Enable ParentSquare

SAML Configuration

Add SAML Service Provider  

Grant User/Group Permissions

Account Type

Attendance Notification

Tables and Fields


These are the settings that need to be configured in Aeries for full integration with ParentSquare.


API Certificate

Please click this link How To Generate an API Certificate for our API Certificate Creation Document. 

  • The API Certificate must be named "ParentSquare". 


ParentSquare Vendor certificate in API Security


Grant these API Permissions to ParentSquare

  • Student Data
  • Special Programs
  • Supplemental Data
  • Contacts
  • 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, Class Calendars)
  • School Information (Schools, Terms, Users)
  • Student Groups


Enable ParentSquare ↑

On the 3rd Party System Connections page

  • Check the Enable Aeries Communications System box.

ParentSquare options on third party systems connections page


When Aeries Communications is enabled the following are displayed:

  • Found if a SAML entry entitled ParentSquare exists. If not, the message reads Not Found.  Go to the SAML Configuration page to ensure you have correctly entered the SAML record.
  • Found if an API entry entitled ParentSquare exists. If not, the message reads Not Found. Go to the API Security page to ensure you have correctly entered the API record.
  • Test API - This tests for a District Template in ParentSquare. If Limiting by School, it looks for a Template for the first selected School in the list.
  • Log Verbose messages for ParentSquare This writes to WRL/LOG the information about the notification calls.

ParentSquare LOG messages

  • Limit by School - Select the Schools that can use ParentSquare. (This is only needed for Single School Implementations of Aeries Communications powered by ParentSquare and should not be used for District-wide implementations.)

Limit by School options


SAML Configuration

On the SAML Configuration Page

  • Check the "Enable Aeries to act as a SAML Identity Provider" checkbox
  • Entity ID (Base URL) is already be configured based on the Aeries Web URL
  • Metadata URL should be provided to the ParentSquare or Aeries support team (if self-hosted)


Select Certificate from Server button


The SSL Certificate must be selected from the Web Server. The "Signing Certificate Option 2: Upload PFX File" does not work for this process.

  • Select "Signing Certificate Option 1: Select from Web Server"  --> click "Select Certificate from Server"
  • If there are No Certificates seen in the popup (first screenshot below), you need to grant permission to the Application Pool User on the Web Server(s). Instructions can be found here.



Add SAML Service Provider

Add button for Service providers


The SAML Service Provider must be named "ParentSquare"

  • The Entity ID (URI) and Assertion Consumer Service URL is provided by either Aeries or ParentSquare support


Display name, Entity IDE and Service URL



Grant User/Group Permissions

Once the SAML Configuration has been completed, Users, Groups and Portal Groups need the "SAML Service Providers - ParentSquare" permission granted to be able to Single Sign on.




User/Group Security

Users 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. This is the USR.CG field. See the Aeries Security documentation for more details. 


Note: Aeries Admin Accounts are not automatically added to any School-level groups in Aeries Communications.



Communications Access for users by school


If a District has ParentSquare limited by School, the CommGroup choice only shows up for the enabled Schools, however the Communications features is always be available for District Users.

School selection limited to enabled schools

Notification Type Preferences in Contacts

Additionally, there is a setting for Aeries Communications Users and Parents to change their Communications Notification Preferences.  

Both Users and the Parent Portal Group will need Read and Update permissions to Notification Preferences in Communications in Security. 


NOTE: If a District limits ParentSquare by School, the Notification Preferences cog wheel will only be available to Users at those Schools. However, it will always be available to District Users.





cog wheel



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 ParentSquare. 

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.


cog preferences



Account Type

The Notification Preference field in Contacts determines the Account type. 

  • When it is set to Do Not Contact no action is taken.
  • When it is set to General and Emergency Announcements a ParentSquare account is created. 
  • When it is set to Emergency Announcements no ParentSquare account is created but the Contact receives Emergency Notifications.


Note: CON.NP becomes a required field when the Aeries Communications system is enabled.


The Contact Notification Preference field can be found on the Contacts form in Aeries:




The Pencil Icon can be used to enter "Edit" Mode and update the selection.




Attendance Notification

Individual contact records can be updated to not receive Attendance Notifications while still receiving other notification types. A "Blank" attendance notification is treated like a "Yes" selection. If a contact should not receive attendance notifications, select "N" for No.



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.

 

Contact Records:

  • 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 (default codes below)
    • 0 - Do Not Contact
    • 1 - General and Emergency Announcements
    • 2 - Emergency Announcements
  • CON.AN - Attendance Notification. A "Blank" is treated like a Yes.
  • CON.CD – If a restricted code is set, the Contact is skipped in the initial data review.
  • CON.RF – If RED flagged, the Contact record is not synced. ParentSquare can be configured to ignore Red Flags, but this is not recommended.
  • CON.CL – Contact Correspondence Language



Student Records:

  • STU.SEM – Student Email Address
  • STU.MPH – Student Cell Phone. This field is optional. A District can decide if this number appears in Aeries Communications or not. 


Note: Students Grade 9 and above can be contacted on their STU.EM or STU.MPH. If the District would like to contact Students in grades lower than 9, they can work with ParentSquare support to enable this.

 

Staff Records:

  • 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.PSC – Primary School to which staff members belong
  • STF.TG – Staff Status Tag. Inactive Staff Members do 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 allows 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 for SSO to work. Districts who have traditionally maintained only Certificated Staff Data (STF) need to add STF records for all employees who should have access to the Aeries Communications platform.

The ParentSquare-Aeries field mapping guide highlights the fields that are synced with ParentSquare