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". 
  • Legacy Aeries Communications Districts will already have an API certificate ("Aeries Communications", "Loop", etc.) that must be renamed.



Grant these API Permissions to ParentSquare

  • Student Data
  • Student 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)
  • School Information (Schools, Terms, Users)
  • Student Groups


Enable ParentSquare

On the 3rd Party System Connections page

  • Check the Enable Aeries Communications System box.
  • Check the ParentSquare box.





When ParentSquare is chosen the following are displayed:

  • Found if a SAML entry entitled ParentSquare exists. If not, the message will read 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 will read Not Found. Go to the API Security page to ensure you have correctly entered the API record.
  • Test API - This uses the current student and tries to connect to the API and gives a success / fail message.
  • Log Verbose messages for ParentSquare - This will write to LOG the information about the notification calls.






Legacy Aeries Communications districts will need to switch from the SignalKit option to the ParentSquare version. The Communications link will only be functional for one version of Communications.



SAML Configuration

On the SAML Configuration Page

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





The SSL Certificate must be selected from the Web Server. The "Signing Certificate Option 2: Upload PFX File" will 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 will need to grant permission to the Application Pool User on the Web Server(s). Instructions can be found here.



Add SAML Service Provider  



The SAML Service Provider must be named "ParentSquare"

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




Grant User/Group Permissions

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




User/Group Security

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.





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. 








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.




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 will receive 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 Web; 




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



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 for General/Emergency, Emergency Only Notifications or 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.


Student Records:

  • 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.LF – Student Language Fluency. This field can be used for filtering in Aeries Communications.


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 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.

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