to the layout of the notices when printing. If you are not printing the notices then these are not important.
Adding a Notice
Click the “Add a notice” link in the Main menu.
The first box is the notice content – type your notice in here. Just below the box is a “Styled entry” link – using this link will allow you to change the font, colours and apply other textual changes to the content of the notice. This does allow staff to create over-sized and colourful notices which may not be appropriate – there is an option on the Staff page to disable this option for staff who may be abusing the option.
Select the appropriate category for this notice (the default category should be currently selected).
If this is a staff notice then check the ‘Staff notice’ box (the year level boxes will disappear – a notice can not apply to staff and students).
If this is a student notice then check the appropriate year levels. By default all year levels for the school should be selected.
The date for the notice will default to the next valid date. (Refer to the Cut-off time in the School settings).
Optionally you can display a notice for a range of dates, or repeat the notice on a regular basis.