Jackrabbit Tips & Tricks

Pro Tip: Use Custom Fields In Parent Portal For Account Updates

Get your family accounts up to date for next school year quickly and easily by having parents review and update their information in the Parent Portal.

New this year is the ability for parents to update the responses to any User Defined Fields you have customized in your database.

What are User Defined Fields? They are custom fields where parents can answer questions or you, as a user in Jackrabbit, can record specific information important to your school. You can have up to five different fields/questions for the Family/Account and up to five for each Student.

Examples of Family User Defined Fields:

  • Coupon/Promo Code
  • Carpool Authorized P/U
  • Staff Member (Yes/No)

Examples of Student User Defined Fields:

  • Recital 2016? (Yes/No)
  • Skill Level/Experience
  • T-shirt Size
  • Photography Release (Yes/No)
  • # Years Enrolled in Class

Already been using User Defined Fields?

Check that you have permission to change the field labels and clear out previous responses.


Clear responses and change field(s) you’ve already been using:

  • Print Reports of the current fields and responses for your records.
    • Go to Families > Advanced Search. Change Family Status to blank (to see Active and Inactive families) and Display Setting Show Family User Defined Fields? to Yes. Submit. You can then select to Print/Export all results.
    • Go to Students > Advanced Search. Change Student Status to blank (to see Active and Inactive students) and Display Setting Show Student User Defined Fields to Yes. Submit. Then Print/Export all results.
  • Clear out responses to previous fields.
    • Go to Families > Clear UDF Answers – select which field’s responses you want to delete and Submit.
    • Go to Students > Clear UDF Answers– select which field’s responses you want to delete and Submit.


Make new field(s):

  • Go to Tools > Edit Settings > User-defined Fields – rename or create new fields.

Update Portal Settings to allow Parent’s to update Fields

  • Go to Tools > Parent Portal > Settings
    • Scroll down to Family User Defined Fields and Student User Defined Fields
    • To allow Parents to update their response choose the option Can Update then choose if it’s Optional or Required.
    • Fields can also be Hidden or View Only


Email Parents and ask them to make updates in the Portal

  • My Account > Miscellaneous section of the Portal shows Family User Defined Fields.


  • My Students > Miscellaneous section of the Portal shows Student User Defined Fields.


Report on the changes Parents made in the Portal

  • Go to Reports > Parent Portal Log to see changes parents have made.
    • Set Filter Option > User Defined Field Changes
    • Set Activity Date From the date you emailed parents asking them to make updates.


  • Run Advanced Search reports for Families and Students with Show User Defined Fields set to Yes.


  • Run Reports > Student Info Sheets to get a one page student summary that includes User Defined Fields.


  • User Defined Fields can also be viewed in the Family’s Misc tab and Student’s Misc tab, as well as printed on the Class Rolls.

Power User Tip/Examples:

What is the best way to share in the Parent Portal the student’s assigned level for following year but keep HIDDEN until you are ready for them to see and then easily reset them for the following year? Maybe you want to list this info in the portal but not have it shown UNTIL a certain date.

Old way: Keep a list in the office of all students from ballet/tumbling/swim and what level they are in the fall. Parents would call or stop by the office to learn their assigned level.

User Defined Field way: Have your office staff input all the info into a Student UDF, leave that field Hidden in the portal until you are ready to release the information. Then, you can change to View Only for Portal AND can optionally add a News announcement in the Portal saying to check that area of the Portal. And/or, email everyone a template with instructions on where to view.

ü   Do you give awards for students who have been taking classes with you for a long time? Use Jackrabbit to keep a record of how long a student has been continuously enrolled in classes.

Create a custom field (Student User Defined Field) for customized dates or years.

Note: if you used # of years, you will need to manually update this each year. If you used the date 1/1/2012 for example, you can run the list and not have to worry about updating each year.

This will be reportable in the Students: Advanced Search: User Defined Filed = YES and submit)

Questions? Our support team is here to help.

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