Aeries Communications can easily be configured from the 3rd Party System Connections page at the District level. Check the box to Enable Aeries Communications System, choose Parent Square or Signal Kit as the Provider and enter the Consumer ID, Secret Key, and SSO Key provided to you by Aeries Support for Signal Kit or the SAML Configuration for Parent Square.
API Security will also need to be enabled. In API Security, a new record will need to be added for Aeries Communications with permission to the following security areas to allow for current and future use:
- Student Data
- Student Programs
- Supplemental Data
- Class Schedules/History
- Attendance (Absence Code Table, Attendance, Attendance History, Bell Schedule, Calendar, Enrollment History)
- Fees and Fines
- Student Pictures
- Scheduling (Teacher Data, Staff Data, Master Schedule, Course Data, Classes)
- School Information (Schools, Terms, Users)
- Student Groups
Please provide your district’s public facing portal URL as well as the API Certificate code to Aeries Support.
In addition to API Security, any user who should have access to the Aeries Communications interface must be assigned Read access to the Communications System Access security area either directly or via a group. This can allow Aeries Communications access for some groups of users and not others. Teachers, Parents, and Students Communications System Access is granted on the Portal Groups form. During implementation a District may wish to turn Aeries Communications on for just some schools as they roll out the product.
The additional four security areas allow the following:
- Allow Posting to General District-Level Aeries Communications Groups
- Allow Posting to General School-Level Aeries Communications Groups
- Allow Posting to Staff-Specific District-Level Aeries Communications Groups
- Allow Posting to Staff-Specific School-Level Aeries Communications Groups
Insert permissions to the above mentioned security areas provide those specific message posting abilities. Admin permission to Allow Posting to General District-Level Aeries Communication Groups will make the user an Aeries Communications system admin who can manage and create groups within Aeries Communications.
Users will automatically become members of appropriate school-wide groups in Aeries Communications based upon the schools that they have permission to access in Aeries. For non-teacher users, this can be controlled using the CommGroup check box on the School Access window, as shown below. See the Aeries Security documentation for more details.
Note: Aeries Admin Accounts will not be automatically added to any school-level groups in Aeries Communications.
Additionally, there is a setting for Aeries Communications customers to be able to change a parents' Communications Notification Preferences.
Users will need Read and Update permissions to Notification Preferences in Communications in Security. The other permissions will have no effect.
Clicking the gear icon on the Contacts form opens the Notification Preferences form. When these Notification Preferences are saved in Aeries, the preferences are immediately updated in Aeries Communications. Parents can update their Notification Preferences through the Communications link or the Contacts form in the Parent Portal. To allow Parents to make changes to Contact records, a Contact Editing or Parent Data Confirmation window must be open. and the Parents Portal Group will need permissions to Read and Update Notification Preferences in Communications.
Aeries Tables and Fields
For effective use of the Aeries Communications platform, the following fields should be maintained accurately within Aeries. It is recommended that districts review and correct the following data fields.
- CON.FN – Contact First Name
- CON.LN – Contact Last Name
- CON.NM – Contact Full Name (ex. John Smith) – cannot be blank or Dad, Mom, Neighbor, etc.
- CON.RL – Contact Relationship
- CON.EM – Contact Email Address
- CON.CP – Contact Mobile/Cell Phone for Text or Voice
- CON.TL – Contact Telephone for Voice (considered a landline)
- CON.AP – Allow to Portal? – Used for the auto/mass creation of Parent Portal accounts
- CON.NP – Contact Notification Preference for General/Emergency, Emergency Only Notifications or Do Not Contact
- CON.AN – Send Attendance Notifications? Attendance Notifications will be sent to this contact unless CON.AN is N (No) or CON.NP is Do Not Contact.
- CON.CD – If a restricted code is set, review the Notification Preference and Allow to Portal?
- CON.RF – If RED flagged, review the Notification Preference and Allow to Portal?
- CON.CL – Contact Correspondence Language
Note: Students without any of this contact data populated will ONLY have automated voice communications with the family using the STU.TL phone number for emergency notifications.
- STU.TL – Primary Student Telephone for Voice. This field is only pulled if there are no valid Contact records for the student.
- STU.SEM – Student Email Address
- STU.MPH – Student Cell Phone. This field is optional. A district can decide if this number will appear in Aeries Communications or not.
- STU.NP – Student Notification Preference for General/Emergency, Emergency Only Notifications or Do Not Contact. Students will only receive messages if this is set to General/Emergency.
- STU.LF – Student Language Fluency. This field can be used for filtering in Aeries Communications.
- STF.LN – Staff Last Name
- STF.FN – Staff First Name
- STF.ID – Staff ID – for ALL employees, not just teachers
- STF.CP – Staff Cell Phone. This is the only staff telephone number used with Aeries Communications. Staff Telephone Field (STF.TL) is not used at this time.
- STF.EM – Staff Email Address
- STF.NP – Staff Notification Preference for General/Emergency, Emergency Only Notifications, or Do Not Contact. Staff set to Do Not Contact will not sync with Aeries Communications.
- STF.PSC – Primary school to which staff member will belong
- STF.TG – Staff Status Tag. Inactive Staff Members will not sync with Aeries Communications.
Note: To determine the Staff email address used with Aeries Communications, we first look for a matching Security Account record (UGN) with the Staff ID. If a record is found and that record has an email address populated, we use that. Only if a record isn't found or the UGN.EM field is blank do we fail over to using the STF.EM field.
Aeries User Accounts:
- UGN.LN – Staff Last Name
- UGN.FN – Staff First Name
- UGN.EM – Staff Email
- UGN.SID – Staff ID
- USR.CG – CommGroup Access
Populating these fields along with Aeries Communications Access permissions will allow users to see the COMMUNICATIONS link and log into the Aeries Communications platform with single sign on (SSO).
Note: Aeries logins MUST have Staff ID (UGN.SID) populated, or single sign on will not work. Districts who have traditionally maintained only certificated Staff Data (STF) will need to add STF records for all employees who should have access to the Aeries Communications platform.