10 Weeks Until Summer

Preparing for the new school year remotely

Critical Digital Workflows for 20/21

Manage your school remotely with Operoo

New York schools, and many throughout America, most likely won’t return this year. This also means preparing for a new school year remotely too.

Let Operoo help you digitize and automate 10 of the most important operational activities you need to undertake. Be ready for 20/21 – no matter where you, your staff, students and parents are located.

So, with just 10 weeks left until Summer Break, we’ll outline how to successfully set-up one great workflow each week – for the next 10 weeks – with Operoo.

WEEK 1: Staff Emergency Contact Cards

Make sure you have the most up-to-date contact, emergency and medical information on-hand for each and every one of your staff members. And, ensure that staff can easily update their details at any given point over the Summer Break. Getting clear staff communications in place now means an easy school opening in September.

1. Choose and modify the NYCDOE Staff Emergency Contact Card

Simply click ‘Add’, select and ‘Use a Operoo best practice template’, then find ‘Personal Emergency Contact Card’ under the ‘New York City DOE’ drop-down.

2. Send card to all staff

In the Member Selection section, simply choose the ‘All Members (Smart eForm)’ option. Then, hit ‘Save’.

3. Track delivery until 100% of your completed staff cards are submitted

Under the Staff Tab, you can track submissions using the green ‘tick’ icons. Visually see, at-a-glance, which staff have and have not completed their cards. Also monitor response rates through the Operoo Form Library. Selecting the ‘Staff eForms’ tab, you’re immediately greeted with summary figures for each form: The total number of submitted forms compared to the total number of recipients.

WEEK 2: On-board & Register Current Parents

Due to the recent shift to a fully-digitized school environment amidst COVID-19, you’re likely more connected to students and families than ever before. Use this to your advantage and on-board your parents and guardians for the new school year. Encouraging them to register for and use Operoo will help ensure your current forms and documents are as up-to-date as possible. Be prepared for the upcoming school year with Operoo.

1. Prepare a letter to send parents explaining the importance of Operoo

Getting strong parent buy-in and adoption is critical to your Operoo success. The letter you prepare should be shared with parents over multiple mediums – such as email, social media and through your school website – to ensure maximum exposure. To the right, is an example of a fantastic Operoo onboarding letter to parents written by Mark Erlenwein; Principal at Staten Island Technical High School. You can also read-up on the Staten Island Tech – Operoo case study here.

Step 1: Click on the three-line icon on the Student Profile Page.

Step 3: Modify the contact information for the guardian and click ‘save’.

Step 2: Click the pencil ‘edit’ icon, next to the parent or guardian within the Profile Page.

Step 4: When contact information for parents and guardians is updated in this way, they’ll then receive automatic communication from Operoo, instructing them to register their Operoo account.

2. Assign support personnel to validate and update parent / guardian details in Operoo

Ensuring parent / guardian contact information is accurate for the beginning of a new school year is critical to sustained Operoo success. Each of your students has had their primary guardian contact data imported into Operoo from your most recent ATS records. If you recognize that some of this information is out-of-date, you and your team can modify it directly through Operoo. Doing so will overwrite the incorrect information in Operoo, and automatically send the parents and guardians their registration information..

3. Mail invitations to any stragglers

In the event that you are unable to get in touch with your guardians via phone or email, you have the option to mail a paper-based registration letter to them. Simply follow these steps to generate a paper-based registration letter:

Step 1: Select the Student Profile from your ‘All Students’ tab. Clicking on them will turn their Profile Card green. You can multi-select students by clicking on multiple students at the same time.

Step 2: In the top left of the page, click on the ‘Actions’ drop-down menu. From this menu, select the ‘Print Credentials’ option.

Step 3: On the next page, you’ll be able to confirm your printing selection. Then, click the blue ‘Generate’ button in the top right corner. This will download a printable document containing your parent and guardian login information.

WEEK 3: Teacher Preference Sheets

When preparing for the next school year, it’s critical to find out what teachers want to teach: From subjects and grade levels, to classes, team teaching, and any other program preferences that might pertain to your school. With Operoo, designing, distributing and collecting feedback sheets or surveys is a breeze.

1. Choose and Modify the Teacher Preference Sheet

Operoo’s range of out-of-the-box best practice templates make it easy for you to quickly build the form you need.

Step 1: Navigate to your Staff View in Operoo. From there, click the blue ‘Add’ button in the top left corner of the eForms panel.

Step 2: While searching within the Operoo best practice templates, you can quickly find the template you’re looking for by typing the word “preference” in the search bar.

Step 3: Once you’ve selected your Teacher Preference Sheet template, review the questions and make any modifications necessary to better suit your needs. You can do this by simply deleting or editing existing question fields. You can also add additional fields using the “Questions” tools.

2. Send the Teacher Preference Sheet to all teachers

Easily send the Teacher Preference Sheet to the exact recipients and groups you want as well as effortlessly track and collect responses with Automated Reminders.

Step 1: When distributing your Teacher Preference Sheets, you can choose to send the form to all staff members, or create a staff group for only teaching staff (or sub groups of teaching staff). Once you have made your selection, click the ‘Save’ button in the bottom left of the page.

Step 2: On the next page, use the drop-down menu to identify how frequently you want to remind your staff to complete the form. Reminders will continue to be sent, at the cadence you choose, until each staff member in your selected group submits the form.

Step 3: Finally, make sure your form is live and available to your staff. Do this by simply checking the ‘Enabled’ box and then clicking ‘Save’ at the bottom of the page.

3. Track your responses

Easily track completed responses, quickly identify staff members who are lagging behind, and even aggregate results in a spreadsheet for review.

WEEK 4: Upload Incoming Class and Send Invitation Letters to New Parents

Next, you’ll want to get your new students loaded into Operoo so that you can distribute letters inviting parents to activate their Operoo Account in readiness to receive registration information, forms and requests.

1. Download your enrolment list

Navigate to your NYC MySchools App and download the enrolment list of incoming students.

2. Upload the enrolment list

Send the files via Operoo’s Secure Link for uploading to your school environment. Alternatively, schedule a 30-minute call with the Operoo team and we’ll upload your data together.

3. Create a Smart Group

Place your incoming students into a specialized Smart Group in Operoo. Now, your school is ready to send Registration Information, Student Beginning of Year Forms and Orientation Packets to incoming classes. For more on creating Groups and Smart Groups in Operoo, please watch our webinar recording

WEEK 5: Send Registration Packets to Incoming Students

From an administrative and operational perspective, registering and onboarding new students can be one of the most resource-intensive experiences of the entire school year. Ease the required workload and ensure you’re well prepared by setting-up and sending out your registration packets to incoming students well before the new school year begins.

1. Choose the right pre-built NYCDOE form, or create your own

In the eForm section of your student view, click the ‘Add eForm’ button, select ‘Add Parent eForm’, then find the form you’re after — from Blue Cards, Contracts (Cell Phone, Discipline, Class, etc), Consent Forms, Opt-Out Forms, Permission Slips and more.

‘Add eForm’

‘Add Parent eForm’

Select ‘Use a CareMonkey best practice template’

2. Select the right registration group

Speaking of recipients, it’s time to define which students should receive your selected forms. If you’re distributing forms relating to newly registered students, you’d likely select the Smart Group you created for all new students, or sub sections of new students, as part of ‘Week 4’ preparations (outlined above). Once you’ve made your selection, click the ‘Save’ button in the bottom left of the page.

3. Send to selected student contacts

Next, it’s time to enable your form and distribute it to the selected group of students.

Step 1: After selecting your students, use the drop-down menu to choose the frequency of reminders you want to automatically send. Reminders will continue to be sent, at your chosen intervals, until each recipient has completed and returned the form.

Step 2: To send, simply hit ‘Save’.

4. Set the delivery date

Once you’ve chosen your desired eForm, it’s time to select a delivery date. You can either distribute the form immediately, or select a specific time that you’d like your recipients to receive it.

5. Track responses

You have a number of ways to track responses. You can use the green ‘tick’ icons at the bottom of each group members’ profile to see, at-a-glance, which recipients have submitted a response and who is lagging behind. You can also monitor response rates via the Operoo Form Library. Select the ‘Parent eForms’ tab to see the number of responses compared to the total number of recipients in the ‘Submissions’ column for each eForm in the Form Library. You can even aggregate results in a spreadsheet format for easy review.

WEEK 6: Send Welcome Packets to Current Students

Once incoming students have been registered, and their associated onboarding packets distributed, it’s time to think about distributing welcome packets to returning students. Sending out forms and surveys over the summer period, to assist orientation, will ensure that both you and your students are ready to get straight back into the swing of things come September.

1. Choose the right pre-built NYCDOE form, or create your own

In the eForm section of your student view, click the ‘Add’ button, select ‘Use a Operoo best practice template’, then find the form you need — from distributing Policy Updates, Calendars, and Handbooks, to School Uniform Purchase Requests, Supply Lists and more. If you need to create your own form, you can modify one of Operoo’s best practice templates or select ‘start from a blank eForm’. For more on building Operoo eForms, please check-out our eForms training webinar here.

‘Add eForm’

‘Add Parent eForm’

Select ‘Use a CareMonkey best practice template’

2. Set the delivery date

Once you’ve chosen your desired eForm, it’s time to select a delivery date. You can either distribute the form immediately, or select a specific time that you’d like your recipients to receive it.

3. Select your group, distribute your forms, track responses

Next, complete steps 3, 4 and 5 as outlined in week 5, ‘Send Registration Packets to Incoming Students’. When distributing your welcome packets for returning students, you can choose to distribute to all students, as well as select or create specific groups of students based on common attributes — such as year level. If you need to create a new group of students, you can do so by clicking the ‘Add’ button in the top left corner of the Groups section of your student view. For more on creating groups in Operoo, please view our training webinar here.

WEEK 7: Set-up Student Accounts — Elections and Activities

Operoo now enables you to give your students direct access to the platform. Easily send student-specific forms straight to the pupils themselves. Predominantly designed for middle and high schools, we recommend you create your Operoo Student Accounts for the 2020 – 2021 school year now. From Student Elections to Course Requests, Club Registration and Student Surveys, get your student cohort prepared and engaged with Operoo.

1. About Student Accounts

Student Accounts give students their own login details, similar to teachers, parents and guardians. Once your school has Student Accounts enabled, a designated Operoo Administrator will need to enable this capability for selected students. For more information, go here.

2. Enabling Student Logins for a group of students

  • Go to your administrator screen
  • Select a group (eg. Year Level group, All Students, etc)
  • Select the students on the screen
  • Click ‘Actions’, then ‘Enable Student Accounts for selected Students

3. Enabling Student Logins for individual students

  • Click the 3-line icon underneath a specific Student Profile
  • Select ‘Enable Student Account’ from the pop-up menu
  • Students Profiles with Student Accounts will have a purple triangle in the top right corner
  • Once students activate their account, a white ‘tick’ will appear in the purple triangle

WEEK 8: Get Incoming Seniors Ready

Senior school brings unique challenges, increased options and unique pressures. Get your new senior students prepared for the next school year over the Summer Break. Organize and distribute forms, surveys and requests for information specific to senior students — to both pupils and their parents — with Operoo.

1. Payments and forms

Start collecting Senior Dues and orders for school graduation rings, payments for the senior school trip and more.

2. Policy acknowledgment

Distribute senior school policies, agreements and contracts to students and parents now, so that everyone can hit the ground running in September.

3. Surveys and appointment scheduling

Get a jump on a busy year by gauging the intentions of seniors with Operoo. Survey students directly to get preliminary numbers for the senior school trip, enable online appointment setting with school Career Counselors, distribute Parent Expectation Surveys and more.

WEEK 9: Locker and Gym Uniform Purchase

Know what, and how much, you need to order for common items so that you can meet demand in the New Year. Operoo has developed a new way of managing multi-product or multi-service transactions via an online shopping cart type experience, called Simple Cart. Watch an overview video here, ask Operoo how here.

Simple Cart

Integrate multi-item purchases within a single Operoo form, making it easy for your school community to order related items together in one transaction. For example, empower parents to effortlessly submit payment for gym activity fees, gym uniform, locker hire and lock purchase all in one form at the same time.

WEEK 10: Start your Summer Newsletter

Keep your parents engaged over the Summer Break. Easily distribute your Summer Newsletter at regular intervals using Operoo. You already have all your student groups set-up in Operoo, so make it easy on yourself and use Operoo here too. And, even embed a Operoo Public eForm in your school website, enabling anybody to add themselves to your newsletter distribution list.

Ideas for your Summer Newsletter

Sometimes getting started can be the hardest part. So, here are some ideas to help fill your Summer Newsletter with content your school community needs, including: Listing projects that are due over the summer; How to get in touch with the school over the Summer Break; Changes to schedules due to COVID-19; Links to online school supply order forms; Parent expectation and technology support surveys; Advice articles on common school-related topics such as effective study routines and parent engagement; and, Volunteer sign-up forms to ensure your calendar of school activities is well-supported by your parent community.


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