What's the Best Way to Manage Report Card Access?

January 17, 2018 Jen Warriner

Editorial note: We’re starting a new blog series, Ask the Experts, with the goal of providing our current schools with timely best-practice advice on frequently asked questions. We hope you find it helpful.

Report card access is a hot topic in private schools, whether it’s a philosophical debate over who should see them, a temporary restriction put in place for tardy tuition payments, or a scenario where one parent should have access but the other shouldn’t. With Blackbaud Student Information System™ (formerly onRecord®), there are several controls in place to best manage these situations.

Before we dive into the various methods for granting or removing report card access, there’s one key thing to remember: If grades haven’t been recorded for a student, the report card will not appear. It’s always best to check this first before making that panicked call to Support!

Task Access

Every user role in Blackbaud’s education management solutions (formerly the “ON” products), from Student and Parent to Teacher and Advisor, have a list of tasks that determine what members of the role can access. Disabling the View Report Cards task overrides all of the other access settings, and is best done when you want to prevent all with a certain role from seeing report cards for an unspecified amount of time.

An example of how this might be used is if your school has determined that certain roles should never have access to view report cards, such as Staff or Dorm Supervisor. Rather than risk an access date being set on the role in error, removing the task altogether is more definite.

Platform Managers can edit Task Access through the following:

  • Go to Core > Security > Roles
  • Click the user role link, i.e., Nurse
  • Click the Tasks link
  • Click the Edit button at the top of the page to see the list of corresponding modules displayed in alphabetical order.

Report Card Access Dates

The most common approach to setting report card access is through the Report Card Access Date field, which is used to restrict parental access during marking periods. By setting start and end dates in advance for the appropriate roles, you save time later—just set and forget!

The Report Card Access Date field is located in Academics > Grades > Report Card Setup. For each style of report card—Standard and Assessment—there is a date field for the roles that can view report cards:

  • Students
  • Parents
  • All School Teachers (includes teachers the student doesn’t have a class with)
  • Teachers
  • Advisor
  • Dorm Supervisor
  • Staff

Blackbaud Student Information System provides a lot of flexibility with access dates on Standard-style report cards. You can assign different dates for the various grading columns—for example, you can set the English and Chemistry grades to display at different times. And if there are grades and/or comments that only faculty should see, simply leave the Access Date field empty for the Parent and Student roles (they'll only see grades/comments that have active dates). Once the first access date has been reached, users will begin seeing report cards.

Access Dates Settings in School Report Card Software

Another great SIS feature that saves time managing access dates: during the Grading rollover that occurs with the end-of-year Annual Procedures, all previously set access dates are advanced by one year and added to the copied report cards so they reflect the access for the new school year!

Parental Access

The Parental Access and List as Parent settings are useful when a parent’s access to student information (including report cards) needs to be removed, but the individual should still be listed as a Parent for reporting purposes. To remove access, simply go to the parent or student Contact Card under Relationships and uncheck Parental Access. As long as List as Parent is still checked, the user will still appear in reports.

Managing Parent Access for School Report Cards Online

The Manage Exclusions Feature

Lastly, the Manage Exclusion feature is used to put a "hold" on report cards (and/or transcripts), while allowing for all other role tasks, and is commonly used in cases where a tuition payment is in arrears. Similar to the Parental Access setting, this setting is specific to an individual Parent rather than all Parents. The difference here is this restrictive setting can apply to Students, Alumni, and Parents of Alumni.

You’ll find the Manage Exclusions task in Academics > Grades > Grades Management > Manage holds. To add a new exclusion, click the Record Exclusions button to search for and select the users who should have View Report Card access restricted. For further information, refer to our Manage Exclusions help topic.

As soon as the reason for the access restriction is resolved (i.e., tuition payment received), the exclusion is easily removed through the same process.

If you have any how-to questions about the features mentioned in this article, please contact our Jedi Support team via phone, e-mail, chat, or The Force.


About the Author

Jen Warriner

Jen Warriner is the K-12 Knowledge Specialist and assistant Product Support Lead for the onRecord Student Information System product. She enjoys helping people with their software questions, especially the challenging ones, which harken back to her QA roots. Jen also loves spending time with family and volunteering with the Manchester (NH) Police Department Mounted Unit and their two horses, Valor and General Stark.

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