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Getting Started with the eSchoolPlus Family App

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This section covers what you need to know when your district is getting ready to roll out the eSchoolPLUS Family app for students and guardians.

What does my district need to use the app?

Your district needs to have the following requirements before students and Guardians can use the app.

  • eSchoolPLUS version 3.0 and above. A Hotfix is required if the district's last installation was before 9/1/2014.
  • License key for eSchoolPLUS Family app.
  • Web services need to be installed on an eSchoolPLUS server outside the firewall, such as the HAC server.
  • Database updates must be installed. Stored procedures that are used to transfer data back and forth, and which will be used to assist with security and authentication.
  • The "Connector" database must be installed.
  • The Mobile Connector Admin tools must be installed on the app server.
  • If student or guardian access is authenticated using LDAP, then there must be LDAP access from the server with the public IP and SSL into the same domain eSchoolPLUS uses to authentication.
  • To use push notifications for student alerts, Notifications version 1.2 is required.

What does a user need to run the eSchoolPLUS Family app?

To use the app to access student information, the user needs:

  • A supported device. The app was developed for iOS and Android devices. Currently supported: iOS 7.1+ (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)+.
  • Your school district name or a nearby zip code in order to search for and select your district. If searching by zip code or a GPS location, the value entered must be within 100 miles of your school district.
  • A user name and password for Home Access Center.
  • Internet access. Either WiFi or the carrier's cellular network can be used.
  • A data plan for the device or WiFi access.

Finally, the user needs to download and install the app. Here's where to get the app for free:

  • For iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone, use App Store.
  • For Android devices, use Google Play Store app.
  • For Kindle Fire and Fire phones, use Amazon App Store.

To quickly find the app, search for eSchoolPLUS.

How is data secured on the device?

Limited data is cached on the device while it is in use. It is only available to the eSchoolPLUS Family app itself, and is encrypted using the AES 256 standard.

How is data secured over the air?

All communication between the device and the server will be done via HTTPS.

How is access to the app controlled? What about access to features?

Access to the eSchoolPLUS Family app relies on the same authentication and authorization as Home Access Center. User credentials are the same. Home Access Center supports two authentication methods: eSchoolPLUS database authentication and LDAP Active Directory authentication. The district selects the authentication method to use in the eSchoolPLUS Home Access Center District Configuration.

Access to the features available within the eSchoolPLUS Family app is determined by eSchoolPLUS Home Access Center configurations. There is no additional configuration required.

How do I configure the options that display in the app?

The eSchoolPLUS Family app uses the Home Access Center district and building configuration settings to determine what options are available for a guardian or student.

Use the Administration > HAC Setup > Setup > HAC District Configuration option to affect the:

  • Student and guardian access to the app across the entire district.
  • The authentication method (LDAP or eSchoolPLUS Standard Authentication) used to control security access.
  • The color used for the app display. If colors are specified for the building, the building colors will take precedence.

Use the Administration > HAC Setup > Setup > HAC Building Configuration option to affect the:

  • Student and guardian access to the app for the building.
  • The color used for the app display. If colors are specified for the building, the building colors will take precedence over the district colors.
  • Ability to tap links to send email to staff or building users.
  • Access to attendance, calendar, classwork, fees, grade reporting, schedule, and transportation information.
  • Resource links to other HTML addresses.
  • Alerts that students and guardians can subscribe to.

Note: Student activity information is not available from the app by default. But, your district can select to turn this feature on. For more information, refer to "How can the app show student activity information?" on page 1.

How do I control student and guardian access to the app?

Access to the app is granted in the same way as access to Home Access Center. You can turn off access for all users in the district or in a building in the Home Access Center district and building configurations.
For a student or guardian, you can grant access by entering a check in the contact's HAC Access box. To disable access, remove the check from the HAC Access box.

To use the app, the student or guardian will need:

  • a login ID and password. The Home Access Center District Configuration determines if the login is set up as LDAP or standard eSchoolPLUS authentication.
  • HAC access to the student. For students, the HAC Access box displays in Registration > Entry & Reports > Student Demographic > Addresses. For guardians, it displays in Registration > Entry & Reports > Student Demographic > Contacts.

Note that the eSchoolPLUS Family app does not support the ability for users to register online. If your district allows users to register online, you must inform students and guardians that they need to first register for Home Access Center before they can login with the app.

What does the district need to display alerts as notifications in the app?

The eSchoolPLUS Family app includes a Notifications option that allows parents and students to see student alerts that were previously sent by email from the app. Parents and students can still choose to get the email as an alert, but now they can also see this information in the app. To use this feature, the district needs to have the following steps completed:

  • Add a GUID for Home Access Center to the Notifications Administration Tool.
  • Install eSchoolPLUS update including HAC notification code.

Parents and students do not need to change their subscription settings in order to get notifications in the app. After these steps are completed, notifications will be created the next time a Home Access Center student alert task is run. A notification record is created for a parent or student who has subscribed to the alert.

For more information on managing notifications, refer to the following topics:

Home Access Center Student Alerts

How do notification records get cleaned up?

Is there a timeout period for the eSchoolPLUS Family App?

Your district specifies the timeout period for the eSchoolPLUS Family app using the Mobile Connector Admin tool. By default, the timeout period is 15 minutes.

A user's authentication token will expire after the specified amount of time has elapsed since the last time the user retrieved or saved data to the eSchoolPLUS database. The app will not close, but data will not be refreshed. The user will need to login again if the user tries to complete an action that requires data from the eSchoolPLUS network.

For information on changing the timeout period, refer to How can the timeout period be changed?

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