Resources / School / The Complete How-To-Guide for Using SignUpGenius for Parent-Teacher Conferences

The Complete How-To-Guide for Using SignUpGenius for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Teacher-Parent Conferences School SignUpGenius can help your school plan your parent-teacher conferences and save numerous man-hours for your teachers and staff. In addition, the site can be used for other school volunteer opportunities, increasing parental involvement all year round!

Designing your parent-teacher conference sign ups can be a painless process and this guide will walk you through each step. Follow along below, and your free online sign up(s) will be up and running in no time! If you have questions or run into problems, we pride ourselves on customer service… so contact us for some personal advice and help from a real live person. You can’t beat that!

Step 1: Decide who will build/manage your parent-teacher

conference sign ups

There are several different ways to utilize SignUpGenius for parent-teacher conference sign ups:

A) An Individual Teacher:
If you are an individual teacher and are responsible for managing your own parent-teacher conferences, you can use SignUpGenius to manage the sign ups just for your classroom. To start, create an account at SignUpGenius using your own name and email.

B) An Entire School, Sign Ups Managed by a Single Administrator:
In this scenario, a single person is going to build and manage all the parent-teacher conference sign ups for the entire school. This might work well if you are transitioning from a system where a school secretary or administrator is in charge of the conference scheduling. It also is the fastest method for getting up and running, since you will not have to do any training of teachers on how to use the system. In addition, this method has the advantage that you can link from your school website to a single page that displays all the teacher conference sign up sheets. If this is your first year using SignUpGenius at the school, consider this method and assign a single technical-savvy person to be in charge. Our system is designed so that the labor involved will not be too intensive, we promise! To get started, your point-person will create an account on SignUpGenius.com. You probably just want to use the name of the school for the “name” fields of the account. Enter whichever email you want to use to manage the sign ups. Some schools even like to create a specific email for this purpose like [email protected]

Parent-teacher conference calendar sign up form Parent teacher conference school class meeting sign up Parent-teacher conference online sign up
C) An Entire School, Sign Ups Managed by Teachers:
If your teachers are familiar with SignUpGenius (or they are quick learners), you can have a single point-person build a sign up template, duplicate it, and then transfer sign ups over to individual teachers to customize and manage for their particular classroom. This method works best for schools where the teachers are given the sole responsibility for parent-teacher conferences and the type of conference varies greatly by teacher. It also can be useful in scenarios where the school doesn’t maintain global contact lists of parents and the communication is all handled at the teacher level. To get started, get all your teachers registered on SignUpGenius. You can have your point-person create the accounts for them, or you can instruct them all to register at our site. You’ll also need the point-person to have an account and follow the instructions below.

D) An Entire School using SignUpGenius PRO, Sign Ups Managed by Multiple Admins:
SignUpGenius PRO is a suite of advanced features designed for power users to simplify the process of organizing events and people.  Our PRO options include functionality that allows for multiple admins.  Your school could have one PRO account with roles and permissions assigned to different people (faculty, staff, parent volunteers).  PRO offers additional features including No-Ads licenses, hidden fields for admins, start and stop date options, Sign Up Tabbing for navigating between sign ups, volunteer hour reports, and custom questions.  You can also assign different admins to receive email notifications regarding one sign up.


Take your sign ups to the next level with SignUpGenius PRO.  Check it out!


 

Step 2: Build a parent-teacher conference sign up template

Most schools have similar conference sign up slots for each teacher – so we’ll build a master template for a single teacher first. There are numerous ways to customize and build all kinds of sign ups on our site…so for those not familiar with the system, print this out and follow these directions to build the basic template that will be used for all your teachers/sign ups. If you are a single teacher using our system, these steps will help build your individual sign up.

A) Click the “CREATE A SIGN UP” tab
Login or register on our site. This will take you to our sign up creation wizard.

B) The GENERAL DETAILS tab
Choose an existing group, or create a new group name, like “Clearbrook School.”  Enter a generic title like “Parent-Teacher Conferences.”  You can enter some descriptive text or just save this to fill out later. 

C) The THEME tab
Choose a theme for your sign ups. In the drop down box near the top of the page, select the category of “Education” to see school related themes or select the “General” or "Colors" category for some generic themes in various colors.  You can then choose to "Use my own custom image with the selected theme" if you want to personalize the sign up even more by using your school logo.

D) The DATES/TIMES tab
While there are various ways to utilize our system… for this scenario… when you are asked about the type of event, select "Time Slots." Then use the wizard to quickly enter in the slots that people can meet with a teacher. If your conferences will fall on multiple days, and the conference times will be different for these days, you can enter slots for one day only.  Then, you can click "Add Time Slots" at the bottom of the page to add slots for a different day.  Since this sign up may be used for multiple teachers, you can skip the location field for now.

E) The SLOTS tab
If you are setting up the sign up for a single teacher, you can enter one slot simply called "Parent Conference" with a "1" in the "# Wanted" column and "All dates" selected in the "Show for date/time" column. This will create a single sign up slot for each of the time slots you entered on the previous page. If you are setting up one sign up for an entire school, enter each of your teachers' names as an individual slot. This will make it so that there are sign up slots for each teacher. Lastly, it is important that you choose the proper layout setting at the bottom of this page.  For a sign up with multiple teachers, the "Slot first, then date" grouping seems to work better.  For individual teacher sign ups, the "Dates first, then slots" (default) works better.

F) The SETTINGS tab
First you will select the contact information you desire from your parents in the "Contact info" area.  Remember that the only information that is ever displayed on the sign up will be the parent name.  Any other information will be hidden from public view, but available to the sign up administrator.  You can also select the option to "Also hide the names from group members" and then even the name will not be visible to anyone but the Admin.  This page allows you to set up your "Miscellaneous Preferences" including automatic email reminders to your parents, and whether or not you want notification emails sent every time someone signs up.  If you want to add additional security to the sign up, click the "Optional Advanced Settings" box and make your selection there. 

G) The PREVIEW tab
This will show you what your sign up is going to look like. If you need to adjust any of your times, days, theme, or description… click back on the previous steps, and edit until it looks like you desire.  Be sure and click "Update" at the bottom to save any changes you make.  Then click “Proceed to Invite and Publish.”

H) The INVITE & PUBLISH tab
If you are a single teacher creating one sign up, at this point you can invite your parents to the sign up.  In this scenario, you can enter your parent’s email addresses in the text box, making sure to enter just their email address (NO names) separated by commas or line breaks. Click "Take My Sign Up Live and Send My Invites" and you're all set!  Our system will save these email addresses under the group name you assigned at Tab 1: General Details.  If you create other sign ups for your classroom, you can just assign the existing group to the new sign up and when you're ready to publish it, the email addresses will already be there for you.   

If you want to wait until later to send the invites, or if you are going to use this for the entire school, you should NOT enter any emails in the box.  Click "Take My Sign Up Live But Don't Send Emails."  The next page will display the unique link to the sign up in green text.  You can copy this link to send in your own email or post on the school website. 
 

Step 3: Duplicate the sign up template for other teachers

If you are creating one sign up form per teacher, you can duplicate your initial form to be used by all the teachers in your school. Go to the "My Account" page and look for the “Duplicate” button in the top right corner of the "Sign Ups I've Created" box. Once you click here, you are going to give a new name to the sign up. Integrate the name of the teacher in the new title. For example: “Mrs. Browns 3rd Grade Parent-Teacher Conferences.” If you plan to send invites to all the various parents through our system… choose “Unpublished” for the status of the new sign up so that invites can be sent later (by each teacher) when the sign up is published. If you are going to send invitations outside our system (i.e. your own email system or newsletter) then go ahead and choose “LIVE Sign up” for the status of the new sign up. Continue using the duplication wizard until all the sign ups are created for all your teachers. You can also go in and edit/customize any of the sign ups after they are duplicated.  If you plan to leave all sign ups in one account, you may want to consider upgrading to Pro and using our Sign Up Tabbing feature to easily navigate between sign ups.


See an example of how Tabbing allows easy navigation from one sign up to another here.


Step 4 (Optional): Transfer the duplicated sign ups to the teachers

If you want your teachers to publish and manage their own sign ups (option C from step 1), you would now transfer the copies you made into the individual accounts of teachers. To do this, go to the "My Account" page and look for the “Transfer” button in the top right corner of the "Sign Ups I've Created" box. Transfer each teacher’s sign up into his or her SignUpGenius account.
 

Step 5: Invite your parents to sign up!

There are several options for inviting your parents - using our system or your own.
If you have transferred the sign ups into individual teacher accounts, the teacher will log into SignUpGenius and click “Edit” beneath their sign up on their account page. They then can click on the “Invite & Publish” tab, enter their parent’s emails into the input box, and click "Take My Sign Up Live and Send My Invites."  Alternately, the teacher can publish their sign up without entering emails and invite parents through his or her own email system using the link that will be provided after the teacher clicks, "Take My Sign Up Live But Don't Send Emails."

If you have kept all your sign ups in a single school account and they are already live, you can create a web button that will link to all your sign ups. Log into the main account where the sign ups were created, and click “Goodies” in the left hand navigation of the "My Account" page.  Select the button you would like to use, set preferences, and click "Build My Button."  Once you build the Web Button, you can embed it into your school's website.  You can also click it to go to the created index page.  If you copy the URL in the web browser address bar while viewing the index page, you can email this link to all your parents through your own email system and invite them to come sign up this way.  If you don't want to embed a web button on your website, after you click "Goodies" from your account page, you can just click the radio button next to "A page showing all my sign ups" and then click the orange text that says "[View Page]".  You can copy the URL from here and give out this link to the index page.


Create a Parent Teacher Conference Sign Up! Infographic Frequently Asked Questions:

Do our parents have to create a SignUpGenius account?
Parents are not required to create an account with our site in order to sign up.  On the Settings tab, the sign up creator has the option to select required contact information.  All visitors to the sign up will be given the option to create an account with SignUpGenius if they desire to do so.  If you wish to require an account, you can indicate this using the "Optional Advanced Settings" at the bottom of the Settings page.

What is your privacy policy?
You can read our detailed privacy policy, but the bottom line is: we do not sell or distribute any emails or contact information. We use aggregrate information to make wise marketing decisions for our company, but your data stays with us, period.

It is also important to note that we do NOT send out any emails to sign up participants (your parents) other than those emails related to your sign up (reminder emails or emails initiated by your school). Sign up creators (the teacher or point-person who created the sign up) will get a monthly newsletter, although they can unsubscribe from that if they choose.

Finally, we also have a “delete anytime” policy… where, upon request, any user can be completely deleted from our database.

How secure are our sign ups?
With a school sign up, we have to walk a fine balance between security and ease of use, which are always in conflict with each other. The security of your sign ups depends a little on the setting you choose and how you promote the sign up. While sign ups could technically be viewed by anyone on the internet if they knew (or guessed) the URL address, the reality is that none of our sign ups are publicly listed/linked on the internet – meaning they cannot be found by search engines or by web spiders. 99.9% of the time, this means that only the people you invite are going to see your sign up. Now, if you decide to publish a link to your sign ups on your web page, obviously those sign ups are then public to anyone that visits your site. Either way, no emails are EVER published on the site to public users - so none of your parents will see each other’s emails, but will only see names by default. We even offer the ability to “hide” the viewing of names on your sign up so that the slot just shows as “filled”. In this scenario, only the creator of the sign up could see the list of people that have signed up.

Can an administrator sign people up themselves if a parent signed up on paper or by phone?
Yes, absolutely. The creator of the sign up has a whole suite of utilities after the sign up is published that enables them to add or delete people from the sign up or edit the sign up at any time. The administrator should login with the email/password used to create the account and then view the sign up. They will see an "administrator's toolbar" at the top of the screen with a number of management utilities.

I have another question.
No problem. Contact us. We’re happy to help you get started.