SIMS: How to setup SIMS integration for Parents Evening
If you use SIMS as your School Management System this article shows you the steps to follow to sync your data from SIMS into SchoolCloud Parents Evening. This covers setting the data up on your system for the first time, as well as if you want to refresh the data that is held on the system. We recommend that you sync your data before setting up a new evening or event, and when you have made a change to your data in SIMS that you know you need to bring across into Parents Evening.
Parents Evening System SIMS Extract Tool
Your data is transferred from SIMS using the Parents Evening System SIMS Extract Tool. This is a small stand-alone program that needs to be installed on any computer that has access to SIMS and can therefore be placed on any machines used by the staff that might need to run it. The tool connects to SIMS and gets the data for your students, teachers, contacts and classes so that it can be used in your system. When it connects to SIMS it logs in using the details of a SIMS account that needs certain permissions. You can check which permissions are needed here: SIMS permissions required. If you have already set data up on your system before then you probably still have the tool installed on your computer. Look for an icon on your desktop called Parents Evening System or go to to Windows Start > All Programs > Parents Evening Extract Tool.
First Time Setup installation
This section should only be followed if your SchoolCloud Parents Evening is being used for the very first time.
If data is already set up on your system and you just need to install the tool scroll down to the next section: Existing system installation
If you already have the tool installed, scroll down to Running the Parents Evening System SIMS Extract Tool
- Log into SchoolCloud Parents Evening as an administrator. To do this, go to your school's SchoolCloud Parents Evening link which should look something like this "https://schoolname.schoolcloud.co.uk". When there, click Administrator Login at the bottom.
- When you're logged into the system, you'll be presented with our "Getting Started" page. Fill out the details on that page as desired then click Next.
- Choose SIMS from our list of supported providers then click Next.
Then select your SIMS server hosting location.
- If you are using a SIMS server hosted at the school you can proceed to follow the instructions on the next page, which tell you how to obtain and run the installer.
- If your SIMS is hosted you will be asked to contact us for further advice, as the various Hosted SIMS providers have different procedures and requirements.
Existing system installation
If you already have SchoolCloud Parents Evening and are moving to SIMS from another MIS please see this article: Changing School Management System.
If you need to download the installation file for the SIMS Extract Tool please click here:
SIMS EXTRACT TOOL
You can then install it by following the instructions when you run it. When the tool asks you for your systemname and API Key you can find them in SchoolCloud Parents Evening under Settings > Data Import Source.
The SIMS username and password should be those of a SIMS account that matches the permissions described here.
Once you have the tool installed on your computer, you can use it whenever you wish to update the data in SchoolCloud Parents Evening. We recommend doing this before setting up a new evening/event to ensure all your data is up to date. The sync does not run automatically, it is always run manually.
Running the Extract Tool
When you run the Parents Evening System SIMS Extract Tool you will follow six steps:
Step 1: Get Data from SIMS
You will already have filled in the Parents Evening System Settings and SIMS Settings during installation via one of the methods above. If you need to locate the details again, you can find them via Settings > Data Import Source.
You can opt to change the Effective Date if you would like the data pulled from SIMS to reflect a particular period in the future or past.
Select from the drop-down next to Names to choose whether to get Preferred Names or Legal Names from SIMS (for example 'Jamie', rather than 'James').Click Continue and the tool with start to acquire the data from SIMS. A green bar show you the progress made. This may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the school. Once the data has been acquired you move automatically to Step 2.
Step 2: Select Year Groups
Please select all Year Groups - whether they are used on a particular evening is done within the system itself.
If you would like students that are set up in SIMS as Accepted Pre-admissions or Guests then also tick the relevant boxes.
Step 3: Select Contacts
Options chosen on this screen will determine which parents can login to SchoolCloud to make bookings.
Make sure that there is a tick next to Import Parent Contact Details into the Parents Evening System to include the details in the transfer.
Under Contact Priority tick the priorities of parents that you would like added to the system from SIMS. We recommend priority 1 and 2 but this is entirely a matter for you.There are also two filters which you can apply to the parents you have selected:
- Only Include Contacts With Parental Responsibility will restrict the synced parents to those with the Parental Responsibility flag set in SIMS.
- Include Contacts with a Court Order allows you to include those contacts with a Court Order flag set in SIMS.
Step 4: Select Teachers
This allows you to select the teachers you would like included in the sync from SIMS. We recommend that all teachers for your school are included in the sync.
If a teacher you expect to see is not listed here please see this article: SIMS: Teacher not appearing on the systemIf you would like to include the room information for the teachers from SIMS make sure that Overwrite Room With Those From SIMS is ticked.If the teachers' email address from SIMS should be included in the sync ensure that there is a tick next to Overwrite Emails With Those From SIMS.
There is more information on what emails are synced here: SIMS: Which email addresses are synced into Parents Evening?
Click Next to continue.
Step 5: Select Subjects
This determines the subjects, classes and any user defined groups that are brought across to the system.
Please ensure that all relevant options are ticked under Subject or Class - as whether they are used on a particular evening is done within the system itself.
If you have any User Defined Groups set up in SIMS that you wish to use in your system make sure they are ticked in the User Defined Groups section.The field showing Total Teachers for Students for each subject or class. is a multiple of the number of students by the number of teachers for the subject or class.
Step 6: Summary of Data Transfer
This final step provides a summary of the data you have now chosen to be transferred from SIMS into SchoolCloud Parents Evening. If any records that will be deleted are involved in extant bookings on your system, the affected bookings would also be deleted and you will see a warning like this: Clicking View X Appointments To Be Deleted allows you to view the appointments that will be deleted.
They may well be past, historic appointments which you may expect and can ignore (for instance, due to a teacher leaving). If you do not want to continue with the transfer at this point you can either click the Back button to go back and change options previously selected, or you can close down the tool by clicking the cross at the top right hand corner of the screen.
If you are happy to continue and transfer the information click on Transfer Data.
All your data from SIMS will now be accessible in SchoolCloud via the Data section on the navigation panel.