Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD Continues Expanding Community Collaboration with LivingTree Implementation

 AUSTIN, TX, September 23, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ — As a perennial frontrunner in creating academic opportunities for students and achieving top graduation rates, PSJA ISD leads the nation in creating strategies and executing programs which lead to student and community success. The nationally acclaimed district continues to work in collaboration with home and community to provide quality education that is equitable and accessible to all. Implementation of LivingTree’s private, ‘social-like’ network to create a connective fabric for the entire district is the next step in taking collaboration and accessibility to the next level within the PSJA ISD community.
“To reinforce our vision for a prosperous and educated community, we continue to invest in new technologies to drive greater engagement and collaboration. LivingTree will allow us to take a leap forward in community building by providing us with our own private social network for collaboration and engagement across our district, school, and classroom communities,” said PSJA Chief Technology Officer Adrian Garcia.

LivingTree simplifies school-to-family and family-to-school communication using a single application available on web and mobile (iPhone and Android) to share posts, alerts, files, events, and content, even translating this important information to 40+ languages. The private, secure network replaces outdated and single direction modes of communication such as blogs, out of date websites, e-mail blasts, paper, etc. Users can also volunteer for activities, send and receive private direct messages and access directory listings.

“Our goal for the first semester is to implement it within our district so our staff members learn how to use it, and they are able to create their online communities and groups,” said Garcia. “After a couple of months of district usage, we will begin to expand the network and add our parents and students.”

Each school network within PSJA ISD extends to the PTA, booster club, athletic group, and student organizations. There is no cost to the families of the 32,000 students in PSJA ISD for utilizing the LivingTree network including the native Android and iPhone apps.

LivingTree CEO Cullen Childress expressed his excitement about the implementation, “We’re honored to work with an educational leader like PSJA ISD to achieve the next level of community collaboration goals for the district. LivingTree’s secure networks build around the student and family, allowing parents, teachers, and administrators alike to truly partner in educating and developing our children.”

Garcia adds, “Implementing our own private social network to connect the entire PSJA educational community will drive greater transparency and engagement in the lives of our student’s education and future. This accelerates our primary mission of empowering our students to achieve their highest goals of education and future success.”

 

New Features for the New School Year!

LivingTree was hard at work this summer making enhancements and releasing new features. We’re excited to announce the Directory and an update to Volunteer Management. You can now fully utilize LivingTree as your online directory. In the web application, you will see that Contacts has turned into Directory. If you click on directory, you will see the fully organized view of your network. Please note that personal information (phone, email, street address) is always private unless a LivingTree user explicitly allows it to be shared. This link will take users to their profile to update information and allow sharing: www.livingtree.com/index.php?tips=update_profile.

Managing volunteering is now easier than ever on LivingTree. Due to popular demand, group/class owners and event creators can assign volunteers to tasks or slots as needed. It’s as simple as clicking into the event, selecting ‘Manage’, and assigning volunteers. Volunteers are notified of their assignment and automatically reminded per the selected event reminders.

Please read below for more FAQs and information about these new features. Have a wonderful school year!

Directory FAQ:

What is the LivingTree Directory?

LivingTree Directory replaces ‘Contacts’ in the LivingTree application. It is an automatic online directory representation of your private network including class and grade level view if you are a school network.

Do we pay extra to use LivingTree Directory?

No! LivingTree Directory is automatically part of your private network. There are no fees associated with directory.

Is my information shown automatically?

No. You must explicitly allow for your personal information to show in the directory. You have the option to share your e-mail address, phone number, and street address in the directory. If you do not select which (if any items) you choose to share, only your name will be shown.

Can anyone outside my network see my information?

No. Only the people you’re connected to on LivingTree have access to your directory information. You are never searchable or viewable to anyone else.

How do I update my information or make it visible?

You can update your personal information by going to Options > My Profile > Update Preferences on the web. Make sure to ‘Save’ your preferences once you have make updates and selections. The following link will automatically take you to your profile to update: www.livingtree.com/index.php?tips=update_profile

What if I want to include additional information beyond address and e-mail?

There’s an open text field in your family information. To update information there, you can go to ‘My Network’ (leaf icon in upper middle of web application). Filter to your family by clicking your family name on the left side of the application. You will see an edit pencil icon in the upper right of your family name box. Click on edit. You can update your family name and add information here.

What if my spouse, nanny, or other emergency contact is not on LivingTree but I want them to show in the directory?

There’s an open text field in your family information. To update information there, you can go to ‘My Network’ (leaf icon in upper middle of web application). Filter to your family by clicking your family name on the left side of the application. You will see an edit pencil icon in the upper right of your family name box. Click on edit. You can update your family name and add information here.

I’ve realized that I need to add my spouse to my family, how do I do that?

On the web application, you can click the envelope icon next to your family name. This will allow you to invite your spouse or other caregiver via e-mail. They will have the same view of family information on LivingTree that you do once they accept your invitation. Their profile information will also show on your family card.

I want to update my spouse’s profile. How do I do that?

Only the individual account owner can update their personal profile information or make it public. You can, however, add information to the open text field on your family card if you need to. To update information there, you can go to ‘My Network’ (leaf icon in upper middle of web application). Filter to your family by clicking your family name on the left side of the application. You will see an edit pencil icon in the upper right of your family name box. Click on edit. You can update your family name and add information here.

Is the directory available on mobile?

The directory will be available within the mobile app in late fall. Until then, you can login to LivingTree on your mobile using a browser. LivingTree is a responsive site meaning that it will adjust to the screen size of your phone and allow you to easily navigate the online directory as needed.

Are parents able to message students from the directory?

No! We do not allow parent accounts to message student accounts on LivingTree.

 

Volunteer Management FAQ:

What is volunteer assignment?

Due to popular demand, LivingTree now allows for event creators to assign members of their group to tasks or times within the LivingTree Sign Up feature. To assign volunteers, simply create the event and click into event detail once the event has been created. You can get to event detail from conversations or calendar. If you created the event or own the class/group, you will see the option to ‘Manage’ sign ups. This allows you to assign and remove volunteers as needed!

Who can assign volunteers?

The person who creates the event or the person(s) who own the class/group.

Who can I assign?

You can assign anyone from the class(es) or group(s) the sign up event has been shared with on LivingTree. If someone is not in the class(es) or group(s) you’ve shared with, they will not show up as an option for assignment.

Will the person I assign be notified?

Yes. If you assign someone to a task or slot, they will receive an e-mail notification and a mobile push notification if they use the mobile application.

How will reminders work if I’ve selected reminders for the event?

Only those who have signed up or been assigned will be reminded of the event.

What if I want to remove someone?

If you own the event or the class/group, you can open up the event detail by clicking on the event from conversations or calendar. You will see the option to ‘Manage sign ups.’ Click on ‘Manage’ and you will have the option to remove any person from a task or slot. Simply hit the ‘x’ by their name and confirm.

What if I want to remove myself after someone has assigned me?

You can remove yourself at any time. Just open up the event detail from conversations or calendar. Click ‘Remove.’ You’ll be removed from the task or slot.

What if I don’t see the option to “Manage sign ups?”

If you did not create the event or do not own the class/group, you will not have the option to manage sign ups.

I didn’t know LivingTree had sign up capability. Where can I learn more?

Written guide: http://support.livingtree.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Sign-Ups-101.pdf

Help video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rErIHgu7Gk

 

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