As an admin member of Classlist there are benefits to inviting parents by email from the Admin area. However you can also invite via Whatsapp, Facebook, SMS, printable flyer, putting a link the school newsletter etc.
Firstly, parents invited by email invitation from the Admin area are pre-approved so you won't have to approve their registration. This means you can paste in the list of emails of parents (even all parents at once), to invite them and pre-approve them.
Secondly, if admins invite parents using their email addresses the parents will start receiving admin announcements and community event invitations right away, even before they join. So if you invite everyone, and then need to send them all a message a short while later, you can reach everyone you invited via an announcement.
For the above reason inviting parents by email invitation is our recommended approach. Your school can legally help the PTA by providing email addresses of parents: see our GDPR article for more information.
However, there are lots of other ways of inviting parents to join Classlist too, so don't worry if you don't have email addresses, and you can use those methods to reinforce your email invitation too.
Admins can now also invite other parents using Facebook and Whatsapp too. Parents invited that way aren't pre-approved. You can also simply generate a link for your school that you can copy and paste into the school newsletter to invite people. Or you can tell parents to join by downloading the Classlist app from the App Store or Google Play and register there.
On the blue parent part of the app parents can also invite other parents via WhatsApp, SMS and iMessenger as well as email, though those invitations don't pre-approve parents.
Inviting via email in Admin Mode
This is the most effective method of getting parents to join up to your Classlist site, since it allows you to send a personal message to the recipient/s and track the progress of your invitations. Parents invited via email by an admin member in this way do not need separate approval - they are pre-approved, because they are already known to be genuine parents by the admin member inviting them.
Everyone invited using their email address by an admin member will start receiving main announcements and community event invitations right away, even before they join.
To invite parents this way go to the 'Invite' page in the green Admin area. Tap the red 'Invite new parents' button (see image below). This brings up a dialogue box where you can choose how to invite people.
Select 'Invite by email'. This will bring up the screen shown in the image below, where you can paste in emails in bulk or singly, as well as selecting which class or year group you want the invited parents to be associated with.
- You can enter single or multiple email addresses. If your PTA or Friends group already maintains a contact list, entering multiple email addresses enables you to invite a whole class at a time: simply copy and paste your list of email addresses in the text box and select a class from the drop down list. Make sure your addresses are separated by a comma or a space. The invitations will be sent out instantly. Single invitations work the same way.
- If you don't know the class, don't worry - it is optional. However those parents invited without a class specified will only receive 'whole school' announcements and events, rather than class or year ones, as we won't know which year they are invited to.
- Add a temporary class to each year to invite the parents to. If you have more than one class per year but you don't yet know who is in which class, you can make sure parents still receive year group announcements by adding a temporary class to the year called 'Year 5 unassigned class'. Invite all the parents in the year to that class. As they join they will join their correct class and you can eventually delete the temporary class.
- Parents invited by email remain visible on your invited parents list until they sign up or unsubscribe. Invited parents on this list are automatically pre-approved, and receive important messages such as Announcements and Community Event invitations from your site, in the same way as a mailing list sends out information to a list of subscribers. For instance parents invited to Year 6 will receive announcements sent to Year 6 or to 'whole school'. This allows you to keep them in the loop even if they are a little slow off the mark signing up, and you can communicate with everyone you have invited from day one! Invited parents who have not yet signed up are only visible to Admin users; other parents won't be able to find them. For more information on Invited parents, please click here.
- Keep an eye out for pre-approved parents joining. All admin members will receive an email notification when a pre-approved parent joins the site, detailing which admin invited them and the parent's child(ren) and class(es). This provides an opportunity to double check all parents joining your site.
- Parents invited by members who don't have admin status require separate approval. All parents who join without being invited by email from an admin member will need to be approved by an Ambassador or Class Admins in the 'Approve Parents' section; these admins will also get a notification in Admin Mode when a parent is waiting for approval.
If you have invited parents via email in the Admin area, you will be able to track which of them have not yet signed up, edit their details (eg if you got the name or the email address wrong) and you can choose to re-send the invitation if you feel they would benefit from a reminder nudge. Invited Parents are displayed in a list on the Invite page in the Admin area, and when they register they are automatically pre-approved.
Click on the name (or the word parent, if there is no name entered), or on the pencil icon to expand the box and view an invited parent's details. If the invitation was sent successfully, you will see the the word 'sent' under their email address. If you made a mistake in the address it will show the message 'email not recognised, check and resend'. You can then edit the address, tap 'save' and resend the invitation. Read more about how to view and edit invited parents.
Remember that all parents whom you have invited by email, but who have not yet signed up (non-members), will receive announcements and information about community events.
NB: Parents who are invited by email from the blue Parent Mode of Classlist are not recorded as invited parents in the Add and Invite page in the Admin Mode. They won't receive any announcements or other communications unless they sign up.
If you paste in a list to invite parents and they have already joined, don't worry, they won't receive another invitation. This means several admins can paste in lists of email addresses and parents won't get loads of reminder emails after they have already joined.
Inviting using other apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, SMS, iMessenger
If you are using the Classlist app you can use other apps on your device to send invitations to your contacts or groups in those apps. This is available on the parent and admin parts of Classlist. These invitations can not be tracked by Classlist and so the parents invited in that way will not receive your admin announcements. However it is a great way of getting word out about Classlist quickly!
We have various flyers, postcards, posters and letters you can use to invite parents to Classlist. Find them in the Resources section.
GDPR and using email addresses
Inviting parents using email addresses you already hold is covered by the new GDPR (data protection) legislation which came into effect in May 2018. Basically, it is OK to use existing lists of email addresses to invite parents to join if the PTA (or school if they are setting up the Classlist site) have contacted parents by email within the past year for PTA or school purposes. However, the PTA/school must give parents advance notice that they may be invited, in case any parent objects. A newsletter insert, notice on the PTA or school website or a sign on a school noticeboard is sufficient to cover this requirement, so don't worry. Find the specific wording, and lots of other GDPR relevant resources here. You will need to log in using your Ambassador email to access the resources. If you are asking parents to give you their email address for the first time, so that you can invite them, you need to record their consent for you (ie the PTA) to use the address to contact them. If you need tips on collecting parent email addresses, we have plenty available.
The really amazing thing about the new legislation is that: where the school is the data controller they can lawfully engage Classlist as a new data processor and enter parent emails directly into Classlist’s invitation system where this data has been used within the last year to contact parents. Reasonable notice must be given as noted above.
Don't worry if you don't have any contact details for the parents - you can let them know that they can register directly at www.classlist.com. All parents who register for Classlist need to be approved by one of your Admin users, before they can become a Classlist user.