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Give Your Attendance Tracking a Boost With Custom Roll Types

Vincent Paget

February 13, 2018

Tracking attendance is a simple activity for managing participation in classes, meals, trips and other areas of school life. But it’s also an effective way to record vital information about your student's whereabouts to help ensure student safety.However, most attendance tools today are still static, inefficient and disconnected from your existing systems. They just don’t feel like a tool that you can rely on for student safety. We want to change that. Off the success of our Live Rolls, we’ve been working on some exciting new updates to our attendance tracking that I can’t wait to share with you. In this update, we focused on:

  • Efficiency: Taking roll checks should be quick and painless. So we created “Roll Types” to automate the repetitive setup tasks that slow you down.
  • Flexibility and Customization: More ways to customise your roll checks to suit your current workflows and security protocols.
  • Emergency Response Time: Never lose track of your students during a crisis. Mass alerts, live-rolls and improved communication mean you can quickly account for your student's safety in an emergency.
  • Smarter Accountability: More relevant insights into your students attendance history to identify trends and concerns on the spot.

Excited yet? Let’s dive in.

Get Organised With “Roll Types”

Not all roll checks are the same. Tracking attendance in the classroom might require a different process to your lights-out checkup or emergency roll calls.That’s why we created roll types. A way for you to pre-set your attendance processes, making it quick and easy to start and manage your roll checks.Each roll type has 4 main settings:

.1. Assignments

Instead of including all your students in every roll call, you can now assign your roll types to specific houses. Want to exclude certain houses from a roll check? No problem. Want to create a roll check for only your dorm? That’s just as easy.This means that you will only see the students that need to be checked off and don’t have to waste time filtering through other students that aren’t relevant to this roll type.https://boardingware.wistia.com/medias/3gao8m9ls1?embedType=async&seo=false&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=340

2. Default Options

In your roll types, you now have the opportunity to set some default options. This means that when you go to start a new roll, all the settings will already be configured so you can initiate the roll right away.You can select what filters you’d like to use, choose to automatically sign students in when they are marked as present, and decide if you’d like to invite other staff members to collaborate on a Live Roll.Live rolls are a way for multiple people to work together on a single roll check at the same time. Find out more here.https://boardingware.wistia.com/medias/ytc6fq46rh?embedType=async&seo=false&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640

3. Permissions

To ensure that your attendance tracking processes are authentic, you need to be able to control who can initiate, record and submit roll checks.Permissions make this easy. Just select who has permission to start, invite and complete a roll.https://boardingware.wistia.com/medias/20qtgwdnx3?embedType=async&seo=false&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640

4. Actions

When taking a roll check, sometimes the standard “Present” or “Absent” options don’t quite fit the bill. In some cases, students might be at the medical centre, absent on a field trip or have some other kind of explained absence.That’s why we created “Roll States”. A better way to distinguish a students attendance status.Now you can create custom roll states to fit with your school’s security protocols or create new roll states to add more context and detail to your attendance tracking.https://boardingware.wistia.com/medias/rk1dqep6j8?embedType=async&seo=false&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640

Starting A Roll Check

With roll types, it couldn't be easier to start a new roll check. Simply select the roll type that applies, review the pre-filled settings and click start.https://boardingware.wistia.com/medias/xqxoq24w9u?embedType=async&seo=false&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=340Having everything automatically setup helps to eliminate any chance of human error and means you don’t have to worry about the repetitive and mundane tasks that slow us down. Instead, you can focus on what you’re good at - Fostering and building healthy relationships with your students.

Being Prepared With Emergency Rolls

While it’s not pleasant to think about crisis situations, it’s a reality that every school must consider and be prepared for.That’s why we also created a specific “Emergency Roll Type”.Emergency rolls provide you with the option to send mass alerts out to staff, students and parents. Giving you a way to effectively communicate and provide clear instructions to help respond faster and keep your students safe during a crisis.https://boardingware.wistia.com/medias/xganq1c2tw?embedType=async&seo=false&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640Your messages are created within the emergency roll type. This means you don't have to waste time writing messages. Instead, you can just start an emergency roll and the pre-written alerts will be sent automatically.[caption id="attachment_2218" align="aligncenter" width="777"]

Send alerts to notify and communicate instructions to your staff, students and parents during a crisis[/caption]We’ve also made it easy for you to access a students contact information from inside of an emergency roll call. With a couple clicks, you can view their important contact information and initiate a call right from inside the app.https://boardingware.wistia.com/medias/rv2iqvoqpu?embedType=async&seo=false&videoWidth=340;Taking the time to prepare for crisis situations is crucial. With clearly defined processes for different emergency situations, you will be able to boost safety awareness and response time during a crisis.

Identify Issues With Attendance Records

The main purpose of attendance tracking is to make sure that our students are safe and where they’re supposed to be. So if a student is regularly absent or was unusually absent, it’s important to address any larger issues that may be at play.To help you with this, we’ve made it easier to review attendance records and identify trends on the spot. During a roll call, you can now view a snapshot of your student's previous roll calls that day.A small graph will show their attendance trends for the day and by hovering over, you can also view the information in more detail.[caption id="attachment_2199" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]

Previous Roll Calls Today

Quickly review attendance records for the day and identify unusual activity on the spot[/caption]The sequence of icons shows you any differences in their attendance status, so you can quickly identify if something is out of the ordinary. Then if you need to dive deeper, you can view their entire roll history from a students profile along with all their other activity.Need to audit your roll checks? No problem. Now you can access a log of your recently completed rolls right from the homeboard. Use the filters to search by date range and roll type. Then click on a record to view all the details of that roll check.[caption id="attachment_2187" align="aligncenter" width="1226"]

attendance tracking insights

Insights help you to compare your student's attendance activity and identify students that may need attention.[/caption]Finally, Insights offer another way for you review your attendance tracking. From the insights panel, you can compare absences among your students to figure out which students may be in need of attention.

Bringing Attendance Tracking Into The 21st Century

Roll checks play a fundamental role in student safety. But as schools have evolved towards a technology-based future, the tools and processes for tracking attendance have not.We want to bring attendance tracking back into the 21st Century. And we want to make it faster, smarter and simpler for you to track your students. Subscribe to our blog to follow our journey and stay up to date with our product updates.

Getting Started

If you’re a current Boardingware user, here are some handy links to help you get started with Roll Types:

If you’re new to Boardingware and would like to get a closer look at how “Roll Types’ can help to boost your school's attendance tracking, click the link below to schedule a 5 min chat with one of our experts.

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Vincent Paget

I'm a kiwi living in London and who has been part of Orah since 2015. Working in operations, my passion lies in finding efficiencies and scalabilities in all areas of the business. Beyond the office, I'm all about outdoor adventures like football and fishing, along with music, travel, and quality time with friends and family, especially my dog.

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