Why do siblings need to be linked?
To begin, it is generally just good housekeeping. Linked siblings appear at the bottom of a student’s household tab, so it is very easy to keep track of families by recording it correctly from the get-go. Admin staff can also print a ‘Siblings’ report under ‘Student Reporting’ so it is also important for the data to be accurate for this reason.
However, another key reason is so that when an incoming first year is about to join the school and they have an older sibling who is already in the school, linking the two students in advance prevents a very inconvenient phenomenon – duplicate household contacts.
Duplicate household contacts occur when a brand new parent/guardian household contact is incorrectly created for an incoming 1st year student who already has a sibling in the school, instead of just using the household contact that is saved against the older sibling and simply reusing and applying it to the new student. This causes issues because the parent now has two sets of login details, one for each of their children.
Avoid duplicating household contacts by:
- Linking older siblings to the profiles of incoming first years before the new school year. (It's also fine to do this before you carry out the rollover on PPOD).
- Once they’re linked – copying the existing parent contact from the older sibling to the incoming 1st year.
How to lInk siblings:
- Simply stay in the current academic year and click into the 'Groups' Tab.
- You will see a group called ‘First Years 2019 (from PPOD)’
- Click on View List > click into the Household tab on the profile of a student who you know has a sibling > click Actions > Add Sibling.
- Type the sibling’s name, select it from the drop down and hit Save.
5. Now of you look at the bottom part of either sibling’s household tab, you will see their sibling’s name. They are now successfully linked as siblings, but you are not finished yet!
Next you must COPY the existing household contact (for example the mother) from the older sibling to the incoming 1st year, thus avoiding adding the parent details from scratch to the new student and accidentally creating duplicate accounts for the mother.
How to copy a household contact between students:
- Go to the Household tab of the incoming 1st year’s profile.
- Click Actions.
- You will be presented with the name and address of the student’s mother (this information is coming from the sibling link).
- Tick the ‘Add’ box beside the mother’s name and hit Save. (If you are linking more than one contact at this step, that is not a problem, just tick the box beside anyone you need to link).
Now the entire process is complete. The mother still only has one account with one set of login details. When logged in, she can toggle between her children’s accounts by clicking the blue arrow under their photo.
What do I do if duplicate household contacts already exist for some of my students?
If you already have a situation where you know a parent has two sets of log in details there are a number of steps you can take to fix this.
- Go to the household contact page of both siblings and compare the two contacts. Often the details are only very slightly different, for example the name might be listed as Mary Smith for one student, and M. Smith for the other.
- At this point you must decide which of the two household contacts you are keeping as you will eventually delete one entirely. You can either randomly pick one to keep, in which case you must later contact the parent to make sure they know the correct login details, OR you can contact the parent first and ask them which username they most often use and keep that particular contact. A good rule of thumb is to ask which student the parent sees when they log in, and then keep that contact, because it follows that those are the login details that the parent is aware of.
- Once this is decided, go to the student's profile that contains the contact you plan on deleting. It is very important at this stage that you make note of any contact information like phone number, address etc. that is not included in the other contact because once you delete this, you will not be able to recover it.
- On the student's household tab, click the red delete button beside the contact's name. Now only one contact exists for this parent, and right now it only exists on the other student's profile, so it's time to link them.
- Now go to Actions on that same page, select Add new contact, you will be presented with the name and address of the student’s mother (this information is coming from the sibling link). tick the Add box beside the household contact's name and hit Save.
- Now the parent only has one profile, one set of login details and both children saved under their sole account.
Note: if you notice this has happened with a lot of your students, you will have to manually amend each record as it is not possible for support to complete this on your behalf.
So I must create all new student's household contacts from scratch?
Yes, when a new student is about to start in your school and they do not already have a sibling in the school, you will have to manually enter in the details of their household contacts. When you initially bring these students over from PPOD to VSware, the student's own address will transfer across, however the parent/guardian contacts will have to be created from scratch for each student; (Actions > Add new contact as above).
You can also manually add and change the household contacts of currently enrolled students at any point in the year.