Parent Portal lets schools share responsibility for student alerts with families after school hours, on weekends, and during holidays. These are times when students still use their school-issued accounts, but your administration might not be available to respond to urgent alerts.
Preparing for the Launch
Schools that have reported the best parent engagement start by first:
- Announcing that they're using Bark for Schools to help protect their students
- Selecting students and parents for Parent Portal
- Introducing Parent Portal as a free resource for parents to get alerts
Once they've done the above, that's when they send the Parent Portal invite email to encourage families to set up their account.
Launching Parent Portal
From your Parent Portal settings page, you can choose from two methods to sync contacts: Clever or .csv file upload.
With Clever, we only require the student and parent email addresses.
With .csv files, student addresses must be listed on the same row as the addresses of their parent or guardian. If families have multiple children, then list them in a new row, as seen in the example below.
- Upload emails in .csv format
Once you’ve uploaded the information using one of the above methods, the invitations will be sent within a few hours of confirmation. If your school launches Parent Portal after 5pm EST, it will be processed the following business day by 11 a.m. EST.
After the Launch
Schools can control the severity of the issues parents receive, as well when they’re sent.
- Severity: Can be adjusted between "Severe Only" and "All."
- Time: Can be adjusted between "Anytime" and "After Hours." The after-hours time frame is 3 p.m. to 8 a.m. local time, including during weekends and holidays.
Schools generally select "Severe Only" and "After Hours" while school is in session, and they set them to “Anytime” and “All” on weekends and breaks.
What Parents Can Expect After Launch
They can follow the steps in this guide to set up their Parent Portal account. Once set up, they'll receive alerts on their child's school-issued account(s) according to your settings.
Educating Parents About Digital Dangers
Tech nights are a great way for parents to learn more about what could occur online and how they can best protect their children. Our Tech Night resource page provides information, videos, handouts, and more to help you host a successful gathering.
Resources for Parents
Along with launching Parent Portal, equipping parents with the tools they need for acting on issues they receive is vitally important. Bark has developed our Parents Resource Toolkit for parents who need help with recommended actions after receiving alerts.
Many parents also have children receiving online accounts for the first time at schools. We’ve got those parents covered with our Parent Start Guide. These resources help parents with what to expect on school-issued accounts.
If families have any questions or need advice on how to approach a difficult topic with their child, please send them our way. The Bark for Schools team is here for your parents and guardians, too! Families can reach our team at any point via the Bark app for Android or iOS, as well as our website. Bark Support is available every day of the year.
- Parent Portal FAQs
- Parent Portal - After the Invite Goes Out
- Parent Portal - Best Practices for Administrators: Bark for Schools
- Parent Portal - Getting Started: Bark for Schools
- Parent Start Guide
- Parent Guides to School-Issued Accounts
- Parent Response Toolkit
- How to Activate your Parent Portal Account
- How to Add Another Child to a Parent Portal Account
How do I reach the Bark for Schools team?
We have an incredible team behind the scenes here at Bark. If you have any additional questions, our support team can be reached here.