School Policy Configuration

Overview

School policies represent any non-contractual agreements, permissions, or stated intention between a school and students/parents. Schools can collect policy responses in a variety of areas, including technology use, academics, athletics, housing, travel, and more. School policies often need to be renewed with parents on a yearly basis, but the policies themselves can be kept by the school in the policy library so that they can be used from year to year.

Contexts

The most common contexts for school policies are Online (Re)Enrollment and Summer Questionnaires. During the Online Enrollment/Online Re-Enrollment season, many schools take the opportunity to renew their policy agreements such as technology use, photo release, etc., with parents. These policies are accessible to parents through the Enrollment homepage in the form of a specialized ORE/OE homepage component. This component will present parents with a link to the ORE or OE specific policy form(s).

Active Policy Forms can also be made available in the School Policies section of the Parent Portal.

Main Components

The School Policies system is comprised of three main components, all found under “School Policies” on the System homepage:

  1. Policy Library
  2. Policy Forms
  3. Policy Responses

Policy Library

The Policy Library represents the full collection of policies a school could present to their parents. The library is organized into categories and linked to policy response groups. It is also independent of the school year, meaning that policies can be reused from year to year.

Polices within the library are organized into conceptual categories which organize what is usually a growing list of questions across the years. The library must have at least one category for policies to be added. Schools that have distinct sets of policy types can add more categories to maintain organization within the library.

Configuring Policy Category Security

Security Role based access to policies and responses within a policy category can be configured on the Permissions tab of an Enrollment Policy Category record. Below are the steps for configuring this security, as well as other considerations for this process.

An example Enrollment Policy Category record. Navigate to this record from the Policy Library link on the System homepage and click on the Description of the relevent category.

  1. Click the Permissions tab.
  2. Click Add Record...
  3. Select the security role from the drop-down menu and determine whether they should have the ability to edit policies and responses in this category. If so, check the Write Access box.
  4. Click Update.

Note: If no security roles are defined here, then any Axiom user will be able to view and edit policies and responses. Only SysAdmins are able to configure policy enrollment category security. 

Adding a Category

New categories can be added to the library by selecting “Policy Library” on the Add menu in the Online Enrollment homepage. Enter a description (title) for the category and add policies using the input grid. Once a policy has been added additional configuration can be added for the specific policy through the Policy detail screen (accessible by clicking on the magnifying glass).

Policy Responses

Schools can add stock Policy Responses that parents select for each policy agreement. Examples of responses include: agree/disagree, agree only, or yes/no. Schools can choose which response they would like per policy by selecting from the options in the “Response Group” field on the Policy detail screen.

A Policy Response is added to a Policy from the Policy Library. Use the “Response Group” drop-down menu in the Policy input grid on the library category detail screen to choose a Policy Response for that policy. When a parent views a policy from their portal, the Enrollment homepage, etc., they will be presented with the response answers selected for each policy.

Policy Forms

Policy forms represent a categorized set of policies pulled from the Policy Library. Like the Policy Library, Policy Forms are also organized into categories which represent visual groupings of policies on a form. For example, if there was a policy category with the title “Technology” with four policies in it, the form will display with a “Technology” section heading, with four policies under it. Once the Policy Form Category detail is opened, policies can be pulled in from the Policy Library using the input grid on the category detail screen.

There are two types of Policy Forms:

  1. School-year based Policy Forms
    School-year based forms collect policies covering an entire school year, such as technology use or photo release agreements. School-year based forms have the lifecycle of one year and therefore must be asked again in order to be a valid agreement for that year.
  2. Event-based Policy Forms
    Event-based forms collect policies covering a shorter period of time, such as a field trip release form.

Policy Forms can be copied from year to year by running “Copy School Policy Forms from YYYY to YYYY” procedure from the Action menu  of the System homepage. Running this procedure will copy everything within the school policy form including the categories and the policies within the categories.

Policy Configuration

New policies are added from the category input grid in the Policy Library.

General

  • Type: indicates if the question will be asked once per student or once per family.
  • Category: indicates what Library Category the policy is organized under; pre-populated from the Library Category description.
  • Title: name of the policy.
  • Description: text field to include instructions or information regarding the policy.

Configuration

  • Required: each individual policy within a Policy Form Category may be marked required. Learn more about integrating required policies with Application Checklist items.
  • Portal Display Status: indicates if the parent can view and/or edit the policy in the parent portal.
    • Hidden: office use only, not visible on Form or Portal.
    • Read only: policy is visible, but all policy responses are locked from being updated.
    • Read only after update: once a response is given for a policy, the policy cannot be updated again.
    • Always updateable: policy can be updated all the time.

Response

  • Response Group: indicates the response options for the policy (e.g. agree/disagree, agree only, yes/no, etc.).
  • # of Responses (CY): a calculated field that totals the number of responses for the policy for the current school year.
  • # of Responses (NY): a calculated field that totals the number of response for the policy for the next school year.
  • # of Responses (All): a calculated field that totals the number of response for the policy for all time (both current and next year response totals).

Applies To

  • Min/Max Grade Level: grade range in which the policy applies.
  • Campus: indicates which campus the policy applies to.
  • Resident Status: indicates which resident status (e.g. day, weekday boarding, full-time boarding, etc.) the policy applies to.
  • Student Group: indicates which student group the policy applies to.
  • (Person) Group: indicates which group of people the policy applies to.

Integration with Checklist Items

The Policy Form system can be integrated with either of the two main admissions checklists, i.e., the Enrollment Checklist and the Application Checklist. The integration happens at the Policy Form Category level. Within each Policy Form Category are individual Policies, which can be set as required. Once all required policies have been completed, the Enrollment or Application Checklist Item associated with the category will be checked as complete. Subsequently, when the checklist item associated with the Enrollment Agreements homepage component has been checked, the Enrollment Agreements homepage component will display as Complete.

For example, when parents click on the form link from the Enrollment Agreements homepage component in ORE,  they will be presented with a list of all Enrollment Policy Agreements within that Policy Form organized by category. Each of their children (re)enrolling will be included within the policy block with the Policy Response options listed for each. When a parent has entered “valid” responses for all required policies in a given category for a given child (i.e., they have chosen a Policy Response option marked as a “valid” in the Policy Response configurations), this child’s enrollment checklist item specified in the form category config will be marked as “complete.”

Linking a Policy with an Enrollment Checklist Item

  1. Set the system type on the Enrollment Agreement Checklist item to “Policy Update” from the Online Enrollment homepage > Enrollment Checklist.
  2. On the Policies Form detail screen, select the corresponding Enrollment Checklist item for each of the categories on the form. This will link the particular section of the Policy Form with the corresponding Enrollment Checklist item.

Example: If there is an Athletics Update Enrollment Checklist item, set the Athletics category on the Policy Form to that specific Enrollment Checklist item. This way when parents update the Athletics section on the Enrollment Agreement the checklist item will update as well. When all sections are completed with a “valid” response on the Enrollment Agreements, the checklist item will be marked “complete” on their Enrollment homepage.

Integrating with Application Checklist items follow the same logic as Enrollment Checklist item integration.

Integration with the Parent Portal

Policies may also be included on the Parent Portal, independent from their usual contexts such as Online (Re)Enrollment. These policies are available through the School Policies tab located in the “My Families” section of the Parent Portal.

If this tab has not been enabled before at the school, it will need to be “turned on” before policies can be displayed to parents. The School Policies tab is enabled through the “PARENT PORTAL: Policies” portal link. This portal link option is a Veracross-defined link with the context “Parent Portal Configuration.” Enabling the link will make the School Policies tab visible in the “My Families” section on the Parent Portal.

To enable the “PARENT PORTAL: Policies” portal link:

  1. Under the Communication section on the System homepage, click “Portal Links.”
  2. Locate and click “PARENT PORTAL: Policies.”
  3. Under the Status section select “Enabled” from the Status dropdown menu.
  4. Update the record.

Note: If the PARENT PORTAL: Policies portal link has never been used by the school, it may not be visible in the list of portal links. Contact your Account Manager to have it activated for your school.

Once the tab is enabled, the process for including policies on the Parent Portal is similar to the process for including them as an Enrollment Checklist item for ORE/OE. In order for a policy to display on the Parent Portal, it must first be added to a Policy Form. The Form is then displayed to parents on their Portals. All Forms available for updates by parents will be visible on the “School Policies” tab. Parents can click into each Policy Form to update the individual policy questions.

Adding a Policy to the School Policies Tab

  1. Add the policy to the Policy Library under the appropriate category, if it does not exist in the system already.
  2. Add the policy to a Policy Form. Policies can be added to existing Policy Forms that are displayed on the Parent Portal or added at the same time a new Form is added.
    Note: Be sure to add a min and max grade level for who this policy applies to.
  3. Select the “Include on Parent Portal” checkbox on the Policy Form detail screen.
  4. Set the Approval Status to “Approved and Ready for Use” on the Policy Form detail screen.
  5. Update/Add the Policy Form.
  6. Once the Policy has been added to the Policy Form, empty policy records must be created for the corresponding constituent (i.e. who the Form was added for: parents or students). From the Action menu , select “Refresh this Policy Form.” This will create an empty record for the constituent specified and ensure the Form is visible on the Parent Portal.